Ana Yarely Casillas Rodriguez

Ana Yarely Casillas Rodriguez

Name: Ana Yarely Casillas Rodriguez
Age: 25
Major: Multidisciplinary Studies
Class: Senior
College: College of Liberal Arts
Hometown: Guadalajara, Mexico
High School: Instituto Alpes San Javier, Guadalajara, Mexico 

I am not originally from the RGV, I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. While I was contemplating college opportunities, I realized I wanted to pursue my education in an English-speaking country, and the USA seemed like the perfect opportunity to be close to home. Having the border so close to Mexico and my family offered a great opportunity to visit and travel back and forth with flexibility. However, the primary reason I chose UTRGV was the academic opportunities it offers as an institution. There is so much support from the faculty members and immense potential for academic and professional growth.

What made you decide on your current major?
Initially, I was working towards a Bachelor of Science in physics, and I would have loved to complete that degree. However, I felt like I was missing a crucial aspect of science: geology and the environment. I truly wanted to delve into the interconnectedness of these three branches of science. Multidisciplinary studies seemed like the perfect way to deepen my understanding of the planetary physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the Earth and its formation.

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
My goal is to pursue graduate school. I hope to join a program that will allow me to study glaciers and explore the intricate physical and hydrological processes of water in all its states. 

What do you like most about UTRGV?
The faculty members in the science department have played an impactful role in my academic journey. My professors have shaped, supported, and provided extensive mentorship throughout my time in college. I would not be where I am today without them, and I would not have acquired the confidence to aim higher in my goals and my capacity to learn.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
It means being part of an academic community that works hard to achieve the dreams of their students and nurture future leaders.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
It has allowed me to find research opportunities in both my field and lab work. I have also discovered volunteering opportunities in environmental tasks and taken on leadership roles in college organizations to engage my community in matters related to water and the workforce involved in the engineering and scientific departments.

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing their degrees?
Do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not hesitate to ask for help. College offers the best opportunities to learn and grow, and if you recognize the value of education, not a single day of learning is wasted. Your capacity to grow is measured by your drive and passion, and the world needs more of that. Even when the days feel like a major failure, remember, you are just one more day ahead of becoming smarter and more brilliant. We are not all geniuses or born with the same abilities, but one thing is for certain: your capacity to grow in knowledge is unlimited.