Marilyn Rodriguez

Marilyn Rodriguez

Name: Marilyn Rodriguez
Age: 21
Major: Biology
College: College of Sciences
Hometown: McAllen
High School: South Texas Academy for Medical Professions, Olmito, TX 

UTRGV is much more than an institution with excellent academia status, but a place that harbors community like no other. The constant aid in everything from scholarships, academics, and career seminars are unmatched, and I knew ultimately that these things would propel me into gracefully navigating these four years of my life. With the university’s rapid expansion, I would also love the honor to say that I was a former student at this fine institution.

What made you decide on your current major?
Since I was ten years old, I have been immersed in the medical field, becoming fascinated with everything from patient care to learning as much as I can from the sciences. Pursuing a Biology major will allow me to grapple with the rigor and knowledge that would be expected of me in medical school, hopefully aiding in my development as a medical student.

How are you maneuvering being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic?
From a scientific perspective, it is extremely interested to be a part of such a revolutionary time. Because of my science major, I could apply various concepts that I have learned from my upper division courses to further understand how exactly the vaccine works and how the virus develops within its human host. However, as a student it has been extremely overwhelming due the effects that the pandemic has brought to the whole world. The modality change of our courses was a great feat on its own, so adding the stress and worry that the pandemic brought upon all of us was definitely challenging.  However, having the support of my family, friends, and the university has definitely facilitated things.

What are your greatest strengths and what are some challenges? 
During commencement of the pandemic and quarantine, it was extremely challenging to overcome procrastination. Not having a set schedule for various classes gave me the nudge to become a little too comfortable when it came to time management. However, after realizing that the specific habits I possessed pre-pandemic were not going to help me with my mental health, I decided to alter them in order to achieve my goals. By focusing on my time management, I was able to succeed in my classes and even grow in other areas of my life. 

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
Since the earliest recollection of my memories, my parents taught me to be mindful of others and their needs; to have gratitude for the life that I was gifted and use the tools in my arsenal to help others. After graduating college, I hope to apply to medical school and pursue a career that will allow me to do just that. Not only in the relationship of patient and doctor but utilize my resources to help those that cannot afford clothing, personal hygiene products, or just a warm meal. 

What do you like most about UTRGV?
The number one thing that I like most about UTRGV is the work community within the Learning Center. Ever since I was hired as a Peer Led Team Learning Leader, my life has taken a full 180 degrees. I have met outstanding students who share the same passion as I do and supervisors that truly love their profession and care about every single one of the students working with them. The experiences that I have been gifted working here have been such a monumental part of my life and for that I will be forever thankful.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
Being a Vaquero is one of the greatest privileges I have achieved as it allows me to remain close to my Hispanic roots and family while still being able to achieve great success via their curriculum. 

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
One of the greatest opportunities I have had is being able to connect with two very separate parts of this state. Because UTRGV has a campus in both Brownsville and Edinburg, I was able to meet and connect with so many different individuals whom I’d probably would have never known of if the Edinburg campus was the only one.

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Everything in life bears challenges, but there are some challenges that are worth taking. Search for support groups that will help you stay on track, reminding you that you are not alone and push you into becoming a great student.