Posted: 12/15/16

TAMIU Fall ’16 Grad Gets Short Story Published


TAMIU Student Published
Esteban Vargas will be published in The Netherlands.  

Joining the ranks of popular writers who started their careers in science—authors such as Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll and Brian May of Queen—is Texas A&M International University student Esteban Vargas, chemistry major and Fall 2016 Magna Cum Laude graduate.

Vargas’s short story, “A White Noise,” was accepted for publication in “Cecile’s Writers,” a literary magazine in The Netherlands.

“The story is a short fiction piece I wrote for one of my creative writing courses with Dr. Suzette Bishop. It relates the story of a young Costa Rican hanging out with his cousins on a warm, summer night. It’s set in the ‘70s, when electricity was quite scarce in Costa Rica, especially in rural areas such as the one portrayed in the story. The narrator and his cousins are having a conversation and then become witnesses to something they don’t really expect to see. The story includes elements of science fiction and magic realism,” explained Vargas.

Dr. Kameron Jorgensen, TAMIU assistant professor, chemistry, said the pairing of a major in chemistry and a minor in creative writing is unusual.

“While getting published is an exceptional feat amongst itself, what is deserving of additional praise is that Esteban is graduating this December 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science, Magna Cum Laude, major in chemistry and a minor in creative writing, which is definitely an exciting and untraditional pairing,” Dr. Jorgensen said.

Vargas’s science background isn’t the only element influencing his writing.

“I always check for magazines that are accepting submissions for short stories. This specific magazine focuses on authors with multi-cultural backgrounds. Being a Costa Rican myself, I couldn’t let this opportunity go to waste,” he said.

He won’t receive payment for his story, but he said his prize is having his story published. It will also help him further his goals.

“My plan after graduation is to do two things. I want to continue my work toward graduate studies, especially in the area of environmental chemistry and sustainability. My other professional goal is to publish more fiction, and if everything goes well, maybe my own book,” Vargas said.

While Jorgensen always applauds her students’ accomplishments in the field of chemistry, she said she wanted others to know that TAMIU students are accomplished in more than one area.

“I want to let others know about the amazing way students are being recognized internationally along with this out-of-the-box type of major-minor pairing!,” she said.

To students who might have doubts about the pairing of their diverse interests, Vargas offered some advice loosely based on a letter by the artist Sol LeWitt to artists Eva Hesse.

“Do something. Do anything. So do what you want to even if the world tells you you can’t do it, especially when the world tells you you can’t do it. Just focus on doing because many people just talk, but only a few do,” said Vargas.

For more information, contact Jorgensen at kameron.jorgensen@tamiu.edu or 326.2568 or visit offices in Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center 307.

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Additional information is also available at www.tamiu.edu and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.