Jacquelyn Robles

Jacquelyn Robles

Name: Jacquelyn Robles
Age: 21
Major: Psychology
College: College of Liberal Arts
Hometown: Harlingen, TX
High School: Harlingen High School South, Harlingen TX 

I chose to attend UTRGV because it is close to home and gives me the opportunity to obtain a higher education degree without putting me into debt. The university also offers me the chance to work in research labs, such as the Behavior and Child Development lab, which are geared toward wanting to improve the quality of life of RGV residents. 

What made you decide on your current major?
I was initially on a pre-med track but then I took an introductory chemistry course and decided that maybe medicine was not for me. I felt unsure about what career path I wanted to pursue instead so I took some online aptitude tests, and many of my results were in the psychological field. After doing research about the field of psychology I knew it was the right one for me, and every single course I have taken in psychology has done nothing but confirm and enhance my passion for this field. 

How are you maneuvering being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I took some online courses prior to the pandemic, so I was familiar with the structure and demands of online classes. My online calendar and planner are my best friends and I have found them to be incredibly helpful as I know when assignments, quizzes and exams are due, and I always make sure I have enough time to do them/study. 

What are your greatest strengths and what are some challenges? 
I would say that my time management skills, and self-motivation are my greatest strengths. I use planners to ensure that I know when certain things are due, and I can find the motivation to make sure to do them in a timely manner. Some challenges I have are saying no to people as I tend to overbook my schedule, and I also have some difficulty with speaking in front of large groups of people.   

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
I hope to go on to get my Ph.D. in School Psychology. I aspire to be both a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and a Licensed Psychologist, to increase my opportunities of working with youth with social, emotional, behavioral, learning, and developmental difficulties. I am interested in learning/researching about how we can better provide mental health care services within the educational system to ensure that all children have access to the resources they need to succeed, and that teachers, parents and children receive the support they need. 

What do you like most about UTRGV?
What I like most about UTRGV is the representation for Latinx individuals. It is nice to see and know that there are so many Hispanic people at this university who have earned bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, Ph.Ds., and it is empowering to hear about their stories about how they got to where they are now. For me it has been incredibly inspiring and makes me feel as though I can achieve great things when I see someone who looks like me in a position of success.  

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
To me being a Vaquero means to embrace your individuality, appreciate your cultural background, and have pride in who you are and where you have come from. Attending UTRGV has allowed me to connect more with my culture and community and I want to be able to continue to do that throughout my career.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
I was awarded the Engaged Scholar & Artist Awards (ESAA) for Community Engagement for Spring 2021, and through that I was able to create a bilingual 7-episode video podcast series, called Habla Autismo, that serves as a free and accessible resource for the parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I could not have done the project without the help of my lab mates at the Behavior and Child Development, and especially Dr. Montiel-Nava who is an incredible mentor, and role model and whose passion and dedication for the underserved Autistic Hispanic community has inspired me to want to pursue more community engagement work moving forward. 

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I want to stress the importance of taking the time for self-care. Pursuing a higher education degree has its own adversities in and of itself but add a pandemic and it intensifies and increases the number of obstacles and stress we must endure as students. Types of self-care such as having a hobby to do that you enjoy, friends to talk to when things get overwhelming, a way to de-escalate at night, etc. are all ways in which we can make sure we take a break from the full-time job that is being a student.