Students

A primary goal for SARA is to provide a rich, educational experience for students through community-based research, experiential learning, and internships. These opportunities for engaged scholarship prepare UTRGV students for future jobs which help address the environmental, economic, and social challenges associated with meeting the need of food, fiber, and fuel for a growing world population.

Students engaged through SARA include:

2017/2018 Academic Year—Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters

Analily Trevino — has been hired to work in SARA outreach projects as a Student Assistant developing corporate energy-audit presentations scheduled for summer (July) 2018, while she obtains her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at UTRGV. In this role, she will review energy audits done for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses, and provide presentations on energy cost savings to corporate leaders.

Julio Trevino — is working in SARA outreach projects, as a Student Assistant developing rural energy audits during the 2018 spring and summer semesters, while he obtains his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at UTRGV. In this role, he assists the project’s lead energy auditor in the development of energy audits for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses. He is involved in all four phases of the energy-audit process: initial review of client energy use; site assessment; energy and cost analysis; and the final audit report. His work includes breakdowns of building and equipment characteristics (building envelope, lighting, power, HVAC, and refrigeration). In the summer of 2018, he will review energy audits done for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses, and provide presentations on energy cost savings to corporate leaders.

Mylen Arias — is working during the 2018 spring semester as a Student Intern on a SARA-affiliated research project funded through USDA. She graduated from UTRGV in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and is currently a Post Baccalaureate student of Biology. For more information about Mylen, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Alyssa Cano — is working during the 2018 spring semester as a Student Intern on a SARA-affiliated research project funded through USDA. For more information about Mylen, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Adarugo Samuel Emuobosa — is working in SARA outreach projects as a Student Project Associate developing rural energy audits during the 2018 spring semester, while he obtains his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at UTRGV. In this role, he assists the project’s lead energy auditor in the development of energy audits for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses. He is involved in all four phases of the energy-audit process: initial review of client energy use; site assessment; energy and cost analysis; and the final audit report. His work includes breakdowns of building and equipment characteristics (building envelope, lighting, power, HVAC, and refrigeration).

Julissa Roman — is working as a Program Assistant in the Agroecology Program at UTRGV, where she is providing administrative assistance during the 2018 spring semester. For more information about Julissa, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Suzanne El-Haj — worked during the 2017 fall semester as a Student Intern on a SARA-affiliated research project funded through USDA. For more information about Suzanne, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Rocio Nohemi Hernandez — worked in SARA outreach projects as a Student Project Associate during the 2017 fall semester, and earlier during the 2016 spring semester, while she majored in biology and nutrition. In this role, she worked with the director of the Texas Rural Cooperative Center (TRCC) to develop and implement survey tools focused on small-scale producers in the Rio Grande Valley. These survey tools were a vital part of TRCC’s assessing the feasibility of a regional food hub for connecting small- and medium-sized producers to institutional markets throughout Texas.

Stephanie Kasper — worked on farmer-driven research projects in the Agroecology Program at UTRGV, during the 2017 fall semester, while pursuing a master’s degree in Agriculture, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences. Her focus was on cover crops as a pathway to improved soil health. For more information about Stephanie, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Habraham Lopez — worked as a Student Intern on a SARA-affiliated research project during the 2017 fall semester while pursuing a master’s degree in Biology. He previously graduated from UTRGV in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Spanish. For more information about Habraham, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

2016/2017 Academic Year—Spring and Summer Semesters Only

Adriana Carmona — worked on a SARA outreach project during the summer of 2017 that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Adriana earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Ricardo Carrillo — worked in SARA outreach projects, as a Student Assistant developing rural energy audits during the 2017 summer semesters, while he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at UTRGV. In this role, he assisted the project’s lead energy auditor in the development of energy audits for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses. He was involved in all four phases of the energy-audit process: initial review of client energy use; site assessment; energy and cost analysis; and the final audit report. His work included breakdowns of building and equipment characteristics (building envelope, lighting, power, HVAC, and refrigeration).

Juan De Dios Garcia — worked in SARA outreach projects as a Student Assistant developing rural energy audits during the 2017 summer semesters, while he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at UTRGV. In this role, he assisted the project’s lead energy auditor in the development of energy audits for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses. He was involved in all four phases of the energy-audit process: initial review of client energy use; site assessment; energy and cost analysis; and the final audit report. His work included breakdowns of building and equipment characteristics (building envelope, lighting, power, HVAC, and refrigeration).

Abin James — worked in SARA outreach projects as a Student Project Associate developing rural energy audits during the 2017 summer semesters, while he obtained his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree at UTRGV. In this role, he assisted the project’s lead energy auditor in the development of energy audits for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses. He was involved in all four phases of the energy-audit process: initial review of client energy use; site assessment; energy and cost analysis; and the final audit report. His work included breakdowns of building and equipment characteristics (building envelope, lighting, power, HVAC, and refrigeration).

Jose Jasso — worked on a SARA outreach project during the summer of 2017 that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Jose earned three credit hours for his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Justin Sanchez — worked on a SARA outreach project during the summer of 2017 that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Justin earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Kimberly Trevino — worked on a SARA outreach project during the summer of 2017 that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Kimberly earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Nashra Ruth Bodoraya — worked in the SARA administrative office as a Student Assistant during the 2017 spring and summer semesters, and earlier during the 2016 fall semester, as she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology degree at UTRGV. She assisted SARA administrative staff with routine administrative support, which included ordering supplies, travel reimbursements, reconciliations, invoicing, ePAF filing, shredding, answering phones, and other administrative duties.

Billy Ray Flores — worked in SARA outreach projects, as a Student Project Associate in video production during the 2017 spring and summer semesters, and previously throughout the 2016 academic year, while he obtained his Master of Communication degree at UTRGV. In this role, he was involved in all aspects of video production, including pre-production, production, and post-production activities. He created production projects, assisted with production-related research, assisted with the scheduling of interviews and footage acquisition, maintained production schedules, and shot production footage. He directed pre-production activities that included management of all pre-production documentation and materials, and the set-up of video-production equipment. His duties included all aspects of video production, production setups, and post-production editing. Billy Ray directed and edited programming with voiceover, titles, sound-effect and graphic work, and other post-production activities. Billy Ray also trained incoming undergraduate students in video production.

Brenda Patricia Garza-Cantu — worked in SARA outreach projects, as a Student Assistant in video production during the 2017 spring and summer semesters, while she obtained her Bachelor of Communication degree at UTRGV. In this role, she was involved in video-production activities that included pre-production, production, and post-production activities. She supported video-production staff with the use of video equipment, including tripods, lighting, video camera, microphones, and recording cards. Brenda’s duties included recording interviews and editing news packages.

Francine Audry Perez — worked in SARA outreach projects, as a Student Assistant in video production during the 2017 spring and summer semesters, while she obtained her Bachelor of Communication degree at UTRGV. In this role, she was involved in video-production activities that included pre-production, production, and post-production activities. She supported video-production staff with the use of video equipment, including tripods, lighting, video camera, microphones, and recording cards. Brenda’s duties included recording interviews and editing news packages.

Jason Bertie — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Jason earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Crystal L. Canales — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Crystal earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Diana Cantu — worked in the Agroecology Program at UTRGV during the 2017 spring semester, and earlier as a Research Intern during the 2015 fall semester, while she pursued a degree in Environmental Science. Her research focus was on organic weed eradication, and she helped maintain the research garden on the Edinburg campus. For more information about Diana, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Ismael Cavazos — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Ismael earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Raul A. Cavazos — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Raul earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Saida Gutierrez — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Saida earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Yunuen Gutierrez — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Yunuen earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Wendy Knox — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Wendy earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Adriana Lozano Ramirez — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Adriana earned three credit hours toward her degree in Business Administration at UTRGV.

Jose De Reyes — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Jose earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Hector Rodriguez — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Hector earned three credit hours toward his degree in Business Administration at UTRGV.

Alexandria L. Saldivar — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Alexandria earned three credit hours toward her Master of Public Affairs degree for her work on this project.

Amrita Singh — worked in the Agroecology Program at UTRGV during the 2017 spring semester. Her research involved mycorrhizal fungi, and she also worked at the Edinburg research garden. She is an environmental science student pursuing her bachelor’s degree. For more information about Amrita, please refer to the Agroecology department student interns page.

Rolando Solis — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Rolando earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.

Rob Z. Trevino — worked on a SARA outreach project during the 2017 spring semester that included the development of USDA Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) for vegetable and fruit producers in the RGV. This project included the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and grant applications, and Rob earned three credit hours toward his Master of Public Affairs degree for his work on this project.