TAMIU Alum Accepted to University of Michigan with $250,000 Educational Package
Starting this summer, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) alum Andrea Beattie will begin life in a new city and follow a dream larger than she ever expected.
Beattie, who earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in political science from TAMIU in 2012 and 2011 respectively, has accepted an offer to pursue joint doctoral study in public policy and social science at the prestigious Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor.
Beattie, 23, was one of 15 candidates chosen for the program from a total of 350 applicants. Her fully funded, U-M educational package offer is estimated at over $250,000.
“It’s unreal, it really is,” she said of her offer, “Sometimes, I feel like my close friends, family and significant other could see my potential more than I could see it myself.”
To stand out among a pool of applicants who hail from top graduate programs in the country, Beattie said her application mentioned both her accomplishments and challenges.
“I had to highlight my personal challenge, which was coming from a predominantly Hispanic community,” she said.
As a TAMIU adjunct instructor, Beattie taught national and state government to 400 students at TAMIU this Spring semester, and has been active in the University community over the years.
In 2010, she traveled to Singapore with a group of faculty members and students for a “Sociology of Science” survey funded by the National Science Foundation Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP). The group included TAMIU political science, sociology and biology students and explored the cultural and geographical differences in transmission of tacit skills in East Asian Graduate Science Programs.
She was also a member of TAMIU’s inaugural class of six University students chosen to take part in the Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) at Harvard University. The week-long program featured classes on decision-making, negotiation and public narrative, taught by leading professors from Harvard, Georgetown and Stanford. Other sessions helped LLI students develop self awareness and knowledge about their leadership strengths and weaknesses.
Beattie, the first in her family to pursue a doctoral degree, said TAMIU opened new avenues of opportunities for her.
“If TAMIU didn’t empower me, I wouldn’t be here,” she said.
Beattie thanked TAMIU President Dr. Ray Keck for opening the avenue for TAMIU students to be able to participate in programs such as the LLI at Harvard. She also thanked Dr. Mark Menaldo, TAMIU assistant professor of political science, for teaching her how to become a teacher.
“He is a very charismatic and spontaneous professor,” she said of Dr. Menaldo, “He is interactive in class and it is based on his model that I now teach.”
In addition, Beattie thanked Dr. Marcus Ynalvez, TAMIU assistant professor of sociology, for equipping her with a specific set of academic skills that made her a competitive applicant.
Beattie, who said she looks forward to becoming a researcher for an international organization upon culmination of her doctoral studies, said her future plans changed over the course of her undergraduate study.
“When I started out at TAMIU I believed strongly that I wanted to be a lawyer,” she said, “I didn’t know how many more opportunities were out there. By traveling and studying, I realized that there are other jobs that are unique to my personality.”
She offered advice to students not yet decided on their future career path.
“I would advise them to spend time early on to try to figure out who they are so they can figure out what kind of profession fits them,” she said.
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