Two A&M International Students Selected for Summer Research Program at A&M

Two Texas A&M International University students are among 10 students selected statewide to participate in Texas A&M University's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program this summer in College Station.

Maria Alejandra Rodriguez, a junior sociology major and Leticia Merla, also a junior sociology major, were selected for the program funded by the National Science Foundation and Texas A&M.

Dr. Cecilia Garza, A&M International chair of the department of sociology and psychology, said such study opportunities are rare and will afford the students tremendous academic and social experiences.

"It's rare that undergraduate students are afforded such study opportunities. Both are top-ranking students here at A&M International and we are delighted that they are participating in such a selective and important summer program. We hope that we can continue to encourage them to pursue graduate study in sociology," Dr. Garza said.

REU is an 8-week, research-oriented program that runs from May 29 to July 23. The program focus is "Research Experiences for Undergraduates in the Sociology of Race and Ethnic Relations and Stratification."

The program includes a 5-week, 3-credit hour, research methods course and allows each of the selected students an opportunity to work one-on-one with an A&M faculty mentor to produce a scholarly paper to present at an A&M research symposium. Dr. Garza will attend the symposium. The students' papers will also be presented at the Southwestern Sociological Association Meeting next spring.

In addition to course work, students will also participate in a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) instruction course in anticipation of applying to graduate school.

Each student receives a $2,500 stipend. Housing, food, testing, study materials, travel, tuition and books are covered by the program.

A&M International offers both bachelors and masters degrees in sociology. In addition, this fall, the University will begin offering a bachelors degree in Social Work.

For additional information, contact Dr. Garza at 326.2475, visit offices in Killam Library 426B or email to

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at