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Accomplishments and Awards

The accomplishments listed here represent only a small portion of what the graduate community at Texas State has discovered, created, and innovated. If you have an achievement that you would like to write a blog post about, please let us know!

In addition to the following stories written by graduate students, you can also view our archived accomplishments.


3MT® from a Winner's Perspective

Meagan Hoff

October 19, 2019

By Meagan Hoff
Doctoral student in Developmental Education

The 3MT® had been a goal of mine since beginning my graduate studies. I love presenting and this was a new type of challenge. I began by attending the introduction to the 3MT® Shop Talks session, where I learned about the benefits of competing. The most compelling part was that I could practice talking about my research succinctly—a skill I’d need when I began looking for a job. In fact, this turned out to be the number one benefit. The 3MT® has been a great conversation starter in professional settings. I have found that people are intrigued by the idea of the 3MT® and often ask to hear my presentation. Being able to condense research into a short, understandable presentation is a sellable skill in the job market.

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Taking a Chance

Peg Richmond

January 10, 2019

By Peg Richmond
Doctoral student in Adult, Professional, and Community Education

One of the highlights of my first semester as a doctoral student at Texas State University was participating in the 2018 International Research Conference (IRC) for Graduate Students. A long-time marketer and business development professional, I was already pretty comfortable talking to the public and explaining other people’s advanced technologies, products, and services. However, when it came to my own research work, I was much more guarded, holding myself to (probably) impossibly high standards and reluctant to share if I didn’t feel the work was perfect. Now, I really wondered whether my professional work would stack up in an academic arena.

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A Little Unlearning...

Sara Espinoza (bottom right) with Chilean educational leaders
Sara Espinoza (bottom right) with Chilean educational leaders

July 10, 2018

By Sara Espinoza
Master's student in Educational Leadership

For all of the learning opportunities that Texas State has offered me during my graduate courses, I am currently most grateful for the opportunity that I recently had to “unlearn” while participating in a curriculum design course in Santiago de Chile, the Project LEARN-Chile program housed in the College of Education.  As part of Texas State’s master’s program in educational leadership, this unique opportunity allowed me to study at Universidad Alberto Hurtado, with Dr. Encarna Rodriguez, editor of Pedagogies and Curriculums to Reimagine Public Education: Transnational Tales of Hope and Resistance. The course content focused on how to design a democratic curriculum and promote the voice and needs of the individual in public school systems. The course and the instructor were exceptional, but the welcoming, professional, and dedicated cohort of Chilean educators and aspiring school leaders that I got to work with added exponentially to the experience, and I walked away with new hope for the students and teachers that I serve.

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With a Cherry on Top

Playwright Audrey Webb (center) with cast members Dante M. Green and Meredith Holzman
Playwright Audrey Webb (center) with cast members Dante M. Green and Meredith Holzman

May 1, 2018

By Audrey Webb
Master's student in Theatre with a concentration in Dramatic Writing

In the fall of 2016, I began working toward my M.F.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Dramatic Writing in the Department of  Theatre and Dance. The program is designed to give students a broad overview of the field of dramatic writing and guide us as we create a portfolio of plays, screenplays, and original television scripts.

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Hello from the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games!

Eun Jeong Lee

February 20, 2018

By Eun Jeong Lee
Master’s student in Mass Communication

I am a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. Right now, I am at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea for an internship with NBC’s Today Show.

I am assisting the Today Show team with putting on a remote broadcast from South Korea, researching the city and Olympic venues, assisting with story development, and serving as a translator. I also work closely with Today Show producers and researchers for the show. Every day, I learn how television production works and connects everyone in the world through the NBC television network.

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Boren Fellow Blogging about Life in Brazil

Alfredo Ramirez

September 18, 2017

By Alfredo Ramirez
Master’s student in International Studies

I am a graduate student in the International Studies master’s program and a Boren Fellow. My Boren Fellowship has given me the amazing opportunity to study Portuguese in Brazil for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 academic year. In preparation, I also attended a six-week intensive Portuguese program at the Summer Languages Institute at the University of Chicago. I am using a blog to document my experiences in Brazil as part of my work with the graduate program at the Center for International Studies at Texas State University.

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Mr. De Leon Goes to Brazil

Raymond D. De Leon

April 15, 2017

By Raymond D. De Leon
Master’s student in Criminal Justice

Growing up in a working-class family, there were many places I saw in books and magazines that I dreamed of one day visiting. Brazil topped the list as one of those destinations, but I never thought I would actually ever get to go. So when the opportunity came to take part in a study abroad trip to Brazil, I couldn’t pass it up.

I, along with six other students from the School of Criminal Justice, spent ten days in Brazil. It was an amazing experience, not only for the educational and cultural value but also because it was my first time out of the country.

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The Importance of Graduate Student Travel Funds

Front to back: Zane Wubbena, Angie Wang and Peter McLaren at the Vault Kitchen and Market in Savannah, GA
Front to back: Zane Wubbena, Angie Wang and Peter McLaren at the Vault Kitchen and Market in Savannah, GA

April 3, 2017

By Zane Wubbena
Doctoral student in School Improvement

On February 25, 2017, I presented a paper titled “Visually Framing a Pedagogy for Space during the 2011 Chilean Student Movement” (forthcoming in Policy Futures in Education) at the 5th Annual Critical Media Literacy Conference held in Savannah, GA.  Without the financial assistance of the Graduate Student Travel Funds, my attendance at this conference would not have been possible.

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Study Abroad: “You won’t know until you go”

Maria Scardetta

September 1, 2016

By Maria Scardetta
Master’s student in Mass Communication

My London-Paris study abroad trip was the experience of a lifetime. Leading up to the trip, I was excited but I rarely showed it. Friends and family would call me out on my seeming lack of enthusiasm, but deep down, my expectations were tainted with apprehension. Europe had endured some terrible events prior to my departure; I was traveling with colleagues with whom I was only acquainted, at best; and, for the first time in quite a while, I had to leave my loved ones. Needless to say, I was nervous…but it really is true: “you won’t know until you go”! I am beyond happy I went.

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Becoming a Grosvenor Scholar in Washington, D.C.

Graciela Sandoval

June 3, 2016

By Graciela Sandoval
Doctoral student in Geography

As a doctoral student in Geography, I am honored to have been selected as the 2016-17 Grosvenor Scholar, as part of the Texas State University’s Grosvenor Scholar Program located at the National Geographic Society (NGS) headquarters in Washington, D.C. This opportunity will allow me to grow professionally by working to support national policy, research, and outreach programs in geography education and the Geographic Alliances. My passion for the discipline of geography is exemplified in the following volunteer activities and academic coursework of the past four years.

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Research in Chile: A Combination of Passion, Experience, Work, Learning and Legacy

Skyller Walkes

March 25, 2016

By Skyller Walkes
Doctoral student in Adult, Professional, and Community Education

I was one of eighteen doctoral students selected to participate in international educational research in Chile, in cooperation with Universidad Alberto Hurtado and several Chilean community organizations. As a result, we had the opportunity to apply theory to practice in a place unfamiliar in both culture and geography, which was incredibly stimulating.  Additionally, there was the exciting prospect of making connections that could resonate with the human experience through this unique and collective learning process!

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A Gates Millennium Scholar Reflection

Christine Herrera

February 3, 2016

By Christine Herrera
Doctoral student in Mathematics Education

When I was a senior in high school my guidance counselor handed me what Gates Millennium Scholars like to call “the big packet”. It was like she handed me the golden ticket to higher education. As a high achieving, low-income, minority student I dreamed of attending college but I had no idea how I would afford it. At the time, I was living on my own struggling to pay the bills and buy groceries. So when I had found out that I had been awarded a full-ride scholarship that would pay for my undergraduate and graduate school I cried in disbelief. I was going to get to go to college! The Gates Millennium scholarship demolished the financial barrier between me and my dream of higher education.

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Interning in London: An Exciting Experience

Rebecca Silvas

October 19, 2015

By Rebecca Silvas
Master’s student in Mass Communication

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern abroad with the US Department of State at the US Embassy in London. As a graduate student in mass communication with a concentration in global media, I was thrilled to be working in the embassy’s public affairs office. I was able to do valuable work in the section and I learned something new every day. It was particularly exciting to be able to round out my graduate studies with hands-on experience pertinent to my academic concentration.

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Sharing my Experience as a Jackson Scholar with my Family

Samuel García Jr.

January 22, 2015

By Samuel García Jr.
Doctoral student in School Improvement

One of the many blessings of being a doctoral student is the opportunity to travel.  There are numerous educational and professional development conferences that are hosted throughout the year and we have the opportunity to attend several due to the financial support of our institution. My wife and I are both doctoral students in the Ph.D. School Improvement program and have benefited from both the Education Department and the university’s commitment to providing rich learning experiences for their graduate students.  Similar to the last two years, we attended the University Council for Educational Administration’s annual conference with our young daughter Sofia. It is extremely humbling to share these incredible learning experiences with your family. Being afforded the opportunity to travel to conferences has allowed us to travel as a family, immerse ourselves in great learning experiences, and meet passionate people committed to social and community change.

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International Conference and Other Academic Involvement: An Invaluable Experience

Laura Cano Amaya

October 31, 2014

By Laura Cano Amaya
Doctoral student in Geography

It has always been an interest of mine to explore different perspectives and approaches to “seeing things” as I look into addressing complex and multi-faceted issues whether in academia or elsewhere. Therefore, when I started my doctoral program, it was just a matter of time before I began to look for opportunities to engage internationally in my research area–which by the way is an incredible new research agenda on disaster resilience.

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Libera Tu Mente: Studying Abroad in Santiago, Chile

Kevin McGovern

October 14, 2014

By Kevin McGovern
Master’s student in Business Administration

This past summer I was lucky enough to travel to Santiago, Chile for the Texas State Study Abroad Program.  As a current master’s degree candidate in business administration, the 8-day trip to South America was the highlight of my summer term.  During our time in Santiago, the MBA group met with several Chilean business leaders who provided us with new perspectives on how Chile and other Latin American countries operate in the local market economies, as well as the global economy.  Our company visits comprised formal meet-and-greets and informational sessions with business leaders from the energy sector, pharmaceutical sector, environmental sector, and most importantly…the wine industry!  The learning experience gained from these company visits was immeasurable, and coupled with the cultural and social immersion, our group was exposed to some great life experiences that could never have happened here in the United States.

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An Incredible Internship Experience at the Smithsonian

Virginia A. Pickel

October 26, 2014

By Virginia A. Pickel
Master’s student in History with a concentration in Public History Studies

If you had told me a year ago that I would be completing my internship at the Smithsonian, I wouldn’t have believed you. I might have laughed in your face. Nevertheless, I just spent the last ten weeks interning at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH) in Washington, D.C.

What can I say about working at one of the most renowned museums in the country? It was both amazing and surreal. I walked across the Washington Mall every morning to get to work, with the Washington Monument on my left and the U.S. Capitol on my right. In NMAH’s Division of Medicine and Science, I worked with Curator Dr. Katherine Ott to research post-World War II government contracts regarding the adaptation of lightweight aircraft materials into prostheses. I even got to talk to one of the participants of the program who did not fight in WWII but rather fell out of a cherry tree at the age of 12, ultimately leading to the amputation of both his arms.

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The Best Way to Experience Life is to Do It

Jordon Hattery

April 30, 2014

By Jordon Hattery
Master’s student in Mass Communication

The SXSW Interactive Festival 2014 in March was the most amazing week of my life, and there is not enough space on this blog for me to list all the ways that it affected me. I got the opportunity to attend it as part of a class that focuses on this conference experience.

On the first day of Interactive, Hugh Forrest, the director of the conference, gave a talk about how to maximize your experience at SXSW. One of his key points was to embrace serendipity and go with whatever opportunity presented itself to you. Ironically, I wasn’t in the room for these words because I had been invited last minute to a taco lunch and was standing outside the event trying to get in. This was how I treated my SXSW experience. Before SXSW started, I got some advice: “Say yes to everything.”

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