Ana Mendoza

Ana Mendoza

Name: Ana Sophia Mendoza
Age: 19
Major: Biomedical Sciences
College: College of Health Professions
Hometown: Edinburg
High School: South Texas High School for Health Professions, Mercedes, TX 

I chose UTRGV based on three criteria: Cost-friendliness, proximity to home, and sense of community. This university offers quality education, all the while allowing me to experience college life amongst familiar faces and a culture unlike any other.

What made you decide on your current major?
With two nurses as parents, medicine has naturally been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I decided to pursue a career as a doctor in the second grade, and ever since I continue to work toward this passion. I also enjoy learning, and the current state today shows that the medical world is constantly evolving. As a doctor, it brings me excitement knowing that each workday holds potential for new discoveries.

How are you maneuvering being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a pre-med student, the COVID-19 pandemic is one great learning experience. It changed the dynamic on how people view health and highlighted the need for healthcare workers and their services. If anything, this pandemic only encourages my occupational aspirations. The medical world is definitely where I want to be, and motivation alone allows me to look past the restrictions caused by the virus. 

What are your greatest strengths and what are some challenges? 
I am a driven individual, and the pandemic has not affected my pursuit in opportunities that will help me accomplish my goals. However, I do still find myself challenged by the total transition to online learning. Learning is most efficient to me when I can interact with my professor and peers. Thus, this is one consequence of COVID-19 I continue to face. 

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
As a cardiologist, I wish to open my own practice and give back to the community that I was raised in. Prevalent illnesses in the Rio Grande Valley are cardiovascular, and the number of obese residents rank the top amongst the nation. I hope to one day care for and serve the residents of my community and inspire them to lead healthy lifestyles. 

What do you like most about UTRGV?
What I admire most about UTRGV is the tight-knit community. When meeting new people on campus prior to COVID-19, almost always we shared a mutual connection or friend. The university is a small world, and its students and faculty are easily approachable and friendly.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
I believe that the students of UTRGV are hard-working people. Vaqueros understand the importance of an education, and many pursue it as first-generation college graduates. This requires not only true passion but also diligence. Knowing this, I am proud to work alongside like-minded and determined students. 

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
The pandemic has taught me the importance of serving the community, especially during trying times. Last semester, I joined UTRGV’s Caring for The Valley, an organization that aims to do just that. I hope to spread awareness on cardiovascular illnesses and COVID-19 as president of its Healthcare Expo Committee. 

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Make the most out of college-life experience. Although the pandemic continues to challenge social interaction between everyone, seek other alternatives to being an active college student. Participate in organizations, discover new hobbies, and most importantly, stay motivated.