TAMIU Alum Accepted to UNC Ph.D. Program
Posted: 4/25/13

TAMIU Alum Accepted to UNC Chapel Hill Ph.D. Program

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) alum, Alejandra Márquez, who completed her BA (2010), and MA in Spanish (2012) at TAMIU, has been accepted into the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill Ph.D. program in Latin American Literature and Culture.

Márquez, who described the application processes to different schools as very competitive, was surprised to find that she possessed the aptitude to make herself stand out among her competitors.

Alejandra Marquez

Alejandra Márquez

“I honestly didn’t think that I was going to get into such a good school as UNC.  I originally applied to six schools, and I was completely surprised when four of them offered me acceptance,” Márquez said.

Her next challenge was choosing which prestigious institution to attend.  Márquez’s alternatives included Pennsylvania State University, the University of Houston, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

 After UNC Chapel Hill flew Márquez over to familiarize her with their campus, she chose to attend UNC with guidance provided by her TAMIU faculty advisers: Dr. Lola Norris (‘99, ’10), Dr. John Kilburn, Dr. José Cardona-López, Dr. José Martínez-Samos, and Dr. Irma Cantú.  Márquez will be busy for the next three years at UNC with classes, comprehensive exams, and writing her dissertation.

Dr. Norris, who has been a close adviser and mentor to Márquez, praised her for her success.

“I am elated that Alejandra was accepted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  That she was offered admission and was subsequently courted by some of the best universities in the nation speaks volumes about the caliber of student she is. We are so very proud of her,” Dr. Norris noted.

Márquez will begin her Ph.D. program in the fall of 2013.  In addition to her acceptance, UNC has provided a financial package that will provide a yearly stipend and enable her to teach a course for the upcoming term.

Márquez currently teaches two courses in Spanish language for non-native speakers at TAMIU, and hopes to teach a similar basic Spanish language class at UNC.  Her trip to UNC has allowed her to create a small network including colleagues and her Ph.D. program coordinator.  With that help, Márquez believes she will quickly adjust to life in the college town of Chapel Hill. 

Born and raised in Mexico City, Márquez would like to become a professor following her Ph.D. program completion.  She wants to teach, conduct her own research, publish articles, and emulate the professors and mentors that have helped her along the way.  When asked if she had plans to return to Texas, she smiled.

“If I had a job offer here in Texas, I would definitely come back,” she said, concluding, “I am already attached to Texas and TAMIU, but it just depends on where I can find a job that fits.”

For additional information on TAMIU graduate programs in Spanish, contact Dr. Cardona-López at 956.326.2690, or email cardona@tamiu.edu, or visit offices located in Pellegrino Hall, suite 314.  – This story by Philip Balli, TAMIU Student Intern

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