MNA Student Perspective – Asusena Resendiz
Published: April 16, 2019 / Author: Asusena Resendiz
Asusena Reséndiz was born in the Texas Panhandle to parents who had migrated to the United States from Rio Verde, San Luís Potosí, Mexico. Her father worked as a farmer, and her mother held several jobs, including working in a local cafe. Her mother eventually purchased the cafe—and still owns and manages it to this day.
Reséndiz spent her childhood learning about both the farming and restaurant industries—as well as about the importance of hard work. “My family was blessed to have arrived in this amazing country during a time when it was much easier to be open-minded to a young, honest and hardworking family that was eager to start anew,” Reséndiz remembers. “We were taught personal responsibility for all the choices we made. By God’s grace, we received a quality education and worked hard to overcome adversity.”
Reséndiz graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in Spanish/Latin American and Iberian Studies. For nearly four years, she served as President/CEO of the Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Irving, Texas, and then for two and half years as the President/CEO of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
In these positions, she earned many national awards, including U.S. Hispanic Chamber of the Year, LATINA Style Magazine Honors Latina Leaders, and the Cowles & Thompson Immigrant Journey Award, among others.
But despite these honors, Reséndiz constantly strived to expand her knowledge base and become a more effective public servant. That’s when she decided to enroll in the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) program at Notre Dame.
In 2014, Reséndiz was selected by the University of Notre Dame and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as their 2014 Master of Nonprofit Administration Fellow—the first Latina recipient of this prestigious honor. “I knew that the University of Notre Dame held the highest of standards,” Reséndiz says. “Upon becoming a part of the Notre Dame family, I realized that it went much deeper than that.”
Access to the best resource available: human capital
“During my time at Notre Dame, I was most impressed with the reputation and influence many of our professors had on a national scale,” Reséndiz points out. “My most impactful experience was working directly with two of my graduate professors, Dr. Joe Urbany and Dr. Luis Fraga, both highly respected and nationally acclaimed award-winners in their respective fields. The experience was invaluable.”
In addition to studying alongside distinguished faculty, Reséndiz cites the academic rigor of the program as particularly valuable to her professional and personal development. “The MNA program will challenge you academically and mentally, and give you access to the best resource available: human capital. It will also assist in sharpening your management skills and create meaningful change for your stakeholders.”
Reséndiz realized that, because of the University’s commitment to serving the greater good, there was perhaps no better preparation for a life of public service than the education she received through the MNA program at Notre Dame. “The university identifies social problems and takes action by utilizing their resources and serving as a powerful force for good in the world.”
Reséndiz was determined to be an extension of that powerful force for good. And that’s exactly what she’s done.
From the Golden Dome to the Texas State Capitol
Shortly after earning her Master of Nonprofit Administration degree in 2016, Reséndiz was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (THCA) Board. Reséndiz is only the second Latina trustee to sit on this prestigious board, and she also serves as a member of its finance committee.
“The opportunity to study under a distinguished faculty that embodied a servant heart and business mind equipped me with the essential resources needed to elevate my knowledge base,” Reséndiz notes. “This has made me a more confident and effective board member.”
The TDHCA injects $2.9 billion into the Texas economy annually through the agency’s programs and funding, enabling Reséndiz to impact a large swath of the state’s population. “It is my calling to make a difference and serve as an agent of change,” Reséndiz says. “My accomplishments are not because of what I did, but because of what other people did. Always remember to pass the credit and genuinely help others along the way.”
Topics: Student Life