Thursday, September 26, 2019
  Awards and Recognitions

By Letty Fernandez

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Denisce Palacios, a senior at UTRGV, has been selected as one of the #TribFest19 social media ambassadors.

The former president of the UTRGV  Student Government Association joins 20 promising young leaders from across Texas who will serve as on-the-ground student correspondents at the Texas Tribune Festival,  Sept. 26 –Sept. 28, in Austin.

“The first time I came to the Texas Tribune Festival was three years ago as a member of the UTRGV Student Government Association,” Palacios said. “I was amazed by the access we had to all the speakers – renowned journalists, presidential candidates, congressional and state legislators.

Student Denisce Palacios
(Courtesy Photo)

They had a lot of fun, she said, but the lessons learned were the most important part of the experience.

“We left having a better understanding of national and local politics’ effects on our community. I’m super excited to come back to Austin representing UTRGV as a Texas Tribune Social Media Ambassador,” Palacios said.

The festival, organized by the Texas Tribune, draws thousands of participants to the state capital for a four-day, jam-packed event featuring insightful panel discussions, debates, keynote addresses and community conversations, all focused on and around politics and public policy in Texas and nationally.

“Now, I get to come back and get to listen to these amazing speakers while representing my university,” Palacios said. “I’m most excited to report on the criminal justice reform, public education panels and, of course, the presidential candidates.” 

Palacios is pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and International Business with a minor in Theatre Performance. She is also the campus organizer for Texas Rising at UTRGV. She is especially interested in immigrant rights, environmental justice and income equality.

Palacios joins another Rio Grande Valley native as a #TribFest19 social media ambassador. Aimee Treviño, of Brownsville, is a senior at St. Mary's University in San Antonio studying International and Global Studies. She also serves as president of the Student Government Association.

The Texas Tribune and the New Politics Forum at The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at UT Austin have partnered to offer students the opportunity to serve as social media ambassadors at the festival. Established in 2000, the institute exists to cultivate informed voters and active citizens through research, education and outreach programs focused on three key pillars: civic discovery, young people and civil dialogue. The Institute is named after Annette Greenfield Strauss, who served on the Dallas City Council from 1983 to 1987 and as mayor from 1987 to 1991.

You can follow the 2019 social media ambassadors via the hashtags #TribFest19, #TTFstudents, and #NPFxTrib!


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.