Commencement Spotlight: Miguel Gonzalez fell in love with cognitive psychology research at UTSA
(May 8, 2017) -- Meet Miguel Gonzalez. After working several jobs and raising two children, he joined the Roadrunner family to pursue his dream of earning a bachelor's degree.
Gonalez was accepted into the UTSA Honors College in fall 2015. After meeting and getting to know top-tier faculty in the UTSA Department of Psychology, the UTSA undergraduate became interested in learning more about the department's coursework and research opportunities. He decided to major in psychology after taking an entry-level course.
While at UTSA, he received a Terry Scholarship to help cover his tuition costs. He also received support from the UTSA RISE program, a National Institutes of Health-funded program that prepares ethnically and financially underrepresented students for top-ranked Ph.D. programs and careers in research.
Through the UTSA RISE program, Gonzalez was introduced to Thomas Coyle, a UTSA professor who specializes in cognitive psychology research.
"RISE was a game changer for me because it provided me with financial assistance to conduct research," said Gonzalez. "It allowed me to take that next step to enter the professional scientific world. It also allowed me to attend seminars where I learned how to prepare for graduate school."
Working alongside Coyle and his graduate students, Gonzalez researched how personality traits predict test taking abilities and academic achievement. Gonzalez says his experience as a non-traditional student who had a tough childhood inspired him to conduct the research, which he hopes will shed light on the challenges facing students who are less outgoing than their peers and those who have less support at home.
Gonzalez reported on his research in his honors thesis. He also shared his psychology research at a conference in San Antonio, an experience that gave him the confidence to present his research in front of others and network with other students and faculty interested in cognitive psychology.
"I have just gotten my feet wet with this type of research and plan to continue studying cognitive neuroscience," said Gonzalez. "I feel like this type of research can influence education leaders around the nation and even impact public policy to come up with ways to make sure every student, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to excel in school."
He wants other non-traditional students to know that UTSA is a place where they can thrive.
"UTSA is a very nurturing and inspiring environment to be a part of," he says. "It's never too late to chase your academic goals."
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Psychology.
Learn more about the UTSA Honors College.
Learn more about the MBRS-RISE program at UTSA.
Learn more about UTSA Commencement.
Meet other Spring 2017 graduates.
The Leadership Storytelling Homecoming Brunch brings together UTSA alumni and students to share a delicious meal as well as a roundtable conversation about how experiences in college carry us forward on unique leadership journeys.University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus