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Adriana Tijerina

Adriana TijerinaAdriana Tijerina, 23, plans to graduate with a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders in May 2016. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in rehabilitation from UT Pan American in May 2014. As an undergrad, she worked as a leasing consultant while taking classes, was actively involved on campus, and participated in intramural sports. She served as vice president of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association and as a student representative for the College of Health Sciences and Human Services’ Student Leadership Council (SLC) and the college’s Inter-Professional Education and Practice (IPEP) Council. As a graduate student clinician, Tijerina helps provide speech therapy services at UTPA’s Speech and Hearing Clinic and remains an active SLC and IPEP committee member. She served as primary research investigator on a research team directed by Dr. Ruth Crutchfield. The team presented their research on attitudes and knowledge regarding fetal alcohol syndrome at the University’s 2013 research symposium and were selected to have their research published.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2011,Spring 2012,Spring and Fall 2013, and Spring 2014; Top 10% Scholarship, 2009-2010; and Academic Competitiveness Grant, Fall 2010.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I will take a month or so to relax and in June 2016, I will marry my fiancé, who’s been my greatest supporter throughout my education here at UTPA. My plans are to work as a speech-language pathologist in a therapy clinic or a school district, then open my own bakery.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I plan to stay in the Valley for the first few years of my career, then possibly seek a position in a children’s hospital where I can work with neonates. I love the warm Valley culture, but it would also be nice to experience a new area and help provide services wherever they’re needed.

What has your education done for you? My education has helped me grow in every facet of life. It’s opened my mind and heart to see what the world has to offer. I’ve realized that there are an infinite number of opportunities available for us, however, it’s up to us to pursue them. I’ve learned how to be a hard worker who is determined, strong-willed, and passionate, while remaining kind and humble.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? UTPA has been incredible! I’d never seen such a close bond between a president and his students. The professors in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department (COMD) have been a blessing and a true inspiration to my peers and myself; our little COMD family is my home away from home.

What is your best tip for success? I have many tips for success. Money doesn’t always equal happiness. If you love what you’re doing and you’re passionate enough, you will succeed indefinitely. Kindness, determination, and passion are key. Never give up or let anybody tell you that you don’t have what it takes to succeed. Lots of laughter, love, and Jesus have gotten me through the worst days and the best years of my life. Soak in every moment because life passes so fast. Help as many people as you can, love with everything you have, and enjoy it!

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Network, ask every question you have, join organizations, become organized, and never lose your hunger for knowledge. Learning is a lifelong process. Never settle for less than you deserve. When you feel like things get tough, count your blessings and remember there are millions of people who would give anything to be in your spot.

Christopher VillarrealChristopher Villarreal, 21, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in political science from The University of Texas-Pan American in December 2014. He has been actively engaged across the University, serving as a student leader to his peers and the institution. Villarreal was elected to three terms as the senator for the College of Business Administration in the Student Government Association, where he represented the values and interests of UTPA students. He also served as the vice president of the Economics Society at UTPA for two terms and is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2011, Spring and Fall 2012, Spring and Fall 2013; and Spring 2014; Wal-Mart Scholar, Spring 2012; Law School Preparation Institute Scholar, Summer 2013; Team McAllen Cycling Scholar, Spring 2012; Donald and Patsy Gayken Scholar, Summer 2012; Kenedy Memorial Scholar, Spring 2013; Economics and Finance Scholar, Spring 2014; Angel Investor Scholar, Fall 2013; Kraft Endowed Scholar, Fall 2014; and STARS Foundation Scholarship, Fall 2014; and First Place Team Member, Up to Us National Debt Contest, 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to attend a law school in the ensuing fall semester at an ABA accredited law school. Right now, my options are open and I am looking in Texas and across the United States for the right fit to pursue my legal education.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? There are some in the Rio Grande Valley who say -– “once you leave the Valley, you’ll never want to come back!” However, that does not represent my feelings toward South Texas. I have a love for the people of the Rio Grande Valley. From Roma to the Island, I believe this region to be one that God has blessed. That is why, upon return from law school, I plan to dedicate my life as a public servant to this region. I want to return all the gracious favors the blessed people of South Texas have delivered unto me.

What has your education done for you? Although I know that one’s education is never complete, I am proud of the very near conclusion of my undergraduate career. Education is important to the growth of South Texas and I believe every student should be awarded the same opportunity that I have had to thrive and succeed in their own personal ambitions.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I believe my experience here at UTPA to be one of my life’s most memorable. Meeting important faculty members and establishing friendships with peers with like-minded ambitions has awarded me the opportunity of a lifetime. I have had the utmost pleasure of representing my peers while this mighty University transforms itself into what will soon be UTRGV. I am very excited to see how UTRGV will play an important role in South Texas.

What is your best tip for success? As an undergraduate, there will be many obstacles, but my best tip for success is this: No matter how loud the tempest may sweep, if we keep our eyes off the storm, keep our eyes off the waves, and have our eyes fixed on the goal and press ahead, there can be no defeat, only victory.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? I would advise our college bound students to transform adversities or obstacles into the necessary drive needed to succeed in this world. Our young people are the future of this nation and I believe it is important they understand the blessings behind adversity.

Yoseline Gonzalez

Yoseline GonzalezYoseline Gonzalez, 22, plans to graduate in May 2016 with a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She graduated from UT Pan American with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 2014 with a minor in rehabilitative services. She graduated among the top 10 students from La Joya High School in 2010. As a graduate student, she provides speech-language and audiological services at the UTPA Speech and Hearing Center. Gonzalez has been a part of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) for three years. Last year, she served as treasurer for the UTPA NSSLHA chapter. Gonzales has volunteered at Mission Regional Hospital where she assisted in answering phone calls and discharging patients. She has also worked for the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District as an AVID tutor for 9th-12th grade students in the subjects of creative writing, math, and integrated physics and chemistry. Under the supervision of Dr. Ruth Crutchfield, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, Gonzalez, in collaboration with her classmates, developed a research project – “Hispanic Professionals versus the General Hispanic Population: Perspectives on Children with Down Syndrome,” which was accepted for publication at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Conference. In addition, she participated in research presentations at a Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association meeting, the 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium, and the 2013 MORE Health Research Conference. Recently, Gonzalez presented at the Texas Perinatal Conference held in October in McAllen, Texas.

Awards/Honors: Bachelor’s degree with Magna Cum Laude Honors, Spring 2014; Dean’s List, First Honors, Fall 2011, Spring and Fall 2012; Dean’s List, Second Honors, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Spring and Fall 2013, and Spring 2014; Top 10% Scholarship, 2010-2013; Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, Spring 2012; Student Organization Conference, Fall 2013; and Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society, Spring 2011.

What are your plans after graduation? After I graduate with my master’s in communication sciences and disorders, I plan to work and gain experience in both clinic and hospital settings to ultimately establish my own rehabilitation clinic.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I have always admired the Valley’s ability to grow rapidly and its potential to become one of the biggest areas of business in Texas and the U.S. The culture is bound to my heart, and my family and community have been a part of my educational success. I would love to stay in the Valley and contribute to see its potential become reality.

What has your education done for you? Besides giving me the knowledge and tools to excel and contribute effectively in my career, I believe my education has given me the confidence to believe in my abilities and trust I will accomplish all my future goals.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I absolutely love it. I’ve met great people, from students to staff and faculty, including my department’s professors who have motivated me to strive for more. UTPA has contributed immensely toward my educational success.

What is your best tip for success? Believe in yourself and in your dreams. Never give up! If you fail, try again; you’ll be surprised to see how much you can achieve if you set your mind to it. Dedication and perseverance are a key to success.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Join organizations that will help you network with other students. Develop an interest in a profession by exploring new possibilities. Also, establish a good relationship with your professors, they have a lot to offer.

Georgina Villegas

Georgina VillegasGeorgina Villegas, 24, plans to graduate with a master’s degree in criminal justice in May 2015. Villegas double majored in psychology and criminal justice and graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American in Spring 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She was an intern for the Office of Criminal District Attorney Rene Guerra, a sophomore academic mentor for new students in her major, and volunteered at the Juvenile Court Conference Committee in the Judge Mario Ramirez Juvenile Justice Center. Villegas has worked with three different faculty members when doing research – Drs. Darrin Rogers and Grant Benham from the Psychology Department and Dr. Marika Dawkins from the Criminal Justice Department. As an undergrad, she was a part of the International Golden Key Honour Society, Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, and Psi Chi Honor Society. To take on some leadership activities, Villegas became secretary of the Psi Chi Honor Society and vice president the following year. As a graduate student, she became an assistant for Dr. Dawkins and now works for the Dean of Students. She is also an AVID tutor at IDEA College Prep San Juan. In addition, Villegas is also working with Dr. Rosalva Resendiz on her master’s program thesis which studies intimate partner violence within the Rio Grande Valley Latino community.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2011, Spring and Fall 2012, and Spring 2013; and Bachelor’s Degree with Cum Laude Honors, Spring 2013.

What are your plans after graduation? After I graduate from UTPA, I plan on working with juveniles and possibly working at a juvenile detention center.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I enjoy the Valley, especially the people who make it feel like home. I plan on staying in the Valley to be close to the people I love.

What has your education done for you? Getting an education has been the best thing my parents could have ever offered me. My education has made me grow academically and intellectually and has made me realize what it is exactly I want to do, and what it is exactly I do not want to do.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My UTPA experience has given me so much since the first day I stepped on campus in 2008. UTPA has offered me so many opportunities to lead me on the path that I am today. Being involved in organizations, research, internships and volunteering all helped me decide what it is I want for my future.

What is your best tip for success? My best tip of success is to join organizations from your major and look for internships within your major. These opportunities can help you figure out what exactly you want to do once you graduate.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Never give up!

Betzaida Rivera

Betzaida RiveraBetzaida Rivera, 21, plans to graduate in May 2016 with a B.S. degree in rehabilitative services and a minor in mass communication. She is a senator in UTPA’s Student Government Association representing the College of Health Sciences and Human Services and serves as the SGA chief of staff for the 2014-15 term. Last year she was a member of the Advertising Club and served as its art director. Rivera’s volunteer activities include assisting at Adopt-a-Beach, the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab, Make a Difference Day and the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley. In June 2013, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List: Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? Career-wise, after graduation, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy. I will be applying to OT schools all over Texas.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? If I stay in the Valley after graduation, pursuing my OT degree at UTRGV, I’d definitely want to continue helping with the RGV’s efforts to educate our community on better health habits. For example, eating organic and whole foods and staying away from sickness-inducing foods. I am passionate about health and wellness – I’d probably do this anywhere I go.

If I don’t stay in the Valley, I will definitely return to visit when I get the chance. I was born and raised here, so I would definitely love to live in other areas of Texas, the United States, or even the world. I do not want to set any boundaries or limitations on my future.

What has your education done for you? Education is eye-opening and motivating. I have acquired skills and knowledge that I can apply to several areas of my life. It’s a different experience for everyone.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I love it! I’ve met amazing people (students, faculty, and staff) who have inspired me and I have learned so much about myself and the complexities of life. The UTPA and overall college experience is exciting.

What is your best tip for success? Listen to your heart, do your absolute best, and don’t let failure stop you from reaching your goals. Remember that failure is only coming short of what was expected. You’ve just got to get up and try again. Don’t give up! Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Give it your all, and try anything and everything that excites you. You’re only an undergraduate college student once. Learn about yourself and your values, everything should become easier to understand after that. Don’t be afraid to stray from the norm and set all negativity aside. You know what you are worth and what you are capable of accomplishing. Don’t forget to smile.

Alberto Adame

Alberto AdameAlberto Adame, 20, is a junior at The University of Texas-Pan American and plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Adame was born in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and his family immigrated into the United States when he was 13 years of age. He currently serves as the president of the Student Government Association (SGA), and is involved in the Financial Managerial Association and the Economics Society. He is a member of the UTRGV Tuition & Fees Task Force, and co-chairs the UTRGV Steering Committee for selection of colors and mascot. Adame is one of two UTPA members of the University of Texas System Student Advisory Council for the 2014-2015 academic year. He was a panelist for the Speak Your Mind Texas – Community Conversations on Mental Health event, which aimed to spread awareness about mental illnesses in the Rio Grande Valley. Prior to being elected SGA president, he served as a senator for the College of Business Administration for one year.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2012, Spring 2013; Dean’s Scholar, Fall 2012; and LeaderShape Institute graduate, May 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? I currently have two alternatives, without a preference for one or the other. One is to get into a master’s program in economics right after I finish my undergraduate studies, and the other one is to go straight into the labor force and then get an MBA later on during my professional career.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Right after graduation, I would like to experience life outside of the Rio Grande Valley to get a broader sense of the American and world culture. Nonetheless, I feel the responsibility to come back to the Rio Grande Valley during my career to be able to give back to the region that has given me and my family a lot of great opportunities.

What has your education done for you? My education has given me a chance to develop myself not only as a future professional, but as a person. I can say that I know myself better now than when I started college.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? It would be unfair to use words to describe my time here at UTPA. For me it has meant more than words could describe. The one thing I can say is that I am grateful for the opportunities I have encountered here that have made me realize how much I do not know. Life is about learning. When we think we know everything, and stop pursuing the acquisition of knowledge, we stop living.

What is your best tip for success? The best advice I could give someone would be to never be satisfied, always strive for more, and to always be thankful. This advice could apply to our personal life, academics, and/or careers. Never take your success and/or the people who love and support you for granted.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? The first and most important advice I give to college-bound students is to get involved on campus. Involvement provides students with opportunities that are impossible to find by staying away from extracurricular activities. Many organizations have exceptional, experienced student leaders who understand the struggles and obstacles new students face. When you get involved, you get to be around people with big career and life aspirations, which inspire you to reach for greatness as well. It has also been proven that involved students do better in the classroom.

Carla Fernanda PeñaCarla Fernanda Peña, 20, plans to graduate in December 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in rehabilitative services with a deaf concentration. Peña plans to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She graduated from Sharyland High School in 2012. Peña is involved on campus with the Student Government Association where she serves as the vice president, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Student Accessibility Council, and the Food Advisory Committee. She works at the Office of the Dean of Students, and worked closely with the Parent and Family Association this summer. Peña has volunteered with Carnival of the Great Pumpkin, Relay for Life, and with her church youth group for the Annual Christmas Toy Drive.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, 2012-2014; Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, 2013; UTPA Achieve Grant, 2012-2014; Selden Leavell Scholarship, 2014-2015; and Dorothy Clark Sproul Scholarship, 2014-2015.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to obtain acceptance into Columbia University to continue my education. I hope to become an occupational therapist and help children with all types of disabilities. I want to advocate for equal opportunities for all children.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? To be honest I’m not completely sure. I do know I will be leaving for graduate school, but I do not have a set plan as to where I will be pursuing my career as an occupational therapist. The one thing I am sure about is that I will go to wherever my help is needed most.

What has your education done for you? My education has provided me with the skills needed for my career, it has prepared me to be able to work with people in the allied health field. It has given me so much knowledge, and the correct tools to be able to go out into the community to make a difference. Furthermore, it has pushed me to reach the goals I set for myself.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at UTPA has helped me grow as a person, and as a student leader, with the unconditional support from my family, friends, and my amazing Student Government advisers. It has pushed me to get involved with the University and the community. I can honestly say that I have had a wonderful experience here at UTPA.

What is your best tip for success? Always set goals and challenge yourself. Dedication and perseverance are key for success, so don’t give up.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? College will be one of the best experiences you will have, so don’t take it for granted. Get involved; I can honestly say that getting involved in college has been extremely rewarding. Have an open mind and try different things. Work hard to achieve your goals. And most importantly, enjoy your college experience!

Andrea-Flores VelascoAndrea Flores-Velasco, 22, is a senior at The University of Texas Pan-American and plans to graduate with honors in the fall of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and two minors in marketing and psychology. She graduated with honors in 2012 with an associate degree in psychology from South Texas College. Flores-Velasco is also an active member of the Guerra Honors Program (Eta Omicron Nu), and has had two positions – Town Hall Committee chair and public relations officer. Her involvement with the Guerra Honors Program gave her the opportunity to study abroad in Vienna, Prague and Budapest during the minimester of 2014. Flores-Velasco is also member of the UTPA Chapter of the American Advertising Federation and the art director of the Lotus 177 UTPA Advertising Club. Since Spring 2014, she has assisted Communication Department faculty Dr. Cory Cunningham and Katrina Newell, and graduate teaching assistant Iliana Cantú in communication-related research. She has also been involved with humanitarian organizations such as the Lions International Club and Compassion International. Flores-Velasco is currently working half time as lead creator at Creative Social Studios in McAllen and volunteers as graphic design intern with the UTPA Marketing and Communications Department, Studio Twelve 01.

Awards/Honors: Jones Academic Scholarship, 2014; International Education Fee Scholarship, 2014; International Woman’s Board Scholarship, 2014; UTPA Achieve Grant, 2013-2014; Phi Kappa Phi honoree, 2014; Guerra Honors Program Study Abroad Scholarship, 2014; Gateway Scholarship, Spring 2013; Dean’s List, Spring 2013-2014; and Phi Theta Kappa Honoree, 2011.

What are your plans after graduation? God willing, I plan to take a year off to work and also to travel. I am currently working at Creative Social Studios, an advertising agency. In the future, I’d love to attend grad school at UT Austin to pursue a master’s degree in advertising.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Absolutely. All my family is here, in Reynosa and Monterrey. I’d love to be close and also to better serve the RGV community.

What has your education done for you? It has transformed me in every single possible way. It makes me see everything with a different perspective – it enables me to feel the courage to serve as a catalyst of change and not just be a bystander.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? It never stops surprising me. UTPA has given me opportunities I’ve never dreamed of having. It has made me understand that my career is only the medium but not the end of my education. It allowed me to grow to the extent of my potential and for that I’ll be forever thankful.

What is your best tip for success? Faith in God. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

What advice do you have for college-bound students? My parents used to tell me this quote by Henry Ford when I felt discouraged: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” It’s all about attitude.

Megan De La Paz

Megan De La PazMegan De La Paz, 21, plans to graduate from The University of Texas-Pan American with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry in Spring 2015. De La Paz graduated third in her class from H. M. King High School, Kingsville, in 2011. Since then she has become an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Bible study leader, housing resident assistant, employed with ENCORE/MEDITEC as a mentor, and is Pre-Medical Biomedical Society member. Some of her community service includes participating in Bronc Move-In, Sacred Heart immigrant assistance, United to Serve, Tex Prep Science mentor, and serving on a mission trip to Mexico. She is also a member of the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP), which is a premedical acceptance program to one of nine Texas medical schools. As a JAMP participant, De La Paz has participated in summer enrichment programs at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth (2013) and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (2014) where she has taken medical school level courses, shadowed physicians, and gained insight to the medical profession.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2011-Fall 2013; Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities, 2013-2014; Residence Life Community Builder of the Year, 2012-2013; Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society, 2012; Jones Academic Scholarship, 2011-2012; Townsend-Rogers Scholarship, 2011-2012; South Texas Academic Rising Stars Scholarship, 2012-2013; L. & G. Gonzalez Scholarship, 2012-2013; and Corpus Christi Caller Times Distinguished Scholar, 2011.

What are your plans after graduation? I will be enrolled in one of nine Texas medical schools working toward becoming a physician.

Do you plan to return to/stay in the Valley? Though I am not a Valley native, I have grown to love the culture and community of this region. I am open to return to the Valley, but ultimately, I will follow where opportunities arise in my career.

What has your education done for you? College is not only about learning course material, but also about learning who you are so that as a professional you can contribute to society in a strategic way. My education has provided me with enriching opportunities and experiences that have cultivated me as an individual. Furthermore, I have been able to promote a college culture within my family and community.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? This university, like many opportunities, is truly what you make it, and I am grateful that with the guidance of professors, faculty, and peers, being a Bronc has been an unforgettable and fruitful experience.

What is your best tip for success? You need to acknowledge that there are different contributors to success – academic, social, health, happiness, spiritual, etc. Everyone has their own definition of success, but realizing what is fulfilling to you will allow you to compile your own definition of success that will become the philosophy of your desire to succeed holistically as an individual.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? “Comparison is the thief of joy”- Theodore Roosevelt. Don’t compare yourself to others because at the end of the day you are you and there is beauty in discovering yourself. College is not like high school, and finding peace in this allows you the freedom to venture out into a new field of learning. Embrace your independence. Embark on the quest of finding out your purpose in life.  Don’t be so hard on yourself. Avoid being your own worst enemy.

Cassandra GonzalezCassandra A. Gonzalez, 21, plans to graduate from The University of Texas-Pan American in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and a minor in mass communications. She graduated from South Texas Business, Education & Technology Academy in Edinburg in 2011. At UTPA she is a member of the UTPA Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and the Golden Key Honour Society. In the community, Gonzalez has volunteered with the American Cancer Association and at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church & School. In 2011-2012, she was a member of the UTPA Women’s Chorus. Currently Gonzalez works on campus as an account executive intern with the UTPA Marketing and Communications Department.

Awards/Honors: University Scholars Scholarship, 2011-2014; A.J. Ginsberg Marketing Scholarship, 2013-2014; College of Business Administration Dean’s Scholar, 2012-2014; and Dean’s List, 2011-2014.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation I would like to test out the marketing field and see where that takes me. I do know that I’d like to stay in the non-profit sector if at all possible.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I plan to explore the opportunities that are here in the Valley. I would like to at least begin my career here and see where I can go from there. There is a lot of growth in this area, particularly in the business world. I would like to do my part to give back to the RGV however I can and be a part of that growth.

What has your education done for you? Getting an education has expanded my mind in too many ways to describe. It has given me the tools I need for my future career and has made me a better person. I’ve learned how to think for myself and make my own judgments. The skills I’ve gained throughout my education go beyond the classroom; they can be applied to life in general.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? As I begin my fourth year at UTPA, I am realizing how much I have grown as a person and a student in the last few semesters. I am taking classes about topics that I am passionate about and figuring out how I want to apply the knowledge I’ve acquired to the rest of my life. I believe these courses have affected me so deeply because of who teaches them. The UTPA Marketing Department consists of many professors and graduate students with real-world experience who really care about their students. Thanks to them, the experiences I have had in and out of class have challenged me in very rewarding ways.

What is your best tip for success? My best tip for success is to do something you really care about. This might sound idealistic, but choosing a major or a career for the wrong reasons won’t benefit you in the long run. Look for a profession that appeals to every aspect of who you are. It may seem impossible, but there’s something out there for everyone.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? My advice is to enter college with an open mind. If you’re ready to learn, the possibilities are endless.

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