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Congratulations to Dr. Janis Feldman for receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter for 2015.

Each year, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) selects a social worker for this national award to celebrate a lifetime of achievement for his or her best social work values and accomplishments demonstrated throughout their lifetime career.

Dr. Feldman has not only dedicated years of service to the community, but she has also improved the lives of teens in the valley and continues to influence cross section of human service professionals in the region through her publications, presentations, lectures and work as a social worker professional.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is an outstanding professional accomplishment and brings great recognition for the Social Work department at UTPA.

Once again, congratulations on your achievement and thank you for all that you do.

If you are interested in more information about our Master of Science in Social Work program, please contact us at 956-665-3661 or visit www.utrgv.edu/graduate.

Travel Scholarship Available!

Travelling can be one of the most rewarding experiences ever, no matter where you go. Another great graduate experience is attending conferences related to the area of studies that you love. But what if you were able to combine both?

The Office of Graduate Studies of UT Pan American has made available $400 for its Graduate Travel Scholarship. Thanks to a donation from the Blandina Cardenas Endowment, graduate students may use the scholarship prize to travel to a conference related to their studies.

The requirements are:

  • Completed and signed application
  • Letter of support from one (1) faculty advisor
  • Full-time graduate student
  • Good academic standing (minimum overall GPA of 3.0)
  • Travel must be to a national conference related to program of study
  • If accepted, student must provide travel related information in a timely basis to the administrative staff and complete any required travel forms with the Dean of Student’s office

For more information you can email Lorena Garcia Ramon at lgarciara@utpa.edu or visit the Graduate Office in the MASS Building 1.158 for further assistance.

But hurry, application deadline is March 6, 2015.


Come and join us for our Graduate Fair on Thursday, March 12 from 5-8 p.m. in the UTPA Fieldhouse.

For more information or special accommodation, contact us (956) 665-3661 or gradschool@utpa.edu

Register here!

Congratulations to Noel A. Ysasi, who has been selected as this year’s recipient of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association “Doctoral Student of the Year” award.  
Ysasi is currently pursuing his PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling, here at The University of Texas-Pan American.  His research interests mainly include those concerning the psychosocial world of veterans; however, his other research passions include the medical aspects of disability/SCI, forensic rehabilitation, and multicultural factors concerning persons with disabilities.  The faculty speaks very highly of Ysasi’s academic and research skills and say that he dives into all issues related to disability with a deep intrinsic passion.   
Ysasi is also currently serving as the Chair of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA)- Council on Public Policy, Legislation, and Human Rights.  
Ysasi will be presented with the award at the American Counseling Association’s annual conference in March 11-15 in Orlando, Florida.  
Read more about the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association here


Robert Rosell, Master in Public Administration ‘14

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Robinson, TX.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a Corporate Compliance Officer at BBVA Compass. I am responsible for ensuring compliance with federal regulations for consumer loan products, policies, procedures, training documents, and bank wide projects, which encompasses approximately 700 branches.

What are your career goal(s)?

My career goal is to become the Director of Compliance for a large financial institution.

What has your UTPA graduate education done for you?

My UTPA graduate education has given me career opportunities that I would not have otherwise such as my current role at BBVA Compass. Additionally, it has given me the competencies to be successful as I continue my career.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience?

My UTPA experience has been great and life changing. I built long lasting relationships and friendships with professors and alumni. My experience helped me grow professionally while I was in the MPA program.

Best tip(s) for success?

The best tip for success I have is to stay focused on your ultimate goals. No matter how far it seems out of reach, believe me everything is attainable if you stay focused.

Do you have any advice for prospective graduate students?

Surround yourself with people who will be supportive and understand the commitment and accomplishment you are trying to achieve. Also, network every opportunity possible.




2864 West Trenton

Edinburg, TX 78539

Phone: (956) 682-5545  Fax: (956) 682-0141

Contact: Veronica Martinez




The Grants Coordinator assists Congressman Hinojosa in his mission to improve the economic and educational development of the Rio Grande Valley/South Texas by increasing the federal funding invested in the 15th Congressional District of Texas.  The Grants Coordinator helps empower local governments and organizations by educating them about grant opportunities and facilitating technical assistance to help local applicants prepare competitive applications.  This position also monitors and updates the Congressman on pending grant applications and grant awards and remains in communication with federal agencies in support of local grant applications.  The Grants Coordinator position is located in the Edinburg District Office and reports to the District Director.



  • Serves as a liaison to local, state and federal officials and other persons or groups to assess local funding needs
  • Researches and compiles grant information upon request by constituents or Congressman
  • Prepares letters of support for grant applications
  • Establishes contacts within various federal departments and respective grant program offices and tracks grant applications
  • Develops grant resources and methods of communicating federal grant opportunities to local organizations and governments
  • Prepares reports on pending grant applications and opportunities
  • Prepares funding reports that track the geographic distribution of federal funds to the 15th Congressional District of Texas
  • Assists with special projects, including coordinating events
  • Maintains up-to-date files on all grant applications that have been brought to the Congressman’s attention
  • Organizes and prepares Grant Alert Newsletter
  • Works well under pressure and handles stress and performs other duties as assigned
  • Works a flexible schedule including long hours, nights and weekends
  • Ability to work in a small work station without and expectation of privacy and under moderate noise levels



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree (Preferred)
  • 2 years of educational experience in within a community setting
  • Familiar with local, state, and federal grant opportunities



  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of local, state and federal agencies and departments
  • Knowledge of issues and events in the district in which the Member is involved
  • Professional telephone demeanor
  • Able to communicate with a variety of personalities in a tactful, pleasant, and professional manner.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and courteously with others
  • Thoroughness and careful attention to detail
  • Knowledge of office software applications, particularly Excel

Competitive awards are available for scientists and engineers to conduct independent research in federal laboratories and affiliated institutions. Awards include attractive stipends, health insurance, professional travel and relocation. (See flyer here)

The National Research Council (NRC) administers competitive graduate postdoctoral and senior research awards on behalf of 26 U.S. government research agencies and affiliated institutions with facilities at over 100 locations throughout the U.S. and abroad. Awardees have the opportunity to: conduct independent research in an area compatible with the interests of the sponsoring laboratory devote full-time effort to research and publication access the excellent and often unique facilities of the federal research enterprise collaborate with leading scientists and engineers at federal research laboratories and affiliated institutions

Find research opportunities that match your interests by exploring this web site: www.national-academies.org/rap


The 2015 Senator Gregory Luna Legislative Scholars and Fellows Program application is now available. The program is a wonderful opportunity for young undergraduate and graduate students to obtain high-level legislative experience in the Texas Legislature. This program provides invaluable experience for these budding leaders of tomorrow and can propel them on their professional career paths. Below is a link to the electronic application and to the website where you may find more information.  If you would like to learn more about the program or have any questions, please contact Sarah Saenz at 512-499-8606 or sarah@tshrc.org.

The Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) is taking applications for a $15,000 scholarship to be awarded to female doctoral students at UTPA during the Fall 2015. More details can be found on the application form.
PEO promotes educational opportunities, encouragement and support for women throughout the world. To learn more about PEO go to www.peointernational.org. Applications can be delivered to the UTPA Graduate Office, MASS 1.158, by November 3, 2014.

Javier Saldaña Jr, Master in Business Administration, ‘13

What are you doing now?

I work with Allstate Insurance. My current title is: Licensed Liability Claims Adjuster. In other words, it is my job to investigate insurance claims, determine liability, and provide our insured/claimant with the “Good Hands “ experience.

What are your career goals?

My initial goal was to work for a Fortune 100 company. With that out of the way, I now set my eye on climbing up the corporate ladder. My current goal it to make my way into the regional headquarters in Dallas and ultimately move into the corporate headquarters in search of a senior manager position.

What has UTPA graduate education done for you?

UTPA gave me the tools to succeed in today’s dynamic workforce. It showed me that the only way to succeed was to adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement. Never stop learning. Thanks to UTPA, I now have the education and skills to succeed.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience?

I loved it. The faculty noticed my potential and encouraged me to take on challenging assignments. Aside from the awesome faculty, the support staff for UTPA is excellent and very helpful.

What is your best tip for success?

My best tip for success is: continuous improvement! Be proactive and never stop learning. The world is constantly changing… Don’t get left behind.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate students?

I decided to pursue graduate school because I wanted to make myself more marketable. A few years of graduate school turned into a lifetime of opportunities. Whether you are looking for that big promotion or are looking for career, graduate school is the answer!

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