Watch a short video on Alexandra Rodriguez.
Student Starts Fall Semester in Washington, D.C. as an Archer Fellow
TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 – Alexandra
Rodriguez has begun her senior year at The University of Texas at Brownsville; however, unlike most other
students, she is 1,757 miles from the UTB campus. As a Bill Archer Fellow, Rodriguez will live, attend
classes and work in Washington, D.C. until the end of the semester in December.
knew in my freshman year that I wanted to obtain a noteworthy internship in New
York or D.C.,” said Rodriguez, a business major studying finance and
international business. “In my sophomore year, I found out about the Archer
Fellows internship program; I decided to work toward that, and I tailored my
courses to be able to spend one semester in non-business classes.”
a 2010 Brownsville Pace High School graduate, entered UTB as a University Scholar,
meaning she was in the top 10 percent of her graduating class. Scholars agree
to participate in activities such as mentoring, career inventory assessments,
unpaid internships and leadership and professional development workshops as
part of this program that covers their tuition, fees and most books.
credits her University Scholar faculty mentor, Dr. Clara Downey-Adams,
with assisting and motivating her throughout the process of applying to the
Archer Fellows program.
well as being her faculty advisor, I have enjoyed having Alexandra in several
of my classes,” said Downey-Adams, Assistant Professor in the School of Business.
“She is independent, mature and in touch with the world. Alexandra sees a world
beyond borders and limitations.”
America has always been of interest to me,” she said. “I came to college
wanting to pursue economic development in Latin America. The UN is my
idealinternship; I am very fortunate, very blessed, to have been placed in that
said she has seen the growth of a middle class in Mexico. Growing up in
Monterrey, Mexico, she admits her childhood was somewhat sheltered, but as she
grew older she saw the reality of the living conditions of the majority of the
of the great natural resources and human capital in Mexico,” she said. “But I
also know the political situation and public policy make growth difficult for
Mexico and Latin America.”
Student Government senator representing the School of Business, Rodriguez was
selected to speak for the student body during the signing ceremony for the
merger of UTB and The University of Texas Pan American on Tuesday, July 16. She
sat on the stage with the dignitaries that included Texas Governor Rick Perry; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa,
UT System Chancellor; and Dr. Juliet V. García UTB President.
was amazing, having the governor come down here, being able to talk to him
about the future of our region; it is pretty overwhelming knowing I was part of
that,” said Rodriguez. “Twenty, 30 years from now, I’ll be looking back and see
this institution and its changes and be able to say I was there during that historical
moment when the governor signed the merger document.”
hopes to pursue a career as a foreign trade analyst or become involved in the
policy-making process as emerging markets industrialize, either on Monterrey or
in the United States.
confident that Alexandra will succeed in whatever career avenue that she selects,”
said Downey-Adams. “She would excel as a foreign trade analyst because she is
drawn to investigating regional economic and government policy trends, and she
can balance financial analysis and governmental policy development without
Congressman Filemón Vela joins fall 2013 Archer Fellow Alexandra
Rodriguez (left) and spring 2014 Archer Fellow Maria Graciela Cano (right).
a University Scholar, Rodriguez has enjoyed living on campus at Casa Bella,
the student residential complex. She said she appreciates the convenience
walking to and from her classes and her campus job as an Advisor in the
University Scholars Office. Another campus job she has held the last three
summers is being an Orientation leader. Her local internships include being the
logistics coordinator for Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute and working in the
Office of Human Resources, Environment and Human Safety at Saint-Gobain
Archer Fellow in the nation’s capital, Rodriguez will live with other Fellows
in a couple of side-by-side townhouses in D.C. She met her cohort during the
three-day Archer orientation held in August at UT Austin when the students were
briefed on what to expect while in D.C., including office culture and etiquette.
Blanca and Filemón Vela family of Brownsville is helping
to make this dream come true for Rodriguez and another student, Maria Graciela
Cano, who will be an Archer Fellow during the spring 2014 semester.
family made a gift to support the Archer program, in addition to the
scholarship endowment they created for students in the College of Liberal Arts.
“You are going to be inspired, but by the same token, you will
have an impact on other people there,” said Congressman Filemón Vela.
said she is proud of Rodriguez.
is a very competitive program,” Downey-Adams said. “Alex’s future is as bright
and sunny as her personality. Although I will miss her when she graduates, I
know someday I will see her on television being interviewed as an analyst.”
said her parents are proud, too.
mom is already planning to send me care packages that I will share with my
roommates,” she said.