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​​New Set of Alumni Posters Hanging at Sabal Hall

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 – The University of Texas at Brownsville recently unveiled alumni posters highlighting graduates in careers ranging from law to education to marketing.

“Our alumni honorees serve as an example of the caliber of students our university produces,” said Isis Lopez, University Relations Officer/Senior Editor Creative who also works with alumni relations. “The 12 alumni who were recognized have demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement and contributed to the mission of this institution in a reputable manner. These individuals can inspire our current and future students to finish their degrees and give back to our community.”

Derrik Juarez

The posters are part​ of the university’s Year of the Alumni in 2014. Throughout the year the Office of Alumni Relations has worked to engage graduates to feel more connected to the university and recognize achievements in a range of career fields. The posters are hanging in Sabal Hall.

“I am so humbled to have been chosen to be featured knowing that there were many other equally qualified individuals,” said Derrik A. Juarez of Brownsville, a 2002 UTB graduate with a bachelor’s degree in government and a minor in criminal justice. “I was filled with so much joy when I received the news. Truth be told, I know that I could not have reached any level of success without God, my family, professors and friends.”

The posters were unveiled at Celebración on Thurs​day, Aug. 28  in El Gran Patio at Main.Hosted by the UTB Alumni Association, the Celebración was to thank Dr.Juliet V. García, outgoing President of UT Brownsville, for her nearly 23 years of serviceto the university, while acknowledging her role in transforming the lives of UTB graduates and her positive im​pact on the community.

UTB Alumni Board President Teri Alarcon spoke of the men and women, primarily first-generation college students, who have not only been personally empowered by their degrees but also have gone forward to positively impact their families and their communities.

“As a result of educa​tion, we have a stronger community and a stronger economy,” said Alarcon.

During Celebración some students interacted with alumni and talked about career development.

“It elates me to know that young people from our community and awesome university are setting high goals,” said Juarez. “They have decided to not be complacent, and they are in an institution of higher learning with professors that will help them become more than prepared to succeed with their upcoming academic endeavors.”

Besides Juarez, other alumni poster honorees were:

Student Ambassador Erika Rodriguez assists in the unveiling of alumni posters during a Celebracion honoring the accomplishments of UT Brownsville alumni and outgoing President Dr. Juliet Garcia on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 at the Main Courtyard.
  • Margaret Dabney Peña: Teacher at Crestview Elementary School in Live Oak in the Judson Independent School District. Class of 1983 with a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies – history. She and her husband, Alberto, established the Lucila Peña Memorial Scholarship for Student Teachers in the UTB College of Education.
  • Dr.Maria Rodriguez Casas: Superintendent of the Mathis Independent School District. Class of 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in business education and Class of 1995 with a master’s degree in education.
  • Aimee Garza-Limon: Principal at Rivera High School in Brownsville. Class of 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in government and Class of 2004 with a master’s degree in education.
  • Angela R. Burton: Deputy District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Class of 1997 with a bachelor’s of applied arts and science in business technology.
  • William Serrata: President of El Paso Community College. Class of 1999 with a master’s degree in education.
  • Karina Ulloa Wallace: Test Engineer for Schlumberger in Houston. Class of 2002 witha bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering technology.
  • Cynthia Calapa Graham: Rio Grande Valley Market President and South Texas District Manager for Capital One Bank. Class of 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
  • Dr. Marcia Mares Moreira: Pediatrician at Communicare Health Center in San Antonio.Class of 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. First graduate of UTB’s Early Medical School Acceptance Program.
  • Mari Magdalena Bolando: Teacher at Resaca Middle School in Los Fresnos. Class of 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
  • Manny Chacon: Director of Marketing and Business Development for Prime Healthcare – Harlingen Medical Center. Class of 2010 with a master’s degree in public policy and management.
  • Sandesh Kadur: Director for Felis Creations in Bangalore, India. Class of 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Twelve graduates were featured on the first set of alumni posters unveiled in mid-April.

The posters were photographed and designed by staff in the Division of Institutional Advancement.

Read more about UTB’s alumni in Alumni Stories.

To learn more about how you can stay connected to UTB as an alumnus, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 956-882-4337 or Alumni can also stay active on the UTB’s alumni Facebook page.

Alumni: Stay up-to-date on career and networking opportunities. Visit the UTB Alumni Association web page and register online at
UTB Alumni Association Officers
President: Teri Alarcon
Vice President: Bea Lopez-Juarez
Secretary: Manny Chacon
Treasurer: Alexis Clynes

​Year of the Alumni

Early this year, Dr. Juliet V. García declared 2014 to be the “Year of the Alumni.”

“Alumni are the foundation of a university, representing us as role models in the community, the state and beyond,” García said. “We established 2014 as the Year of the Alumni to celebrate their many achievements.”

In April, a series of 12 posters featuring alumni was unveiled at a festive ceremony with family members in attendance. Highlighting UTB graduates who are actively working in their chosen career fields, the inspirational posters have been hung in the main corridor of Sabal Hall, where they promote the important contributions alumni make to the university and the community.

Alexis Clynes, Alumni Board Treasurer and an accountant at Hales Bradford, LLP in Brownsville and a CPA examination candidate, said the Alumni Board has identified several points – above and beyond fundraising – that it wants to focus on over the next year.

“One goal our board has set is to encourage alumni members to mentor current students,” said Clynes (pictured left, with her poster and Ozzie), who has received three degrees from UTB – two undergraduate (business administration and accounting) and her M.B.A. “Another is to increase student internship opportunities by having our alumni support establishing internships at their places of business.”


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