Profiles in Excellence - 2018

Merary De La Fuente

December 11, 2018
Merary De La Fuente

Why UTRGV?

Staying close to home was an important factor to me. I am 25 minutes away from home and even though I live on campus, seeing my family is something I do almost every week. However, I think that the idea of a brand-new university was the defining factor. The excitement and eagerness were genuine for me and it was the best decision I have made to stay on my home turf. Since we are a commuter school, I know that many students feel as if they do not get the full university experience, but for me, I think I got to experience what it is like to be a college student to the fullest. I became independent, I learned what it was like to live with others with completely different cultures from mine and I learned the true meaning of resilience and persistence.

Read more about Merary De La Fuente.

Samanta Alvarado Nieto

December 4, 2018
Samanta Alvarado Nieto

Why UTRGV?

Since English is my second language, I wanted to challenge myself and study in the U.S. I chose to study at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley because it offers lots of opportunities, it is in a great location near Mexico and my family, and more importantly, it offers high-quality education. UTRGV has given me a completely unique experience in which I’ve learned a lot and developed as a person.

Read more about Samanta Alvarado Nieto.

Rosalina Viramontes

November 27, 2018
Rosalina Viramontes

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV has provided me a unique opportunity for growth and networking in pursuing my degree. Attending UTRGV has given me the opportunity to be part of the Abriendo Caminos Scholarship Program, a Living Learning Community (LLC) on campus that provides room and board, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of life skills, workshops and community service.

Read more about Rosalina Viramontes.

Isaiah Garcia

November 20, 2018
Isaiah Garcia

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV remains an affordable option, while providing students with the resources and opportunities to build successful careers in their respective fields. UTRGV boasts a long list of exceptional faculty members, many of whom hold positions in the UTRGV School of Music. In addition to being academically exceptional, UTRGV’s faculty members are invested and genuinely concerned with the success of their students. You don’t find that everywhere.

Read more about Isaiah Garcia.

Kristen D. Kline

November 13, 2018
Kristen D. Kline

Why UTRGV?

It offers a living laboratory for studying bordelands issues.

Read more about Kristen D. Kline.

Chris Saldivar

November 6, 2018
Chris Saldivar

Why UTRGV?

After graduating from high school, I wasn’t truly ready to leave the Valley. Finding a university that was within my city was the best option for me. With passionate and devoted professors, UTRGV was the clear choice. I knew I could trust the system and never be disappointed with what UTRGV had to offer.

Read more about Chris Saldivar.

Adelina Agueros

October 30, 2018
Adelina Agueros

Why UTRGV?

I decided to attend UTRGV not only due to its proximity to home, but also because of its culture. The university captures the welcoming nature of the Rio Grande Valley in its diversity and atmosphere. I knew I wanted to be surrounded by something familiar and it made easing into the college lifestyle much easier.

Read more about Adelina Agueros.

Liliana De Luna Chavez

October 23, 2018
Liliana De Luna Chavez

Why UTRGV?

I chose to attend UTRGV because of its well-rounded music education program, their highly qualified faculty and the great range of opportunities that are presented to international students. However, what confirmed my decision to study at this university was having the opportunity to meet my applied piano professor, Dr. Kenneth Saxon. His expertise, knowledge and guidance has helped me grow into the musician, teacher and person that I am today.

Read more about Liliana De Luna Chavez.

Joseph Schmidt

October 16, 2018
Joseph Schmidt

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it’s close to home. It was a 15-minute drive from home, but more than that, it represented what I stood for - a community of individuals who strive for success by the grit of their work. It allowed me the opportunity to be in a class setting of 15 to 30 other students who could talk with the professor, not just about academics, but relate to them on a personal level. For me, UTRGV represents the Valley’s untouched potential that will propel the Hispanic community into the spotlight. South Texas won’t just be the place south of San Antonio or Austin, it will be known by the name of UTRGV.

Read more about Joseph Schmidt.

Bertha Gutierrez

October 9, 2018
Bertha Gutierrez

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it was one of the colleges that offered my field of study. Also, it was the one that better suited my financial needs because I always wanted to save as much money as possible for school books, food and school supplies, among other needs, and UTRGV has great tuition and installment plans. I also chose this university because it was close to home and I didn't want to be away from my family, as they are the ones that always support me in my big life decisions.

Read more about Bertha Gutierrez.

Aleyhnna Pedraza

October 2, 2018
Aleyhnna Pedraza

Why UTRGV?

My family has always been one who sticks together no matter the circumstances. I am very attached to my mother, especially. Having the privilege to be with my family and being able to get a higher education at the same time has been the biggest blessing I have had in my life. After graduation, I will be leaving the Valley, but I have been able to enjoy my home and family these past years.

Read more about Aleyhnna Pedraza.

Edson Trejo Hernandez

September 25, 2018
Edson Trejo Hernandez

Why UTRGV?

I chose this university because I like being part of a large group and diverse student body. UTRGV has the most competitive and updated degree plans. In addition to that, UTRGV has a series of extracurricular activities that allow you to develop yourself in an integral way, (intellectual, physical, cultural). The world is a big place; UTRGV and the parallels between the two would better help prepare me for post-college life in the real world.

Read more about Edson Trejo Hernandez.

Amanda Lee Tovar

September 18, 2018
Amanda Lee Tovar

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it’s home. More specifically, I chose Mexican American Studies at UTRGV because I wanted to understand myself, the community, and to understand myself in the community so that I could most effectively serve the community and its needs. Other schools may have ethnic studies programs, but Mexican American Studies at UTRGV provides opportunities to work directly with my community.

Read more about Amanda Lee Tovar.

Jackeline Gonzalez

September 11, 2018
Jackeline Gonzalez

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because of the affordability, because of how close to my family it was and because I have grown attached to the Valley. I have not lived in the Valley all my life, but I have lived here long enough to grow familiar and fond of various places, and accustomed to the warmth from most people here.

Read more about Jackeline Gonzalez.

Jose Guerra III

September 4, 2018
Jose Guerra III

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it offered my field of study and it was a comfortable transition into college life since I'm from the area. I like being close to home which saves money and keeps me involved with family. The music program here offers more one-on-one and continuous interaction with your applied professor as opposed to bigger schools out there where professors focus is on graduate students.

Read more about Jose Guerra III.

Phillip Moreno

August 28, 2018
Phillip Moreno

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it’s home. You see, in the Rio Grande Valley, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have, and I take great pride in where I’m from so when I had the opportunity to get a good education close to my family members who have been the best supporting system I’ve had my whole life and represent my home at the same time, it just made perfect sense. I’m just a kid from the Valley - I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Read more about Phillip Moreno.

Carla Santillana

August 21, 2018
Carla Santillana

Why UTRGV?

The reason why I chose to attend UTRGV is because it embodies most of the student population’s Mexican heritage. It embraces our culture, represents who we are and where we come from. Unlike other universities, UTRGV offers a unique experience.

Read more about Carla Santillana.

Andrea Garcia

August 14, 2018
Andrea Garcia

Why UTRGV?

The primary reason for choosing to attend UTRGV has to be that it is close to home. I had the opportunity to meet with the professor for applied saxophone, Dr. Cynthia Cripps, and having that connection made me feel comfortable in making the decision to choose to attend UTRGV.

Read more about Andrea Garcia.

Aleksi Gonzalez

August 7, 2018
Aleksi Gonzalez

Why UTRGV?

I think I chose UTRGV before a student typically would because I attended Brownsville Early College High School, where I began my first year of college the same year as my high school junior year. Having such a large support system my initial years made UTRGV feel like home at the early age of 16 years old. I still wanted to branch out of Brownsville when I graduated high school, so I started doing that by attending classes on the Edinburg campus and later moved there once I found an amazing campus position as a public relations representative. I became a Street Team member under the University Marketing and Communications Department, which became another home away from home.

Read more about Aleksi Gonzalez.

Marco Guzman

July 31, 2018
Marco Guzman

Why UTRGV?

I chose to come to UTRGV because I was familiar with the applied saxophone professor, Dr. Cynthia Cripps. I knew her because she would host and conduct the summer saxophone ensembles which I would take part in. My favorite part of UTRGV is the music faculty. They’re all very knowledgeable in their respective music fields and I always feel like I learn something that will benefit me in my career in each of the classes they teach.

Read more about Marco Guzman.

Alexandra Mendoza Esquivel

July 24, 2018
Alexandra Mendoza Esquivel

Why UTRGV?

I always wondered what it’d be like to study in the U.S. Also, I wanted to live the college experience and become more independent without being too far from home, either. I really enjoy the friendly environment that the UTRGV community has created and I like to live in a peaceful city like Edinburg.

Read more about Alexandra Mendoza Esquivel.

Amanda Ramirez

July 17, 2018
Amanda Ramirez

Why UTRGV?

Besides having grown up watching my Tia Cristina become the first in our family to attend and graduate college with a BA from what was then UTPA, I chose UTRGV because of its location. This campus allowed me to be on my own while still being close to family and friends.

Read more about Amanda Ramirez.

Damaris Lozoya

July 10, 2018
Damaris Lozoya

Why UTRGV?

When I graduated from high school I was looking for the best university that was closer to home, and for this reason, I decided that The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley was the best option for me. Besides having the university close to home, UTRGV also offers various opportunities that have helped me develop my communication skills and professional skills. The second reason I chose UTRGV is that they offer excellent business programs, especially in the accounting bachelor’s degree program.

Read more about Damaris Lozoya.

Jonathan Xavier Tamez

June 28, 2018
Jonathan Xavier Tamez

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it was a matter of convenience and comfortability. The campus isn’t far from where I live and I wasn’t quite ready to pack up and leave home. UTRGV also has a great theatre/film department, so it made the most sense.

Read more about Jonathan Xavier Tamez.

Alexia Huerta

June 26, 2018
Alexia Huerta

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV was definitively a blessing in disguise. I was not expecting my acceptance in to the UTRGV Nursing Program, but as soon as I received the news I knew it was in fact serendipity. I am proud to carry its name in the legacy of my education.

Read more about Alexia Huerta.

Andrea Cepeda

June 19, 2018
Andrea Cepeda

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV for several reasons. The university helped me out a lot financially and then I got into Graphic Design and decided to finish my career here instead of leaving after my basics.

Read more about Andrea Cepeda.

Hilda Tijerina

June 12, 2018
Hilda Tijerina

Why UTRGV?

Initially, I chose to attend UTRGV because it allowed me to be close to my family while still offering the college experience. However, as I learned more about its theatre department, I realized it was a welcoming community within the school.

Read more about Hilda Tijerina.

Jesus Galindo

June 5, 2018
Jesus Galindo

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it is close to home, and the proximity facilitated all my academic endeavors. During high school, I spent little to no time preparing for college. Eventually, I turned things around and managed to apply to UTRGV.

Read more about Jesus Galindo.

Erika Elizondo

May 29, 2018
Erika Elizondo

Why UTRGV?

I decided to attend UTRGV due to their grand curriculum and variety of degrees. As a senior in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do professionally given that I hadn’t found my passion for something that I loved to do. UTRGV was the perfect fit for me because it gave me many degrees to choose from.

Read more about Erika Elizondo.

Gisela Saldana

May 22, 2018
Gisela Saldana

Why UTRGV?

I love the opportunities that UTRGV gives us to grow and develop ourselves as individuals and professionals. Also, I love that there are so many activities and events that unite the student community. I think the most valuable aspect of UTRGV would be the crossed-culture environment where you get to meet people from all over the world.

Read more about Gisela Saldana.

Vanessa Prado

May 15, 2018
Vanessa Prado

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because of its culture, affordability and location. I took a combination of online and traditional classes; this made easier to take care of my family, work full-time and attend classes full-time. The endless support from my husband and children allowed me to take on many opportunities, and I am graduating ahead of time.

Read more about Vanessa Prado.

Juan Lozano

May 8, 2018
Juan Lozano

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it’s where I can get a high-quality education. What I like most about the university is its excellent support for international students. What it offers me that I might not find in other universities are the affordable classes and that I am close to home.

Read more about Juan Lozano.

Sandra Masso

May 1, 2018
Sandra Masso

Why UTRGV?

Besides UTRGV being close to home, family, and friends, I chose to attend UTRGV because of its high-quality education for my major and all the opportunities it will open for me in the future. UTRGV offers a great Occupational Therapy Master’s Program, which not many universities offer, and it will help me fulfill my goals in life.

Read more about Sandra Masso.

Samuel Roberts

April 24, 2018
Samuel Roberts

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it offers affordable, quality education while being located close to home. My three siblings and one parent have either graduated from UTRGV or are currently attending here. So, at this point, it is essentially a family tradition.

Read more about Samuel Roberts.

Christopher Stubbs

April 17, 2018
Christopher Stubbs

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV is like a home away from home for me. Aside from attending classes with a lot of the same people within my field of study, I have come to meet and interact with a large majority of the student body by working at the Student Union. Working on campus especially has given me a sense of community and belonging which has deepened my love and appreciation not only for the University but for the valley and the culture we create by learning here.

Read more about Christopher Stubbs.

Roman Sanchez-Martinez

April 10, 2018
Roman Sanchez-Martinez

Why UTRGV?

When I enrolled at UTRGV, I was under the CAP program that allowed me to stay at the institution for a year and eventually transfer to UT Austin to continue my studies. Upon my stay, I realized that UTRGV offered so many opportunities that, to this day, have helped me grow academically as well as personally. The support from faculty is incomparable as they truly care about their students’ academic success. UTRGV has shown its full potential over the years and I am more than grateful to be a part of their journey.

Read more about Roman Sanchez-Martinez.

Nydia Cristina Gauna

April 3, 2018
Nydia Cristina Gauna

Why UTRGV?

My original plan was to only take general core classes here and then move. As I went through my first semester I started to like UTRGV more and more. I saw the university growing and I wanted to be part of that. It’s also home. I have a lot of family and friends here, and have grown closer to them since I decided to stay.

Read more about Nydia Cristina Gauna.

Aaron Rodriguez

March 27, 2018
Aaron Rodriguez

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV was a chance for me to finish up my basics and potentially be able to transfer elsewhere to finish up my advance coursework. That reasoning changed through the opportunities that were granted to me by the university and the student to teacher ratio that the campus provides. Over time, I found that UTRGV has everything I need to succeed with a supportive community like no other.

Read more about Aaron Rodriguez.

Ayled Villarreal

March 20, 2018
Ayled Villarreal

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because I wanted to be close to my family in order to be an example of what is possible. I want my family here in the U.S., as well as my family in Mexico, to witness my struggle but also my commitment toward attending college and obtaining a bachelor’s degree. UTRGV has provided me with my education, experience, and most importantly, my future.

Read more about Ayled Villarreal.

Luis Leal

March 13, 2018
Luis Leal

Why UTRGV?

I graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American in 2015 with a Bachelor in Business Administration in Management. After graduation, I had the opportunity to work full-time on campus one year until I decided to go back to school for an MBA. I choose UTRGV due to the proximity to home, my job, affordability and the endless opportunities offered at the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship. 

Read more about Luis Leal.

Ilse Villarreal

March 6, 2018
Ilse Villarreal

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV was the best option for me. I wanted to stay close to home and still be able to get an unforgettable college experience. So far, UTRGV has given me that. What I like the most about UTRGV is that I get to experience the diversity we have on both campuses. Working at the University's office of Global Engagements has allowed me to get to know people from over 67 countries around the world.

Read more about Ilse Villarreal.

Emanuel Rodriguez

February 27, 2018
Emanuel Rodriguez

Why UTRGV?

I chose to attend UTRGV because of the University's close proximity to home and the very affordable tuition rate. I also have family members who have graduated from the university, so it has almost become a tradition to attend this school.

Read more about Emanuel Rodriguez.

Rose-Emmeline Alce

February 20, 2018
Rose-Emmeline Alce

Why UTRGV?

There are a few reasons why I chose to attend UTRGV, two mainly being because of their inexpensive tuition and staying closer to my immediate family. I initially wanted to be in their nursing program. Now that I've changed majors, I really appreciate their Liberal Arts teachers' dedication. There aren't many universities in the Valley that focus on Public Relations and offers it as an affordable bachelors program, so this is a real gem.

Read more about Rose-Emmeline Alce.

Silver Ray Salas

February 13, 2018
Silver Ray Salas

Why UTRGV?

The main reason I chose UTRGV was affordability. Since scholarships would only be covering part of my tuition, I would be paying for my own education. The other reason was my grandfather because I was his provider for about four years and I was the only one who was able to continue to care for him at the time, so I chose to stay. It was a tough decision that had to be made because I had other plans, but UTRGV allowed me to stay close to home without any repercussions.

Read more about Silver Ray Salas.

Jose Eduardo Moreno

February 6, 2018
Jose Eduardo Moreno

Why UTRGV?

I came to UTRGV thinking that I'd finish up my basics then transfer somewhere else. What kept me here was the support from the campus community and all the opportunities that were made available. Ultimately, I ended up finding everything I wanted in a school here and more.

Read more about Jose Eduardo Moreno.

Vicente Martinez, Jr.

January 30, 2018
Vicente Martinez, Jr.

Why UTRGV?

Aside from the tuition being a factor, I loved the student to teacher ratio. Here at UTRGV, you're more than just a number. The institution cares about each and every student. I've had professors who have gone above and beyond to accommodate and help students.

Read more about Vicente Martinez, Jr..

Ivan Morales

January 23, 2018
Ivan Morales

Why UTRGV?

I chose UTRGV because it provided a safe and familiar environment where I could not only grow as a person, but I could help the community around me grow. For example, the American Marketing Association (AMA) helps various local businesses, which in turn, helps students network with community business leaders. UTRGV offered all the great services and opportunities any other university did, but in a location that was still close to home.

Read more about Ivan Morales.

Katia Marlen Perez Flores

January 16, 2018
Katia Marlen Perez Flores

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV was the university I wanted to attend because I was looking for a big challenge. Studying in the United States was my opportunity to leave my comfort zone and demonstrate to myself what I am capable of. I am sure I made the right decision because, since I came here, I have shown personal and academic growth. UTRGV also offered me the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world as well as learning about their cultures.

Read more about Katia Marlen Perez Flores.

Adriana Gutierrez

January 9, 2018
Adriana Gutierrez

Why UTRGV?

UTRGV is like a second home to me. I love the campus, the people, the professors and the many events we have. I love how being brand new allows us to create so much, where at other universities they might already come with a rulebook. I love how UTRGV embraces Hispanic culture and how much it celebrates it; it keeps me close to home.

Read more about Adriana Gutierrez.

Ana Sofia Rodriguez

January 2, 2018
Ana Sofia Rodriguez

Why UTRGV?

I decided to attend UTRGV because of the financial aid opportunity I received and because of the opportunity to study surrounded by my culture.

Read more about Ana Sofia Rodriguez.