A Developing Hispanic Serving Institution Newsletter
Commencement Special Edition
May 2, 2019
"Recuerda siempre tus raíces, son la base de tu vida y las alas de tu futuro.

"Always remember your roots as they are the foundation of your life and the wings of your future."

-Heather Stillufsen

As students are preparing for this new, exciting and maybe even intimidating chapter of their lives, they reflect on their journey that led them to graduation. No matter the background they come from, all demonstrate "ganas" (grit and perseverance) to complete the journey and continue forward while remembering their roots.
STEM Impact
First Generation Student Aspires to be Astronomer
"From an early age, astronomy books always made me happy; Barnes & Noble was my candy store and astronomy books were my favorite candy. I grew into an astronomer thirsty for more knowledge and reached college as a misguided electrical engineering major only to realize that Physics was the closest thing at Texas State to what I wanted to do. After switching my major to Physics, Texas State hired an astrophysicist who has since been my mentor, trusted advisor and guide in my pursuit of knowledge. In combination with all the physics courses I’ve taken, I have undertaken astronomy research as an undergraduate to fully embed myself into the astronomical atmosphere. These events all culminate in the greatest achievement of my life this far: graduating with a bachelor’s degree in STEM being the son of ambitious, hard-working immigrants. My work is accomplished on the shoulders of these giants and won’t stop until I can give to future generations what I’ve learned as a first-generation student. I plan on continuing my astronomy studies after a brief respite from academia to gain a mastery in astronomy and weave my way into a position at a planetarium/museum to nurture a new generation of scientifically literate inhabitants of this delicate blue marble upon which we live. Gracias, mamá y papá." - Michael A. Sanchez, Physics and Applied Mathematics
Experiencing Growth as a First Generation Transfer Student
"I am a first generation, Exercise and Sports Science major. My transition to Texas State was very smooth. It took a while to adjust to the new city, coming from a very small town. Immediately, I fell in love with  the beauties of the campus, as well as the city. Transitioning to a four year university helped me develop more skills, provided me with resources, and gave me that connection I needed. I have benefited from the free tutoring Texas State has to offer. My professors in department of Health and Human Performance have given me the tools and education I need to be successful in my overall academics. Studying under this department has encouraged me to expand my education. This area of study has allowed me to integrate two of my greatest interest - fitness and health and helping others. My goal is to aid people with specific conditions and disabilities regain full mobility to live a healthy and normal lifestyle. My journey at Texas State will come to an end as I walk the stage in August of 2019. I will be applying to the masters program of occupational therapy in the Fall to further on my education." - Celeste Valdez-Ruvalcaba, Exercise and Sports Science Major.
Career and Financial Education (CAFE)
Graduate Student Making Connections as an Academic Coach

“The biggest challenge I encountered when starting graduate school at Texas State was not having many connections or familiar faces on campus. However, that all changed when I started my graduate assistantship as an Academic Coach at CAFÉ my second semester! Through coaching, I gained connections with peers, undergraduate students, and Texas State staff that have supported me throughout my graduate school career. Not only has coaching provided me with connections, but also has helped me build skills to become the school psychologist I am striving to become. Communicating and helping students overcome challenges and attain their goals is something that being an academic coach has given me the opportunity to do and will continue to be a core value in my future as a school psychologist. In the fall, I will be going into my internship year of school psychology, leaving behind my role as an academic coach. However, the opportunities I have had at Texas State have inspired me to make meaningful connections and provide consistent support to others in whatever ways I can. I can’t imagine a better educational experience than the one I received at Texas State. Go bobcats!” - Madelyn Albright, B.A. Psychology
First Gen Initiatives
First Gen Student Organization Has First Meeting
On Tuesday April 16th, F1rst Bobcat Proud had a meet and greet event. This end-of-the-year meeting was geared to promote and inform students of our new organization. There was a discussion on challenges faced being a first gen student and what are some skills and abilities gained from them.

F1rst Bobcat Proud organization's purpose is to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for first-gen students as they navigate through college.

The next meeting will be September 3rd also at 5:30 p.m.

Add us on GroupMe: FBP
First Gen Proud Committee Seeking Faculty Members
Texas State F1rst Gen Proud Committee is dedicated to supporting our first-gen population in welcoming and celebrating their success. We focus on students strengths, accomplishments, and mentoring to provide students with a supportive environment. Priorities of the committee include training and development, participation at New Student Orientation, marketing awareness, creating evens, and supporting the F1rst Bobcat Proud organization. If this sounds interesting to you, please contact us at firstgen@txstate.edu
Graduate College
Hosts First Gen Panel & Mixer
On Thursday, April 18, The Graduate College hosted a presentation panel titled Once First Gen Always a First Gen, featuring distinguished first generation graduate degree holders from Texas State University, including the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Joanne Smith, and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Round Rock, Dr. Edna Rehbein, as well as faculty and current graduate students. The panel shared their experiences and advice about entering and completing graduate school with interested undergraduate first-generation students.
Program Spotlight
CAFE Celebrates Financial Awareness Month
On April 8th, CAFE celebrated Financial Awareness Month. CAFE teamed up with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union to provide a fun and light way to discuss the importance of financial wellness. CAFE and RBFCU provided 300 Insomnia Cookies to about 250 students. To earn a cookie, the student had to spin a wheel labeled with financial questions and were asked to provide their response. Students who provided a response were educated based on the question and then provided their choice of cookie. Lots of giveaways were provided including information about CAFE financial services
Dr. Gloria Martinez and Dr. Carol Dochen Receive Mentoring Award
The Mariel M. Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award honors one faculty member and one staff member for their dedication to mentoring students, faculty, or staff. Each honoree is recognized at a luncheon and receives $2,500.

Individuals awarded demonstrate exceptional support and commitment to assisting less experienced individuals in becoming more proficient in their professional activities. The award is named for the former dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Dr. Mariel M. Muir, because of her passion for ensuring the success of students, faculty, and staff through mentoring. Both Dr. Martinez and Dr. Dochen have served as supporters of HSI initiatives.
Hispanic Policy Network Awards Latinx Star Award to Sylvia T. Gonzales, Director of Developing HSI Programs
"It's clear that in her own work she does so many good things for students, especially for students that are Hispanic/Latino. But the thing that really made Sylvia award worthy is the way that she encourages her staff to think about things in different ways. In our staff meetings, she usually finds something that might challenge an assumption you come in with or cause you to think more critically about the way you interact with your students and the way that you think about the structure of the university or educational system. She does a really good job not only advocating for students whenever she interacts with them, but she plants seeds in the people around her to do the same." -Margaret Garry, Grant Senior Coordinator for DHSI
HACU Extends Deadline For Various Programs
Applications are being accepted from students for the Southwest Airlines ¡Lánzate! Travel Program. The deadline is April 30, 2019. More info at : Lánzate! Travel Program

HACU has extended the deadline for nominations/applications for its Academia de Liderazgo/Leadership Academy to April 30, 2019. The program is designed to increase Hispanic representation in presidential positions in higher education. More info at: Academia de Liderazgo

In partnering with KIA Motors America, Inc, there will be 10 scholarships to eligible students attending a HACU-member institution. A total of $34,000 in scholarships will be awarded. Deadline to apply is May 24, 2019. More info at: Kia Motors Scholarship

In partnering with MillerCoors, 26 scholarships will be awarded to eligible students attending a HACU-member institution in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, Texas and Wisconsin. More info at: MillerCoors scholarships

The HACU National Internship Program is accepting applications from college students for fall internships. Deadline to apply is June 7, 2019. More info at: HACU National Internship Program
Are you serving or supporting First-Gen, Under-resourced and/or Underrepresented Minorities? Let us know and we can promote your event or project in the newsletter. Send your information and request to hsi_stem@txstate.edu