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Brianna Diaz
Brianna Diaz, top scholar and UTSA ambassador, photographed for UTSA Today story.
Brianna Diaz ’19

Alvin, TX

Brianna Diaz didn’t hear about UTSA until her junior year of high school. A camp counselor shared his top-tier experience as a student at UTSA, which piqued Diaz’s interest.

“I looked it up and applied,” Diaz said. “Later, I found out I qualified for the UTSA Top Scholar program.”

Two years of experience as a Top Scholar and Honors College student has opened up the psychology major’s eyes to a world of new opportunities. Diaz spent her summer of 2017 studying in South Africa as a recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

“All the experiences I’ve had at UTSA collectively contributed to me going through with this and winning the Gilman,” Diaz said. “I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of my professors and mentors at UTSA.”

With a passion for educational psychology, Diaz decided to travel to schools throughout South Africa, interacting with students and teachers. She will learn how the education system there is different than it is in the United States.

“This program will allow me to broaden my horizons and learn about an entirely different education system,” Diaz said. “I want to take what I learn in South Africa and bring it back to UTSA.”

Diaz will gain even more insight into education policy in fall 2017 as a UT System Archer Fellow. The program will allow her to spend the semester interning in Washington, D.C., where she hopes to be matched with the U.S. Department of Education.

Originally planning to go to college near her hometown of Alvin, outside of Houston, Diaz now can’t imagine herself anywhere but UTSA.

“If I hadn’t come to UTSA, I wouldn’t have been able to do these things,” said Diaz. “UTSA is definitely my second home.”

Story by Courtney Clevenger on UTSA Today