DMS Student Spotlight

Howard Grant

Tell us about yourself (please include your Aggie Introduction).

Howdy! My name is Howard Grant and I am an industrial distribution student with a
minor in engineering project management, and I’m from Houston. I currently serve as the Chief
Executive Officer for the Aggie Black Male Connection (ABMC) and served as the Assistant
Director of Operations for the 2019 Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference
(SBSLC). Most importantly, I am the loudest and the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas
Aggie Class of 2020 (A-WHOOP)!

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has greatly impacted my collegiate experience. From the moment I stepped on
campus, I became involved in both ABMC as well as Excellence uniting Culture, Education, and
Leadership (ExCEL). It was these two organizations that truly gave me a sense of belonging
and provided me the community away from home I much needed.

The DMS also gave me opportunities to advance into leadership positions within two organizations. Serving on the executive boards for both ABMC and SBSLC, pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and further develop the skills needed to be an impactful leader moving forward. These positions also allowed me to serve the community around me and provide a unique and positive experience to other minority students as well.

Lastly, the DMS encompassed the perfect environment for me to build strong relationships with several exceptional individuals. Hence, my overall collegiate experience at Texas A&M would not have been the same without this department.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

Outside of the DMS, I have been involved in multiple organizations throughout my time at Texas A&M such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Professional Association for Industrial Distribution (PAID). In addition to my extracurricular activities, I have also worked for the Association of Former Students as a student caller.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on pursuing a career as a technical sales engineer. In addition to my career, I hope to become a critically acclaimed author and motivational speaker focused on the overall development of teens and young adults.

Daishia Tealer

Tell us about yourself (please include your Aggie Introduction).

Howdy y’all, my name is Daishia Marie’ Tealer and I’m a senior Architecture major with a double minor in Psychology & Art from THE Houston, TX, but most importantly I am the LOUDEST and the PROUDEST member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of…… 2019! A-WHOOP!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is being a part of something bigger than myself. My driving force for coming here and the reason I’m still here is the Aggie Network. From the moment I was accepted into A&M the love and support from fellow Aggies remained consistent. No matter where you go being an Aggie follows!

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

As an incoming freshman, the culture shock was real. A lot of things seemed very unfamiliar to me and I’m from Houston which is a very diverse city. I was forced to acknowledge my feeling of displacement. My first introduction to the DMS was the ExCEL conference. This conference helped with that transition by introducing me to the Black community that from face value of the campus you wouldn’t have known existed. I was intrigued by all the black leaders surrounding m which inspired me to want to be a part of the movement. Being a part of DMS organizations like ExCEL, BSAC, and SBSLC, has also helped me connect with students and staff members of diverse backgrounds with a common purpose of making the climate at A&M more inclusive for current & future students. The DMS has been a compass for my growth within my career, community and personal life.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I’ve learned that there’s always room to grow as a leader and student. I’ve been given so many resources and tools that have shaped me into the leader and student I am today.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

Through advisors, organizations and the space within the DMS I’ve been able to take advantage of many opportunities that have developed me professionally, academically and socially. These organizations have helped me with resume building, networking, study skills, public speaking and more! Spaces within the DMS, mentors, and advisors have helped me socially flourish and guide me to success on the campus of Texas A&M. Being able to make others feel just as valued as I go through different events has given me a deeper sense of purpose a meaning.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

I have been a part of a few student organizations outside the DMS at some point in my student career such as the African Student Association and the American Society of Landscape

Architects. I’ve also had the opportunity to work here on campus my favorite location being Kyle

Field. As I continue my academic career here at A&M I plan on seeking out my opportunities to become even more involved!

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

I define leadership as trust and guidance vs control. When you are a leader that means you have followers that trust that you will guide them in the right direction of the goal. To me, a leader can be anyone as long as you have a vision. You must understand that the vision and purpose are bigger than yourself and always focus on the final result. Being a leader is also knowing that you don’t have all the answers but you’re able to communicate that and as a team, everybody will be able to efficiently work towards accomplishing said goal.

What are your plans after graduation?

My career path post-graduation is to attend a masters program for Architecture. After completion of this, I plan on working with licensed Architects for 2 years before applying to get my license. My ultimate goal is to design healing gardens for cancer patients and continue to practice within my field.

Marcel Washington

Tell us about yourself (please include your Aggie Introduction).

HOWDY! My name is Marcel Washington, I am a junior business management major with a concentration on entrepreneurial leadership. I’m from Austin, Texas and I currently serve as Chief Administrative Officer for Aggie Black Male Connection (ABMC), as well as a peer mentor to incoming freshman students for ExCEL.

But above all… I am THE LOUDEST and THE PROUDEST member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2020! A-A-A WHOOP!!!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

I’d have to say my favorite part about being an Aggie would definitely be the network. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the most brilliant and down-to-earth people here on campus, and the opportunities I’ve been afforded have definitely been a blessing. Whenever I’m back home, I always seem to meet alumni and to hear their experiences and their stories of how much they’ve benefited from this university is inspiring to me.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

As the oldest sibling, I’ve always found it important to lead by example, and to make sure I provide those I am leading with the proper advice and guidance. My freshman year at this university was tough for me, there was a lot to figure out in, what felt like, such a short time frame. Because of this, I’ve always vowed to myself that I would consistently be involved in programs such as Aggie Black Male Connection (ABMC) and ExCEL that help to support incoming students and to serve as a mentor to guide them on their collegiate journey, to aid in making the transition from high school to college much simpler.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

My biggest discovery in becoming a student leader within the DMS is that I have a passion for mentoring and being able to provide the guidance many of our incoming students need to face college life. Often times our incoming students don’t know what to expect arriving on campus for the first time, and to be able to serve as that role model means a lot to me. I’ve also learned that I am someone who loves to see others succeed in their endeavors, whether academically or personally, and will provide support in any way I can to help them achieve those goals.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

Honestly, where do I start? To keep it simple, entering college as a first-gen was one of the bravest things I’d ever done, but also one of the scariest. If it wasn’t for programs like ExCEL and Aggie Black Male Connection, and having the space to be able to express myself among similar peers, I would not have been successful at this university. With the DMS, we’re given the opportunity to grow as both a student and leader, while also having the support and resources from our advisors that are needed to be successful at this institution, and for that, I’m more than proud to be a part of the DMS community.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

Outside of the DMS, I work as a part-time customer service representative at H-E-B, employed with the establishment for 5 years. I volunteer with organizations, such as Black Wall Street, whenever I have the opportunity to do so, and involved in the college completion program, College Forward. This semester, I have plans to be more involved in programs within the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship as well.

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

Being a leader means way more than just wearing your organization’s polo shirt or having the title of a leadership position. To be an effective leader, you have to be willing to listen to your peers and collaborate effectively on events/projects, take accountability for mistakes that may be made in the process (trial and error), and, most importantly, demonstrate respect… for yourself, your team, your members, advisors, so forth. In my role as a DMS student leader, I always try to demonstrate these traits in any and everything I’m involved in, primarily because there are many out there who may look up to me and I want to be able to set a great example.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to work for a year or two in H-E-B’s management rotation program in their corporate headquarters, before going to school to complete my Master’s degree. With my concentration on entrepreneurial leadership, I’d, ideally, love to start my own business, most likely in the service industry.

Ellen Dangtran

Howdy! I’m a senior electrical engineering major from Cypress. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, motivating each other and sharing ideas with one another.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is knowing that I am a part of a community that cares about me, my mission, and my actions. I have gotten the opportunity at A&M to develop myself as a leader and express myself and my passions. As an Aggie, I hope to make other Aggies also feel included and significant.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

As a university student, I have grown to understand my self-worth and that all the parts that make up who I am are significant. I understand and have interacted with students that have trouble integrating into the different environment at A&M. Realizing that even after graduation, we’ll be exposed to many new environments, I believe it’s important to equip as many students as possible with the self-confidence and drive to apply who they are and insert themselves in solutions. With the DMS, I have the opportunity to reach more students, challenge myself in learning how to operate with different procedures, and work with fellow staff and student leaders that I am confident also have visions in line with mine.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

There is always room to grow. Whether that is breadth or depth of knowledge, network, or skill set, there is always more to learn and apply. Being involved with the DMS has taught me that I can grow whilst doing what I love.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has given my collegiate experience and myself purpose. I have always resonated with Martin Luther King Jr.’s short essay, “The Purpose of Education”. In it, he talks about how the purpose of education is to develop intelligence and character. We are here to develop our world view. The DMS has given me the opportunity to do what Dr. King proposed, and it has felt euphoric.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

In the last few years, I held positions with IEEE, the professional organization for electrical engineers, and Texas A&M University’s Vietnamese Student Association. Currently, I am on the Union of Vietnamese Student Association Southern Region’s board and on the IT Cabinet of the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations.

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

Leadership is acting based on your beliefs about the status quo, motivating others to understand your passions and processes, and consciously developing other leaders. Leadership comes in several forms; however, I believe leading by example is the most effective method. As a DMS leader, my efforts are to unite and support students to grow confidence in our community, so that everyone may feel that their voice is heard and listened to.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will be working at Boeing in Everett, Washington as a Cabin and Network Systems Engineer. There, I will be developing and integrating new technology onto commercial planes to best influence passengers’ flight experiences.

Autumn Boseman

Howdy y’all, my name is Autumn Boseman and I’m a senior anthropology major from Beaumont, TX, but most importantly I am the LOUDEST and the PROUDEST member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019! Whoop! A few fun facts about me are: I absolutely love chocolate, my favorite color is teal, and my family owns a Taekwondo business.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

I absolutely love the Aggie Network. No matter the city or state I’ve visited, if I see someone with Texas A&M gear or an Aggie Ring, we’re able to immediately start a conversation. The Aggie Community stretches far and wide and it’s wonderful being a part of such a large family.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

I chose to become involved in the DMS because I wanted to find a space where I felt like I could be myself. While Texas A&M as a whole is very welcoming, there was a part of me that was missing home. I come from Southeast Texas. Everything from the food, to the music, to the people, is different here, it was at first hard to find a piece of home here. Once I started coming to the Department of Multicultural Services and utilizing the resources here, I was able to fill that little void inside that was homesick. There were people here who understood me, others who shared similar experiences of exclusion or feeling like you didn’t fit in. I appreciated that.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I learned that I want to help be a resource to incoming students. I know that Texas A&M offers so many, but there are things that go on in a new student’s life that there isn’t a pamphlet for. I learned that I’m a person who loves seeing others succeed. With the DMS, you’re able to grow and advance, while at the same time assist other grow and advance. You’re able to see the impact you, as an individual, can make on a community. I have also been able to further extend my abilities and skills as a leader and a follower.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

From when I first started out at Texas A&M to where I am now, the DMS has definitely made a mark on me. Having a space that allows you to be yourself really helped me flourish. I was able to understand that being society’s definition of “other” doesn’t mean I have to adhere to the limitations that have tried to box me in. The DMS encourages students to find their path and gives daily reminders that we are never alone. Without the DMS, I honestly would not have been as successful at Texas A&M –socially or academically.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

I am currently a member of a club called MedLife that focuses on the health and benefit of communities. I am a member of the GUMP program with the Department of Anthropology where I am now working on two research projects. Outside of campus organizations, I also hold a job off-campus. I volunteer with Habitat for Humanities and the Aggieland Humane Society off and on.

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

In my perspective leadership is defined as someone who inspires others to continue on a movement, idea, plan, etc. Leadership is being able to understand that you won’t always know the answers but you are willing to do what it takes to find the most efficient solution, all the while being fair while doing it. A good leader is not a boss but a forerunner for the team, knowing that it’s less about you and more about the final result. My role as a DMS student leader is to make sure that others are inspired to continue not only on the path of academic success but community success as well.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on furthering my education to graduate studies in biological or medical anthropology. Once obtaining my master’s, my current goal is to then pursue work into the field of epidemiology where I would like to concentrate on disease-ridden communities and bettering their lives. Though I do understand that passions and journeys in life can always change.

LaTresia Wilson

My name is La Tresia Wilson, a junior business management major minor in communication from Houston, Tx. But most importantly, I am the loudest, and the proudest, member of the fighting Texas Aggies Class of 2020 “AYE AYE AYE WHOOP!”

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is the love and support that I am surrounded by on campus. When I am having a bad day, a random “howdy” and smile can brighten my day. I enjoy being able to provide love and support others with my friendliness and kindness. I love being an Aggie, it keeps me on my feet with excitement about the funny, random things that are going to happen on campus next.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

I became involved with the DMS because I felt like I had a duty to help and serve the African American community and I could do so by joining the DMS. I was homesick and lonely when I first got to Texas A&M, and the DMS gave me feelings of home, introduced me to new peoples, organizations, and mentors. The DMS is my safe space on campus, where I can find a tutor, play a few games, and talk with friends.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Being involved in the DMS taught me how to communicate effectively to be a strong, positive leader. I have learned how to speak up for what I believe in, motivate myself to keep going, and also how important it is to believe in myself. I have seen myself grow tremendously over the past two years. Since I have been involved with the DMS, I have learned what I like, what I don’t like, and how to work with others. That is such an important factor for the real world and I am happy I was able to learn that here.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has taught me the importance of networking and communicating. I have learned more about professional development, which is helping me network with companies to seek hiring. Organizations within the DMS have prepared me for career fairs, interviews, and resume building. The DMS has introduced me to numerous mentors, sponsors, and influential leaders along the way. The DMS has helped shape my college experience into something that’s memorable, influencing, and efficient.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

Outside of the DMS, I am a part-time student worker for Event Services in the Memorial Student Center. I volunteer weekly at a local hospital to give back to the community. I am also involved in numerous other organizations on campus. I am involved in Mays Business School as well.

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

Being a leader in my eyes means that I have to take time to work on myself to make sure I am a good representation for others to follow. A leader has to understand, listen, and communicate with everyone involved.  Leadership takes time to develop, there are trial and errors that a person must go through to effectively know how to be a leader. My role as a DMS Leader means that I have to be on my Ps and Qs at all times because I never know who is watching. I take pride in the person I am and the work that I do to help some make better choices or encourage someone to get through the day.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to work for a year or two until I go to school for my masters in Higher Education Administration. After receiving my degree I plan to work as a college adviser for the HISD school board to help high school students apply for college and scholarships. After a few years of that, I want to open a nonprofit after-school program for middle and high school students. I’d like to teach them professionalism, how to fill out applications, and take them on college tours. There would also be recreational sports and camps. I want to eventually provide a four-year scholarship to three high school students each year.

Dorin Huq

My name is Dorin Huq and I’m a third-year biology major and sociology minor from McAllen, TX. I don’t do much outside of school, but I enjoy working out in my free time and I am passionate about social issues.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is definitely having the opportunity to meet so many new people on a daily basis. I also love the sense of camaraderie at A&M.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

I have always been passionate about issues concerning cultural awareness and inclusion. I learned about the DMS my freshman year and found an opportunity to become a student leader my sophomore year when I heard about A2A peer diversity education. I really wanted to play an active role in promoting diversity at A&M and expand my knowledge on topics related to diversity and culture.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

While being involved with the DMS, I have learned that I have so much more knowledge to gain on topics I thought I understood well and that I should continue to be more open to new ideas and different opinions.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has allowed me to be a part of a wonderful community that I am able to go to for support. My participation in DMS activities has allowed me to take risks and grow as a person, positively influencing my college experience.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

I’m involved in a few student organizations outside the DMS, including the Aggie Optometry Association and the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students.   

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

I see leadership as being able to take risks, having set goals, communicating effectively, and trying to make a lasting impact on those around you. My role as a student leader is to educate others in the A&M community about topics related to diversity and inclusion.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am a pre-optometry student currently, and I hope to go to Optometry school after undergrad!

Perla Lopez

Howdy Aggies! My name is Perla Lopez and I’m a Political Science & Spanish major with a minor in Latina/o Mexican American Studies, and I am from El Paso, Texas. But most importantly I am the loudest and the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie of the class of 2021. I am a first-generation student, and a proud daughter of immigrants from Chihuahua, Mexico.

What is your favorite part of being an Aggie?

I found communities where I could experience a shared sense of belonging. Not only that, I was given the opportunity to engage in social issues that I am passionate about.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

It was the first year of my college education, and I soon found out that it is quite easy to get lost in a sea of 60,000+ students. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to come into contact with Cruz Rios, Assistant Director at the DMS. It was him who invited me to participate in the research prior to the start of the new program, Latino Logradores. I was super excited when I heard that there were efforts to start a new Latinx freshman mentorship program. Soon after, I was invited to apply for closer involvement with the program as a Director. Despite the fact that the Latinx population makes up the second largest population in Texas, only 18% of Latinx Adults have an Associate Degree or higher. If there was any possible way that 18% could go higher by helping other Latinx new students have a support system at Texas A&M, I would definitely do it. At the end of the day, if you are surrounded by people who believe you are going to make it, you have a high chance of believing it yourself.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

The awesome thing about being a human is being capable of so much more than you think you can do. I learned that it’s okay to ask for help, that it’s okay to not know everything, and that it’s definitely okay to take risks. In fact, those are probably some of the most influencing factors that make you a stronger person.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

To put it simply, college is hard. There are exams, essays, lectures, readings, social events, extracurricular activities, and a whole bunch of other things that I’m probably missing here. However, being a part of the DMS has given me a sense of purpose and meaning. Everything we do here impacts real people and real experiences. Knowing that there is someone out there who has felt valued because of our program, makes everything else worth it.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

The first organization that I joined, and now serve as one of their Internal Affairs Officers, is The Council for Minority Student Affairs. They are an immigrant rights organization that focuses on empowering, educating, and advocating for the immigrant community. Not only are we very involved in the community by volunteering, but we also provide a safe space for the immigrant community here on campus. I also have the privilege of having been elected the Spring of 2019 to serve as a Student Senator for the College of Liberal Arts in the Student Government Association. Through that, I hope to pass legislation that accurately reflects the voice of many of those who voted for me. I am also a former member of the Texas A&M Collegiate League of United Latin American Citizens. With them, I was given the opportunity to advocate for the Latinx community in Washington D.C. Now known as TAMU Latinx Community & Advocacy Association, I will continue to be involved and passionate about issues that impact Latinxs.

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.

In the fast-paced world that we live in today, constant competition is a phenomenon in the workplace. In search of bigger paychecks, many individuals seek leadership positions that will pay the most. In effect, the definition of leadership becomes skewed. I firmly believe that leadership is defined and established by three foundations: innovation, tenacity, and humility. As young individuals, children, and adults are constantly searching for role models as sources of inspiration and motivation, leaders are the first, of a variety of individuals, who become those role models. Thus, being a student leader in the DMS also carries the responsibility of being a symbol of inspiration for others. Many of those individuals with the capacity of revolutionizing various fields of life. This is a definition of leadership that I apply in every aspect of my formal, and informal role in the communities that I serve, and hope to serve in the future.

What are your plans after graduation?

My goals continue to be heavily based on community involvement and social advocacy. As of now, I am leaning towards a career in Law. Regardless of the specific pathway, I decide to partake in, I hope to continue to work closely with local communities. Fortunately, there are many other fields in public service that I am considering; running for office, working with a non-profit organization, and public service programs.

Filipe Contaifer

HOWDY! My name is Filipe Contaifer. I’m a management – consulting major from Lindale, TX! BUT most importantly I’m the loudest and the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2020! A-A-A-A-A!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

Definitely taking part in all of the traditions! I also love being part of the Aggie Family because everyone is so nice!

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I really wanted to become more involved with the LatinX community and have a more direct exposure to diverse people!

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I’ve learned that through involvement, planning, and action; I can have a direct impact on campus.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has given me the opportunity to experience different cultures and make friends. It has also enhanced my collegiate experience by providing me with tools to make positive impacts on campus and grow as a leader.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to work for a consulting firm and focus on strategy and operations consulting.

Samuel Austin Evans

Howdy, my name is Samuel Austin Evans. I am fiancé major from Atlanta, GA but most importantly I am the loudest and the proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie class of 2019.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is being a part of the Aggie network. Knowing that there are former Aggies represented across the globe in my field who are more than willing to assist me on my journey.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I became involved in the DMS because it truly felt like home to me and the students in the DMS were my family away from home. Growing up in downtown Atlanta, I am used to diverse crowds but at A&M the population is not representative of that. That diverse representation comes from the DMS. After sticking around, I came to find out how I can get involved in DMS organizations and increase my impact upmost the DMS family I love.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

During my time with being involved in the DMS, I have learned more about the black experience at a PWI and how to better navigate a world where I am the minority.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

It made me want to be more of a leader. The staff and students in the DMS space have been there to help motivate and guide me to succeed in school and leadership. Without the DMS I would not have such an outstanding social life and lifelong aggie friends who look like me.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on entering in Graduate school or doing an overseas fellowship program to obtain my master’s degree. Also, I will continue to grow my businesses and turn them into million-dollar operations.

Linda Co

Howdy y’all. My name is Linda Co and I am a sophomore Recreation, Park, and Tourism Science major, with a minor in Business from San Antonio, TX, but more importantly, I am The Loudest and The Proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggies Class of 2020! A-A-A-A-A!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is that I am never alone. If I ever need help, there’s always someone there to support me. With that being said, I also enjoy meeting so many different people from different backgrounds. As an Aggie, it is also exciting to see the growing diversity on campus as well.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved in the DMS to mainly find a place where I belonged at A&M and to help guide those who were lost in Aggieland find their home away from home. It’s hard to enjoy college life when you feel lost. I was once there until I found my IDEAAL family under the DMS.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Through my experiences and involvement with the DMS, I discovered many strengths and weaknesses to my leadership style and what type of impact I can make in my community. As a leader in the DMS, I have also learned to better represent the Asian American community on campus as well as advocate for important things such as cultural identity, civic engagement, LGBTQ communities, and mental health.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

I was just always reminded of my heritage and culture while I am away from home. The people I am surrounded by show pride in their cultural identity and it motivates me to embody and exhibit that type of pride in who I am as well. Being one of the few Asians in the major that I am in is quite challenging since there’s very few Asians under the department; however, it has never discouraged me to change my major because I love and am passionate about what I am studying. Because the DMS encourages, cultivates, and celebrates diversity, I feel the responsibility to represent the diversity under my major and to encourage other minority groups to do what they love, not what they are expected to. The DMS essentially dared me to be different.

What are your plans after graduation?

I never really had a deep appreciation for recreation and leisure, until I took some RPTS courses here at A&M. Recreation and leisure can do wonders for a person because life isn’t all about work and money. It’s about enjoying and celebrating what the world has to offer as well, after all you only live once. After I graduate, I plan on becoming an event planner either for the city or companies. I’m not sure if I want to work with weddings or with cities, but I hope to find out what I enjoy while I’m at A&M.

Farren Fontenot

­­Howdy! My name is Farren Fontenot and I’m a junior Business-Management major from China, TX.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is getting to meet such a wide variety of people and hearing their different stories.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to be a part of the DMS because I wanted to help educate my peers on how to make this campus a more inclusive and diverse community.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

During my time in DMS, I’ve learned that I don’t know everything about diversity and inclusion. There are still many things to learn and I am thankful that I have leaders and peers that can help me do that.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has helped shape my collegiate experience, from career ideas to giving me a space where I can vent and process the political tension that currently plagues our country.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to go to law school and specialize in civil rights, so that I can continue my efforts in standing up for disadvantaged groups.

Kishan Patel 

Howdy, y’all! My name is Kishan B. Patel. I am from Sugar Land, TX and I am double majoring in Biomedical Science and Entomology, but more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the Texas A&M Class of 2018. AY! WHOOP!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is the network. The Aggie Network has been such a great resource and has really allowed me to connect to all parts of the campus and alumni across the nation.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

Coming in as a freshman, I never understood what culture shock was. Transitioning from one of the most diverse places in Texas to the demographics of A&M helped me define that phrase. Growing up, I learned to really love and appreciate my heritage and community. Coming to A&M however, I felt a disconnection between the South Asian communities on campus. I was never able to find that community that I was able to celebrate my culture with and that is why I joined the DMS. The DMS has helped serve as an avenue of connection between different cultures and even rebuild existing ones. The DMS has helped me locate and guide my passion for my community, as well as help me grow into an ambassador for the Asian community.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Through being involved in the DMS I have learned that it is okay to be me! I don’t have to put on some type of facade because everyone is accepting. Being apart of the DMS has allowed me to further my leadership skills, sharpen my public speaking skills and become more in touch with my cultural identity.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

I have learned that I really enjoy interacting and planning events with people of different cultures. Through hosting some of our biggest events, I was able to learn a lot more about my own culture and share that with others.

What are your plans after graduation?

The DMS really opened my eyes to the issues that are occurring in our society and on our campus. They help connect me to individuals on campus that helped me advocate for my beliefs and fight for the things I believe in.

Anastasia Harrison 

Howdy! My name is Anastatia Harrison and I am a Senior Human Resource Development Major, with a double minor in Business and Communication from Houston Texas. But more Importantly, I am the Loudest and the Proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2018. A-WHOOP!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is being able to participate in the various traditions around our campus. I am a very family oriented person and having all of these traditions makes Texas A&M feel like home. Of all of the traditions, my favorite one is Aggie Football games. This is my favorite traditions because not only are you able to see the spirit of Aggieland, you can hear and feel it!

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become apart of the DMS because it promotes inclusivity on the campus of Texas A&M and allowed me to be around like-minded people. A&M has over 60,000 students so it can be very hard to find your role on campus and you can sometimes feel like you don’t belong. The DMS provides a safe space, and houses organizations that foster excellence and hard-work. These organizations push people to obtain their full potential, so I knew I had to apart of that.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Through being involved in the DMS I have learned that it is okay to be me! I don’t have to put on some type of facade because everyone is accepting. Being apart of the DMS has allowed me to further my leadership skills, sharpen my public speaking skills and become more in touch with my cultural identity.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has influenced my collegiate experience by giving me home away from home. I have been able to make connections with other students, build my network and help me make a lasting impact on my community.

What are your plans after graduation?

Wow, this is so scary to think about, because after college is literally right around the corner for me! After college, I plan on pursuing my MBA with a focus on non-profits. I would love to open/run a foster home and I think this would be a good step in achieving that goal. Ultimately after I graduate I want to do something that not only brings joy to me but brings joy to those in my community. I don’t want to chase a career simply for monetary benefit when I have been equipped with skills that will allow me to make a positive impact on the world!

Tammy Pham

Howdy! My name is Tammy Pham, and I am a Mathematics major from Houston, Texas. More importantly, I am a loud and proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2020!! AY-AY-AY-AY-AYYYYY!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

Family is one of the things I value most in my life, and I love that as an Aggie, I am able to experience a family extended beyond biological means. I find that because Aggies share the mindset of wanting to help each other while upholding the core values of Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, and Selfless Service, we are better able to persevere and become well-rounded people.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I was introduced to the DMS when I decided to be a mentee for ExCEL. Over time, I became a more active member of IDEAAL, a group full of the most welcoming people I have ever met. The DMS challenges me to explore my cultural identity, and I have learned that there is a lot more to me than meets the eye; I wanted to become more aware of adversities and to share the things I learned while making new friends.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Through the opportunities that encouraged me to be a better leader, I have gradually come to understand my style of leadership; I personally find it easier to initiate relations one-on-one than in a group setting. However, I have come to the realization that I enjoy the energy that comes with being surrounded by people and tend to develop habits that stem from seeing certain behaviors that the people I admire exhibit. I hope to learn even more about myself, and “Pass it forward” as I develop the skills to help others in the same way that I was guided through college.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

Besides helping me develop professionally, it has allowed me to meet some of my best friends. My transition to college was nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be, and the reason is partly that I was with people who shared my fears and concerns, and we found mentors who offered reassurance and invaluable advice. Overall, I am making many memories and am blessed to have academic success as well as a social life.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to teach at a low-income school. My lifelong goal is to have direct an impact on the people around me. As a teacher, I will be in the position to make a difference in students’ lives and hopefully prepare them to impact the world in ways much bigger than I ever imagined for myself.

Jose Fragoso

Howdy!  My name is Jose Fragoso. I am a senior Telecommunication Media Studies Major with a Minor in Film Studies from Atlanta, GA.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is Midnight Yell and Saturday Night football games at Kyle Field.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved in the DMS because of my freshman year. As an out-of-state minority student, I realized something once I had arrived on campus that I had veered away from my Hispanic/Latino culture. Another thing that drove me to become involved with the DMS was missing the whole close-knit family aspect that I grew up with, I missed seeing people that looked like me and spoke the same language as me (that was not English). It was through the Mexican Student Association (one of our HPC umbrella organizations) that I learned about HPC and the DMS. Upon joining HPC I realized that I was not the only one who missed the whole “familia” aspect from back home. As an officer in HPC, I make sure that Hispanic/LatinX students find their home in Aggieland because we are the Aggies and the Aggies are we!

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Being part of the DMS, I have learned how much minority students are not aware of the resources that the department has to offer for them. And as a DMS student leader, it is part of my job to make them aware of it.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has made my collegiate experience more welcoming, especially as an out-state student. I met more people who shared my goals and wishes to make Aggieland feel more like home to the incoming Hispanic/LatinX students.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to either join Teach for America and teach for 2 years or immediately enroll in the Teachers College Graduate School at Columbia University and get my masters in Bilingual/Bicultural Childhood Education. After a few years of teaching, I will hope to have finished my screenplay for a feature-length film or TV Show that will be everyone’s next show to binge watch.

Emmanuel Quiros

Howdy! My name is Emanuel Quiros and I’m a civil engineering honors major from College Station, Texas. But more importantly I’m the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019! A-A-A-Whoop!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

I love all of the traditions and opportunities we have on campus in addition to the friendliest student body in the world.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to get involved in the DMS because I wanted to be around other people who value their unique cultural identities. In doing so, I hoped to interact with others and learn about their personal experiences so that I could better empathize with them on certain issues and become more appreciative of practices that are not part of my Hispanic heritage.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?Since being involved with the DMS, I have had the opportunity to learn about who I am as a Hispanic leader. Specifically, I find myself to be more of a servant leader who finds success by empowering others to reach their fullest potential. Seeing the Latino freshmen I have worked with thrive in college gives me a sense of fulfillment.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

Without a doubt, the DMS has helped to make my collegiate experience way better than it would have been otherwise. Having the opportunity to participate in Latino Males United, attend leadership conferences, and relax at socials have all given me fond memories and experiences that I will never forget. Plus, having access to resources and helpful individuals provided by the DMS have helped me to succeed both academically and professionally. Such things would not have been possible without the amazing faculty, student leaders, and organizational members that make the DMS what it is today, so I am really grateful for the privilege of being around these people.

What are your plans after graduation?

At the moment, I am leaning towards continuing my education by pursuing a Master’s degree in either civil or mechanical engineering. From there I intend to find a job in the industry.

Elena Villarreal

Howdy!  My name is Elena Villarreal, I am a junior Sociology major with a Latino/a Mexican American Studies minor, from San Antonio, TX.

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

As a first-generation college student being an Aggie, not only represents me, but it also represents the rest of my family.  My parents worked just as hard as I did to push me to be who I am today and I am very thankful for the opportunity to make myself a better person.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

As a freshman, I remember attending the DMS Welcome Social during Gig ‘Em Week and since then the DMS always caught my attention.  I wanted to be a part of this community that was for inclusiveness and success, among other things.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Since joining the DMS, a lot of my goals have changed, but for the better.  I believe that being part of the Hispanic Presidents’ Council helped me develop as a leader and a student.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

Through the DMS, I have learned to hold myself accountable and to know when to set limits, after all, I am a student first.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to take a couple of years off to enjoy my life before beginning law school.  My goal is to attend a Top 14 Law School and practice Immigration Law.  I also hope to start my own non-profit organization to aide the undocumented community and their children.

Cindy Lam

Howdy! My name is Cindy Lam and I am a Biomedical Sciences major from Round Rock, Texas, but most importantly, I am the loudest and the proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2020! AYYYYY

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie would have to be how friendly everyone is. From the people on campus to the people outside in the Aggie Network, everyone always treats you like an Aggie family member.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I became a part of the DMS because I felt out of place when arriving here at A&M. The DMS put an emphasis on uniting the diverse community and giving everyone a home which is something I appreciated. When I was introduced to APC and became the Freshmen Intern, I knew I wanted to continue being in the DMS to make sure others know that they’re not alone in this university.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Being involved in the DMS has given me the opportunity to meet other people, learn about various cultures, and coordinate with different organizations on campus. This has made me more open-minded not only as a leader but as a person as well.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has influenced my collegiate experience by giving me a numerous amount of people to look up to. I was fortunate enough to be part of APC with 11 other officers and 1 advisor that I hope to be like one day. They inspire me to be like the great leaders and students that they are.

What are your plans after graduation?

After undergrad, I have hopes of continuing my education in optometry school. I want to become an optometrist to provide primary eye care for the people in my community and help my patients realize the importance of taking care of their vision.

Ahn Duong

Howdy! My name is Anh Duong and I am a sophomore Civil Engineering Major  from Houston, Texas. But more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019. AY-AY-AY-AY-AYYYYY!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is the fact that I have the opportunity to meet all sorts of people from different backgrounds. As a student who graduated from a high school class of 129 people, I wasn’t really able to meet new people . However, I am able to find and meet those who I can relate to and be friends with here at Texas A&M.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

As a freshman, I was in about 6 different organizations during my first few months here. I told to myself that I needed to put myself out there, become involved in my community, and meet new people which led to me discovering the DMS. I might have came to the IDEAAL informational for the food, but I stayed for the new friends that I made and as a result, it became my home away from home.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

As a mentor for IDEAAL, I learned that sometimes, even if you may be passionate at something and dedicate yourself to do it, it may not always work out at the end. Time changes things and people may change but that’s ok because at the end of the day, it was fun while it lasted and I was able to create new memories with the new friends that I’ve made.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS gave me the opportunity to become more involved with my community through social services such as volunteering. Furthermore, I was able to gain leadership skills and become much more mature than I was as a shy freshman. I was able to learn from my mistakes and better myself not only as a mentor, but also as a person.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan on getting a job in the field of civil engineering and eventually go back for my masters or even my doctorate after working for a few years. Eventually, I want to save up money and open up my own Tapioca shop or something and spend the rest of my days sipping on Boba.

Pete Pham

Howdy Ags! My name is Pete Pham. I am a Psychology Major, from Dallas, Texas. But more importantly, I am a loud and proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2018!!! A-A-A-WHOOP!!!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite parts of being an Aggie are the traditions of this university and the aspect of the Aggie Family. I feel like these aspects are what separates us from other universities. I enjoy participating in the traditions because I think that is an aspect that ties the students together. Trust me, when I first came to this university, I was skeptical about everything. I did not understand why people would avoid going under the branch of some tree or why students stayed 5 hours at a football game, standing throughout the game. But I realize that it is more than that and it also helps you relate with the now 60,000 plus students that attend this school.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I got involved at the DMS to meet more people. It has been a great experience for me so far because I have gotten to not only connect with more students, but with the faculty at our university. I got involved with the DMS during my second semester of my sophomore year, when I joined Aggies to Aggies. During the summer, I got to be a part of ExCEL and this year, I have the opportunity of working as a student worker for the department.  It has been a fun journey so far and I hope that it will continue on. Even though I have a semester left, I am looking forward to meeting more students.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I have gotten to learn quite a bit more about myself through my experiences at the DMS. But more importantly, I have gotten to meet more students and their experiences at Texas A&M. For me, I believe my story is only part of the picture but the other half is painted in the stories of the people and students I have gotten to know. I have gotten to learn more about this university and the different views that some people hold about this campus. I have gotten to hear different stories of people’s experience, expanding my viewpoint about this school.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has given me a place to just relax and hang with the advisors. I find the DMS to be a very welcoming place, with people who have their doors open to the students. The DMS have provided me with a space where I can go study and a place I can let out some steam.

What are your plans after graduation?

My general goal is to not fail at life. I am going to graduate early, in December of 2017. After that, I am hoping to get an internship that spring. I do not know where it is going to be at, but I know that I will need to have an internship that semester. During the spring semester, I am going apply for law schools, praying that I get into at least one of them. I want to pursue a career in civil and social justice, with an emphasis in community relations. My next step is to to become a state-level judge. So if you need a lawyer, let me know and hopefully, I will be able to be one in the future.

Alexander Rodriguez

Howdy, my name is Alexander Rodriguez. I am a junior Political Science major from San Antonio, TX. I am also the loudest and proudest member of the fighting Texas Aggie class of 2018!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is spending time on campus at various lectures or student organizations that further my knowledge outside of the typical classroom setting.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I became involved in the DMS because I believe that Texas A&M’s minorities need to build a community of inclusion amongst each other. The DMS houses some of the most important multicultural groups. I hope in the future we will work closely together as students and former students to assist each other in our future careers and maintain a DMS network past graduation.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Since I’ve started my work in the DMS I have realized I enjoy working to develop students professional skills. I enjoy watching others be successful and develop as well-rounded students and leaders.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has given me a place where I feel as comfortable as I did back home. I enjoy talking about current events and pop culture with the students. I would say that without the DMS my college experience would be less eventful and I would feel more homesick.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on going back to San Antonio to pursue a Masters degree in non-profit management.

Brenda Castillo

Howdy, my name is Brenda Castillo and I am a senior Molecular and Cell Biology major from San Antonio, Texas. But more importantly I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2017! A-Whoop!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is having many traditions, and the Aggie Core Values that enhance the student experience at Texas A&M. Traditions such as receiving the Aggie Ring, or attending Elephant Walk, provide the opportunity to see ourselves transitioning from freshmen to seniors,  and to appreciate what it is like to be a part of the Aggie Family.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved with the DMS during my first year at Texas A&M, after interacting with members of the Hispanic Presidents’ Council (HPC). Both HPC and the DMS were very welcoming, and they offered me a place where I could interact with diverse individuals, a place to grow as a leader, and a place where I was able to stay connected with my culture.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

While being involved in the DMS I have learned that it is important for me to remember what my motivation to pursuing my different professional goals is, and that motivation has to do a lot with my culture and my heritage. Keeping that motivation in mind is essential in order overcome difficulties or situations that divert me from achieving my goals.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has had a tremendous impact on my college experience. I have been a part of the DMS for four years now, and I have been able to take on different leadership roles within one of its’ organizations. The opportunities that the DMS provides allowed me to interact with individuals of different cultures and backgrounds in a deeper level, pursue my first collegiate experience abroad, learn how to work in a team setting, and to acquire a sense of professionalism.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to attend medical school and serve my community as a bilingual physician.

Sang Tran

Howdy! My name is Sang Tran and I am a junior Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIST) – Computation, Design, and Analysis major from Houston, Texas. But more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2018. A-A-A-Whoop!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is to find that there are truly unlimited amount of resources provided by the university to assist me in finding what I am passionate about and how to achieve those dreams that I had set out for myself after I graduated from high school. Also, the opportunities to meet new people and learning about their cultures changed the way I viewed the world.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

When I first came to A&M, the only people I’d known at the time were my high school friends. I was concerned about how I was going to meet and befriend with people who are different from me since I was used to hanging with my group of friends all throughout high school. It wasn’t until when I received an email from the DMS inviting me to attend their “Welcome Social” as part of Gig ‘em Week. It was then that I joined IDEAAL, my very first collegiate organization, and met so many people who are similar to me as well as those who are different. The DMS is like my home away from home and it always will be the place that changed everything for me.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

From being a student leader in the DMS, I realized that I have the potential to make an impact in so many people’s lives. This is extremely important to me since growing up it was the very first lesson in which my father taught me; to put others before yourself as long as you know that you yourself are happy first.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has made me to become not only a better Aggie but a better person as a whole. I have learned so much for the past 3 years about how important it is to not only focus so much on academics but also to try and make some sort of impacts in the community as well.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on moving to Redlands, California and start working for Esri as a GIS specialist. Not many people now that with a degree in GIST, you can almost work in any career fields that interest you so I am still trying to explore other career paths that are out there presented in front of me. I am also planning on working abroad if possible so I can expand my knowledge and meet more people who share the same interests as myself.

Khoi Quach

Howdy, my name is Khoi Quach and I am a sophomore Biomedical Science major from Houston, Texas. But more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019! AY-AY-AY-AY-AYYYYY!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

Being an Aggie had given me lots of opportunities to meet new and friendly people, being involved with the great traditions that Texas A&M has and being a part of the Aggie Network. It also showed me that selflessness is an important core value to have because when you help others, you also receive the happiness and joy that they receive.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved with DMS because I felt very welcoming and homely with all the organizations there. Coming in as a freshman, it was tough to find a place where you belong but i had found my second family at the DMS among all the organizations on campus.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

As I became more involved with DMS, I recognized that I can used the knowledge that others had taught me to help others newcomers like I was during my freshman year.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has influenced me a lot in these past 2 years of my collegiate experience since I found a second “home” and I also gained more knowledge about self-identity, and awareness about diversity issues.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to attend medical school to become a special-ed pediatrician because I love to help others especially kids. Before A&M, I planned to attend art school but one told me that “a painting can last in your memory for a day, a month or maybe a year; but a life that you save will always last in others’ hearts”.

Farren Fontenot

Howdy! My name is Farren Fontenot and I’m a sophomore Business major from Beaumont, TX, But more importantly, I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019!  A-A-A-A-A!!!!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is getting to meet such a wide variety of people and hear their different stories.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to be apart of DMS because I wanted to help ensure our campus climate is inclusive to everyone, a mission that I am deeply passionate about.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I have learned a lot but there are many areas I need to grow in and I am thankful that I have leaders and peers that can help me do that.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has really helped shape my collegiate experience, from influencing my career choices to teaching me new and important lessons everyday.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to help influence and improve the education system. I believe investing in education is the most effective way to bring about positive change and feel certain I can.

Gentill Abdulla

gentill-abdullaHowdy! My name is Gentill Abdulla, and I am a Sophomore Physics major from Ethiopia, but raised in Houston, Texas! But more importantly, I am the Loudest and Proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2019!!!!! A-A-A-AAAA!!!!!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie really is the capacity and opportunity we have to positively impact the campus around us. There are so many different ways of influencing others and unlike most other universities we have ample ability to act on that side of the student leadership spectrum.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I got involved in the DMS because it provided a promising and meaningful safe space for promoting and being involved in my own culture as well as those around me. The leadership experiences and skills I’ve been able to acquire and fine tune during my time at the DMS has also helped me unwind from all the stresses that bombard the life of a college physics major, and for that I am forever grateful.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I learned that as far as event planning and executing goes, I am the kind of person who really believes in working as a collective. The saying goes “teamwork makes a dream work”, and my time collaborating and working with other student leaders has really put that to the test.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has provided me with a lot of opportunity to work with like minded peers for causes that I hold dear to my heart. Whether its advancement of minority groups or the joy of working together on a big community event, the DMS has housed a plethora of memories that I do not think I would’ve gotten had I not decided to be involved within it!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I plan on pursuing an MBA and entering the finance field as a financial analyst with hopes of becoming a Chief Financial Officer for a major company or firm.

Jessica Hsu

jessica-hsuHowdy! My name is Jessica Hsu from Sugar Land, Texas! I am a sophomore Nutrition Major with a Business Minor, but most importantly, I am a loud and proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2019! A-A-A-A-A!!!!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

One of my favorite part of being an Aggie is the fire of the Aggie Spirit. From yelling football games to sharing memories at Silver Taps, we all become embodied with the passion of what an Aggie represents. Our Aggie Family is one that I am proud to be a part.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

Because I came from a diverse community, I never realized what it meant to have a self-identity. When I came to A&M, I did not know anyone and I began to realize how culturally different I was. . I was then introduced to the DMS through the Welcome Social where a past friend shared his story with me and how much the DMS personally influenced him. It was because of my shared vision of a strong, unified Asian Community that I joined APC as a Freshmen Intern. My passion drove my desire to built a safe community for Asians to be proud of who they are.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Through the DMS, I learned the importance of initiation and my leadership abilities. Most importantly, I learned how influential a community can be. Through APC, I found a community that loved me because of who I am. They challenged me to explore who I am and guided me through my life. Because of them, I became a better leader, but most importantly, a better person. I learned more about my own leadership style and how to utilize them.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS provided me a safe space to talk about personal issues I experienced, culturally, socially, and academically. From listening to the little things to helping out with homework, I realized how much the DMS has been there for me as a family.

What are your plans after graduation?

Although I do not know what is in store for me in the future, I hope to engage in a profession where I am able to humbly support those in need.

Johnathan Strange

jonathan-strangeHowdy, my name is Johnathan Strange I am an Architecture –Urban and Regional Planning major from Dallas, Texas but most importantly I am The Loudest and The Proudest member of The Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2018 A-A-A WHOOP!!!!!!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is being a part of the amazing Aggie Network. Networking is a great resource that will open doors and provide many opportunities for me in the future. Being an Aggie, is helping me become more diverse and is teaching me how to work and collaborate with others; along with helping me enhance my leadership skills.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved with the DMS, to help others give back to the Aggie community; I wanted to join an organization that will help me grow as a leader, a student, and also a man of color. I wanted to be a part of an organization that has the mindset or mission to make a difference on this campus and the B/CS community. The DMS provides many organizations in which I can give back as well as grow into an outstanding individual.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

While being involved with the DMS, I learned that I am passionate about helping others, I am developing into a good leader, I am good at communicating with others, and I am a great person to work with.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has influenced my collegiate experience, by giving me the opportunity to meet more minority students who have the same mindset and strive as me. I was fortunate enough to become a DMS Ambassador, which gives me the opportunity to make an impact on future Aggies, along with meeting and networking with former Aggies. The DMS has opened my eyes to see that there is more to this campus than being a student, it is helping me become an effective leader as well as helping me build my character.

What are your plans after graduation?

My plans after graduation, is to attend graduate school and earn my Masters of Architecture- Urban and Regional Planning so I can become a licensed Urban Planner. After graduate school, I plan to go back to Dallas and work on re-developing the urban area in low-income neighborhoods to give my community something to be proud of along with having a comfortable place to live.

Jose Fragoso

jose-fragosoHowdy! My name is Jose Fragoso  I am a Telecommunication Media Studies Major with a Minor in Film studies from Atlanta, Georgia but most importantly I am a loud and proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2018 A-A-A-Whoop!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is our traditions, from Silver Taps to Midnight Yell to putting a penny on Sully for good luck before exams (although I have yet to put a penny myself). I am a big football fan, so the fact that we are in the SEC is a bonus to why I love being an Aggie.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved in the DMS because my freshman year, as a out-of-state minority student I realized something that once I had arrived on campus: I had veered away from my Hispanic/Latino culture. Another thing that drove me to become involved with the DMS was missing the whole close-knit family aspect that I grew up with, I missed seeing people that looked like me and spoke the same language as me (that was not English). It was through the Mexican Student Association (one of our HPC umbrella organizations) that I learned about HPC and the DMS. Upon joining HPC I realized that I was not the only one who missed the whole “familia” aspect from back home. As an officer in HPC I make sure that hispanic/latinx students find their home in Aggieland because “We are the Aggies and the Aggies are we”!

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Being part of the DMS, I have learned how much minority students are not aware of the resources that the department has to offer for them. And as a DMS student leader it is part of my job to make them aware of it.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has made my collegiate experience more welcoming, especially as an out-state student. I met more people who shared my goals and wishes to make Aggieland feel more like home to the incoming hispanic/latinx students.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I plan to join Uncommon Schools in Boston and teach for 2 years, all while getting my Masters in Urban Education. Upon finishing my second year, I will attend Yale or U.C Berkley and pursue a Masters in Screenwriting/Producing.

 

Brianna Lilly

brianna-lillyHowdy! My name is Brianna Lilly. I am a senior Chemistry major, Business Minor from Houston, Texas, but more importantly I am the loudest and proudest member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2017. A-WHOOP!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is being a part of the great Aggie Network. Connecting with current students and former students is what I love about being a part of this University. Networking plays a big role in success and I love that Texas A&M has such a strong alumnus that believes in helping other Aggies.

 

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I got involved in the DMS my freshman year. After visiting MSC Open House and learning about the organizations that were apart of the DMS I felt that I had to be apart of one of the organizations. The fact that these organizations were diversity based made me feel at home and gave me a sense of belonging that I’ve carried with me throughout my time here at Texas A&M.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

Being a part of the DMS has allowed me to recognize my abilities as a leader and develop skills that I did not possess before. I’ve become more conscious of my cultural identity because of the department.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has given me the tools to better myself as a student leader. It has allowed me to make connections with other students and create lasting memories.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I plan work in the pharmaceutical industry and further my education by obtaining a Master’s Degree in my respective field.

 

Courtney Starnes

courtney-starnesMy name is Courtney Starnes. I’m a junior, Communication major from Dallas, TX, but most importantly I am the loudest and the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2018!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part of being an Aggie is being a leader in the organizations I am in. Both of the organizations I am in I started off as a freshmen. I have watched them both grow, and a lot of it is because of my involvement. Being involved has allowed me to truly find out what I am passionate about.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

I chose to become involved in the DMS involuntarily. When I signed up for ExCEL I did not expect to be apart of a really big family. I remember at our conference my mentor’s told me about the resources in the DMS, and how good of a place it was to study. I started going in there to study but was always welcomed with warm smiles and “how is your day today?” on a daily basis. I guess that is what made me come back more. I felt included in some sort of family, and I loved it. This year, because I am on Executive Staff of ExCEL now, I have found myself in the DMS more than ever. I usually go every day to study before I leave campus. It’s turned into a ritual.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?

I’ve learned how influential I really can be while working in the DMS. I have helped students with their resume, degree plans, and even coming up with new organizations while sitting at the desks of the DMS. I’ve met incredible underclassmen who actually look at me as their mentor inside the DMS. I also learned how much of a family I really have surrounding me while in the DMS. It’s the highlight of my day to walk to MSC.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS is a place I can go to relieve my mind, not only study. I heard from former students that POC never actually had their own space to go to. I believe the DMS is the space for that. People are always studying, taking naps, or even holding debatable conversation every time I come in. The DMS has also influenced me since I decided to apply for ExCEL my freshmen year. I have had the pleasure to meet with other DMS leaders and the staff here. The staff is so welcoming and encouraging, and makes me feel good about whatever task I choose to accomplish that day.

What are your plans after graduation?

This is the scariest question to me! As a Junior you would think I knew the answer for this but I really do not. I’ve never sat down and created a five year plan for myself, to organize my life out. I plan on doing that, because there is no way I can make an adequate decision without writing the step-to-step direction I plan on taking. I really have no idea though, but I’m not stressing. I think about things that have sparked my interest, like blogging. I have my own blog, and I wish to expand on it in my adult career as well. Although, I do not think that is all I want to do with my life. i have a few more years to plan it out, fortunately.

 

 

LMU EXCURSION PAINTING PROJECT   –   SPRING 2016LMU Centro

What it Means to Be a Latino Man by Latino Males United is an exhibition of sixteen acrylic paintings created by members who attended a three-day cultural excursion in San Antonio, Texas. This exhibit features the art work of men from variety of different Latino backgrounds and lived experiences. We implemented this painting project from inspiration from our last year’s visit to the Centro Cultural Aztlan, which is a community based organization with a mission to preserve, develop and promote Chicano/Latino art and culture.

As part of this painting project students were encouraged to reflect on their masculinity and Latino identity and were able to artistically and symbolically display how they see themselves. In this exhibition you will see a variety of inspiration, color and contrast.

 

juan emanuelOasis in the Latino Heart

 Jose Emanuel Quiros

A modern and symbolic representation of the struggles that adolescent Latino males face as they grow into men. The problems, which can be interpreted differently depending on the viewer, are represented by vibrant squares that are arranged in such a way as to mimic the appearance of a desert. Splattered paint across the desert represent specific struggles that the painter faced personally and subsequently imbued into the piece. The lone green square at the bottom right-hand corner of the piece represents the ability of a Latino male to successfully overcome adversity and personal strife on their path to become a successful and respectable Latino man.

 

joshua

Tex-Mex

Joshua Martin

Being a Hispanic already has its own identity of culture. Being a Hispanic in Texas has its own all-new blended culture. Tex-Mex culture is very unique from solely Texas and solely Mexican culture, from the food, art, music, and words. However every Mexican in Texas can find their roots in North American and South American tribes. In those times certain animals represented certain characteristics. In this painting is an Aztec bird that represents masculinity, courage, and strength.

 

 

juan escobar

 

The Path to Your Success

Juan Escobar

The painting describes the struggles us Latinos face, whether its racism, failure, or family challenges, the path shows that if you just continue following the path good things will happen. You have to fight for a desire, and many people face these particular things each and everyday, no matter what you should find a way to get what you want. The different colors that are around the path are distractions and sometimes those distractions can pull you towards them, yet you can find a way to get back on the path and accomplish great things.

 

 

juan reyes

UP in Thought

Juan M. Reyes Jr.

What constitutes a man in my eyes is being able to think for yourself as an individual while having a distinct connection with nature and the ambiance of the time. So within my work it had the theme of clouds which constitutethought, or thinking clouds. The pinkish cloud symbolizes day time and due to its large size it recognizes the deep impact day is within our lives as people. The purple cloud with stars around it of course symbolizes night time and the deep effect it has on our lives as we dream and sleep at night. The green hills or green clouds as I see it represent the fact that we as people must be up in thought as well as grounded to earth and staying humble to people and ourselves. The land is so important to pur existence both spiritually and physically. The pure white thinking clouds aknowledge the thinking bubble an indiviudal has, and it being white since our thoughts ought to be blank and fresh once having things proccess in our minds. We must be able to imagine at a blank slate type of mentality weary of judgment and corruption. ‘UP In Thought’ is truly a piece for the mind and has so much more to tell on it.

luis moreno

 

 

 

The Grounded Fundamentals

Luis Moreno

In pursuing a life of fulfillment and success as a Man, one must be able to grow on the basis of truth, joy and courage. It is essential that we grow roots on these fundamentals to continue developing into Men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

luis reyes

 

Nocturnal Dove

Luis Reyes

It doesn’t matter if you find yourself flying among a million problems and negative stereotypes, you have to find peace even in the worst situations.

 

 

 

 

Patrick

 

 

Natural

Patrick Patraca

It symbolizes that we as men have to be natural in our daily lives. This means accepting and embracing who you really are as a person. The painting was made with happiness in thought, and that is another big part of the whole painting. Without happiness, an individual cannot fulfill their complete potential.

 

 

 

hector puga

Burning Edge

Hector Puga

The sun represents my idea of masculinity because it represents a lot of what a man should strive to be. The sun like a man, looks over others and supplies warmth and guidance to them. A man needs to know how to work for others and think of others before himself. The layers of colors shown in my sun represent the different layers of a man. Men need to understand all of their layers in order to understand themselves. We constantly struggle to understand who we are but hope we can still shine bright enough to help all those we love.

 

frank

 

 

The Tree of Life

Frank Garcia

This tree represents the progression of my life. The roots symbolize a very strong identity of who I am, and where I’m from. Leaves represent growing as a person, hence why it’s incomplete of them. The tree has yet a lot to grow, as well as myself.

 

 

 

fernando r

 

Something Greater

Fernando Rosas

Being a Latino man means being the head of the family and always expected to protect them. He is to be the muscles and provider. A man looks over his family, as an eagle looks over the land he flies upon. But like an eagle that has the great skies to fly on, a Latino man has a great nation he can count on.

 

 

 

eduardo gandara

 

The Art of Landscaping

Eduardo Gandara

Each one of these brands you see represents brands of landscaping machines that I grew up with as my dad owned his landscaping business. Growing up undocumented was not easy for my family, but we managed to get by because of my dad’s business and because of our faith in Christ. I remember despising the summertime and school holidays because it meant that I had to go work with my dad and be out in the heat and work long hours. Today, however, it I realize that it was these experiences that have helped create my identity of what it means to be a Latino man and that is the value and power of hard work.

 

diego

 

Brave Heart

Diego Guerra

To be a man is to have heart with every aspect of your life. To be brave and not let anything stand in your way. To be as strong as steel. The sword and the heart are intertwined representing that strength and heart/compassion is essential to being a man.

 

 

 

 

cruz

 

 

Between Borders and Self-discovery

Cruz A. Ríos

The mix of colors symbolize the different parts of my identity. The colors move from cool to warm to signify the journey I am taking to be my authentic self. The black borders throughout are times in my life where I felt I couldn’t express myself. Being a Latino man means being confident in who I am, being a positive role model, and protecting the people I love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bird and the Horizonalan martinez

Alan Martinez

Inspiration from this piece comes from the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, in terms of symbolism. In contrast to the novel’s theme of molding a strong black woman, I used it to describe my journey to becoming a strong Latino Male. The Horizon is a powerful symbol representing dreams and aspirations far from reach, while also outlining importance of transition, whether it’s  the transition from day to night or  from child to man. I also incorporated my own elements to the piece by adding foliage and flora to signify masculinity as being natural and true to oneself, and a quetzal, a bird prominent in the history of Mexico and Central America, as a sacred emblem and reminder from the once great empires that dominated the lands.

 

alan

 

 

Man of Big Heart

Alan Flores

This painting describes a man who shows his masculinity through caring actions. He does this by putting those he loves first and always carries them in his heart. A man is measured through his emotions.

 

 

 

IMG_3059

 

The Path to Your Success

Juan Escobar

The painting describes the struggles us Latinos face, whether its racism, failure, or family challenges, the path shows that if you just continue following the path good things will happen. You have to fight for a desire, and many people face these particular things each and everyday, no matter what you should find a way to get what you want. The different colors that are around the path are distractions and sometimes those distractions can pull you towards them, yet you can find a way to get back on the path and accomplish great things.