Oscar Gustavo Alvarez del Castillo, 23, is a senior and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in art in May 2015. Alvarez del Castillo graduated from Sharyland High School in 2010 where he was commended in fine arts. He has been an active member of the Cartoon Club at UTPA since its founding in Fall 2012. During that time he was secretary and later became vice president of the organization. Additionally, Alvarez del Castillo has been working as a substitute teacher for the Sharyland Independent School District for the last two years.
Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Spring and Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, and Spring and Fall 2014.
What are your plans after graduation? After graduating, I’ll find a full-time job teaching to continue studying, get a master’s degree, and help my family who have supported me. At the same time, I will promote my artwork more so it will become more well known and recognized. I also plan to write a book with many illustrations that everyone will love.
Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Although originally I planned on staying close to my family here in the Valley, opportunities may come up elsewhere. If I see one, I’ll take it. Of course, I would miss the Valley; living here led me to meet wonderful people who helped me in many ways to become who I am right now.
What has your education done for you? My education has led me to be the person I am, and for that I must thank my family, friends, and professors. I’ve learned a lot from what they’ve taught me from their accomplishments and their mistakes. I feel I’ve been able to grow a lot personally, especially in the last two years. I didn’t just become more social and wise, but also more happy. As an artist, I’ve been able to grow a lot too. All thanks to my high school teacher Mrs. Irma Garcia, and all my UTPA art professors who’ve been there for me.
How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at the University has been great. I’ve met awesome professors and friends all around campus, especially in the Art Department. Professor Douglas Clark has pushed me like no other person, my friend Alexis Garza has guided me in more ways than he might think, and Julie Byrd has simply been an inspiration like no other. I’m more than grateful about my experience here at UTPA.
What is your best tip for success? First, more than anything else, try to be positive and make friends. Watch over others and care. It’s not worth being great at something if you are not going to share and teach it to those in need. Also, love what you do. Enjoy everything and the people who surround you. You’ll have a really hard time if you don’t. Love and tolerate. Finally, try new things. Even if you make mistakes, as long as you keep trying to fix them, everything should go for the best.
What advice do you have for college-bound students? “You’re not a failure when you fail, but when you fail and don’t try again.” This is something that I like repeating to myself. It reminds me that I’m capable of accomplishing anything as long as I’m willing to do so. The only thing you need is to believe in yourself and try as hard as you can. Challenge yourself and you’ll see you can accomplish great things.