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Natalie Paniagua, Student Ambassador

Hometown: I was born and raised in the lovely city of Dallas, Texas.
Area of Certification and Year:
I hope to get certified in EC-6 Bilingual Education.

natalie-paniaguaWhy did you choose to attend UTA?

There were many factors that influenced my decision in wanting to transfer to UTA. I love the diversity on campus! Seeing students walk around from different backgrounds and cultures made me feel very welcome. I was also looking for a university that was affordable with a great quality of education and UTA had all that to offer me. I wanted to find a school not too far from home since I would be commuting and UTA is only an hour away from where I live, which is not too bad. I have two older sisters that graduated from UTA, so I also wanted to continue that family tradition! 

What is your favorite thing about the College of Education at UTA?  

The College of Education at UTA has the best professors! I just started the Education program and I could not have asked for better professors. They truly care about you and your success as it reflects the type of Educator you will become. They want you to succeed, so they make sure to let you know they are there for you.

Who is your favorite professor? Why?

In my first year at UTA, I took a Mexican American Studies course with Dr. Erin Murrah-Mandril. She is my favorite professor at UTA because she was so passionate in what she taught. Her passion towards the subject was very visible, which kept the class entertained and focused. She also tried to get her students more involved on campus, something I struggled with, but thanks to her I was introduced to many events that I enjoyed attending.

What activities do you participate in outside of class?

The College of Education Student Ambassadors is the very first organization I join, but I do plan on joining way more clubs and organizations this year!

What are your plans after you graduate?

After I graduate, I plan to teach any grade from PK-1ST.  I also hope to work with Dallas ISD and return to the school where my academic adventure first started for me, Kleberg Elementary. I want to give back to the school district that helped me get where I am today. I believe the best way to do that is to teach the students the way my teachers did while I was there, in such a positive way! My educational plans do not end after graduation, I want to continue to get my Master’s Degree. My plan is to get that degree at UTA as well, and within five years or less of my teaching career. Speaking way in the future, I hope to one day transition to a Principal once I have enjoyed every second of teaching in the traditional classrooms!

What is the one thing you think a prospective Education student needs to know?

My advice to future Education students is to not give up! It will get tough trying to balance everything, but just know that it will be very rewarding at the end of your educational journey. Also, enjoy every second of it because time goes by fast. Do not forget your professors are there for you, so do not be afraid to reach out to them if you need that extra help with certain topics. Everyone is on your side and they want you to succeed and become the best Educator possible!