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Texas A&M-Kingsville alumnus returns as VP of enrollment, student affairs

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Dr. Rito Silva, a South Texas native and Texas A&M University-Kingsville alumnus, is the new Vice President for Enrollment Services and Student Affairs at the University.

Silva has 30 years of experience in higher education, which started at his alma mater.

“This has been a remarkable experience to come full circle.   Not only did I start my academic career here, I started my professional career here as an Academic Advisor,” Silva said.  “I’ve walked these hallways and know firsthand the pride of being a Javelina.  To be able to come back and share my experiences with the new generation of Javelinas is a true blessing.”

Silva’s goal is to build strong relationships both internally, within all the departments at Texas A&M-Kingsville, and externally with local independent school districts, community colleges and the communities the University serves. 

Silva said he is focused on creating responsible, steady enrollment growth in the coming years. 

“To accomplish this goal, we must have a holistic approach that includes the entire university and alumni. I have seen the commitment of the staff and faculty on accomplishing this goal in my few days at the University.  Faculty, staff and Deans have been recruiting throughout the state,” Silva said.

Silva is a first-generation student from Alice where he served as councilman and mayor for a combined seven years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and his master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from Texas A&M-Kingsville. He received his doctoral degree in Human Resource Development from Texas A&M University.

Silva has worked in student affairs at Coastal Bend College and Lone Star College-CyFair. Most recently, Silva served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Del Mar College.

Silva said it is important that the University provides its students with a memorable and positive experience.

“Personally, I know that the experiences I had both inside and outside the classroom taught me skills that helped me professionally later in life,” he said. “A memorable experience also means providing excellent customer service throughout their academic career. Students deserve to have timely, accurate information. I remember the frustrations of navigating a system that was unfamiliar to me.  I want to be able to remove those bureaucratic barriers.”

Another goal Silva has is to take care of the University’s human resource which he says is the most precious asset. 

“Our faculty and staff are the foundation for our student’s success.  Every single employee is an extension of our University and plays an integral role in our student’s experience."

Silva said his focus was inspired by his mentors at Texas A&M-Kingsville who left an impression he carries with him to this day.

“I learned so much from the staff, faculty and administrators both inside and outside the classroom. They made a big difference in my life,” Silva said. “Now, I get to pay it forward at this institution.  This is much more than a job for me, it is a passion.”

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