TAMIU Grad Credits Program, Director with Success

TAMIU Grad Credits D. D. Hachar
Program, Director with Success

Texas A&M International University 2006 graduate Liz Sandoval knows that one person can make a difference. (photo)

She credits that one person with helping her to succeed at TAMIU, and in her new career with the Federal Aviation Administration  (FAA) in Washington, D.C.

That one person is Dr. Carlos E. Cuellar, director of the University’s D. D. Hachar Honors Program that Sandoval completed as an undergraduate.

“From the first day of the Program, it was clear that he was involved and committed to the students and the Program.  He wanted to make sure that we got the most out of our Honors experience and constantly pushed us to take advantage of all opportunities: field trips, lectures and study abroad. We all felt like we were part of an extended family with him.  He took us outside the classroom to help us see what the world would be like for us as graduates,” she recalled.

The D. D. Hachar Program is funded by the D. D. Hachar Charitable Trust and is the city’s first four-year Honors Program. Students selected for the competitive Program are awarded a renewable undergraduate scholarship that provides funds for tuition, books, and fees.  The value of each scholarship is approximately $5,000 per year or $20,000 for all four years.

At TAMIU, Sandoval earned a BA in Economics and actually interned for two summers at the FAA through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program.  Her performance prompted the FAA to extend a full-time job offering to her, the first for the young Laredo native and St. Augustine High School graduate.

Jim Blades, an FAA manager for the contracting for services division that Sandoval interned in, said he was sold on Sandoval as a student and now as a full-time employee.

In a letter to Dr. Cuellar, he wrote, “I was lucky to have her intern with my office last and this past summer. I’m glad we were able to recently offer her a full-time position…she represents what any employer is looking for in an entry level professional. I wanted to provide feedback to you about the positive affect your efforts have had with just one of the many students you must work with…,” Blades wrote.

For her part, Sandoval said she is excited by the opportunity the University has prepared her for and by the chance to live and work in Washington.

“I really like the work that I’m doing as a contracting for services specialist and I’m enjoying the opportunities Washington has in abundance. It’s a very diverse setting and there are wonderful cultural and artistic events all the time. My apartment is near the train station and I can be at the office in short time,” she said.

While quick to tout the virtues of her adopted home, she is equally quick to note a small shortcoming.

“I’ve yet to find a place that serves really good Mexican food,” she mused.

For more information on the D. D. Hachar Honors Program, contact Gerri Laurel at 326.2133, visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 418 or email glaurel@tamiu.edu

Information on the D. D. Hachar Honors Program is also available on the University’s Web site at http://www.tamiu.edu/coas/honors/

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu