With a new academic year comes newly elected employee association presidents at Austin Community College District (ACC). We talk to the 2020-21 presidents to learn more about them professionally and personally.
Miguel DeLeon started working at ACC in June 1999 as an hourly employee in the Continuing Education Division after just graduating high school a week prior. He has worked in a few divisions during his tenure at ACC and has held several titles, including clerk, administrative assistant III, CE admissions assistant, and admissions assistant. He is currently executive assistant I to Dr. Susan Thomason, associate vice president of the Teaching and Learning Excellence Division (TLED).
What inspired you to run for president?
In my experience, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Matthew Campbell nominated me when I attended my first meeting for the Classified Employees Association. I have enjoyed working with Matthew in the past and I believe he recognized my passion for servant leadership and nominated me to be president-elect. I gratefully accepted and here I am, leading the CEA as president in FY21.
Do you have any goals for this year in your role as president?
As part of the collective goals for FY21, we will be working hard to make sure there is equity in our pay, inclusion in the decisions being made, and tackling bullying at ACC.
Where did you grow up? What was it like?
I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but I grew up on a farm in Bastrop. Full of hard work, fun, nature, room to roam, and peace and quiet. I like to compare my family home to growing up in your own personal park.
What do you "geek out" about?
Birding — it brings my love of photography together with my love of the outdoors. The other thing I geek out about is watching my child grow as I work from home during this pandemic.
Do you have a motto, mantra, or personal philosophy?
Lead from behind.
What do you believe it takes to help students succeed?
This question tugs at my heartstrings. I have always said, it is the people you hire and bring to ACC that are going to help our students succeed. It doesn't matter what initiative or idea you throw out for student success if you don't have the right people in place to implement the initiative. Student retention is a responsibility everyone shares in, not only in the classroom but in all departments of the college. Without caring, compassionate staff on campus, we will continue to lose students. Some may just need someone to talk to, to understand their issues, to show empathy for them, and to genuinely want to help. We all need to show these traits to our students and to be willing to serve and help someone as if they were your own family member.