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Photo credit: Everyday Health Photo of Hernandez (dressed in all black) at The Watcha! Film Series in honor of Women’s History Month.

By Laura Miguel

SAN ANTONIO—A student at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) was accepted to a summer research program at an out-of-state university.

Monzerrath Rodriguez, a junior majoring in psychology and Spanish, got accepted to the Psychology Research Experience Program(PREP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

“When I received the letter of acceptance, I was very excited for my future and the future research process,” Rodriguez said.

Celebrating Rodriguez’s acceptance to the program, while maintaining safe social distance recommended by the CDC.

Due to COVID-19, Rodriguez will not have to travel out of state for the program and is able to work from home. The program only accepts eight students and it is about two months long during the summer.

The applications were due the week that the winter storm occurred in February.

“I was working on the application with my adviser through the phone [during] the winter storm and it was [a challenge] because of the power outages,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez join the McNair Scholars Program in fall of 2019 because she wanted to gain research experience and Graduate Record Examination prep.

“[Rodriguez] has grown incredibly as a scholar,” said Carmen Serrata, Ph.D., director of the McNair Scholars program. “I remember she came in fall 2019 very quiet and reserved and not just in terms of interactions with other scholars, but also in terms of her research.”

During the summer, Rodriguez work on her research Stimulation of Memory through Music and its Impact on Second Language Learning Process. Due to COVID-19, she had to work from home and attend their weekly meetings virtually.

Rodriguez presented her proposal virtually to OLLU faculty and students and her finish research to OLLU and University of California, Los Angeles.

“She is a model scholar in many ways and what I admired about her is her persistence and her ability to handle a lot of different things,” Dr. Serrata said.

Rodriguez is currently a mentor to a first-year student in the program. She is also a career assistance at the Center for Career Development and Testing.

Lucero Villarreal, a career advisor at OLLU, said that Rodriguez has the skills to succeed in whatever she does. If she keeps working and perfecting those skills and growing as a student and professional, she is going to go very far in life.

Rodriguez moved to Texas from Mexico her freshman year of high school without knowing English.

“I never thought I was going to be able to accomplish the things I have done so far,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, OLLU Honors Program, McNair Scholar Program and treasurer of the Psichi Honor Society.

To get more information about the McNair Scholars Program, email them at or visit them in the Moye Lower Level.

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