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Graduate overcomes own struggles to be first UTRGV graduate to earn a BS in Addiction Studies

Quincie Gomez

Quincie Gomez, from Harlingen, became the first graduate to earn a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies from the UTRGV School of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling on Dec. 13 during Fall 2019 Commencement. (Courtesy Photo)


DEC 19, 2019 - RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Four years ago, Quincie Gomez did not recognize the girl standing in front of the mirror as she struggled with a substance use disorder. She thought she would never overcome it.  Today, she says, with the help of divine assistance and her belief in herself, Gomez has beat her addiction and on Dec. 13 became the first graduate to earn a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies from the UTRGV School of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling.  

Denise Silcox and her dog Flip became the first certified Animal Assisted Crisis Response Team in the Rio Grande Valley.

Silcox and FlipAACR is a form of animal-assisted activities which provides comfort to those who have been affected by natural, human-caused, or technological disasters. AACR is effective because the safety, familiarity, novelty, and interest in the animal have been found to be impactful when building rapport with a person affected by crisis including first responders and crisis management staff. Pet Partners and FEMA worked together to provide training and to develop a “neighbor helping neighbor” model where teams are deployed close to home rather than having to travel long distances.

Andrea Almaguer-Botero placed fourth at the Graduate Student Research Showcase Fall 2019.

Andrea 4th place  Andrea poster

Title of Research: Improving the Classroom Experience by Proving Teachers with a Mindfulness Intervention.

UTRGV Program Nationally Ranked - July 18, 2019 - EDINBURG, Texas — For the fifth year in a row a Master of Science program at UTRGV is nationally ranked. U.S. News and World Report ranks the UTRGV Rehabilitation and Counseling Graduate Program 14th in the nation. In a previous ranking the program was tied at 15 with the University of North Texas in Denton. The program also ranks first among all UT System Schools and second in the state.

Dr. Elizabeth Chavez-Palacios, UTRGV Program Graduate Coordinator, “Our faculty sets us apart. Within our field we have top researchers that have been actually given awards at the national level.”

Best Grad Schools 2016Our Rehabilitation Counseling Program is ranked #14
All the health rankings are based solely on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline. All schools surveyed in a discipline were sent the same number of surveys. Each school's score reflects its average rating on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding), based on a survey of academics at peer institutions. Read more...