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UTPA student Sabrina Herrera brings her passion for research to the state Capitol

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Featured: University of Texas-Pan American senior Sabrina Herrera in the Science Building Laboratory where she conducts her research that hopefully one day will result in more effective treatments of cancer.

Photograph By JOSUE ESPARZA

Taking a trip to Austin to present her research at the “Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol” was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Sabrina E. Herrera, a 23-year-old senior at The University of Texas-Pan American. “It was all hustle and bustle and a very different environment for me,” said Herrera, who had never visited the Texas Capitol before. “I was honored to represent UTPA. I was able talk to and learn the different research backgrounds of other students there and to hear the challenges and insights from distinguished faculty who were there. The overall experience gave me confidence.” In addition to Herrera, three students from The University of Texas at Brownsville – Isaiah Díaz, Iram Lerma and Forrest Shriver – displayed their research posters for review by state lawmakers and visitors in the Capitol Ground Floor. The March 4 event showcased the diverse and cutting-edge research by 67 students representing 57 Texas universities. The students’ research poster presentations were on display in the Capitol, where they told legislators and other visitors about their findings and the skills they have attained as researchers. The trip included a tour of the Capitol building and panel presentations by faculty researchers. Former Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen, who now serves as Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, coordinated the Austin event for the for Valley students. Gonzáles arranged for the students and professors to meet with Valley legislators and members of their respective staffs, including Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; Rep. Bobby Guerra, D-McAllen; Rep. Ryan Guillén, D-Rio Grande City; Rep. Eddie Lucio, III, D-San Benito; Rep. Armando “Mando” Martínez, D-Weslaco; and Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville.

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Pan American College graduates welcomed “home” for induction into UTPA’s 50+ Club

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Featured at the 50+ Reunion Brunch on Sunday, March 1 at The University of Texas-Pan American are, seated, from left: Cleo Hinojosa, Minerva Elizalde, and former State Rep. Roberto Gutiérrez, D-McAllen, Class of 1965 inductees, and Elma Arriola Ayala, Class of 1964 inductee. Standing, from left, are Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTPA President Ad Interim and the founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Lydia Alemán, Interim Vice President for University Advancement, María T. Rodríguez, Class of 1963 inductee, and Rebecca López, Gracie Cobo, John Thobe, and Eva Chapa, Class of 1965 inductees.

Photograph By JOSUE ESPARZA

Pan American College graduates and their guests were welcomed “home” during a 50+Reunion Brunch on Sunday, March 1, by Clara Dina Hinojosa, Interim Director of the The University of Texas-Pan American Alumni Relations Office, and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, UTPA President Ad Interim and the founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. The reunion was part of the university’s 2015 Homecoming Week activities, the last the university will celebrate as UT-Pan American before becoming UT-RGV in September 2015. Rodríguez, who also serves on the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, described the state of the university as “strong”, citing its growth in the number of students, improved retention and graduate rates, the recruitment of top notch faculty and the statewide and national recognition of the many quality programs it offers. He also told them about several new buildings being built on the UTPA and UTB campuses as they transition into UT-RGV as well as the progress being made in the creation of the new medical school and the opportunities it will offer to students and in improved access to healthcare to Valley citizens. “We are here because you are here,” Rodríguez said. “I know that we will be able to count on your continuous active engagement, your support, your commitment to The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. This will always be your house. Welcome home.” The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and the Edinburg City Council.

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