Texas Border Business
By Priscilla Ramirez
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Lidia Franzelly Garcia said the holidays are usually a time for her to reflect and create goals for the next year.
This year, though, she decided to challenge herself by entering UTRGV’s 2019 President’s Holiday Card Contest.
Garcia, a junior computer science major, designed the winning card and earned a $1,000 UTRGV scholarship.
“Winning this helped me add another accomplishment to my life. It makes me feel extremely proud of myself and reminds me that, with enough persistence and work, you can achieve most things in life,” the Brownsville native said. “I was very pleased to know that I contributed to our UTRGV community this holiday season.”
In a computer illustration titled “Happy Howdy Days: Vaqueros being Book & Boot Smart,” Garcia’s design was motivated by symbolism, with each element in her piece carefully chosen to convey a deeper meaning.
For example, the card features a single Christmas tree decorated with 10 apples to represent abundance and knowledge. At the foot of the tree stands a pair of Vaquero boots, to inspire moving forward in a journey by “booting up through tough times and going forward to strive for academic success.”
“The most special element was the book under the tree because for me, all the books I’ve read have transformed me in some way or another,” she said. “I like to read spiritual and self-help books because I feel like we should all try to help ourselves a bit.”
She also wanted to communicate how important discipline is throughout the year, including during the holidays.
“My holidays consist of being surrounded by incredible people who inspire me to become the best version of myself. I take this time of the year to reflect on who I am, how I can improve, what I did wrong or right, and what I learned from it to implement such resolutions for next year,” Garcia said.
Her design was chosen from more than 60 entries, and the card will be distributed to UTRGV faculty and staff, donors, friends of the university and elected officials across the state and country.
The two UTRGV students who placed second and third in the card contest were awarded a $500 UTRGV scholarship each.
- Jose Lozano, a senior studio art major from Brownsville, took second place for his photograph of a sunset over tall palm trees. He said he wanted to show the beauty in nature that both the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses offer. He added a touch of holiday nostalgia by editing in Santa’s sleigh.
- Victoria Bender, a Mathematics and Science Academy senior from Rancho Viejo, received third place for her painting inspired by her mother’s flower shop, which is filled with pink and red poinsettia’s during the holidays.
All three students will be recognized for their achievements at two of the President’s Holiday Receptions:
From 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Ballroom Complex on the Edinburg Campus
And from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the PlainsCapital Bank El Gran Salón on the Brownsville Campus.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.
UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.