Sub Menu Toggle

UTRGV professor recognized for human rights advocacy

By J. Edward Moreno

Dr. Selma Yznaga (at right), associate professor of counseling at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been awarded the 2018 Kitty Cole Human Rights Award by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. Pictured at the award ceremony are Yznaga and colleague Dr. Patricia Arredondo, special advisor to the dean for Academic Affairs at Fielding Graduate University, who nominated Yznaga for the award. (Courtesy Photo)

Dr. Selma Yznaga (at right), associate professor of counseling at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been awarded the 2018 Kitty Cole Human Rights Award by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. Pictured at the award ceremony are Yznaga and colleague Dr. Patricia Arredondo, special advisor to the dean for Academic Affairs at Fielding Graduate University, who nominated Yznaga for the award. (Courtesy Photo)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – JULY 10, 2018 – Dr. Selma Yznaga, associate professor of counseling at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been awarded the 2018 Kitty Cole Human Rights Award by the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development.

Yznaga, a long-time member of AMCD, was recognized for her advocacy work in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Advocacy for human rights is my passion, and to be recognized by peers who are interested in the same work is especially humbling,” she said.

Yznaga spent more than 10 years working in the Buena Vida Housing Development in Brownsville with graduate students to provide pro bono counseling services to those in need.

She also has been involved with the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, where she trained volunteers who serve as child advocates, and serves as one herself.

Advocates are assigned a child in an immigration detention center, visiting each week and “getting to know the child and help identify their best interests,” she said.

In addition to the visits, they also accompany the children to immigration court to provide support during what can be an intimidating experience. Yznaga said that, too often, children in that position have to appear in court alone.

A Brownsville native, Yznaga has worked in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, but said she always manages to find her way back home.

“The people in the Valley are some of the most compassionate and resourceful that I’ve ever met, and the sense of community is not something that I have found anywhere else,” she said.

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016. 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Amanda.Alaniz02@utrgv.edu
Senior Writer / 956-665-7192 

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications 956-665-2742