UTEP’s newest top ten seniors


Annabella Mireles

From left to right: Christian Campos, Brianna “Iberty” Trevino, Carlos Castanon, Ian Valdez, Ashley Delgado

Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor

Graduation symbolizes the end of a journey and the accomplishment of a goal. Routines were often established. Students tried their best to get a degree, but some went the extra mile. That’s the case for the 2023 Top 10 Seniors, students who demonstrated dedication to volunteering, perseverance, and commitment to advancement.
“I feel extremely happy to have made a positive impact in my community,” said Ashley Delgado. “Serve as a leader for younger generations coming from underrepresented backgrounds to always persevere and dream big to overcome any challenges and obtain a perspective of seeing challenges as opportunities.”
For most of them, getting this award is a recognition for their hard work and dedication. Not only that, but an affirmation of being a proud Miner and their capability to achieve their set goals.
“It really means a lot to me,” said Christian Campos. “It’s a great reflection of my journey here at UTEP.”
“Being a Top Ten Senior is a huge honor,” said Ian Valdez. “I have enjoyed meeting the other students and the mutual respect we have for one another has been rewarding.”
The application process was simple for some of them since they had applied for different awards in the past. However, others found it challenging and overwhelming. That was the case for Sarah Mickelson, Truman scholarship recipient.
“The process was somewhat stressful because I was also finishing up my Truman application at the same time,” said Mickelson. “I almost did not submit because I was not sure if I was going to get my letters of recommendation on time. But, it allowed me to reflect on my time here at UTEP and on all of the great things I’ve been able to do here.”
Mickelson is the university’s first Truman scholar since 2006. This award opened many doors for her success. It gave her internship and mentorship opportunities, along with funding for future studies like law school. UTEP offered her support and advice during the long process.
“I approached a lot of people for help,” said Mickelson. “Jen Green at the OFSA helped me a lot, as well as my mentors from the Political Science Department and the El Paso Public Defender’s office. My friends and family were very supportive as well.”
As all these amazing students have shown, UTEP is a friendly and backing community. The university helped them find the right way to carry out their goals and dreams.
“UTEP to me represents opportunity,” said Iberty Trevino. “I never imagined that I would be able to study in DC or Austin, but UTEP made that a reality.”
“UTEP has offered me all the resources to be and compete at the same level as other students from more renowned universities such as Stanford, Harvard,” said Carlos Castañon “I have participated in opportunities where I have competed and worked alongside those kinds of students, and I truly see the value of this university.”
From when they first started college until now, all of them have reached achievements they thought were impossible. From creating a big impact in UTEP and El Paso community, to representing the university around the world.
“I recently returned from my Archer Center fellowship in Washington, D.C.,” said Valdez. “I never even knew that these opportunities were available for students when I was a freshman. I had the honor to intern at the office of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), the first and only Latina elected to the Senate.”
These students got the chance to experience incredible opportunities like internships and different awards. Mickelson see these experiences as not only personal and professional growth, but as an incentive to help and serve the community in the future.
The Top 10 Seniors have big plans after graduation. Some will do internships, find a job or get their master’s degree.
“I plan on working at a congressional office,” said Valdez. “Either here or in Washington, D. C. for a few years before attending law school.”
“I plan in finishing my master’s here at UTEP,” said Mickelson. “Then applying for a Fulbright or Marshall scholarship. I also have the chance to do a year in D.C. at an internship of my choice.”
“I’m going to be attending Baylor College of Medicine this summer,” said Campos. “I’ll be studying at their position assistant program.”
Filled with gratefulness and joy, many of them want to give back to UTEP. They want to repay to their community in any way possible so future students will have even more opportunities and encourage future generations.
“My biggest goal is to give back to UTEP a lot of what has given me and more,” said Castañon. “I really have a passion of helping Hispanics in STEM, so I want to stablish many opportunities you see in other universities.”
“My biggest goal in life is to use my education as a power/tool to impact the borderland community,” said Delgado. “Continue encouraging and mentoring younger generations of students to believe in their potential to pursue a higher education.”
These Miners are prepared for what the future will bring to the table. They are the example of what UTEP does for students both academically and professionally, and even personally. The future looks bright for this next generation.
Angelica Gutierrez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]