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Oscar RamosOscar Abraham Ramos Chacon, 21, is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing with a minor in mass communication at The University of Texas-Pan American. At UTPA, Ramos has volunteered to help students with disabilities as a note taker, painted picnic tables to support campus spirit, served as the swimming captain in the Tri4edu Triathlon two consecutive years as well as a coach for the UTPA Swimming Club, and represented UTPA at several national conferences. He has been able to grow his leadership skills thanks to activities he has participated in at the College of Business Administration (CoBA) and the American Marketing Association (AMA). His work with the CoBA dean, faculty and students serving as a social media specialist and his service as an AMA officer for more than two years has greatly enhanced his interpersonal, research and team skills. Ramos has also been a student leader mentor with the MAP (My Achievement Plan), a program designed to recruit and train top CoBA juniors and seniors to serve as mentors to CoBA freshmen. In addition, as a research assistant, Ramos led a team in a social media research project that was presented at UTPA’s Third Annual Undergraduate Research Conference.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Spring and Fall, 2013 and Spring 2014; Excellence Scholarship, 2013 and 2014; National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2014; Golden Key International Honour Society, 2014; Who’s Who Among Students in America Universities & Colleges, Fall 2014; Student Employee of the Year nominee, Spring 2014; and Student Track Scholarship recipient, 28th HACU Annual Conference, Fall 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? I am certain I will continue to prepare, discover and transform my life throughout my last two years in college. I plan to keep good work flowing, accomplishing a successful internship this upcoming summer 2015, going to study abroad in Germany, and pursuing an MBA in marketing – all of which will prepare me to one day relocate to the northern U.S. to start working and bearing the fruits of my education.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? I plan to return to the Valley when I feel ready to open my own business, bringing all my expertise to the place that saw me grow.

What has your education done for you? My education has opened my eyes to reality and is preparing me for what I want to do with my life.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I won’t ever regret coming to UTPA to obtain my BBA in marketing. Here at Pan Am I have found more than education, friends, and experiences, I have found a family.

What is your best tip for success? Everyone has their own definition for success, maybe mine is not the same as yours, but what is always key is to do your best, and forget the rest. Dare to try new adventures, challenge yourself, and always remember to never give up in this amazing once in a lifetime journey.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? I firmly believe that the combination of school, work, and extracurricular activities leads to academic and professional success. Participating in all three is not easy, but will lead to great experiences and maturity. I suggest that students should try to be more “out there,” get involved, and learn from mistakes because that’s what helps you learn and be successful.

Adesuwa Ewere

Adesuwa EwereAdesuwa Ewere, 19, plans to graduate in Spring 2016 with a degree in pre-medical biology and a minor in medical humanities. She is a member of the A-PRIME TIME program’s pilot cohort and a member of the Guerra Honors Program. Ewere was a protégé in the First Year Mentoring Program and an intern in the Student Government Association (SGA) First Year Internship Program during the 2013-2014 academic school year. She has also volunteered in local clinics and in health care facilities located in the Greater Houston area, where she is from originally. Currently, Ewere is involved in Eta Omicron Nu, River of Life Fellowship, The Student Leadership Academy, and represents the College of the Science and Mathematics as a SGA senator. She is involved in research and is a science tutor at UTPA’s Learning Assistance Center. In January 2015, Ewere will participate in an International Educational Experience in the Dominican Republic.

Awards/Honors: SGA Member of the Month, October 2014; Voto Latino Essay Contest winner and Power Summit participant, September 2014; Dean’s List, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014; and Outstanding First Year Internship Cohort Intern, Spring 2014.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan on matriculating to medical school, completing my residency, practicing medicine as a physician and serving others as a medical advocate.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Although I am not from the Valley and have only lived in Edinburg for a little over a year, I have become fond of the area, the people, and the culture. Within this short time, I have also witnessed the health disparity that exists in the Rio Grande Valley, which indicates the great need for physicians near the U.S.-Mexico border. These issues fuel my passion to advocate for a better health care system and for improved health outcomes. Considering this, I might find myself practicing medicine in the Valley, or another underserved area, but as of now, I have no fixed plans as to where I will be living and working in the future.

What has your education done for you? It is difficult to say, as I am still in the beginning of my educational career, but I can attest that education has and continues to redefine my perspective and sense of purpose. Education has revealed to me how I fit in the bigger scheme of things and has given me a clearer understanding that I am capable of making a difference, irrespective of my limitations.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I am fond of my experience so far, though not yet content with it, as I would like to become more involved on campus and within the community. I have grown to love this school and the collegiate experience immensely and I can affirm that the idiom, “college is the best time of your life,” is not unfounded.

What is your best tip for success? I believe that refusing to dwell on past accomplishments is one of the best ways to nurture humility, which I consider necessary for success. Being humble prevents sentiments of self-importance and arrogance from developing and complacency and hubris from thriving. Rather than falling victim to excessive pride or becoming paralyzed by one’s “glory days,” view each endeavor as a small step to a much greater goal. By refusing to dwell on the past, every day can be a “glory day!”

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Take your schoolwork and academics seriously, however, do not let them consume you. Strive to strike up a school-work-life balance and get involved on campus, maintain a healthy social life, and enjoy every day of your life with no regrets!

Marvin Martinez

Marvin MartinezMarvin Martinez, 30, plans to graduate with a kinesiology degree and minors in Spanish and military science in April 2016. Martinez was in the U.S. Army on active duty for six years with three tours to Iraq. He is an active reservist, attached to the 95th Army Division out of Harlingen, Texas. Martinez is a member of the Student Veterans of American organization at UT Pan American and a member of the Rugby Club at UTPA and the McAllen Knights Rugby Club. He also volunteers as a football coach at the Boys and Girls Club and as a soccer coach for the McAllen Youth Association. Martinez, a father of two children, also works at UTPA’s Veterans Services Center.

Awards/Honors: Texas Grant recipient, 2013-present; Valley Heroes recipient, 2013; Army Commendation Medal, 2007, 2009 and 2012; Army Achievement Medal, 2012; and Iraq Campaign Medal, 2007.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to pursue a career in the U.S. Army as a military officer; perhaps get sent back to Ft. Hood and lead troops to where this great nation sends us to perform our duties. Down the road, I’d like to be a football coach.

Do you plan to return to the Valley? Yes, the Valley is home; whenever I deployed, I always wanted to come back home. I strongly believe that the Valley is a great place to raise a family and to stay for good. You can travel state to state and country to country but there is no place like home.

What has your education done for you? My education has provided numerous benefits to me and my family. I have become more marketable in the job force. Being in the military has given me the ability to be promoted to the next rank. Consequently, I have been able to provide a more comfortable life for my family.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I have been to several schools, but none like UTPA. UTPA has been a wonderful experience and, at the same time, a bit challenging since I have to balance work and student life, taking exams, doing homework and staying up late to finish assignments. The kinesiology department has outstanding faculty. Their outreach and quick responses to my questions has been amazing. They were always there for me when I had a question or concern. Also, the VSC staff has helped me out since day one, easing my adjustment from my military life to the civilian.

What is your best tip for success? I recommend that people live by this quote from Chief Tecumseh: “Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about his religion; Respect others in their views, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, and beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and of service of to your people.”

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Now that you have decided to come to college, stay here until you’re done completely. Take no semester off and if you get tired of school, take summer classes, so you can finish earlier. No matter how hard or how many people tell you that you don’t belong, prove them wrong one step at a time – that is how you climb the ladder. Listen to your professors, be positive every day, smile and get involved with the wonderful activities the college has to offer. It doesn’t hurt to make good grades – as a matter of fact, because I have good grades, the university pays me to continue my education. So does school pay off? Yes, it truly does, during and after.

Danielle Birnell

Danielle BirnellDanielle Birnell, 29, plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a concentration in print journalism and a minor in English in December 2015. Birnell served in the U.S. Army for eight years as a licensed vocational nurse before deciding to return to school and pursue her passion of writing. She has been actively involved with the UTPA chapter of the Student Veterans of America for two years. Birnell has written articles for The Pan American and is currently involved in the Stampede, an entity of Bronc Radio and TV. Her volunteer work includes helping at the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.

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

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation I plan to enroll in the Creative Writing graduate program to better develop my writing skills. Once I receive my master’s degree, I’d like to work as a freelance writer. I’m also working on a book right now so hopefully I can get it published within the next five years.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Although I am not originally from the Valley, the community here has been very welcoming to me and my family. It has been our home away from home. We plan on being here for at least a little while, but eventually I would like to seek job opportunities closer to my hometown in Indiana.

What has your education done for you? My education has opened up so many opportunities for me. It has gotten me outside of my comfort zone and has really helped me see a side of myself that I didn’t know existed before.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at UTPA has been invaluable. I attended another university before joining the military and I believe the professors and lecturers at UTPA are top of the line. They really connect with students and make classes interesting. They give students the tools they need to excel, not only in the classroom, but also outside the classroom.

What is your best tip for success? Keep your goals in mind and your priorities straight. It was hard for me at first to find the balance between being a wife, a mother and a student. Finding that balance between personal life and academics has really helped me succeed.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Find what you are passionate about and follow it. It is also important to make goals. Even if you fall short, setting goals will give purpose to your actions.



Carlos Nichols

Carlos Nichols Carlos Nichols, 23, is a senior and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in political Science in December 2014. Nichols has helped more than 200 students with career development during his employment at UTPA’s Office of Career Services. While a full-time student, he has also worked part-time at retail stores and in internships with Child Protective Services. On campus, Nichols has been extremely involved, participating in intramural sports and in organizations and volunteer activities. Nichols has served as a leader in the Greek community, holding executive positions in Inter Fraternity Council and representing Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity locally and nationally. Nichols has volunteered and organized male cancer awareness events in collaboration with ‘Movember’ and Phi Kappa Theta and has volunteered for Children’s Miracle Network events, HESTEC, Boys and Girls Club, and the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2010

What are your plans after graduation? My plan right after graduation is to obtain a position in law enforcement with a state agency and obtain career experience that will make me a more competitive applicant for a position in the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I would enjoy staying in the Valley since it has become my home and the home of my best memories so far, but realistically my career will probably take me elsewhere. In any case, I have lived in many places throughout my years and starting the next chapter of my life in a new place is an exciting thought.

What has your education done for you? Other than the obvious, the biggest impact my education has given me is the opportunity to meet such an amazing cast of mentors, from fellow students, to co-workers and supervisors, to a select group of professors who have treated me with great respect and kindness. It wouldn’t have been fun, nor possible, without them.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I wouldn’t change it for anything else. UTPA is a beautiful campus with great opportunities. As I finish my last two months here, the thought of how much the environment here has changed me is amazing. I have grown tremendously, learned so much and met so many people. I am confident that I made the best out of my college experience and the family I have become a part of through Phi Kappa Theta is an honor that can’t be challenged.

What is your best tip for success? Get ahead of the game. One of the differences of being a college student compared to high school is the amount of free time you have. Use that free time to get an internship related to what you want to do. It’s the best way to obtain related experience, meet and network with individuals in your area of study and to find out if that is the area in which you truly want to be in.
What advice do you have for college-bound students? Make UTPA your home away from home. There are more than 200 clubs and organizations to join so find the ones that you belong in. Being involved on campus has many benefits, but the biggest one I would say is that you develop motivation and a drive to succeed for your organizations and the people involved in them. It often times brings out the leader in you. You meet great people, become exposed to awesome experiences, learn many things, and ultimately, you create a bigger purpose and reason to keep working for that degree.

Angelina Buitron

Angelina Buitron Angelina Buitron, 21, plans to graduate in May 2016 with a business administration degree in management and a minor in Spanish. She has been part of the University Program Board for three years as programming assistant and past Road Trip Roadies Committee chair. Buitron also studied abroad this past summer in Salamanca, Spain. Her volunteer activities include participation in United to Serve, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Carnival of the Great Pumpkin, Feast of Sharing, Habitat for Humanity, and Adopt a Beach.

Awards/Honors: University Program Board Programming Assistant of the Year, 2012-2013; LeaderShape Institute graduate, May 2013; Texas Grant recipient, 2012-present; Keppel Amfels Scholarship recipient, 2012-2014; Association of College Unions International’s I-lead Institute graduate, August 2013; Dean’s List, 2012-2013, College of Business Administration Dean’s Scholar, 2012-2013; Student Leadership Academy graduate, May 2014; National Society of Collegiate Scholars inductee, 2013-2014; Golden Key Honour Society inductee, 2013; and Alpha Lambda Delta inductee, 2012-2013.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan to get my teacher certification as well as pursue a master’s degree at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I do plan to stay in the Valley because I feel like our community is growing and will provide a lot of opportunities to future generations.

What has your education done for you? My education has given me the opportunity to grow as an individual. It has opened doors as well as given me many great opportunities that challenge my abilities not only as a student but also as a leader. My education has given me the chance to get to know many people and learn from their experiences. It also has allowed me to make a difference in other people’s lives.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? My experience at UTPA has been amazing. The University has given me the chance to participate in activities that seemed impossible, like going abroad, meeting so many people and other experiences that had never crossed my mind. I have truly had the full university experience.

What is your best tip for success? My best tip for success is to never let anyone put you down. If someone says you can’t do it, proving him or her wrong is the best thing you can do.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? My advice for future college students is to be as involved as they can be. It is one of the best ways to make friends and new memories while helping them grow as individuals and as leaders in the community. As well, I would advise them to study abroad if you get the opportunity to do so, there are many ways to pay for it and it’s an enlightening experience.

PIEJoyHardwickeNov4RussellJoy L’Dell Hardwicke, 28, plans to graduate with a master’s degree in occupational therapy in December 2015. Hardwicke graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minor in anthropology in December 2012 from The University of Texas-Pan American. She is a fitness instructor, specializing in yoga and Pilates, and a student-employee of the UTPA Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex since January 2011. Hardwicke has also taught meditation and stress reduction yoga classes as a guest speaker in a few psychology courses at the University. She has represented UTPA as a presenter at TEXFIT, a statewide convention of college fitness instructors. Between graduation and entering the graduate program here at UTPA, she worked as a supplemental instructor at the Learning Assistance Center, helping other students with anatomy and physiology classes. Hardwicke is an active member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association and served as parliamentarian during her first year of graduate studies. Through the OT program, she has also participated in Operation Lone Star, a weeklong program that offers free health services to those in need. Hardwicke is currently engaged in a research project on productive aging for UTPA’s occupational therapy program and will be presenting her research in Houston at the annual TOTA (Texas Occupational Therapy Association) Conference in November 2014.

Awards/Honors: Dean’s List, Fall 2010, Spring and Fall 2011, and Spring and Fall 2012; and Distinguished Speaker Series Essay Contest winner, Spring 2014, to meet Bill Nye the Science Guy.

What are your plans after graduation? I am very excited to enter the field of occupational therapy and happy to go where the work is. I really would like to work in a neurorehabilitation clinic. I dream of a earning a doctorate, but I am ready to put some time in the field before that happens.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? I plan to leave the Valley for more job opportunities, but since my family is from here, the RGV will always be home.

What has your education done for you? Education has been a positive guiding force in my life, aligning my goals with my desire for knowledge.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? UTPA has supported, encouraged, and offered me opportunities I would not have imagined. I have traveled, I have shared my passions, and I have grown as a person being involved in so many diverse areas available at UTPA.

What is your best tip for success? Balance is critical. We want to be the best, so we must treat ourselves that way. Work hard, but remember we have to find light, love, and laughter wherever we can.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Read! Find a topic that interests you and cultivate a love of reading. Reading, widely and without ceasing, is my secret weapon.

Julissa Rios

JJulissa Riosulissa M. Rios, 20, is a junior and plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May 2017. Rios currently serves as the vice president of Program Development of the Chi Beta chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., and is an active member of the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for First-Year Students. She is a student career advisor at UTPA’s Office of Career Services. Rios has been actively involved around campus and community since she entered UTPA in Fall 2012, participating in projects such as Adopt An Angel, Operation Sending Comfort 2: Until They Come Home, Carnival of the Great Pumpkin, and her church’s Back-To-School and Thanksgiving community service events. Rios, a Rio Grande Valley native, is thankful to God and her familial background for instilling in her a positive attitude toward accomplishing all her goals.

Awards/Honors: Southern Region of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., New Member of the Year, Fall 2013-Spring 2014 and Sister of the Month, March 2014; Dean’s List, Fall 2012 and 2013; Student Employee of the Year nominee, Spring 2014; and Top Ten Percent Scholarship, 2012-2014.

What are your plans after graduation? Once I’ve obtained my nursing degree, I intend to work at the Edinburg Children’s Hospital to gain field experience and grow as a professional before pursuing graduate study in a physician assistant program.

Do you plan to stay in the Valley? Yes, all of my intentions are to stay in the Rio Grande Valley so I may strive to be a leader in the health care community, providing excellent health care to its multi-cultural population. I dream of nothing more but to see the Rio Grande Valley, my home, prosper in all qualities of life.

What has your education done for you? My self-perseverance through my education has given me so many opportunities of success by establishing career professionalism and competence in leadership as well as initiating humbleness in me for my community and culture. These qualities have allowed me to serve as a catalyst for positive development in the Rio Grande Valley.

How do you feel about your UTPA experience? I feel unbelievably blessed with my experience here at UTPA so far and being involved on campus has immensely influenced that. I feel that everything I have encountered at UTPA has made me better by expanding my knowledge, skills sets, and experiences. It is also something that I do not take for granted and why I push myself to take advantage of the amazing opportunities UTPA has to offer its students, such as the ability to choose from a wide range of diverse organizations to join, participate in campus employment, or conduct laboratory research, among others activities.

What is your best tip for success? In order to achieve success, you must have self-perseverance and passion. It is how one will be able to surpass all things negative and preventive to achieve success.

What advice do you have for college-bound students? Get involved as much as possible around campus. It can be anything from attending a daily fitness class at the on-campus recreational center with a group of friends to offering your spare time to an on-campus volunteer project. Get involved! Chances are people that you meet during these activities can serve as a great networking opportunity. It will help you increase your involvement on campus and lead to a more productive college experience.


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.

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