"Everything about [Texas A&M] Kingsville Made It More Than Just a School.”

Sarah Muñoz '07


If you asked Sarah Muñoz ’07 in high school what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have excitedly answered a news anchor. That dream evolved one summer when she participated in a program built on encouraging females toward a career in engineering. Reflecting on her time within that program, Muñoz admits that experience was when she “fell in love” with engineering, and everything changed.” 


Recently hired as the Director of Development Services for Portland, Texas, Muñoz’s 15-year career journey began as a student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. “It actually started in my last semester of college,” she explained. “I was given the opportunity to have an internship at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) – in the design office – in Corpus Christi, and it went well.”  


The internship was so successful, in fact, that Muñoz was hired into a full-time position with TxDOT after her graduation from the university. “I graduated on a Friday and started working [at TXDOT] on Monday, so that internship really spurred my career by being able to immediately start working … I always gave my boss a hard time about it though,” she jested.  


What soon followed was six dedicated years in that roleFrom there, she earned a position with the City of Corpus Christi, where she remained for 9 years, starting in its Development Services Department.  


“Things just kind of took off from there,” Muñoz described. “I went to traffic, then was an Interim Assistant Director for Parks and Recreation. Then I became an Assistant Director for Public Works, the Interim Director for Parks, then came back as a Deputy Director of Public Works.”  


After gaining invaluable experience through these diverse leadership positions, Muñoz is now eager to serve the City of Portland in her newest role, illuminating, “The City of Portland is growing at a tremendous rate and it’s extremely exciting to see … they’re a supportive community, and this city wants the best. It’s rewarding to be a part of a community that has conscious growth in mind.” 


Muñoz draws inspiration to lead as a female in a historically male-dominated career field from her experience at Texas A&M-Kingsville, as well, citing Dr. Breanna Bailey, P.E., as its source. Dr. Bailey was the first female professor I ever had in the College of Engineering, and she was so inspirational,” Muñoz explained. “She really broke down every aspect of engineering.  Meeting people like Dr. Bailey who made it much easier to understandit was really, really helpful throughout my career.”  


Texas A&M-Kingsville’s treasured family-like atmosphere made Muñoz feel as if she were more than a number as a student. Because of this, she found herself compelled to immerse herself in and serve the university’s community. Muñoz was a part of student government, joined a sorority, held a job at the university, and served as an orientation leader, and was even named Miss TAMUK. “Everything about [Texas A&M] Kingsville made it more of a community than just a school,” she shared.  


That feeling of Javelina Family has woven itself throughout Muñoz’s life ever since. Crediting the university for her most cherished friendships, and even her marriage and children (as she and her husband met as Javelina students), Muñoz brings with her a devoted and family-like perspective in her support for the City of Portland. 


“I’m from the small town of Falfurrias, and being from a small town gives you a different perspective of what a community really is,” Muñoz concluded.It’s easy to say, but I think most [Javelina] alumni you meet will agreethat’s what it means to me to be a Javelina – to have a community and a family.”