First GTF Scholars Graduate
Six graduates, pictured above, walked across the stage at Spring Commencement on
Saturday, May 10 and became members of an exclusive club: They have the distinction
of being the first Greater Texas Foundation Scholars to graduate from UTB.
Joined by Dr. Juliet V. García, the Greater Texas Foundation Scholars are: (seated, left to right) Melissa Millan, Maria Cisneros, Ana Saldaña and Sonia Figueredo; (standing, left to right) Sergio Vasquez and Eduardo Zavala.
The GTF Scholars Program was created in 2012 to increase the number of Texas early
college high school graduates who successfully transition to a four-year university and
complete a baccalaureate degree within two years. UTB is one of only four universities
in the state selected to participate.
Having achieved at least 60 hours of college credits from their high schools, the students
entered UTB as third-year university students. Five graduated from Brownsville Early
College High School, and Cisneros graduated from Early College High School in
Harlingen. According to Michael Aldape, GTF Program Coordinator for UTB, the
program has widened in the Rio Grande Valley to include early college high school
students from as far away as La Joya.
M.B.A. Completamente en Español
The School of Business will offer an online Master of Business Administration –
Maestría en Administración de Empresas – entirely in Spanish starting with the fall 2014
“This innovative program provides UTB’s excellent M.B.A. coursework while
engaging students in the lexicon appropriate to business in Latin America,” said
Dr. Mark Kroll, Dean of the School of Business.
Offered completely online, the M.B.A. en línea y en español, consists of five semesters,
including one full summer session. Student cohorts will follow the same set of
courses each semester in block fashion.
“The offering of the M.B.A. in Spanish has been made very relevant recently because
of the new guiding principles of UTRGV which embrace the development of a
bilingual education,” said Dr. Edith Galy, Associate Professor and M.B.A. Director.
MSA Students raise the bar for success
UTB’s Mathematics and Science Academy had several achievements in the 2013-14
In February, an academy team reached the second highest cumulative score in
competition against more than 400 students from Cameron and Willacy counties in
the American Mathematics Competition 12 hosted by the Department of Mathematics.
Also in February, the academy’s science bowl team placed first in the UT Pan American
Regional Science Bowl in Edinburg. Accompanied by Dr. Wilma Smetter, MSA
Principal, team members (above, left to right) Joel Solis and Rolando Treviño Jr. of Brownsville, Forrest Shriver and Allan Gregorio of Harlingen and Paul Lenz of Brownsville competed in the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl in late April in Washington, D.C. While the team did not bring home a medal, the group said they learned a lot from their experience and hope for success for future teams.
And in May, the academy had its largest graduating class ever with 46 students receiving their high school diplomas and college credits.
UTeach: It’s Exponential
Amber Rodriguez, Jessica Capistran and Karla Lopez (below, left to right) became
UTB’s first UTeach graduates at Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 10.
Developed at UT Austin, UTeach is an innovative program that allows mathematics
and science majors to receive teacher certification while earning a bachelor’s degree.
A critical feature of the UTeach program is student mentoring; each student receives
individual support and mentoring by faculty and master teachers. Further, students will
receive continuous support for two years after graduation. Capistran (mathematics)
has signed a contract with Houston Independent School District; she has already been
introduced to her mentor on the UTeach team at the University of Houston.
Rodriguez (biology) has accepted a position at Hanna High School where she will be
teaching chemistry and environmental science. Lopez (mathematics) has decided to
continue her studies, and has already started on her master’s degree.