student holding UTSA flag
"My goal is to have an impact on laws that promote a success-serving framework for Latino students.”

UT Permian Basin student, Monika Cantu was recently accepted into The University of Texas San Antonio’s (UTSA) Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Doctoral program. Monika is from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and came to UTPB on a tennis scholarship. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Communications and is currently finishing her MBA with an emphasis on Finance.

Monika was one of two students selected to participate in a five-year funded National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. Those involved in the NSF grant will study the pedagogical approaches for supporting Hispanic and underrepresented students in STEM disciplines. The goal is to develop an HIS student success that can be replicated at other HSIs nationwide. UT Permian Basin is also a Hispanic Serving Institution.

“I want to make a difference in many Hispanic-Serving Institutions across the United States,” said Cantu. My goal is to have an impact on laws that promote a success-serving framework for Latino students.” 

Monika CantuMonika has been very involved during her time at UT Permian Basin. While playing tennis she also worked for several departments on campus including the Testing Center, and the Success Center. She currently works as the Graduate Assistant for the Department of Bilingual Education.

Monika’s love for research and writing grew while working for Dr. Espinosa’s Department of Bilingual/ESL. It’s one of many reasons she was motivated to pursue her doctoral degree. She is grateful Dr. Espinosa encouraged her to continue her academic journey.

“Dr. Espinosa, suggested that I pursue a degree in Education since he saw the passion I had for my culture along with research.”

Monika is also grateful that her parents have supported her along the way. In fact, she explained, her parents are the ones who pushed her to apply for the NSF grant opportunity at UTSA.

“If I didn’t apply, I would have never received this incredible opportunity.”