Senior Associate Vice President for Outreach Services and Community Engagement
Assistant Provost for Hispanic Student Success
Office of the Provost
The University of Texas at Arlington
Ms. Bobadilla established the Society of 100 Endowed Scholars’ Fund in cooperation with the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the GDHCC Institute for Leadership and Business Education, and community partners to ensure an educational legacy for Greater Dallas area students pursuing a higher education. As chair of the Stars on the Rise Scholarship Program, she raised over $3.4 million dollars in 2011. As a result, 210 students were awarded substantial scholarships in order to pursue their dreams of a higher education. Michele also served on the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship committee in order to help them grow and forge vital partnerships beneficial to area students. In recognition of her community efforts and advocacy on behalf of students at the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, the state’s first public/private school, Carmyn Neely, Executive Director, Foundation for the Education of Young Women, said “Michele has been a loyal supporter. Not only has she provided financial support for our underprivileged young women to pursue their college dreams, she has also served as Chairperson of the Advisory Council for six years. Michele has shared her administrative capabilities as well as her empathy for this initiative.”
Ms. Bobadilla has served as a Board of Director on twenty-five boards of organizations providing vital services to our community, and she has actively maintained her civic/community involvement by serving on over fifty committees addressing the needs of the community-at-large. Her involvement underscores her commitment to making things happen for others. She has always remarked about her good fortune in having mentors who nurtured, guided, and provided the support needed to succeed in this world. Her life’s work as an advocate, mentor, and volunteer, has made many dreams become reality for the students and families she has touched throughout her volunteer commitments.
As Co-chair of the Latina Living Legend Award, Michele helped this Hispanic women’s organization raise over $25,000 for their endowment. The organization’s endowment annually awards grants to non-profit, community based organizations that promote educational and employment opportunities for women and girls. The late Ann Minnis remarked, “I have been privileged to work closely with Michele Bobadilla over the past 15 years and most recently as Co-chair of the Hispanic 100 Latina Living Legend Awards. I have marveled at her untiring commitment to improve the lives of those in our community needing a hand up. A top priority has been her leadership in raising substantial funds which have and continue to give hope and opportunity to thousands of metroplex residents over the years. Michele is a champion advocate to those she serves. She possesses a unique combination of professionalism, knowledge, interpersonal skills, personal integrity, and a strong commitment to her community. She is firmly grounded in the highest standard of personal and professional ethics.”
Her involvement as a board member during the early years with the Dallas Concilio spawned the creation of the Psyched out about Math and Science Program. This program is designed to expose, encourage, and provide hands-on opportunities in the fields of math, science, and technology to sixth grade girls. Knowing how pivotal the sixth grade is in the decision making process involved in academia and pre-college planning which begins in middle school, Psyched Out About Math and Science, has provided young girls with invaluable experiences by learning firsthand from females in the aforementioned fields of study. The girls’ mothers are also included as an important component in learning to support and nurture their daughters’ educational pursuits. “Through her involvement, Michele Bobadilla has worked tirelessly on weekends and evenings to foster the development of young Latinas. Her passion and enthusiasm are contagious – she inspires others to achieve more than thought possible,” Dr. Mary Hendrix, Vice President – Student Access and Success, Texas A & M University – Commerce.
As co-founder of University Crossroads – a partnership of colleges and universities in North Texas, she has been able to impact over 12,500 students through free SAT Math Prep Classes offered in Dallas and Fort Worth. She forged this partnership with 27 area colleges, community based organizations, chambers of commerce, and school districts providing services that directly benefit students. “Michele has been instrumental in the development and implementation of college readiness and college access activities offered to students and parents on weeknights and evenings. She has provided leadership and talent in order to ensure students successfully transition from high school to college,” stated Dr. Liliana Valadez, Executive Director, Dallas ISD College and Career Readiness Division. Through this SAT Math Prep classes, students have increased their math score by 90+ points. As a result, some borderline students have been able to accept athletic and academic scholarships that were just out of reach because of their initial scores. This community outreach program has had a tremendous impact on students and is popular among parents and teachers seeking assistance for them. These classes have been offered on week nights and weekends in order to accommodate students’ busy schedules. Numerous community partners have joined in financially supporting this initiative serving the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. Barbara Merkle, Director of Admissions, Midwestern State University commented as follows. ”Michele Bobadilla has been instrumental in organizing universities, community based organizations, and chambers of commerce to participate in endeavors that promote changing the college going culture in Texas. She believes that even with limited resources that convincing students and mostly first generation students that if you raise the bar and provide the support, students will rise to your expectations. She is changing the college going culture and making access to higher education attainable.”
As Vice Chair of the National League of United Latin American Citizens’ Education Commission, Ms. Bobadilla was able to impact policies and raise awareness of the educational needs of Latino students in the PK-20 pipeline. She served as Co-Chair of the Texas Education Summit and worked on the California Education Summit held at UCLA.
Through her service on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Summer Musicals, Ms. Bobadilla has been instrumental in providing students with the experience of a live musical performance. For many, this experience has been transformative!
Michele has received countless honors throughout her illustrious career as an educator, mentor and advocate. One of her most recent honors was her induction into the Woodrow Wilson High School Hall of Fame. Michele was the first Latino/a in the storied history of one of Dallas’ oldest schools to receive this honor. She joins the ranks of Trammel Crow, Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Buddy Minyard, Congressman Lt. Col. Samuel Johnson, Attorney General Jim Mattox, and Heisman Trophy winners Davey O’Brien and Tim Brown to name just a few of the schools’ Hall of Fame honorees. Among the most notable honors she has received are the following: The Martha H. Salmon Leadership Award, The Southwestern Regional College Board (4 state region), 2011; Latino Leaders magazine, Maestro Award – Education 2010; United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ultimate Latina – Education Award, 2010; Outstanding Woman in Texas Government, Community Involvement Award 2010, State Agency Council; SMU Profiles in Leadership Award, 2010; Commencement Speaker at Texas A & M University – Commerce, 2009; Hispanic 100 President’s Award, 2008; GDHCC La Cima Leadership Award, 2008; Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Award, 2008; City of Grand Prairie Historical Commission Medallion for Outstanding Service and Contributions, 2008; Ebby Rose of Distinction, presented by Ebby Halliday for enriching the lives of others through volunteerism, 2006; The Maura Award, women helping women, 2005; National LULAC Woman of the Year, 2004; The President’s Call to Service Award, Corporation for National and Community Service, 2004; Outstanding Star of Texas, Texas Bank and The Fort Worth Club, 2004; The Great Women of Texas, Most Influential Women honoree, JP Morgan Chase and the Fort Worth Business Press, 2003; Raymond Telles Award for Excellence in Education, highest national award given by National LULAC, 2003; Michele Bobadilla Bridge to Excellence Scholarship, established by UT Arlington President Dr. Robert E. Witt to honor her leadership and community outreach efforts, 2002; Induction into the National LULAC Women’s Hall of Fame, 2002; and possibly most dear to her is the H. Ross Perot Excellence in Teaching Award she received in 1986 for the incredible strides made with the limited English speaking students she taught at Skyline High School in Dallas.
Michele credits her family, her mentors, and her community for cultivating and nurturing her involvement and passion for education, advocacy, and community service.