MSA and University Alumna Preparing for
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – APRIL 22, 2013 – Victoria
Lopez has not been shy about taking opportunities that come her
Lopez received a waiver to continue on Hanna’s varsity swim team as she
attended the academy.
Lopez, 21, of Brownsville is an environmental science graduate from UTB and TSC,
was a member of the second graduating class of the Mathematics and Science
Academy and plans to attend graduate school this fall.
“Everyone was on a different maturity level because we were focused on
our educational careers,” said Lopez. “We didn’t let superficial things get in
the way of our friendship. We became a small family. MSA has a principal, one
counselor and one secretary. There is this personal one-to-one connection you
get at MSA that in high school you don’t usually get.”
She was a member of the second graduating class from the academy in
2010. Lopez went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in environmental science
from the university in December 2012.
During her undergraduate time at the university she completed two
internships to gain field experience about conservation and wildlife.
“It definitely brought clear knowledge,” said Lopez. “It was very
different to learn in the field and a lot of things clicked for
She worked last fall at Deep Fork
National Wildlife Refuge in Okmulgee, Okla. where she did deer
and tree population surveys and worked with wild hog management. She also worked
on a bison round-up where she took tail hair from the animals to study their
In summer 2011 Lopez worked as a hydrologist technician at the
Forest in Salmon, Idaho. She worked on fish egg hatch survival
The work has inspired her future career.
“I see myself going to places with water quality and city management,”
said Lopez. “I want to make sure cities are being efficient in their use of
“I enjoyed working with Victoria,” said Heise. “She is a student with a
wonderful work ethic and a very bright future.”
Lopez began her studies at the university as a biology major but took
an environmental science class her junior year which enabled her to discover an
enjoyment for working in different climates.
“In order to catch up I had to make up for my last semester and took 21
hours and a summer class,” she said. “I ended up doing pretty
Now that Lopez has the bachelor’s degree she received last December and
field experience, she feels she is ready for the challenges of graduate school.
She will attend this fall Texas A&M University in College Station and pursue
a graduate degree in water management and hydrological
“We are extremely pleased with the strategies that we are using with
our students and it appears to be paying off as many are now pursuing master’s
and doctorate degrees,” said academy Principal Stephen Rosales. “We also have a
few students that are currently in medical
The academy will have its annual senior
awards banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 at The Arts Center’s Red Room.
The event will feature remarks from the Class of 2013’s top two graduates and
from Mark Garcia of Harlingen, a member of the first cohort during the 2007-08
academic year and valedictorian of the first graduating class in May 2009.
Garcia has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas A&M University and is
enrolled in his first year at The University of Texas Medical Branch at