DMS Student Spotlight

Corniyah Bradley

Corniyah Bradley headshot

Tell us about yourself

Howdy, my name is Corniyah Bradley. I am a sport management major and leadership minor from Atlanta, GA. But most importantly, I am the LOUDEST, and the PROUDEST, member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2021 A-A-A Whoop!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie?

My favorite part about being an Aggie is the forever friends that I have made. The connections I have made here go far beyond the generic. The sense of family and togetherness is something I hold true to my heart.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?

Some of the older Posse members showed me the DMS. I had been searching for a place that I felt welcomed on campus and the DMS truly embodied that. After being a member of Black Student Alliance Council (BSAC) during freshman year, I knew it was a duty for me to lead this organization, and that is exactly what I did.

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

I have learned more about myself as a leader. I have discovered the influence I have on others and the connections that I will continue to nourish over the years. I have learned that Texas A&M is more than school — we are a family.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?

The DMS has created a safe space for me to call home on campus. It is the safe haven for minority students and the one place that feels truly ours on this campus.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?

I am the Vice-President of the Omicron Omega Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

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

I define leadership as all the characteristics that one possesses that positively influence others. As a DMS Student leader, it is imperative that I be the change I would like to see in others. I may not be able to completely transform Texas A&M by the time I leave, but if I could inspire just one person to spark change, then I believe my job here is complete!

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I would like to start a non-profit that bases its efforts on spreading non-traditional athletics into low income communities. The goal is to create more opportunities for these students through sponsorship, scholarships, service, and education.

Ritika Gangarapu

Ritika Gangarapu headshot

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

Howdy! My name is Ritika Gangarapu and I am a junior genetics major from Flower Mound, TX, but more importantly, I am the loudest and the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2021! A-A-A-WHOOP!

What is your favorite part about being an Aggie? 

My favorite part of being an Aggie is the community. I’ve met some of my best friends on campus and I love that so many people here want me to succeed and are willing to support my growth.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS? 

When I was a freshman, I was looking for a diverse community on campus that would allow me to learn more about different cultures and make new friends. I went to the welcome social where I met some of the mentors from IDEAAL and decided that was the place for me. My mentors taught me a lot and I had the privilege of passing on what I learned as a mentor during my sophomore year and now as a voice for the APIDA community through APC.

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

Being involved in the DMS has taught me a lot about what it means to be a leader. I’ve had the opportunity to attend numerous leadership/professional development workshops and learned a lot about how to facilitate challenging conversations. I’ve also learned more about my cultural identity and how to incorporate my experiences into my leadership style.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience? 

The DMS has provided me with so many incredible resources throughout my time at Texas A&M. I’ve had the opportunity to both attend and conduct workshops, learn more about diversity and how to handle being a student of color at a PWI, and most importantly I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful friends and mentors.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS? 

Outside of the DMS, I currently hold a leadership position on the Honors Student Council. I also volunteer at local schools through Aggie School Volunteers and at the hospital as a part of the CHI St. Joseph volunteer program. Another large part of what I do outside of the DMS is research. I’ve been in Dr. Sun’s lab in the nutrition department since my sophomore year and I love it.

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

To me, being an effective leader means setting an example. A leader needs to be able to communicate with their team and inspire them to work as hard as they can. Throughout my time as a DMS student leader, I have grown and understood what kinds of things do and do not work for me as a leader. I have also had the opportunity to work with other great student leaders and learn from them.

What are your plans after graduation? 

After I graduate, I plan on attending medical school and becoming a primary care physician. I hope to eventually work in a smaller, medically underserved community as helping to end health disparities is something I am very passionate about.

Enrique Perez

Enrique Perez headshot

Tell us about yourself
Howdy! My name is Enrique Perez and I am a sophomore/junior urban and regional planning major from the great city of Waco, but more importantly, I am the LOUDEST and the PROUDEST member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2022, A-A-A-A-A!

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?
There are many things about Texas A&M that attracted me prior to even setting a foot on campus and these continue to be my favorite parts of being an Aggie to this day, now having experienced it. I’d say that the diversity of academic experiences that the university offers is one of my favorite parts, given the fact that I have been exposed new ideas, concepts, and varying perspectives during my time here. I am also a fan of many of the traditions that the university and the student body offers i.e. Midnight Yell, the yells themselves, Silver Taps, among many others. The growing diversity of the student body here at Texas A&M is also another thing worth noting and celebrating.

Why did you choose to become involved in the DMS?
I like to say that the DMS came to me. Prior to even moving to campus, I had already received emails informing me of DMS organizations such as Latinos Logradores and about a little event hosted by the Hispanic Presidents’ Council known as Bienvenidos a Aggieland. It was at this event that I became exposed to the two aforementioned organizations but also to Latino Males United. I was extremely intrigued by the work done by these organizations and by the DMS in general that I made it my mission to become as involved as possible. The fact that I had found my home away from home in the process was an added bonus.

What have you learned about yourself while being involved with the DMS?
Leaving high school, I assumed, I knew it all. I assumed that there wasn’t much more growth to my person left to do. I had also seemed to believe that everyone knew my struggles and successes, or at least shared similar experiences to my own. Nevertheless, it was via my involvement with the DMS that I became aware of the fact that I still had a plethora of aspects to by personal and professional development that I needed to fine tune. I also became aware that not everyone shares a story similar to my own and thus it is my duty to inform but also listen to others who have different backgrounds given that I can learn from varying experiences and opinions.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?
The DMS has largely dictated my collegiate experience, which is by no means a negative. I mentioned already that the DMS has become my home away from home given how welcoming and caring the staff and fellow student leaders are. I have also made many, if not more, long lasting personal and professional relationships via the DMS than I have from classes or from within my major. Overall, the DMS has had the largest impact on my personal and professional development than any other entity has had in a large while.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?
Outside of the DMS I am a student surveyor, as part of the Hurricane Harvey Organizational Recovery project with the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center on campus. Within this role, I conduct surveys regarding the operational, financial and recovery status of businesses and organizations in the region of Beaumont and Port Arthur. I am also increasingly becoming more involved with the Association of Student Planners, an organization that strives to provide student planners with a space for discussion and idea exchange but also develop students into planning professionals.

Tell us about your personal definition of leadership, and your role as a DMS student leader.
In the simplest of terms, a person that embodies leadership, at least to me personally, is characterized as someone who places service above self. In other words, someone who prioritizes serving those in need of representation, in need of a voice, in need of a mentor, or in need of a friend. A leader is also a trailblazer and thus should strive to be as knowledgeable and educated as possible so as to achieve that which they seek to change or improve.

What are your plans after graduation?
Upon completing my undergraduate degree, I hope on being able to continue my education in order to obtain a master’s degree in urban design or to expand upon my undergrad and get a master’s in urban and regional planning. Irrespective of what I chose to do, I hope that it opens up the path for me to work as a planning or design professional within my hometown of Waco, and thus being at the forefront of positive change to a city I feel indebted to but also since it is the place I most love.

Xavier Maldonado

Tell us about yourself 
Howdy! A man of many names (X, Xae, Xavi, Zay), but most importantly Xavier Maldonado. I am a junior communications major from the great city of Atlanta. In the DMS, I’m currently serving as the media relations director for the Black Student Alliance Council (BSAC). I love to make people smile and to do whatever I can to bring joy to the space I am in.

How has the DMS influenced your collegiate experience?
The DMS has given me a sense of home here all the way in Texas. Honestly, it is the main
source of all my best relationships and college experiences. Coming all the way from Atlanta to
Texas definitely brought about some culture shock, causing me to fall on hard times. However,
whenever I was with BSAC at a Humpday or just chilling in the DMS playing games it made me
feel whole again. I couldn’t thank the department enough for being there for me.

What is your involvement outside of the DMS?
Outside of the DMS, I wear a lot of hats. I am the vice president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the vice basileus of the Nu Delta Delta chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. On top of that, I am a freelance graphic designer. It is one of my greatest passions, and with it, I design for other organizations all over campus — providing flyers, logos, shirt designs, video promos, business cards, and much more. If you ever see a smiley face stamp on a party flyer, just remember that it was this smile that made it.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on going into the field of advertisement and branding. I love building up companies and creating how they look to the public. I would like to start my own design firm so that I can also help build up entrepreneurs in less fortunate areas where untapped potential exists but no resources are available to start a business.

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 commun