Gifts In Action

H-E-B Portable PlanetariumH-E-B believes in its products, its services and its customers, as evidenced by its catch phrase "Here Everything is Better."

The University of Texas-Pan American and Rio Grande Valley school children will benefit from the company's enthusiasm for providing the best for its customers and the communities it serves. H-E-B recently donated $30,000 to UTPA, enabling the University to double the number of visits to Valley schools by its portable planetarium in hopes that the on-campus field trips to outer space will spark students’ interest in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields and going to college. Read more...

Gifts in Action.GEAR UP AVID grant1The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has awarded The University of Texas-Pan American's Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness in Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) about $650,000 to expand a successful college readiness program to seven elementary schools and one middle school in the Edinburg area and two middle schools in La Joya.

Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, provides students with strategies to become better prepared for the rigors of postsecondary education. At the secondary level, students are encouraged to take challenging classes and an elective course that teaches them skills in improving their note taking, organization and study habits. AVID also provides students with college tutors and other resources to make sure they are ready for college coursework. Read more...

Shining Stars.Recipients of Faculty Teaching AwardsThe University of Texas-Pan American recognized faculty members who have contributed their best to advance the success of students and the University at the Third Annual Faculty Excellence Awards ceremony held May 6.

“This event is about celebrating the excellence of our faculty, celebrating the contributions of our faculty, celebrating what makes UT Pan American a great institution,” said Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This is the way we will continue to move forward to make important contributions not only to our institution, not only to the Valley but nationwide and internationally as well.” Read more...

 Shining Star.David CortezIn 2002, David Cortez became a college dropout in his first year at The University of Texas-Pan American, choosing instead to travel across the United States as a member of a rock band.

"I needed to experience the real world without an education before I could truly appreciate and desire a college degree," said Cortez, who cited rollover car accidents, robbery at gunpoint and witnessing extreme poverty as part of his memories on the road before he became motivated to go back to college to be better equipped to improve the world. Read more...

Sandra Rios standing center Great Wall of China.China 2011For UT Pan American graduate student and future accountant Sandra Rios, study abroad is about “more than just the travel, picture-taking, and laughter.” Her recent trips to Italy in 2010 and China in 2011 have also been about “self-confidence, personal self-enrichment, seeing and believing there’s more to this life than net income and taxes.”

Sandra is one of a growing number of UTPA students who have broadened their own worldviews by taking advantage of the Rafael A. “Felo” and Carmen Guerra Honors Program’s study abroad opportunities with the assistance of scholarships from the International Women’s Board of the UTPA Foundation. As a result, she says she has “become more open minded, tolerant towards people’s differences, independent, global, and curious.” Read more...


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