Graduate Profile: First UTRGV SGA president heads out into the world with confidence, and a BA in business administration

When UTRGV economics and finance major Alberto Adame (shown here on the Edinburg Campus) graduates this month, he leaves behind a legacy as the first president of the UTRGV Student Government Association. The SGA position helped give him the confidence to deal with people and complex situations, he said, and his degree prepared him for a successful career. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

By Cheryl Taylor

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – DEC. 12, 2016 – Graduating senior Alberto Adame says he is wrapping up his college career at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley not only with a Bachelor of Business Administration diploma, but also with important skills to help carry him into his future career.

As the last Student Government Association (SGA) president for The University of Texas Pan American, and the first SGA president for UTRGV, Adame spent two years addressing the usual SGA presidential duties, while also establishing a new SGA for a new university.

“The experience was unique to anything I had ever faced. There was a lot of anxiety,” Adame said. “I began to understand how people work and interact.”

During his two-year stint as president, Adame also honed his public speaking skills.

“I had to speak publically at least once a week, typically, and often several times a week,” he said. “When I look at video of those early times, I see a lot of mistakes that I’ve since tried to correct.”

Born and raised in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, Adame and his family moved to the Rio Grande Valley when his father took a new job, enabling him to graduate from Sharyland High School.

“When making a decision on college, I knew wanted to stay close to my family and I had heard good things about UTPA. And being able to live at home increased the affordability factor,” he said.

As a business major, Adame was enrolled in an economics course during his first year.

“I’d taken economics in high school and really had not liked it. But in that UTPA class, my whole vision of economics turned around,” he said. “I was a freshman, and there I was, learning from a full professor, Dr. Andre Mollick (chair of the Department of Economics and Finance). I had an amazing change of heart about the subject of economics.”

Adame learned about a double major program – finance/economics – that he felt was a perfect fit, even though it required an extra semester, which delayed his graduation until December this year. He will receive his diploma at the 9 a.m. commencement ceremony to be held Saturday, Dec. 17, at the McAllen Convention Center.

Adame also has the honor of being one of two students selected to ring the university bell at the morning’s ceremony. The bell is a tradition that carries over from The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. It symbolizes student pride, while heralding joyful good wishes for a successful future.

During his junior and senior years, when he was SGA president, Adame received a scholarship to live in student housing.

“It’s really necessary to live on campus when holding that office, because the SGA president has to be available 24/7,” he said. “Most of my SGA duties took place after the 8-to-5 workday. All that, and I still had to keep up with my academics, so I had to keep an eye on time management.”

After relinquishing the SGA gavel when his year of service was up, Adame took a campus job with UTRGV Athletics, working with Blake Day, assistant athletic director for development in the UTRGV Athletics Office for Development. Day said Adame has been a critical contributor to the rebranding efforts of the V Club, the fundraising arm of UTRGV Athletics.

“Alberto’s experience with navigating the SGA through the transition has been a big asset to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics as we educate our alumni, former student-athletes, fans and friends on how they can support UTRGV Athletics,” Day said. “Alberto’s professionalism, attention to detail, passion and knowledge of UTRGV have aided our department greatly as we look to elevate UTRGV Athletics.”

SO, WHAT’S NEXT?

The next step, Adame said, is to find a job in his field, pay off his student loans, and get a bit of real-world experience before going on to graduate school.

Adame said he leaves UTRGV with the confidence to move forward in life.

“I have tremendous appreciation for my outstanding professors, especially those in the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship, who genuinely care about their students,” he said.

“I will be forever grateful to them, to my family, and to everyone who contributed, formally or informally, to my education.”

MEDIA CONTACTS

Cheryl.Taylor@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Senior Writer / 956-882-8787

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