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No Wild Blue Yonder but Life is Still Good

by Ruth Ann Ruiz
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By Ruth Ann Ruiz

The Post Newspaper Features Editor

We dream when we are kids of what we want to be when we grow up and it gives us a sense of hope for our future and goals to work towards. But for most of us, our dreams often are a bit out of our reach for one reason or another. 

Arthur Ortiz dreamed of becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. “Two of my brothers went to the Air Force Academy and that’s all I wanted to do,” shared Ortiz. He was the youngest of nine children growing up outside of Manvel in a small town called Iowa Colony.  

Time came for Arthur to go after his dream and his vision test proved he would never be a pilot. He did not have a backup plan, so he enrolled in University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Part of the way through his college education he was invited to a summer internship with Schlumberger. “They liked me so much they asked me to work full-time, and they would take care of my tuition,” explained Ortiz, so that is just what he did went to work full-time and college part time.

Downturns in the oil industry are par for the course and in when one came 1999, he was let go of. But this time he had a real plan. He had determined he wanted to work at The University of St. Thomas and with just one try at getting a job he was onboarded in the admissions department.

Ortiz worked his way up to serving as Vice President of Admissions over the course of 21 years. Then right about the time he started feeling like he wanted a new challenge, his boss tapped him to move on up to serve the school as Chief Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement Officer (the first letters of each word spell out space, so he is Chief Space Officer), which is getting him closer to the friendly skies. 

Though he is not out in the wild blue yonder, he feels fulfilled with his years at UST helping students through the admissions process. Now he is looking forward to the challenges of his new position. 

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