The Rehabilitation Services and Counseling staff introduced themselves to UTRGV students on the Brownsville campus last Wednesday.
Since September of last year, the program, which is based in Edinburg, has offered classes in Brownsville. Although there are only three professors in Brownsville, online classes are offered and shuttle services are provided to transport students to classes on the Edinburg campus.
“Our program is new to campus here,” said Antonio Aguirre Jr., clinical instructor for the School of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling. “We want to make sure that the students know that even though we are new to campus, that they have the support of the entire program and faculty, including the faculty in Edinburg.”
Bruce Reed, a professor and director in the School of Rehabilitation Services and Counseling, said the faculty care about students and about helping to prepare them to be professionals.
Among the faculty and staff who attended the event were Charlene Blankenship, Jaime Lopez, Fidencio Mercado, Jerry Fisher, Elizabeth Palacios and Mary Ann Rocha.
The bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services has three different tracks that students can choose; general rehab, addiction studies, and deaf and hard of hearing.
“It was super interesting meeting all the faculty. I’m really excited, I’m a rehab major, so I think it’s great. I’m really glad that it’s here,” said Summer Soto, a rehabilitation services and counseling junior.
During the event Amparo Jaramillo, academic adviser, and Steve Wilder, assistant director of Disability Services, received awards of excellence for the help and support they brought to the program.
The Rehab South Club of UTRGV gave a presentation on what their association does.
“I think it’s a great idea for the students to get involved with [faculty],” said Melissa Vallejo, president of the student organization. “It’s a really good career.
You get to interact with other students; the classes are very interesting.”Reed said the department hopes to offer all of the courses on the Brownsville campus within the next year or two.
“A student could get their major without having to come to Edinburg unless they choose to,” he said.