Texas Border Business
By Marisol Villarreal
EDINBURG, Texas – Positive, impactful messages of equity uplifted women and supporters on International Women’s Day, during an event March 8 at the UTRGV Ballroom in Edinburg.
March is Women’s History Month, and each year, the UTRGV International Admissions and Student Services (IASS) office in the Division of Strategic Enrollment and Student Affairs hosts a celebration on International Women’s Day to recognize the achievements of the international female population at the university.
UTRGV OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL FEMALE FACULTY HONOREE
Dr. Eloisa G. Tamez, a professor with the UTRGV School of Nursing, was honored as the 2023 Outstanding International Female Faculty. She was nominated by UTRGV’s Women’s Faculty Network.
Tamez is from Cameron County and has been faculty since 2000 with legacy institution UT Pan American. She currently teaches students about nursing. She has earned five degrees in her lifetime – she is 88 – with 44 years spent working in service to others.
For the past 27 years, she has worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a nurse and in executive management. She also spent 22 years with the U.S. Army and National Guard, in the Nurse Corps.
“I am humbled to be recognized; I was not expecting this. The UTRGV Women’s Faculty Network nominated me behind my back!” she joked.
The IASS also honored International Female Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each awardee received a $1,000 scholarship to further her education at UTRGV.
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL FEMALE STUDENT, UNDERGRADUATE
Ingrid Nicoleti Foltran, from Brazil, is a sophomore and civil engineering major and a UTRGV volleyball athlete with a 4.0 GPA.
Foltran has played volleyball since she was seven years old and came to UTRGV with a volleyball scholarship.
“Being far from home and being a student-athlete is really hard, but I try and make everything work,” Foltran said. “I’m really happy to be part of the UTRGV family and being honored today.”
UTRGV student-athlete and civil engineering major Ingrid Nicoleti Foltran, from Brazil, was named 2023 Outstanding International Female Student in the undergraduate category. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL FEMALE STUDENT, MASTER’S
Suchitra Acharjee, from Bangladesh, is working toward her master’s degree in public administration and has done research with the UTRGV Office of Sustainability on the increase of child weddings during the COVID-19 pandemic in her home country.
A child wedding is when girls 11 to 18 years of age are forced into marriage, and in general, the treatment of girls and women back home is deeply disturbing, she said.
“Back in my country, it was difficult for me to wake up every day with the news of innocent girls being raped on their way to school,” Acharjee said. “And after today, I feel inspired to do more. The journey is unstoppable.
“My message for other females out there is to let their love be greater than their fear. Let not your fear stop you,” she said.
Suchitra Acharjee, from Bangladesh, is working toward her master’s degree in public administration and was recently honored as an Outstanding International Female Student in the master’s category. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL FEMALE STUDENT, DOCTORAL
Uzoamaka Okori, from Nigeria, is working toward a Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling, and already has supported many people in the Rio Grande Valley with their personal problems, helping counsel people through her job.
Sometimes, she helps counsel international students at UTRGV to help with their transition to American culture and life.
“I didn’t think I would get to this point of getting an award,” Okori said. “I believe we should just help others as much as we can.”
Uzoamaka Okori, from Nigeria, was named UTRGV Outstanding International Female Student in the doctoral category. She is working toward a Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling. (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)