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Jorge Cisneros

Jorge Cisneros

Name: Jorge Cisneros
Age: 22
Major: Applied Mathematics and Physics
Hometown: Edinburg 

Why UTRGV?
Family is very important for me, so I primarily chose UTRGV, or UTPA back in 2013, to stay close to home. As I have personally experienced, UTRGV offers numerous opportunities for students to prosper academically and as a community member. Its Center for Excellence in STEM Education, directed by one of my faculty mentors Dr. Cristina Villalobos, has definitely opened doors with their frequent sessions for undergraduate students on conferences, summer programs, and funding that many times go unnoticed. Lastly, students have the chance to closely interact, even at the underclassman level, with faculty at UTRGV, a rare delicacy at other, much larger universities.      

What made you decide on your current major?
Ever since high school, I have always been curious about the world around us. So, at UTRGV, I decided to focus on the fundamentals of science, starting from mathematics, followed by physics. Involved as they are, I decided to add on chemistry as a minor, which proved to be just as fascinating. Mathematics exists everywhere and in everything -- we just have to search deep enough.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduating this May 2017, I will stick around UTRGV for the summer to take a couple mathematics graduate-level courses and finish off research. Once I wrap up everything, I plan to squeeze in some leisure time with my family and friends before I head out in September to the University of Washington-Seattle to begin my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. I was selected to receive a three-year Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship that will help finance my graduate education.    

What are you involved in on and off campus?
The one word that summarizes my entire undergraduate career is “research.” From my first semester as a freshman and my last semester as a senior, research projects have driven my curiosity to understand the world we live in. Even outside of UTRGV, I am thankful to have participated in summer research programs at reputable universities and institutions across the country, including UCLA, University of Hawaii-Hilo and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Along with my involvement in student organizations and tutoring students in math and physics, there has never been a dull moment during these last four years of my life. 

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
My proudest and greatest accomplishment to date is not a single act, but instead an accumulation of my contributions to the sciences, specifically mathematics. Someday, I hope to leave behind a legacy for others to continue building, just like I am doing with previous scientists and experts. I entirely agree when Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” I strive to become a giant, accomplishment after accomplishment, always looking for something new to tackle. 

What advice do you have for future students?
My advice is to submerge yourself within your passion, whether it may be mathematics like mine, or perhaps medicine, literature, football, politics, or business. Even if you don’t have a passion yet, don’t be afraid to test the waters everywhere you go. Be curious and challenge yourself, because falling in love with our work is one of the best things we can do in life.