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Rodriguez Pursues Electrical Engineering Degree with Scholarships

Jose Luis RodriguezBROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – AUGUST 21, 2012 – Jose Luis Rodriguez became interested in electronics when he was a pre-teen attending school across the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico.

“It is interesting to see how everything works,” he said.

Rodriguez, 20, is a junior at The University of Texas at Brownsvilleand Texas Southmost Collegemajoring in engineering physics – electrical engineering. He is one of more than 200 student endowed scholarship recipients and endowment donors being honored at the Endowment Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the Student Union’s Gran Salon. The event is sponsored the Office of Advancement Servicesin the Division of Institutional Advancement.

He receives federal financial aid and for fall semester beginning Monday, Aug. 27 he will use a South Texas Academic Rising Stars Scholarshipand the Seldon Leavell Endowed Scholarship. The Leavell scholarship was established in 1981 for students based on academic achievement and financial need in The University of Texas System. Money first began being distributed to students at the system’s institutions in the 1992-93 academic year.

“The money is telling me I’m doing things right and the hard work will pay off some day,” said Rodriguez.

The scholarships are much needed. He will take University Physics II and Lab, Differential Equations, Calculus III and Engineering Mechanics II - Dynamics this fall.

“This semester because I am taking more classes that are a little more expensive, financial aid didn’t cover all the expenses,” he said. “I will be buying some books with that money.”

Rodriguez was born in Port Isabel and grew up in Matamoros. He lived with a relative and graduated in 2011 from Brownsville’s Hanna High School. He said attending Hanna enabled him to interact with people diverse in cultures and religions.

Because Rodriguez does not own a vehicle, he decided after graduation to move back in with his parents in Matamoros so he could get to UTB and TSC easier.

“You can talk to the professors and I like the small classes,” he said.

His daily commute involves riding a bus and walking across the B&M International Bridge to get to the campus. Sometimes his parents will pick him up on the Matamoros side of the bridge.

Rodriguez said he and his family have had to adjust to life marred with cartel violence running rampant in parts of Mexico. He said they do not venture out late at night and monitor social media checking when incidents occur.

"You have to get used to it sadly,” he said. “You only hear things people say but I haven’t seen anything.”

 When he is not in classes Rodriguez likes to watch sports on television, especially soccer. His favorite professional soccer team is Club Americaof Mexico City.

 He expects to graduate from the university in 2015. After that he wants to apply for graduate school or find a job in his field.


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