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Embracing the Traditional College Experience

Teeming with energy and excitement, UT Arlington offers a robust campus life that provides abundant opportunities for our well-rounded students to gain the knowledge and skills they need to grow as scholars and develop as next-generation leaders.

LIVING WHERE THE ACTION IS

Ask Maricela Pillaca to name the biggest benefit of living on campus and she finds it hard to pinpoint just one thing.

Pillaca, who plans to graduate with a bachelor's degree in education in 2014, says easy access to campus resources has helped her unlock everything university life has to offer.

"I've met new people and made close friends from different backgrounds," the Arlington Hall resident assistant says. "Not to mention, living on campus helps me excel academically because I can ask other residents for help and can find any resource on campus in a matter of minutes."

She's also active in several student organizations, including UTA Volunteers, the International Student Organization, and MAVS for U.N.I.C.E.F.

"It's so important to be involved, and if I didn't live on campus, I don't know how much I'd be able to make time for," she says. "It's really given me the chance to start my own life."

Maricela Pillaca

A SCHOLAR AND AN ATHLETE

Not many NCAA Division I basketball players enter their final season with a college diploma already in hand. But LaMarcus Reed III did just that when he took the court in fall 2011 after completing a bachelor's degree in finance in less than four years.

That Reed, a guard/forward and the Mavericks' leading scorer last season, finished early can be traced to his grandfather.

"My grandpa stressed education and discipline and respect," he says. "Those were the three rules in our family. He kind of scared those rules into me since I was 5 years old."

Reed has made a name for himself as a hard worker who gets vocal if necessary but prefers to lead by example. Part of that includes excelling in the classroom. He's working on a second bachelor's degree, in economics.

On the basketball court, he's equally skilled. He averaged a team-high 12.4 points last season and led the Mavericks in three-point shooting percentage and three-pointers made.

LaMarcus Reed III

NEVER A DULL MOMENT

A few weeks into her freshman year, Julia Landro was homesick and planning to move back home.

Then she joined EXCEL Campus Activities, an organization focused on event planning to enhance students' experiences at UT Arlington. Two years later, Landro became EXCEL's president. Besides that, she's also a member of Kappa Delta Chi sorority, Golden Key and Omicron Delta Kappa honors societies, and UTA-HOSTS!, where she serves as peer mentor.

Landro, an education major, says that if she hadn't joined some of UT Arlington's 300-plus student organizations, she would almost certainly have left school. And so, she has some advice for her fellow Mavericks.

"Definitely get involved. It makes it worthwhile. Inside the classroom, you learn a lot, but outside the classroom, you get to use it. If students see these great organizations and people having fun, they're more likely to stay. It gives you another reason to love your school."

Julia Landro

A COMMITMENT TO SERVICE

Some people never discover their life's passion, so imagine finding it at the tender age of 8. That's when Kwinetta Simien decided she would devote herself to assisting those in need.

Since then, the senior social work major has contributed countless hours to numerous service projects. "I honestly have no idea how many service hours I've logged," she says. "I've pretty much dedicated my life to helping others."

At UT Arlington, she kindles her civic spirit through her work with the Alternative Spring Break program, where she most recently was a site leader for a Gulf Coast restoration project in Florida. As a participant in MavsAct, she spent two semesters raising awareness for child abuse.

Simien's giving extends to other causes. She has hosted forums on the myths and stereotypes of physical punishment, started an anti-bullying campaign with a local Boys and Girls Club, and raised money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to benefit victims of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

Kwinetta Simien

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