RIO GRANDE VALLEY – Ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new Vaquero Tech Centers, located inside the UTRGV Campus Bookstores, were held Tuesday, Nov. 19, on the Brownsville and Edinburg campuses.
Each UTRGV Campus Bookstore is an Apple Authorized Campus Store (AACS), and customers now can buy Apple products in the bookstores, as well as other non-Apple tech products like Dell, Surface Pros, Chromebooks and HP devices and accessories.
Dr. Patricia McHatton, UTRGV executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Student Success, and P-16 Integration, said the opening marks an exciting time for UTRGV.
“This is an amazing space, as far as the retail space,” she said, “but it is much more. We know technology is integral to ensuring student success, and this will be a space of learning. We will have opportunities to do outreach and provide workshops.
“We will also want to reach out to our local schools. We can learn a lot from them, and we can work together in order to share our knowledge with them, as well,” she said.
Joanna Garza, manager of the UTRGV Brownsville Campus Store, said that since before the beginning of the semester, students, faculty, staff, and alumni have been able to take advantage of the educational discounts on Apple products by shopping online.
“Now that the renovations are complete at both campus locations, customers can now buy Apple products in the bookstores, along with other non-Apple products like Dell, Surface Pros and Chromebooks. However, non-Apple items will not carry educational discounts,” she said.
The planning to become an Apple Authorized Campus Store began before UTRGV was established, with the legacy institutions. The project was put on hold when UTRGV was created, but during the second year of UTRGV, the project got a reboot, said Dr. Art Brownlow, a member of the Tech Team, who worked with Apple representatives on the application to become an AACS store.
“This is exciting,” he said. “Our Vaquero Tech Center will be like an Apple Store, although not the size and scope of a full-blown retail store. This is simply another one of the store varieties that Apple offers. In fact, this will be the only Apple store south of San Antonio. We hope to make our Vaquero Tech Center the tech hub of South Texas.”
Representation on the tech team came from the UTRGV colleges and schools, the School of Medicine, Auxiliary Services, the Library director, the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Follett, the company that owns and manages the campus bookstores.
The team also selected the name for the Center and used the mascot as inspiration for the name.
Brownlow said the mission of the Vaquero Tech Center includes three overall objectives: retail, education, and outreach. He envisions Saturday workshops, tech play days and coding workshops and bringing in middle and high school students and teachers to participate.
The discounts and services on Apple products are also available for students who attend Texas Southmost College. The public can purchase Apple products at UTRGV’s Vaquero Tech Centers, but will not be eligible for educational discounts.
The Vaquero Tech Center is located directly to the right of the entry door in the bookstore on the Edinburg Campus, and next to the resaca lounge area at the Brownsville store.
For more information, visit https://www.bkstr.com/utrgvstore
For more information, contact store manager Garza on the Brownsville Campus, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (956) 882-8249, extension 26730.
Visit www.shoputrgv.com for more information.