Author Archives: Contributor

Pharr Dancer Going Pro

Erick Perales, UTRGV dance performance graduate from Pharr, at the Performing Arts Complex in Edinburg. (Photo Paul Chouy, UTRGV)

UTRGV Dance Program alumnus Erick Perales is off to the Big Apple to begin his professional dance career. The Pharr native was hired recently by Ballet Nepantla, a dance company known for fusing contemporary dance with Mexican folklórico to showcase its culture and history. Perales already was familiar with the company after having seen them perform and was in awe of their performance. Now, he gets to join them on stage in New…

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TSTC Father and Son Bond Over Welding

TSTC Welding Technology instructor Jose Salas and his son Jesse Salas, who is a student in the program. (photo TSTC)

Texas State Technical College Welding Technology instructor Jose Salas and Welding Technology student Jesse Salas have a father and son relationship that you could say is as strong as a good weld.  A skill passed down through generations, Jesse is now a student in TSTC’s Welding Technology program. It is a program his father has been an instructor in for 37 years. Coincidentally, both men began their journeys at TSTC at…

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#HurricaneStrong Rio Grande Valley

Remnant street flooding of two to three feet of water depth in south McAllen, early on June 22, 2018, after the last of the flooding rains fell. (Courtesy)

The Valley’s climate has often been jokingly referenced as consisting of two seasons: Hot and Hades. While average temperatures in the region are among the highest in the Lower 48, there is much more to the region’s climate than heat. The Valley’s proximity to the Tropics – just 160 miles south – leaves it prone to nature’s “heat engines,” hurricanes.  That same proximity to the gateway of prodigious atmospheric moisture…

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Architects Create Community

Maria Sustaeta, LRGV-AIA executive director, and Sergio Lainez, president, at the nonprofit organization’s office in Mercedes. (VBR)

Few professional organizations can claim they represent 95 percent of those in their field. But 95 percent of the licensed architects in this region are members of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects headquartered in Mercedes. Why such high membership numbers? “AIA is where the architecture and design communities come together to share knowledge, gain expertise, get connected and stay involved,” said Sergio Lainez,…

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Second Career Helps Save Buildings

Photographer Pino (Deval) Shah (Courtesy)

After 30 years as an IT infrastructure consultant for acute care hospitals, Pino (Deval) Shah decided to pursue photography on a full-time basis in June 2016. “I felt it was now or never,” said Shah, who had remained in the Rio Grande Valley after earning an MBA at Pan American University in 1987. Although Shah had previously taken on freelance photography projects, his focus for the new venture was documenting…

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Raising Awareness of Disabilities with Texas HireAbility

Texas HireAbility logo

Campaign connects employers with people with disabilities The Texas Workforce Commission is partnering with the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and Texas Workforce Solutions for the Texas HireAbility campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation for Disability Employment Awareness Month in Texas. The campaign is now in its second year and coincides with National Disability Employment Awareness Month to highlight the contributions of people…

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Mission EDC Launches Web of Women

Web of Women logo

Program aims to certify women in IT fundamentals The Mission Economic Development Corporation has launched a new program to provide free technology and computer science courses to the professional women of Mission. The Web of Women initiative gives women the opportunity to take a comprehensive five-week CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification course. The course begins Oct. 17 and is for women with elementary knowledge of computers wishing to obtain a vendor-neutral…

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STC Receives CAE2Y Designation

STC is now a CAE2Y institution through 2022

Designation emphasizes college’s role in cybersecurity The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated South Texas College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Security Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) institution through 2022. The designation, according to NSA and DHS, emphasizes STC’s role to address the critical shortage of professionals with these skills, and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s…

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Harvey: The Costliest Storm

An aerial view shows extensive flooding from Harvey in a residential area in Southeast Texas on Aug. 31. (photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez, Air National Guard)

Harvey cost to rival Katrina and Sandy combined Because of the extraordinary nature of Hurricane Harvey, it is largely impossible to know the full impact to the Gulf Coast region and the state and nation as a whole, at least until well after the full extent of the damage is seen. It is now widely recognized that the damages from Harvey will by far exceed the damages of Hurricane Katrina,…

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Mission EDC Welcomes New Interns

Mission EDC interns Miriam Montelongo, Stephany Lopez, Jared Stephens and Jesus Sanchez (photo Mission EDC)

Four UTRGV students to learn about EDC’s projects Mission EDC welcomed four new interns in July to the CEED Building. Here, they will work alongside professionals in their chosen field of study through December 2017. The Mission EDC’s internship program is a collaboration with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The program teaches students how their majors can play a role in the world of economic development – all…

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