Graduate Values Educational Experiences at UTB
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS –
NOVEMBER 25, 2013 – Isidro Montemayor has put his artistic skills to good use
developing field guides for high school students taking trips with South
Texas Engineering, Mathematics and Science program students at The
University of Texas at Brownsville.
Montemayor, 24, has
drawn cacti, leaves and birds to teach students about what they can find
exploring forests, desserts and mountainous areas.
“Some of the students
do a good job,” he said. “I’m impressed with how well they do.”
education will continue after he receives a bachelor’s degree in environmental
science at UTB’s 19th Winter Commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 on the
Student Union Lawn. Montemayor will be the first in his immediate family to
graduate with a college degree.
“My parents always
told me you could do good things,” said Montemayor. “They have been supportive
of me my whole academic life.”
He said he wants to be
a good example to his seven nieces and nephews to pursue higher education.
“I like teaching them
what I have learned,” said Montemayor. “I invite them to S.T.E.M.S. activities
and they come to what they are able to.”
The hands-on work
Montemayor did up to graduation have given him confidence for his future career
at either a state or national park or a wildlife preserve.
Montemayor learned how
to do water quality monitoring on the Rio Grande and at the Bahia Grande. He
also worked the last two years for 10 hours a week in the lab of Dr. David
Hicks, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department
of Biological Sciences.
Montemayor did an
internship earlier this year at Laguna
Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Cameron County. He was a kayak guide and instructor,
created a birding field journal and worked in the visitors’ center.
“I am lucky to have
experienced these life changing opportunities so close to home,” said
As part of S.T.E.M.S.,
Montemayor hiked from rim to rim in the Grand Canyon in Arizona, saw Old
Faithful and Mystic Falls at Yellowstone National Park encompassing parts of
Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and soaked in the beauty of Rancho del Cielo in the
Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
“I would have not had
those opportunities,” said Montemayor. “S.T.E.M.S. is the reason I’m here. I
hope to help and contribute to the club after I graduate.”
Montemayor grew up in
the house his grandparents resided in just outside San Benito in La Paloma.
“I enjoy it,” he said.
“I would go biking around town with my friends. There is not a lot of light
pollution so I can see the stars.”
He has been a member
of S.T.E.M.S. since he was a sophomore at San Benito High School where he
graduated from in 2007.
“He is one of those
students that may have not gone to college right out of high school,” said
Javier Garcia, Program Coordinator of S.T.E.M.S. “He mentioned that he was
going to hold off on college at first. Surprisingly, he showed up at our door
right out of high school but was adamant that he would be an art major. Once he
became one of our mentors for a year or so and he experienced several programs
associated with NASA and our environmental science program, Isidro realized
that he could be a science major. He appreciates the opportunities that he has
been offered and is an excellent role model for students he mentors. We know he
will be a great example for others as a professional.”