Posted on May 13, 2022 by

COEHD Grad Spotlights // May 2022


Bicultural-Bilingual Studies  



"I think the most important thing that I have learned is that your plans and ideas will indeed change...and that is completely OKAY! The change is evidence of growth."

Andrew Walton | Ph.D. Culture, Literacy, and Language



"The sense of community on campus, particularly in the Bicultural-Bilingual Department - everybody from professors, to grad and undergrad students are always ready to help and collaborate with each other."

Brenda Sarmiento Quezada | Ph.D. Culture, Literacy, and Language



"I chose a career in the TESL field because it's an opportunity to advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse populations."

Paula Guillermina Canales | M.A. Teaching English as a Second Language



"Urged by the pay inequality between native and non-native speakers of English in Vietnam, I chose to pursue higher education in the U.S. and particularly the Ph.D. program at UTSA to gain knowledge to empower the Vietnamese communities and other marginalized populations."  

Nguyen Dao | Ph.D. Culture, Literacy, and Language





"I always had a joy working and helping others. One of my personal values is people and fostering a healthy relationship for others. I chose UTSA for the community and support within my program. I hope to work as a Licensed Professional Counselor for college students or those experiencing trauma and grief."

Alexandra Estrada M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling



"Look at people from a wide lens and recognize that everyone has a story that needs to be heard."

Chelsea Kasinger M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies



"I was able to intern for the McNair Scholars Program in Denver, CO and I learned so much about programming and budgets. But the most important thing I learned is my why. Why I got into this line of work, why I became an educator and why this work matters."

Angelica Flores | M.Ed. Higher Education Administration



"There have been so many great professors, and I have gained meaningful friendships along the way. The highlight of my time at UTSA though definitely would be my dissertation defense. The culmination of all of my hard work, along with the support of a wonderful committee, and my loved ones, was the best thing I could ever ask for."

Cynthia Castillo | Ph.D. Educational Leadership



"The most important thing I've learned over the course of my studies is that our inherent conocimientos/knowledges and experiences as students of color matter, and it is up to us as educators/academics to provide opportunities..."

Lisa Knecht | Ph.D.  Educational Leadership


Educational Psychology



"My family is my life and don't know what I would do without them. I am especially proud of the fact that I am the mother of Travis and Asaiah. They are and will always be my reason WHY!"

Antoinette Johnson M.A. School Psychology



"From the moment I started teaching, I have been passionate in my commitment to maximizing individual student performance, inspiring students to become independent learners and instilling a sense of self-worth among all students, which has led me to begin a career as a LSSP."

Corinne Straud M.A. School Psychology



"I chose the School Psychology program at UTSA because I wanted to help the Latinx population in public schools. I know that language and the educational system differences can be challenging for many families that arrived in the U.S, so I want to guide students and families through the Special Education system to better understand the students’ needs."

Daniela Cortes M.A. School Psychology



"After graduating with my undergrad I was not sure what I wanted to do until I found the world of ABA. Once I started working as a therapist I found my calling. Working with autistic kiddos I found joy, passion and motivation to help change their lives to better themselves."

Holly Adams M.S. Behavior Analysis



"I pursued this degree because I have always been a person to care for others and see others thrive, that is exactly what I get to do within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Very excited for the journey to come!"

Shardea Chatman M.S. Behavior Analysis


Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching



"My passion is to provide fair, inclusive, and engaging education to students will special needs. Seeing their smiles everyday as they work towards mastering their personal goals is incredibly rewarding to me."

Alora Martinez | B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-12 Special Education Certification)



"I learned that speaking up against injustices towards students is more important than keeping the job. As a volunteer teaching ESL, I learned that kids are kids regardless of background and just need love and support to grow. They need someone to be patient with them and help them understand what they need to know."

Bazal Morani |  M.A. Curriculum and Instruction



"My mom, my grandmother, and my Aunt Sarah are all teachers and have brought me inspiration. My mom is an NISD teacher. My grandma is a retired NISD teacher. Their guidance and advice have been very valuable to me during this experience."

Chloe Marie |  B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies



"I was part of the International Students Association as the Chief of Staff. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful people and build awesome relationships with people from different cultures."

Ejiroghene Amadasun M.A. Early Childhood & Elementary Education




"I decided to become a teacher because I want to make a difference in many young lives. I want my students to know that they have someone who cares about them and wants to help them succeed."

Erica Campos | B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-6 ESL Certification)



"Being a teacher is more than just teaching students subjects. You have to come to know your students and their culture, family and community and how you can advocate for them."

Evita Lona  | B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-6 ESL Certification)



"I learned that leading with love and understanding is what's going to make you an effective teacher. I have to be comfortable learning about others--their culture, customs, families, hobbies. In order to effectively teach. Teaching is easier when you show you care."

Felicia Laryea | B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-6 ESL Certification)



"I found my passion for working with kids through coaching gymnastics, tumbling and acrobatics. After coaching for 6 years I will finally be teaching in a 2nd grade classroom with a Charter School here in San Antonio!"

Kalee Nichols | B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (EC-6 ESL Certification)



"The most important thing I have learned is that education in the US is inequitable and now I know how I can help to transform the parts of the system where I have access and privilege."

Traci Elmore Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching


Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 



"I chose UTSA because of the diversity. I was always around people I felt like I could never relate to. Being at UTSA gave me a sense of home, culture, and freedom to be whoever I found myself to be."

Victoria Lopez B.A. Women’s Studies


Teacher Certification and Preparation



"I am a first-gen undergraduate student who's also a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. I have lived in San Antonio my whole life, which mostly inspired my reason for choosing UTSA."

Anais Edith Berumen | B.A History (7-12 Social Studies Teacher Certification)



"I am looking forward to becoming a choir director to help students discover the power of music and how their time in class can help them become lifetime consumers of the arts."

Hannah Herrick | B.A. Music Education
EC- 12 Certification (concentration in voice)



"All my life I have worked towards becoming a teacher. Some things in life people just know they can do, and teaching was the thing for me. In high school I led our Texas Association of Future Educators chapter. It was through those experiences I decided UTSA was the best place for me to pursue my teaching dreams."

Josie Barrett-Silguero | B.A History (7-12 Social Studies Teacher Certification)



"My fondest memory here at UTSA is just getting to grow as an individual. I remember freshman orientation and how scared I was. It's crazy to think that was 4 years ago and now I am graduating. I have definitely learned a lot at UTSA; I am going to miss it so much!"

Julia Monreal | B.A. English (7-12 ELAR Teacher Certification)



"After high school, I was not 100% sure on what I wanted to do. I tried a variety of career paths, but teaching always remained in the back of my mind. After getting a job at a local elementary school, I realized that teaching was my calling."

Lindsay Blackburn | B.A. English
7-12 Teacher Certification



"I always wanted to be an educator who inspired a student like myself who needed a little encouragement and support. I hope to be that type of teacher to my students, an encourager and a support system who helps them be the best student and person they can be."

Rayshawn Butler | B.A History (7-12 Social Studies Teacher Certification)



"Despite the demanding schedule and workload, I learned more in this class (EDP 4203 Nancy Seidensticker) than all other educational classes put together."

Valinda Lewis | B.A. Secondary Education History (Social Studies Concentration Certification)