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.
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Finance and Budget Modeling Task Force presents a panel presentation of experts from 4 universities with experience in incentive-based budgeting. All UTSA campus community is invited to attend and be informed about budgeting processes.Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
This event showcases the work of trainees, faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines and public health agencies across San Antonio.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104), Main Campus
This exhibit highlights the UTSA Special Collections, which includes historic photographs from Texas, San Antonio and UTSA history.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.Durango Building River Walk Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The UTSA Art Collection and UT Health San Antonio present art exhibit opening reception for show featuring works from the private collection of Retired Air Force Master Sargent Cody Vance. Focus is the nexus of art and science.South Texas Research Facility lobby, 8403 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio
The gala brings together UTSA alumni, friends and guests to celebrate the association's 41 years of scholarships, services, programs and the 2018 Alumni Award recipients.Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, San Antonio