First-Gen Alumni Panel
Friday, November 13
3 p.m. via Zoom
Join Texas State First-Gen Proud, the Texas State Alumni Association, and University Advancement as we welcome back alumni in various stages of their careers and working in several industries to discuss how they navigated post-graduate life and their experiences as Bobcats. The discussion will include conversations about what motivated them complete their degrees and their experiences that have made them successful.
We want to hear what you want to know. Submit your questions by November 11 to email@example.com.
- Enrique AguayoAguayoEnriqueThird-Year Doctoral Counseling Psychology Student, UT-Austin
Enrique is a developing Bilingual (Spanish/English) Chicano Psychologist in training. As a third-year doctoral student in a Counseling Psychology program, Enrique is devoted to supporting students and families from underrepresented and underserved communities. He earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Social Work from Texas State University. He also earned an M.Ed. in the College and University Student Personnel Administration (CUSPA) program at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to entering the Counseling Psychology program, Enrique worked within student mentoring programs for first-year students and underrepresented students. Enrique likes to enjoy his free time with his family by playing regional Mexican music with his brothers.
- Rodrigo AguayoAguayoRodrigoProgram Coordinator, Project MALES
Rodrigo Aguayo is the Program Coordinator for the Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success) Mentoring Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Texas State University and a Master's in Education in the College and University Student Personnel Administration (CUSPA) program from the University of Texas at Austin. As a research practitioner, Rodrigo’s professional and research has focused on understanding the experiences of Latinx males across the education pipeline. Rodrigo enjoys spending his free time with family and friends and reading for fun.
- Karen CarrollCarrollKarenVice President and General Auditor, 3M
Karen has been with 3M 32 years and holds a BBA in Finance, minor in Economics from Texas State University. Her current role is Vice President and General Auditor for 3M Company, where she heads the assurance audit function, global Sox organization, as well as the company’s Enterprise Risk Management activities. Her 3M experience includes Finance positions in Health Care, Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, Consumer, Industrial Business as well as Corporate Audit. She also spent 4 years in the Brownwood, Texas plant as plant controller. In addition to her Finance experience, she is a certified Business Black Belt and was in marketing operations for LCD Films. Her work experiences have taken her across Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe, as well as Central East Europe. Karen participates in Finance recruiting, 3M’s Women’s Leadership Network, E&Y’s Women’s Corporate Audit Executives, and Catalyst Leadership Development program.
- Sidney LopezLopezSidneyYoung Alumni and Student Programs Coordinator, Trinity University
Sidney Lopez is a first-generation college graduate from El Paso, TX. She received her Bachelor's degree from St. Mary’s University in 2017 and her Master’s degree from Texas State University in 2020. She currently lives in San Antonio, and works at Trinity University within Alumni Relations. Pre-pandemic, you’d find her trying new restaurants, going to the movies, and dreaming of her next travel adventure. Now, you’ll find her binge watching a new show, enjoying an opportunity to connect with others (safely), and reading.
- Frederick “Suizo” MendlerMendlerFrederick “Suizo”Co-founder & CEO, TrueAbility
Suizo, affectionately nicknamed after a Tex-Mex enchilada dish, is incredibly passionate about company culture, customer service and helping people achieve great things. He was able to practice these passions over 9 years at Rackspace Technologies where he served as Vice President of their Customer Support team and Vice President, Sales and Marketing for the Rackspace Cloud. There, Suizo helped lead the organization from $20M to $1.5B in revenue, resulting in an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. Suizo co-founded TrueAbility, a venture-backed technology startup, in 2012, creating a platform that enables the hands-on assessment of technology skills, so technologists can “show what they know by doing.” TrueAbility’s customers are some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Google, VMWare, Amazon AWS, and more. Suizo is actively involved as a mentor and investor in early stage startups. More fun than any business venture are the adventures of a “family startup” where Suizo and his “co-founder” Tina enjoy raising their three children.
- Richard PerezPerezRichardPresident and CEO, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Richard Perez is the President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. From advocating for business on the local, state, and federal levels and supporting San Antonio’s targeted industries to developing partnerships between business leaders and educators to ensure San Antonio has a strong workforce pipeline, Richard and his team create an environment that fosters success for businesses and the city. Richard grew up in San Antonio and received his first taste of business experience at a young age while working at his family’s landscaping company, Fairway Landscape & Nursery. Following graduation from South San High School, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. Following graduate school, Richard served as Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Laredo, and in 1998, he was appointed by the Clinton Administration as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he served until January 2001. He then returned to San Antonio and rejoined the family business from 2001 - 2003, when he was elected to the San Antonio City Council. While on City Council, Richard quickly became a go-to leader for important tasks, including chairing the San Antonio Military Transformation Task Force and negotiating the relocation of a new National Security Agency (NSA) office in San Antonio. He was also recognized for his ability to build consensus among his colleagues to ensure the best results for the City of San Antonio. Following his two terms serving as City Councilman, Richard was recruited in November 2007 to lead the Chamber as its 18th President and CEO.
- Dr. Victoria BlackBlackVictoriaMODERATOR | Director, Peer Mentoring, Texas State University
Victoria Black is the Director for PACE Mentoring at Texas State University. In her current position at Texas State, she provides leadership and support to a team of over 100 individuals who work with first-year students, first-year faculty development, and Title V grant management. She has shared her passion on mentoring in a 2018 TedX talk at Texas State University titled No One is Talking to the Mentees on how to prepare ourselves as we enter into developmental relationships. Her experiences with mentoring include several publications on mentorability, various state and national presentations, and providing mentoring consultation and training internationally at Technologico de Monterrey – Queretaro, Queretaro, MX. Her publications also include college access for first-generation students, first-year student success, higher education finance, and working mothers in student affairs. Originally from La Joya, TX, she received a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas San Antonio, a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Higher Education Leadership.