Erik Castillo, a proud Intern of the Office for Sustainability, started off as a volunteer which eventually led to his internship position. He currently attends UTPA and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He is also a part of several other organizations on campus such as the Catholic Campus Ministry, the Student Government Association, CLAY, and Sigma Lambda Beta. Erik was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley and enjoys running and participating in running events. Being an intern at the Office for Sustainability has given him the opportunity to meet the people that make the policies and that are in charge of the areas he grew up in and he enjoys knowing that he can use what he has been taught in his engineering courses to help his community move towards a more sustainable future.

Erik Castillo

(956) 665-3030

Jacob L. Chapa, bio forthcoming.

Jacob L Chapa

(956) 665-3030

Francisco Garrido-Garza, Student Intern, can describe himself in five words - historian, environmentalist, sportsman, artist, and spiritualist. He is a Senior studying Political Science and History at UTPA. He currently holds two part-time positions on campus: one as an intern at the Office for Sustainability and another as videographer at the Sophomore Academic Mentoring Program. He is very passionate about nature, eco-tourism, health, soccer, and cooking and enjoys watching movies, bike riding, running, hiking, music, meditation, and hanging out on weekends. He is also a part of the Environmental Awareness Club (since 2009) and the International Student Association (since 2011). As an environmentalist, he always recycles at home. In fact, most of the garbage he produces ends up in recycling bins. In addition to that, he purchases local and green-certified items, consumes electricity and water in rational levels, and chooses to either bike or walk short (and long) distances as a way to reduce his carbon footprint. After graduation, he plans on attending graduate school (either in history, anthropology, economics, or sustainability). His life goal is to become an enthusiastic educator, inspiring future generations to treasure nature, the community, and culture.

Francisco Garrido-Garza

(956) 665-3030

Ashley Hernandez, Student Intern, was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. She is studying Public Relations at UTPA and expects to graduate Spring 2014, but plans to double major with a B.A. for English. Recently joining as an intern for the Office for Sustainability, she wishes to gain experience in all levels of expertise that will help her succeed in creating a sustainable future. Ashley spends her free time reading novels from her favorite author Tamora Pierce , watching TV series such as, "Game of Thrones", "The Tudors", and playing video games to inspire her more each day.

Ashley Hernandez

(956) 665-3030

Janette Vazquez, Student Intern, has been part of the Office for Sustainability since March 2013. She primarily helps with the development and maintenance of the OFS website, keeping the green pledge information up to date, and helps with the production of the presentations. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree and hopes to graduate by Spring 2015. She also enjoys reading (a variety of genres), art, movies, and reading up on new technology or finding different projects to work on when she is not at school or at the office. Being at the Office for Sustainability has helped her realize how important sustainability is to us and our future and how important even the smallest change in our everyday habits can make.

Janette Vazquez

(956) 665-3030

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