Meet Our Team
De'Lila Holder, M. Ed.
De'Lila Holder is the Director of College Connect and Texas Tech UIL. She is a Lubbock native and proud Red Raider. She holds a Master's degree in Education Administration and has 25 years of experience in education. She joined the Texas Tech campus community eight years ago as the Associate Director of the TTU T-STEM Center and served most recently at the Whitacre College of Engineering, working to develop and implement innovative STEM programs for K-12 students and members of the community. Prior to working at Texas Tech, De'Lila was a classroom teacher, campus principal, and school district administrator. She has served in leadership positions with Northwest Plains Destination Imagination, West Panhandle Plains FIRST ®Tech Challenge Robotics, and West Texas BEST Robotics. She sits on several advisory boards and was a proud member of the NASA Johnson Space Center-Network of States Advisory Committee. De'Lila is passionate about empowering others and providing the support and educational opportunities needed to help them realize their fullest potential. In her free time, her interests include traveling, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Ariana Hernandez, M. Ed.
Ariana Hernandez is the Assistant Director for the College Connect. She is from Veribest, Texas, has her Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas Tech University, and her M.Ed. in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education from Angelo State University. Her duties include writing, editing, and managing proposals and grants that service underserved K-12 students. On-campus organizations Ariana has been a part of include Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Tau Delta, an English Honor Society; Sigma Delta Pi, a National Spanish Honor Society, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. She also teaches a course within the TTU AVID program. In her time away from the office, she enjoys playing City League Volleyball, hiking, and traveling.
Dominique Gonzales is the Unit Manager for the UIL Office as well as College Connect. She joined the UIL team in January of 2014 and took on College Connect in 2019. Prior to working for Texas Tech, Dominique attended South Plains College and was a Financial Manager for 4 years at a local Lubbock business. Dominique is responsible for all related budgets and financial reporting within the Texas Tech UIL and College Connect offices. When away from work, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and traveling.
Mary Harris, M.A.
Mary Harris joined the College Connect team as a Program Manager in February of 2020. She is from Lubbock, Texas and obtained her bachelor's degree and M.A. in Strategic Communication and Innovation both from Texas Tech University. In her role she is in responsible for developing and coordinating academic programs and camps for students K-12 and facilitating partnerships. In her free time she likes to watch movies, travel and spend time with her dogs and family.
Lexi LeCroy joined the College Connect team in March of 2020. She is from Paducah, Texas and is currently pursuing a dual major in Psychology and University Studies with a minor in Integrative Studies. She is a member of Psi Chi, which is the National Honor Society in Psychology, as well as Women in Business. Lexi plans to attend graduate school and attain a Doctorate of Psychology so that she can follow her dream of becoming an industrial-organizational psychologist. Lexi's role in College Connect is helping with campus tours, summer camps, promotional items and maintaining daily office duties. Her personal hobbies include traveling, reading, and spending time with her friends.
Courtnee Howze joined the College Connect in August 2018 and is from Houston, Texas. She is currently a senior pursuing a degree in Business Management at the Rawls College of Business. On campus, she is the president for Tech Women in Business. Her work as a student assistant includes social media as well as hosting on campus tours. She hopes to bring light to other students lives and inspire them to seek higher education. She enjoys baking, reading and yoga in her free time.
Sergio is a 3rd generation Hispanic college student. He graduated from South Plains College in 2019 with an Associates in Science and then transfered to Texas Tech. He plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Sociology then continue to obtain his Doctorate in History. In his free time he enjoys playing the guitar locally and working out. He hopes to bring an ease to transfer students that plan on coming to Texas Tech. In the office he does tasks for both College Connect and TTU UIL.
Matt Ministrelli joined the College Connect team in August 2021, after originally participating as a Camp Counselor in the summer of 2021. He is from Tyler, Texas, and is currently a junior at TTU working towards a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. His goal is to earn a Doctorate in Psychology to counsel children and adolescents struggling with depression and anxiety. In his current role for College Connect, his duties include hosting campus tours, providing support to other departments within the DDEI, and managing office tasks. In his free time, Matt enjoys swimming, playing guitar, and spending time with his friends.
Madison Adams joined the College Connect team in September of 2021. She is from Fort Worth, Texas and is currently pursuing a major in Digital Media and Professional Communications with a minor in Advertising. She is a member of FAME, Fashion and Media Entertainment, and AWC, Association for Women in Communications. She hopes to pursue a career in Digital Media Marketing and Advertising after college, and in her free time she loves to go to concerts, hang out with friends, and binge watch movies and TV shows.
Cassandra Perales joined the College Connect team in September 2021. She is a first-generation Hispanic woman from Houston, Texas. She is currently pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. She then wants to attend graduate school and obtain her Doctorate in biomedical engineering. Cassandra's role in College Connect consist of her aiding with campus visits and completing clerical duties. With this role she hopes to inspire younger generations to pursue a higher education. Some of her personal hobbies include watching movies, traveling, and spending time with her friends.
Andrew Geter is a sophomore at Texas Tech University, and is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is pursuing a major in Business Management with a Strategic Entrepreneurship and Innovation Concentration, as well as a minor in Journalism. Andrew hopes to use what he learns at Texas Tech to go into the Real Estate industry, and eventually open his own business. He is a member of the Texas Tech Criminology club, and in his free time he likes to workout, hike, and play guitar. As a student assistant for College Connect, he helps teach children about Texas Tech through the many different programs that the division offers. Andrew aims to bring a positive and encouraging attitude in the office so that College Connect can serve the community as best as possible.