My name is Iliana Vasquez. I am currently a senior at The University of Texas-Pan American. I am majoring in Mexican American Studies because I am deeply passionate about my Mexican/Mexican-American roots. I feel right at home in my MAS courses and I finally figured out that it is because I walk out of every lecture knowing I have learned about another piece of myself. This semester, I am having fun in two courses in particular: MAS 4300 Learning Through Reflective Service and MAS 4392 Special Topics in MAS. As a part of MAS 4300, I am presently interning for the South Texas Conjunto Association and am working on several projects related to the preservation of Conjunto music in the Rio Grande Valley. I am also working on a paper dealing with women in Conjunto as part of MAS 4392. I am in the middle of making plans to write other academic papers concentrating on the music of certain Tejano artists such as Little Joe, Ruben Naranjo, and Ruben Ramos. I am deeply passionate about music, especially regional Tejano music genres and mariachi, because I have always felt like we can learn so much about a certain culture just by listening to their music. My inspiration to pursue this type of research came from some of the assigned readings I had to study for the first MAS course I ever took. MCLL 2301 Mexican American Language, Literature, and Culture required me to read Américo Paredes’ book, With His Pistol in His Hand, which was an analysis of one of the most memorable corridos to come out of the borderlands: “El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez.” Needless to say, Paredes became one of my favorite authors. I hope to someday graduate with a PhD in Chican@ Studies and come back to the Rio Grande Valley to better the community.