AUSTIN, Texas—State Rep. Irma Rangel, chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, will be the featured speaker at Saturday’s (Dec. 4) Graduate School Convocation at The University of Texas at Austin.
Rangel, whose District 35 includes Brooks, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, Kleberg, Starr, Willacy and Zapata counties in South Texas, will speak on “Sharing the Wealth of an Education.” The 8 a.m. convocation in Bass Concert Hall of the Performing Arts Center will involve 340 students, including 140 doctoral students and 200 masters students.
Rangel, a native of Kingsville, is the first Mexican American woman elected to the Texas House of Representatives, the first Mexican American woman elected as chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the first Mexican American appointed to serve as chair of the House Committee on Higher Education. She also is a member of the Pensions and Investments Committee and the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference.
She has served her South Texas district since her election in 1976 and currently is in her 12th term in the Legislature. She is a former schoolteacher and principal who taught in South Texas as well as in California and Venezuela. She entered St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio after 14 years of teaching and went on to become one of the first Hispanic female law clerks for federal District Judge Adrian Spears. She later became one of the first Hispanic women assistant district attorneys in Texas before returning to Kingsville to open her own law practice. In 1993, she closed her law practice to become a full-time legislator.