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TAMIU Celebrates Women's History and Five Exceptional Women in Education Posted: 3/31/17

TAMIU Celebrates Women's History and Five Exceptional Women in Education

 

Women's History Month
 

March has been designated Women’s History Month every year since 1981 thanks to an Act of Congress and Presidential Proclamations. Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) student groups hosted events on campus to highlight and celebrate contributions and achievements made by women.

To wind up the month, the University recognized five exceptional women educators whose influence goes beyond the classroom to make a difference in so many lives.

Claudia San Miguel

Claudia San Miguel

Dean

College of Arts and Sciences

Few people are able to follow their teenage interests and turn it into a career, but Dr. Claudia San Miguel’s casual reading of true crime books while enrolled at J.W. Nixon High School fascinated her enough to major in criminal justice. A native Laredoan, Dr. San Miguel had other interests too. She played flute, percussion and harp, was a member of the high school golf team, and has had a lifelong affinity for animals.

A focused and hard-working person, San Miguel stayed in her hometown to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in criminal justice from TAMIU. While she was an undergraduate, she was an active member of the TAMIU Criminal Justice Association, a group she now advises.

San Miguel continued her education and earned a Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University. She returned to TAMIU in Fall 2004 as a visiting assistant professor. Since then, she has conducted research and taught classes in areas which include human trafficking and smuggling, criminology, ethics and crime prevention and she has published numerous articles, books, and received grants totaling more than $1 million.

She is the first Hispanic and woman to be named TAMIU College of Arts and Sciences Dean.

Jyotsna Mukherji

Jyotsna Mukherji

Associate Professor

Marketing

A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business

Business marketing students curious about maintaining peace of mind while balancing a career in an intense field can look to Dr. Jyotsna Mukherji as an example of someone who has reconciled both. A prolific researcher, marketing consultant, conference presenter and professor, Mukherji has also connected with the Laredo community for over 10 years as a yoga instructor and by knitting for charity.

After working in the corporate sector in her native India, Mukherji embarked on her second career. She enjoys her role as a professor and researcher and is particularly aware of her responsibility as a teacher.  She looks forward to the first day of classes and seeing the faces of young students who have entrusted their learning to her.

“The reward of being a good and ethical teacher is to receive cards and mails years later from students,” Mukherji says.

Mukherji is an active researcher in marketing to Hispanic consumers and role of acculturation in consumption choices. She also studies socially conscious consumption and the influence of socializing agents such as family, media, professors, religion and spirituality.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St. Joseph’s College, Andhra University, India, and a postgraduate diploma in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from Xavier Labor Relations Institute, India. Mukherji received her Ph.D. in Business Administration, Marketing, from the University of Memphis.

Marivic Torregosa

Marivic Torregosa

Assistant Professor

Interim Director, Master’s Degree in Nursing Program

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Dr. Marivic Torregosa’s approach to teaching nursing is to instill students with the skills to become lifelong learners. In each of the courses she teaches, she emphasizes self-reflection, critical thinking and inquiry. With those tools, TAMIU nursing students can develop and sharpen their skills to be able to handle the healthcare problems of the future.

Dr. Torregosa started teaching at TAMIU in 2003. Guided by the principles of adult learning, constructivism and social learning, Torregosa has mentored more than 50 graduate and undergraduate students who have presented their research projects at local, national and international conferences, including Sigma Theta Tau International Conference—a prestigious peer-reviewed international conference in nursing. In some of her publications, her students have been named as co-authors.

Students are not the only ones who have benefitted from her expertise. Torregosa is leading a project focused on addressing the health disparities in the region, “TAMIU-SCAN Prevention Project.” Torregosa received $900,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund the project. The aim of the research project is to prevent substance abuse, HIV and hepatitis C infection among Hispanic youth.

In addition to her work as a mentor for future health professionals, she serves as a reviewer of nursing grants and refereed nursing journals. As a practicing nursing practitioner, she mentors family nurse practitioners and medical students in the clinic where she works as a health care provider.

She received her BS in Nursing from the University of Bohol, an MS in Nursing from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Paty Cantú

L. Paty Cantú

Instructor

University College

Freshmen students consistently rate Paty Cantú with high evaluations. It is because she is an exceptional, conscientious, caring and committed educator who is extremely effective in the classroom. Her background in higher education and her experiences in P-12 settings provides a platform of devoted interest to bring the learning process to light through innovative, current and unrivaled teaching and instructional strategies. However, her concern for her students goes beyond the classroom. She recently involved her students in an unplanned campus opportunity, which allowed her pre-nursing freshmen students to interact with local professionals on health concerns.

Cantú’s colleagues also admire and respect her because of her continuous interest in professional development. She is an active professional who enjoys learning new ideas and brings them to the forefront in any venue in which she is associated.

She is active in many service activities at the University and within the community. Cantú assists with the Café Prof speakers, designed a service-learning course for the University’s "BrainFest" at the Boys and Girls Club of Laredo, reviews Reading the Globe (RTG) essays and interviews students for the RTG trips abroad. She sits on numerous committees and advisory groups at the University and is directly involved with the South Texas Writing Project, helping K-12 teachers increase writing skills with their children and youth.

In the past year, she received two grants to develop two unique initiatives: a brainfest with the local Boys and Girls Club and a voter information fair.

Cantú received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s University and a Master of Arts from TAMIU.

Tonya Huber

Dr. Tonya Huber

Professor

College of Education

Several members of the community recently met Dr. Huber at the Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event she organized in February. She is quick to point out that at the two-day event, more than 600 volunteers of all ages prepared 116,640 meals and exceeded their goal of 100,000 meal packs which will provide more than 300 starving, malnourished and hungry children a life sustaining and medically endorsed meal every day for a year.

Just as she gave the community a chance to volunteer, Huber gives her students the opportunity to practice service-learning at home and abroad. She recently led a group of students to the Dominican Republic where they taught reading, writing and arithmetic to Haitian-heritage children working in sugar cane plantations. The students shared messages drawn and written by children from their Saturday mentoring sessions at Bethany House, another service-learning opportunity Huber offers her students.

Huber particularly enjoys engaging students in field-based learning experiences to develop professional dispositions of critical consciousness. She challenges students to become more critically reflective and conscious of their interactions and their contribution to liberation or oppression of others.

She has been published in several books, authored numerous articles, has received many awards and a number of grants. Huber earned a Bachelor of Science, Master of Education and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. She joined TAMIU in Fall 2016.

TAMIU celebrates the accomplishments and impact of these remarkable members of the University community.

For additional information, contact the University’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

University information is also available on its website at tamiu.edu and its social media sites on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.