UTRGV Community Engagement

UTRGV Community Engagement

Building a relationship between UTRGV and the community though acts of service.

Operating as usual


Want to know what our office is all about? Here’s just a few things we do to make community engagement and volunteer opportunities available for you!

Have any questions? Feel free to contact us or stop by our offices located in ESSBL 4.103.

As always, V’S UP! ✌🏼🤠

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 02/07/2023

Thank you to those that joined us last week at the UTRGV Involvement Fair, we had so much fun discussing ways in which you can volunteer throughout all 4 counties we serve!

A special thank you to our nonprofit agency partners who showed up and tabled with us, it’s always a pleasure having you with us and engaging students and student organizations alike.

Don’t miss our next tabling on Wednesday February 8th, 2023 at the UTRGV Student Union from 12-1:30pm!

As always, V’S up!🤠✌🏼


Happy Thursday Vaqueros!

Stop by and visit us today at the UTRGV Involvement Fair hosted by from 12pm-1:30pm at the UTRGV Edinburg Ballroom!

We have invited nonprofit agency partners to table and interact with students, staff and Faculty. These partners include The Food Bank RGV, Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, Palm Valley Animal Shelter, Access Clinics, and The Young Center.
We hope to see you there!

As always, V’S up! ✌🏼🤠


Happy Thursday Vaqueros!

We would like to thank all those that joined us this past Tuesday at the UTRGV Block Party to discuss volunteering and community engagement opportunities in all 4 counties that UTRGV serves!

A total of 93 NEW profiles have been made as we continue to and give back to our communities. Stay tuned for more opportunities and initiatives!

Visit: https://ez.utrgv.edu to volunteer today!
As always, V’s up! ✌🏼🤠


Happy Tuesday Vaqueros! Come find us at the UTRGV Block Party taking place on the Chapel Lawn from 12pm-3pm and learn about ways you can can participate in Volunteering and Community Engagement Opportunities in your area!

There will also be opportunities to win some free merchandise!

As always, V’S up! ✌🏼🤠🧡

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 01/18/2023

Welcome back Vaqueros! The spring 2023 semester is off to a great start with the MLK day of service on Monday to the Week of Welcome activities, our team at the UTRGV Office of Community Engagement wishes you all a successful Spring 2023 semester!

As always, V’s Up!✌🏼🤠


Hello Vaqueros! Come be a part of Martin Luther King Day of Service and serve as one of UTRGV’s volunteers making the RGV an even better place! Individual UTRGV students, student organizations, an campus departments can sign up and serve as a volunteer at projects being hosted in the community.

If you would like to participate please respond to the need on Engagement Zone to reserve your spot!

As always, V’s up! ✌🏼

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 11/17/2022

Today is the last day for our Toy drive!🧸

Come drop off your donations in the Student Union from 11am - 3pm, and we are also in the Brownsville Student Union!

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 11/16/2022

Our Edinburg Toy Drive is underway! Stop by to donate in the Edinburg student union from 10am-3pm today and 11am-3pm tomorrow!


Hello Vaqueros! The Office of Community Engagement is sponsoring a university-wide toy drive for all faculty, staff, and students to promote community engagement through acts of service.

Toys will be collected from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the following locations:

-Edinburg Campus: Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at the University Ballroom
-Brownsville Campus: Thursday, November 17, 2022 at the Student Union

Any new, unwrapped toys for children ages 1 – 12 will be accepted.

For questions, call (956) 665-7566 or email [email protected].


We are here at the Student Union until 3pm today!

We would love to talk you about Engagemnt Zone, the university's volunteering platform, and give you some free merch!

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 06/20/2022

On June 14 and 15, we had two amazing sessions in our ! Sabrina Walker-Hernandez lead a workshop on building relationships for fundraising success and Felipe Salinas walked attendees through grant proposals with his blueprint for success. If you missed out this time, be sure to keep an eye out for our Fall sessions.


Now more than ever we need help raising funds to support our nonprofits. These experts can guide you to success with workshops on Fundraising Success and Grant Proposals.

Register here: https://webapps.utrgv.edu/it/em/index.cfm?event=Public.View.Courses&event_id=1162

The link will take you to the UTRGV ePay system. You must create an account or log in to register. A student discount is available. For more details or instructions, call (956) 665-7566.

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 05/10/2022

We hosted a Community Partner Appreciation event on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 to recognize the amazing partnerships between UTRGV and 12 different non-profits nominated by colleges, schools, and departments at the university. We had an amazing time and look forward to seeing our community continue to thrive! 🤠✌

UTRGV Photos by Paul Chouy

Photos from The Newsroom at UTRGV's post 05/04/2022

Happy National Volunteer Week, Vaqueros! 🤠✌️
There are tons of opportunities to serve this week, and every other week, on Engagement Zone. We still have spots open for Vaqueros Volunteer too! RUN 🏃‍♀️🏃 don't walk, to sign up and give back.


Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 04/11/2022

During our clothing drive we collected an AMAZING amount of donations and now we need your help sorting and bagging up donations before we deliver them.

Click the link in our bio or scan the QR code to sign up!


Happy to Sherlyn De Alva, Sarah Rodriguez, and Karitza Garcia!! We could not accomplish all of the amazing things we do without you.
Thank you for all of your hard work.

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 04/07/2022

There's still one more day to donate to the Vaquero Clothing Drive! If you're not sure where to find a bin, check our clothing drive highlight. If you have any pictures of your own you'd like to share, send em in!

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 04/06/2022

a big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated clothes for our Vaquero Clothing Drive!! The best part is this isn't even half of what we have collected. There's still two more days to donate if you haven't gotten the chance yet.


⏰Time is almost up!⏰

Looking for motivation to clean out your closet? The Vaquero Clothing Drive is in its last week of accepting donations. All new or gently used clothes are welcome and able to be dropped off at over 40 locations on all campuses including all libraries, UCentral, Casa Bella, Heritage Hall, Calvary Hall, and Unity Hall.

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 03/21/2022

It's time for our clothing drive!! We are excited to see the enthusiasm and excitement from our students, faculty, and staff. There's a donation bin near you until April 8th.

For questions, contact [email protected] or call 956-665-7566.

As always, V's Up Vaqueros!


Maria Leonard, assistant professor of practice at the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship and faculty advisor for the UTRGV chapter of Enactus, has always been in involved in her community. Her belief in Individual Social Responsibility is one of the reasons she became so involved.
“As members of society, we have an obligation to understand our community needs and do our part to leave the world a little better than we found it,” Leonard said. “We all must use our talents and skills to improve society through a triple-bottom-line approach. As a professor, I do my best to instill this sense of obligation in my students through service-learning projects and, of course, through the collaborative work of my Enactus students.”
Leonard won the 2021 SBAA Societal Impact Award, which recognizes outstanding approaches or achievements in business education that positively impact their community. She was nominated and awarded for her community-focused work with Enactus, which included projects that helped colonia women start their own small business, helped at-risk teen mothers learn about personal finance, sustainable practices, food insecurity and more, helped autistic young adults obtain professional and personal development, and creation of a financial literacy program.
Outside of her work at the university, Leonard is involved in many other organizations, such as the League of Women Voters, the Hidalgo County chapter of Court Appointed Special Advocates, Proyecto Desarrollo Humano, and more. Maria Leonard is a community engagement champion.
“I believe that we community engagement is a powerful driver for social and environmental change,” she stated. “I also strongly support the notion that community engagement is also a great way to help students develop skills that are applicable and transferrable to their own professional lives.”

Thank you for all you do!

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 03/08/2022

The Office of Community Engagement is sponsoring a university-wide clothing drive for all faculty, staff, and students to promote community engagement through acts of service.

Register your college, school, department, or student organization visit
between March 8 to March 18 to receive a clothing collection bin here: https://utrgv.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4GkhMJObrWQ2vmC

Clothing collection will run from March 21 to April 4, and donations will be picked up each Friday by 3 pm.

Any new or gently used item will be accepted.

Suggested Items:
-Men's, Women's, & Children's Clothing
-New socks and undergarments

For questions, contact [email protected] or call (956) 665-7566.

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 03/08/2022

On March 1st and 2nd, our Non-Profit Resource Center held a two day workshop for non-profits and those interested in starting one on topics like the types of non-profits, legal requirements, fundraising, and a variety of legal topics. Andrea March, a lawyer with over 20 years of experience in government and nonprofit sectors, conducted the workshops. A big thank you to Ms. March, all those who attended, and our Non-Profit Resource Center Coordinator Ms. Beverley for all of the hard work that made the workshop successful. If you missed it, keep your eyes open for more info on our next workshops coming in the summer!

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 02/24/2022

We had a blast at and hope you did too! If you like our shirts, stay tuned to find out how you can get one of your own later this spring 👀


Conoce Dra. Alyssa G. Cavazos, Director for the Center for Teaching Excellence and Associate Professor for Rhetoric, Composition & Literacy Studies. She strives to inspire everyone from her students to fellow faculty to her daughter to engage with their community.

For those who aren’t familiar with the CTE, it provides opportunities for faculty development that promote collaborative faculty and student achievement in teaching and learning. Its program- Students as Learners and Teachers at a Hispanic Serving Institutions- strives to encourage student agency in learning, incorporate equitable teaching practices, and create a culture of openness to student feedback, reflection, and revision on teaching and learning across UTRGV and beyond.

The gorgeous butterfly photos you see in our story are courtesy of Dr. Cavazos' Instagram, , where she showcases the beautiful wildlife we share the RGV with. She also uses her platform to advocate for and raise awareness of community needs such as the recent closure of the National Butterfly Center, where many of the photos are taken.

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 02/14/2022

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Office of Community Engagement! We celebrated by taking our together. 💕

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 02/14/2022

Julia Perez, Coordinator for Student-Athlete Development, loves her community. Julia is a former UTRGV student and athlete herself, tennis her sport of choice. Because she has been in her student’s shoes, she knows how important it is for them to serve their community. Many athletes don’t have time for jobs, so they get lots of their experience through community service. Even though engaging with the community can help build soft skills and experience for student athletes, Perez says that the students love seeing the difference they make. “Getting out is always rewarding,” she told us. “We are trying to Rally the Valley and give back to the community that supports us so much. You feel good about giving back.”
Student athletes volunteer with food banks, children’s hospitals, Boys & Girls Club, the cities of Edinburg and McAllen, the garden beds on campus, and many more. They also have their own events like the Campus Cleanup in September where 146 students came together to help keep their campus beautiful.
Sometimes community engagement looks like being a visible part of the community, such as the Fist-Bump Fridays initiative by Men’s Basketball. Players visit local elementary schools on Fridays to fist-bump the kids on their way to class, giving them a smile and positive part to their day as well as the knowledge they have positive community role models to look up to.
Julia is very proud of her student athletes, whose hard work helped them rank 6th in the nation among NCAA Division 1 schools for community engagement. They had a combined 1,399 hours of service!
Keep up with her student athletes here: UTRGV Athletics

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 02/10/2022

Want something to do next week? Check out these volunteer opportunities on Engagement Zone!


Today we got to hang out with 10th grade science students from IDEA Weslaco during their visit to C-STEM here on campus! We learned about magnets, theories on why the Earth has a magnetic field, and made our own magnetic slime.
The Center for Excellence in STEM Education is located on the Edinburg campus at EMAGC 2.412 and offers programs for both K-12 and university students. For K-12 students there are a variety of presentations and hands on activities, as well as 3D IMAX and National Geographic movies on a wide variety of STEM topics. The center also offers workshops for undergraduate and graduate students on applying to summer research programs, writing technical papers, reading scientific articles, and more.
Check out and keep up with C-STEM here: UTRGV STEM Center

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 02/03/2022

Want something to do next week? Check out these volunteer opportunities on Engagement Zone!


Bardo C. Rubio Cortes, this week's , describes himself as someone that is “here for the people.” Bardo is a social work student in his last semester, eager to get out and give back into the community that gave so much to him. Despite his struggles with culture shock and language barriers from moving to the Valley from Mexico, he has not let it discourage him and instead works hard to take advantage of the opportunities he has been given.
As a member of the Army Reserves, veteran affairs hold a special place in Rubio’s heart. His internship with the McAllen Veteran Center opened his eyes to how broad social work could be. Over the years that he has been with them, he has seen many veterans come in looking for resources and has helped them feel cared for by providing them with resources for medication, food assistance, education, mental health, and more.
Rubio also belongs to the VIDA program, which helps low-income, unemployed and underemployed residents of the RGV get the education and training they need. He attributes much of his success to the program, which has not only provided him with financial assistance, but the acquisition of soft skills and help managing emotional burdens and life stressors to allow him to thrive. Through VIDA, he often gives back by volunteering in toy drives, fundraisers, and holiday cards for those in the hospital or long-term care.
He says that all these experiences have given him the necessary skills to succeed. “The military gave me discipline and determination. Social work gave me empathy and the strength to want to help people, to want to be part of something bigger.” And succeed he has! Bardo was one of 20 recipients at the BS level for a license pilot program that provides social work students with access to all the tools and funding needed to obtain their license.
Bardo’s message to his fellow students is “for every student to be involved. In your career. In your community. In everything. Everything links and builds a network that you can use to help others. Take advantage of your opportunities and make your community a better place.”

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 01/24/2022

A very enthusiastic group of engineering grad and undergrad students from various departments, all volunteers, recently kicked off a project to improve the existing prosthetic fin that attaches externally on Allison’s carapace, for the resident sea turtle at Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island.
Allison is missing 3 flippers and only has one to move around with. While it's unknown exactly how Allison lost her flippers, it is believed that she was victim to a shark attack. When Sea Turtle Inc. received Allison, she fit in the palm of their hands. Nowadays Allison is 200 pounds!
Many of the students working on the project belong to the newly created Engineering Without Borders (EWB) UTRGV chapter and are excited to make an impact. The students have started research on sea turtle physiology, biomechanics, and existing sea turtle prosthetic models in order to build her the best prosthetic possible. They got a start to creating early prototypes on 3D printed turtles, which is what you see in the last picture.
Keep your eyes open for an update on Allison later this spring!


Welcome back Vaqueros! We have some great plans for the Spring and we can't wait to see everyone again.

Photos from UTRGV Community Engagement's post 12/09/2021

We've spent this week talking about food insecurity and hunger and how the students, staff, and faculty ensure resources exist here on campus to help combat it. As the holidays approach and school breaks begin, holiday hunger is a worry for many families. Here are a few resources available if you or someone you know is facing food insecurity. There is never any shame in asking for help. If you are able, you could also consider volunteering or donating a meal to someone in need this holiday season. Stay safe and stay healthy!

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Videos (show all)

Conoce Dra. Alyssa G. Cavazos, Director for the Center for Teaching Excellence and Associate Professor for Rhetoric, Com...
Today we got to hang out with 10th grade science students from IDEA Weslaco during their visit to C-STEM here on campus!...
This #FacultyFriday we talked to Dr. Russell Skowronek about how he participates in community engagement within the the ...
Community Engagement Champion Dr. Sylvia Robles shared what community engagement means to her for this week's #FacultyFr...
Did you know that research is part of community engagement? Dr. Sarah Rowe does, and told us what community engagement m...
For this week's #FacultyFriday we asked Dr. Dean Kyne, Associate Professor of Sociology and Disaster Studies Program Coo...
Community Engagement Champion and #cooldean Dr. Ala Qubbaj shared what community engagement means to him for our very fi...





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