Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Business administration graduate inspired to become education leader

Business administration graduate inspired to become education leader


DECEMBER 8, 2021 — When business administration major Abi Alejandra Caceres first arrived at UTSA, her plan was to earn a degree to fulfill her dream of owning a beauty business. The fall 2021 graduate is leaving with a new dream inspired by the support and encouragement of faculty, staff and fellow students. Abi now aspires to pursue a career in research and higher education leadership.

Born in Honduras and raised in Mexico, Abi came to the U.S. to enroll in college. Her higher education journey opened her eyes to opportunities in higher education that will combine her skills in leadership and management with her passion for people and education.

“My experiences at UTSA have fed my dreams and led me to consider new directions.”

“My experiences at UTSA have fed my dreams and led me to consider new directions,” Abi said. “While the dream to own a business someday has faded somewhat, the desire to use my business degree in areas of leadership have expanded.”

Abi began her college journey at South Texas College in Rio Grande City, Texas, where she received her associate’s degree in business administration management. Her path led her north to San Antonio, where she earned UTSA’s Distinguished Transfer Scholarship.

Soon after she stepped foot on a UTSA campus, she got involved in several student organizations and was hired as a supplemental instructor for the Tomás Rivera Center at UTSA. She also participated in the Peer Mentoring Program, helping students like herself in UTSA’s First-Generation & Transfer Student Center.

Abi developed a love for research through unique experiences at UTSA. In the summer of 2021, she worked as an intern for the Faculty Success team in the Division of Academic Affairs, where she conducted research evaluating the relationship between faculty professional development and the success and retention rates of first-generation Latino students. This opportunity helped her learn about methodologies, approaches and training programs that had a positive impact on first-time college students.

“I looked for factors that determined if a school was a Hispanic thriving institution,” Abi said. “UTSA fits that mold.”

Another project at UTSA broadened her technical skills as she prepared for the workforce. Abi updated and expanded the university’s Digital Measures database, which maintains faculty records. Abi says the project gave her a better understanding of the teaching history of UTSA’s faculty. She also learned how UTSA Faculty Success gives professors the tools and skills to prepare students for success.  

While at UTSA, Abi gained the knowledge and expertise she needs to pursue her dream of building a career in higher education. She also wants to give back to help other students succeed.

Abi credits South Texas College professors Rosemond Moore, Reynaldo JassoLyudmyla Dickinson and Maria Del Carmen Magaly Garcia for laying the foundation of her success at UTSA through their support and inspiration.

“Some of my biggest mentors have been my professors,” Abi said. “They constantly challenged me to believe in my abilities even when I did not believe in them myself.”

Tala Kseibi and Ingrid Wright

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