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College of Education and Human Development at The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Student Spotlight

COEHD Students Aspire to Inspire

How the College of Education and Human Development is helping them achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world

Alexandria Deal
Public Health, Junior

Alexandria Deal

Q: How has your experience been as a COEHD student?
A: I am in love with my major and I’m glad that public health is here in COEHD. The COEHD students in my health classes have been very helpful and I really like the professors. The classes are a lot smaller, so I am able to have a one-on-one relationship with them.

Q: What skills have your COEHD classes taught you?
A: My global health class is amazing. It has definitely taught me that the world is more than me and that I can’t just think about myself. And I have definitely learned leadership skills from the group projects I have in my classes.

Q: What do you plan to do with your degree after you graduate?
A: I am a pre-dental student now and would like to become a dentist. I hope to work abroad, so I want to try and get an associateship with another dentist and make enough money so that I can travel and provide free dental resources to those in need.

Paola Basaldua
EC-6th Bilingual Generalist, Senior

Paola Basaldua

Q: Who inspired you to become a teacher?
A: One day, a lady at the Serenity House in Austin, where I was working, told me that I’d be great as a grade school teacher, a bilingual one. She said I should go back to college, a four-year university, and relive everything I missed out on. The thought actually rung inside by heart and I went for it.

Q: What made you choose to study bilingual education?
A: I am a Mexican-born student who attended grade school all the way to high school in Mexico; therefore, I battled with my Spanish to English transition. Plus working with children like me, who struggle throughout school and through their language acquisition, is rewarding to me.

Q: How have the faculty and staff in COEHD positively influenced you?
A: One person that has been an inspiration to me is Dr. Robert Milk. He is such a great professor and makes me feel inspired to never stop growing, learning, and pursing what I want.

Christian Ume-Ezeoke
Community Health, Senior

Christian Ume-Ezeoke

Q: What do you love most about the community health field?
A: I love going out and helping the less fortunate, especially when it’s health related. This past summer, I went on a trip to Honduras with the Global Health Brigades and helped implement health screenings in impoverished communities. Community health outreach is something that I have always been passionate about. It’s what drew me to the Community Health program.

Q: Who in COEHD has inspired you?
A: I love Dr. [Zenong] Yin. He is one of my favorite professors. When he sees that you are not performing up to the caliber that you are able to perform, he’s there to push you and talk to you and give you whatever whatever time you need to make sure you get back on track."

Q: How are your COEHD classes?
A: I love my classes! They have a service learning component to it where we have a lecture in class but we also go out into the community and actually implement things that we learned in class.

Katie Hebert
EC-6th Generalist, Sophomore

Katie Hebert

Q: Why did you choose to study in COEHD?
A: Teachers from high school, family members, and
friends always told me great things about COEHD. I have found out from experience as a student at UTSA that COEHD really cares about preparing their students for careers in education, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose to study here.

Q: Why did you choose to pursue a degree in education?
A: I chose to pursue a degree in education because I have a passion and love for working with and helping children. I was inspired to become a teacher after helping my mother in her first-grade classroom. I enjoyed tutoring and helping her students with their work.

Q: What have you learned from your COEHD classes so far?
A: My experience in the College of Education and Human Development has taught me how to better manage my time and commitments while still maintaining strong academic excellence in my classes.

Jeffrey Podmayer
Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus on Higher Education

Jeffrey Podmayer

 "This Washington-State native and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate student is one of the first graduate students in the program to pursue his program internship abroad." Podmayer will be headed to Stellenbosch, South Africa. Spectrum staff sat down with him for a quick Q&A.

Q: Where are you going to be doing your internship?
A: I will be living in Stellenbosch, South Africa at Stellenbosch University. Stellenbisch is located just East of Cape Town, South Africa

Q: What will your intership responsibilities include?
A: I will be interning at Stellenbosch University working in their Centre for Student Structures & Communities with undergraduate students. I will also be working with international students in the International Studies Office. I will be working with students as a support role and an administrator in South Africa.

Q: You are the first student in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Higher Education focus to do the required internship for the program overseas. What made you want to take your internship experience abroad.
A: During my undergraduate studies at Whitworth University (located in Washington State) I had the opportunity to study abroad for a month in South Africa with a group of about 20 students. We traveled the majority of the month, and I wanted to go back to Africia and stay in one place for a while to really get to know one area instead of only being in a town for a day or so.

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