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Angelica Tello

October 8, 2014//

Meet Angelica Tello. A doctoral student in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tello recently was featured in the international publication Therapy Today for an essay she wrote on her experience as a first-generation college student.

I've been really drawn to qualitative research and giving a voice to people who belong to marginalized groups, including first-generation students.

– Angelica Tello

As part of the Department of Counseling, her research on Latina first-generation college students will one day help others with similar experiences to hers.

"I was looking for a program focused on diversity and multicultural counseling. I felt really connected coming to the UTSA campus," she said about why she chose UTSA for her graduate degrees.

Growing up in poverty, Tello found herself in an unfamiliar situation as an undergraduate student at UT-Austin. As she's progressed in her education, first graduating with a master's degree and now pursuing a Ph.D at UTSA, the divide between her roots and what she has been learning has grown even more.

"I've been really drawn to qualitative research and giving a voice to people who belong to marginalized groups, including first-generation students," Tello said. "I think we can really learn from the voices of those who have been successful."

And perhaps the most important group she's already affected is her family.

Both of her younger sisters have followed in her footsteps and are undergraduate students at UTSA.

"I'm really happy and proud of my sisters, that they're moving forward and they have an interest in graduate school, too. Here at UTSA they really felt supported," she said, adding that they were first exposed to UTSA when she started studying here.

Tello plans to continue her research after she graduates from UTSA this fall.

"I would like to be a faculty member at a university where I can continue my line of research and teach courses in counseling," she said.

Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

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