Posted: 4/30/20

TAMIU Communication Program Alumna Starts Doctoral Program at Texas A&M University this Fall


Mariana Rodríguez
Mariana Rodríguez  

Mariana Rodríguez, who received her MA in Communication in 2019 and BA in English in 2014 from Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), was at first committed to becoming a dentist.

During her sophomore year, however, something changed. She realized that dentistry was no longer a path she desired to pursue.

She then changed her academic trajectory by utilizing information from TAMIU resources such as Career Services.

“I was able to find a path that best suited my interests,” Rodríguez said, “I learned an important lesson: do not be afraid to change ‘the plan,’ even if that means three changes of majors.”

Starting this Fall, Rodríguez will pursue her doctoral degree in Communication at Texas A&M University (TAMU). There, she will focus on two areas of interest: Communication and Media, and Culture and Identity. In addition, she will pursue a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.

“I was admitted into the program at the end of January,” Rodríguez  said, “Initially, I was nervous. Now, I am nothing but proud of myself. It is a great accomplishment, one that I would not have been able to reach without the guidance of the faculty in TAMIU’s Communication Department.”

Dr. Ariadne González, TAMIU assistant professor of Communication, and one of Rodríguez’s professors, congratulated her.

“I am beyond proud of Mariana being accepted into a top Ph.D. Communication program. She is dedicated to her academic work and is willing to go beyond what is expected of her in order to achieve her academic and professional goals. I have no doubt she will continue to excel as she begins her Ph.D. program at Texas A&M.” 

Rodríguez, originally from Laredo, said she is pursuing a Ph.D. to continue supporting and challenging students in classrooms.

“I believe that quality education is important,” she said, “We all deserve to be taught by faculty who care, have passion and push us past our limits.”

Rodríguez’s master’s degree concentration at TAMIU was in Organizational Communication in Translational Settings.

“Pursing a graduate degree at TAMIU was one of the best decisions I have made,” she said, “I looked at other programs, both in Higher Education and Communication throughout Texas. I made the choice to continue studying at TAMIU in Communication because of their available concentrations and curriculum.”

She continued, “What better city to learn about Border and Latin American Media Studies or Transnational Settings than Laredo? If you are seeking a curriculum that both excites you and pushes you to learn, this is it.”

TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology and Communication’s relatively small size allowed Rodríguez to enter into an unofficial cohort model, which meant that everyone within the classroom, no matter their classification, was in her group of students.

“As the semesters progressed, I continued to be challenged,” she said, “There was always something new to learn. Every semester, I had the support of my cohort. Whether we were in the same class or not, we had a mutual understanding. “

Rodríguez said advice from her professors: if one makes an effort from the beginning of one’s academic journey, he or she will be prepared at the end --enabled her to be successful.

She advises students who are considering pursuing either a master’s or a doctoral degree in Communication to simply apply.

“It does not matter what field of study you are in. If you have a burning desire to learn, then apply,” she encouraged, “Whether you are looking at studying something within your current field or something outside or it, just do it. Never stop learning or pushing yourself.”

She continued, “Most importantly, if you are considering pursuing a bachelor’s master’s or a professional degree, ask for help when you need it. There are countless resources on campus dedicated to your success. Everyone wants to see you grow.”

Registration for Maymester, Summer and Fall semesters is currently underway online through Uconnect. For additional information on registration, contact the Office of the Registrar via phone at 956.326.2250, email registrar@tamiu.eduor visit their website at https://www.tamiu.edu/registrar/


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