Leadership Women, Inc. (LW) Leadership Texas Class of 2015 Includes Two TTUHSC El Paso Staff

Two from TTUHSC El Paso competitively selected to explore “The Future of Community: A State of Possibilities”

Two administrators from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso have been selected to join an elite network of more than 6,000 women as a member of the Leadership Texas Class of 2015.

Ginger Pineda Raya and Susanne Van Weelden, administrators in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, TTUHSC El Paso, are two of 80 outstanding women leaders competitively selected from across the state to participate in the longest-running women’s leadership development program in the U.S. Throughout the year-long program, they will have the opportunity to broaden their perspectives on the state of Texas by exploring four Texas cities and receiving cutting-edge information from recognized experts, government officials and other leaders to positively inform their work and community for years to come, said Candace O’Keefe-Mathis, CEO of Leadership Women (LW).

Leadership Texas, now in its 33rd consecutive year, is the flagship program of LW, a nonprofit social enterprise headquartered in Dallas.
Raya is a native of El Paso, Texas and has been a clinical administrator at TTUHSC El Paso for six years. She is also adjunct faculty at Park University where she teaches courses in Healthcare and Public Administration. She has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso. She holds a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University. Her dissertation title was, “The role of emotional intelligence in reducing at risk behavior in Latinas.”

She is currently pursuing a master of science in Clinical Practice Management at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Allied Health Sciences. She serves on the board of directors for KCOS-TV, El Paso’s PBS station and was previously board president for Latinitas Magazine, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Latina youth.

Originally from Germany, Van Weelden has made Texas her home since 2006. She holds a bachelor of science in zoology from North Carolina State University. Van Weelden also holds a master of science in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at El Paso with a concentration in neuroscience.

In addition, she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration from Capella University School of Public Leadership and is expected to graduate in 2016. Van Weelden joined TTUHSC El Paso in January 2009 where she built medical education laboratories and supported student activities. She also built the Office of Grants and Contracts for the campus before moving to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology where she is the senior director of the research division. Van Weelden is involved in STEM activities in the community and is the chair of the annual STEM Challenge 2015. In addition, she is the editor of the online publication “The Catalyst” for the Society of Research Administrators International. She is also a strong supporter for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute for which is she is both a reviewer and an ambassador.

Launched in 1983 as the first statewide program for women’s leadership development, Leadership Texas is patterned after, though not affiliated with, the co-educational civic programs that have found success in a number of cities throughout the state and nation. “Leadership Texas is designed specifically to help women learn new information and be encouraged to lead well as they leave lasting legacies of achievement throughout our state’s communities, organizations and corporations,” O’Keefe-Mathis added. The theme for the 2015 program year is ‘The Future of Community: A State of Possibilities.’ “Participants will visit Fort Worth, Tyler, El Paso and Houston where each city’s opportunities and response to challenges will be highlighted.” O’Keefe-Mathis said.

Through the generous contributions of the Leadership Texas Program Partners, the program continues to provide the most up-to-date information on leadership and issues affecting Texas. Corporate Program Partners providing major support for Leadership Texas 2015 include, Pfizer, Southwest Airlines and Texas Instruments.