On Tuesday afternoon, representatives from The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) visited South Texas Independent School District (STISD) Medical Professions (Medical Professions) in Olmito to present graduating senior Alma Rodriguez with two scholarships, including the university’s newest and top award.
During a special ceremony, UTRGV representatives presented Rodriguez with the UTRGV Luminary Scholarship, valued at up to $137,000. The scholarship covers her undergraduate degree in full, along with two years of campus housing, and tuition and fees for graduate school.
This year’s Medical Professions salutatorian, Rodriguez will enter the Biomedical Program at UTRGV in the fall, with long-term goals of attending the UTRGV School of Medicine and becoming a cardiologist.
She credits her experience at Medical Professions with not only preparing her for college and a challenging career, but also with helping her confirm her interest in the medical field, and exposing her to the specialty closest to her heart, cardiology.
Her interest in cardiology began in high school, through the two Health Science Technology courses she took during her sophomore year – Anatomy & Physiology and Pathophysiology. These courses first sparked her interest in this specialty, and she again felt that tug when she studied cardiology as part of the Pharmacy program.
She shares, “I have always kind of been interested in medicine, but as much as one can be interested without knowing too much about it. Gaining the experience of going to clinicals and having all my different health classes confirmed my interest for sure that I like this. This isn’t just an idea anymore. I really like this, and I can see myself being a part of the medical professions.”
According to UTRGV, the UTRGV Luminary Scholarship program offers the brightest incoming college freshmen from all disciplines a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in an unparalleled learning environment. By sharing unique skills and perspectives with the greater RGV community, each Luminary Scholar can enhance the experience of a fellow student or community member at any point along the academic journey. Luminary Scholars and their accomplishments will ultimately help elevate UTRGV’s status as a global leader in higher education and serve as ambassadors for the university wherever their light shines.
Qualifications for the scholarship include:
- Academic Achievement
- Leadership Experience
- Community Involvement
- Citizenship and Residency
- College Admission
- On-Campus Residency – commit to live on campus for the first two academic years
- Rio Grande Valley Employment Commitment - Selected scholars must pledge to work in the RGV for each year beyond their undergraduate education that is funded. For example, a three-year graduate or professional program would require a three-year commitment to working in the RGV post-graduation.
Rodriguez was also awarded the UTRGV GM/EEOC Endowed Scholarship, worth $1,000.
Outside of school, Rodriguez enjoys reading books in any genre, playing the violin and chess, and golfing with her parents.