andrea soteldo headshot
Andrea Soteldo reflects on her journey as a student at UTPB. “UTPB was the best decision for me academically and financially."

UT Permian Basin student Andrea Soteldo is graduating May 2023 with a degree in computer science with a minor in mathematics. Andrea began her academic career as a political science major but her curiosity about technology and its impact on society led her to take a computer class with Dr. Ilhun Lee.

“I find the problem-solving aspect of computer science to be incredibly rewarding and engaging. I am drawn to the way it combined my love for technology with my desire to make a positive change in the world,” said Soteldo. “Dr. Lee’s teaching style, passion for the subject, and ability to make complex concepts understandable made me realize that this was the field I wanted to pursue.”

Soteldo was born in Venezuela but grew up in many places including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the United States. Additionally, her family has strong ties to Mexico.
andrea soteldo headshot
“I’ve learned that home isn’t necessarily a physical place or a particular country, but rather where I feel most welcomed and embraced. My family and friends are the ones who make me feel like I’m part of a community and give me the sense of home,” said Soteldo.

During the college search Soteldo was looking for a school that was affordable and also offered financial aid. She believed that UTPB’s high quality education and affordable prices would make sure she received a degree without going into excessive debt.

“UTPB was the best decision for me academically and financially,” added Soteldo.

As a student, Soteldo had several experiences that have made her time at UTPB memorable. Her involvement in various clubs and organizations led her to meet many people she now considers friends. Andrea was a member of the Student Government Association, and UTPB Ballet Folklorico. She was also involved with Students in Philanthropy, conducted research, and traveled to Washington D.C. as a student representative to meet with Texas representatives. Some of Andrea’s favorite events at UTPB were the annual Kite Fest and planning the International Day celebration.

andrea in front of castleOne of Soteldo’ s favorite experiences while at UTPB was having the opportunity to travel abroad for four months to Cork, Ireland. She was able to attend University College Cork and take classes related to her major.

“The academic environment at UCC was challenging but rewarding. The scenery was breathtaking, and the Irish people were incredibly welcoming. I felt at home in a foreign land,” said Soteldo.

During her time abroad Andrea also had the opportunity to travel to other countries like Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and France.

“It was almost effortless to move between different nations. Europe’s accessible transportation system made it possible for me to hop from one country to another with ease, allowing me to experience diverse cultures and languages.”

Soteldo shared she is still searching for opportunities to grow and learn as much as she can before she settles on a career permanently. She will continue to explore and pursue opportunities in STEM related industries. Her lifelong ambition has always been to help people. She wants to use her experiences and education to do so.

Looking back at her college experience Soteldo would advise her younger self to fully embrace the college experience and not be in such a rush to grow up. She says the years in college have gone by fast and she’s glad she made the most of this experience while staying true to her values and passions.
andrea soteldo in front of water fountain
She leaves this advice for younger students beginning their college careers, “Attending college can open doors to numerous opportunities, explore various fields that pique your interest, use the resources available to you, and remember that college is a time for self-discovery and growth it’s okay to not have everything figured out right away.”