NOVEMBER 27, 2023 — Emerson Larios’ story begins in Honduras. A seven-year-old Larios was sitting in the Orphanage Emmanuel coloring in an alphabet notebook. He attended a school built on the property, where he began to excel in education. It was his first form of refuge.
“I didn’t understand why, but I knew one way out was education,” Larios said. “That’s how I saw it. By the time I left the orphanage, I was really focused on my education.”
In 2007, Larios was awarded with an academic scholarship to attend a school in the United States. He arrived in Auburn, Alabama, where he entered the Lee-Scott Academy and began to excel as an eighth grader. His host family turned into his family in every sense of the word.
With hard work, he continued his progress, ultimately graduating four years later.
As an undergraduate in Alabama, Larios continued to flourish academically. He earned a bachelor’s in science and minor in chemistry at the University of Mobile. A master’s in biology followed at Auburn University. Then, his education led him to UTSA, where he’s earned a master’s in psychology. Although he’ll cross the stage in December to receive that second master’s, he’s already started on the path toward a doctoral degree in psychology.
Earlier this year, the UTSA graduate student presented findings from his master’s thesis at the 2023 Southwestern Psychology Association (SWPA) conference. Though doubt plagued him just before he took the stage, Larios overcame yet another obstacle. He won first place in the graduate student competition.
Despite his successful academic achievements, the time Larios spent at the orphanage still pervades him. At the same time, it serves as the driving force behind Larios’ desire and determination to better understand the nature of humans.
“There’s been a lot of strife to contend with in my life. I hold myself accountable to get better, because for me what’s really, really important is that at the core I’m a scholar who wants to learn why things work and recognizing the nuance, the complexity and having that helps me understand the world better. I hope that through my research I can help other people understand why we are the way we are and make the world better,” Larios said.
Mentors, like Itamar Lerner, an assistant professor in the UTSA Department of Psychology, and fellow students have helped shaped Larios. In Lerner’s laboratory, Larios began to study the effects of sleep on stress. That research opportunity challenged Larios to grow and expand his worldview. He crossed paths with fellow students, whose varying perspectives inspired his outlook on research and in his personal life.
“I want to understand how psychology and biology weave together. My focus has always been understanding trauma, how it works and human resilience. UTSA has helped create an environment in which I can engage with this — with that process and make it more refined,” Larios said.
Larios is currently working on research to understand the biological mechanisms supporting the role sleep plays in the development of stress and trauma, and with subsequent disorders that may arise such as PTSD.
The magnitude of his accomplishments is not lost on Larios.
“There may be some doors that are closed to me or there may be some personal prejudices that work against me, but that doesn’t mean I stop. I don’t have to change the world, but I can have an effect on the community I’m in,” he said.
Learn to use the simple but powerful features of EndNote®, a citation management tool. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn to setup an EndNote library, save references and PDFs, and automatically create and edit a bibliography.Virtual Event
Learn to use Zotero®, a citation manager that can help you store and organize citations you find during your research. Zotero can generate bibliographies in various styles, insert in-text citations and allow you to share sources with collaborators.Virtual Event
Do you need to use a LaTeX program for writing your research papers? This workshop covers how to enable a list of your references in a BibTeX file to automatically output in-text citations and a bibliography using a LaTeX program such as Overleaf.Virtual Event
This solo exhibition features the work of Delita Martin, a world-renowned master printmaker known for creating representations of black women in complex and luxuriant narrative portraits.Russell Hill Rogers Galleries, UTSA Southwest Campus
UTS Bold Careers interns and ambassadors will be presenting on prevalent and pioneered African Americans in technology.Virtual Event
Pressbooks is an open educational resource authoring platform for simple book publishing. This will be a workshop that covers the the basics of using the platform.Virtual Event
Meet and connect employers for full-time and internship opportunities.HEB Ballroom 1 & 2, Main Campus
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