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BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – DEC. 10, 2013 – Instead of wearing the typical black gown and mortarboard hat with tassel, ROTC Cadet Pedro Rosas will be outfitted in his dress blue Army uniform when he walks across the stage at Winter Commencement for The University of Texas at Brownsville on Saturday, Dec. 14.

 

Rosas’ commissioning as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army will take place at a ceremony the day before Commencement, when his fiancée, Adriana Aguilar, and his father, Dr. Carlos Rosas, will have the honor of pinning on his lieutenant’s bars. 

“I am looking forward to this day, to receiving my commission as an officer,” Rosas said. “Getting to this point has taken a lot of commitment and determination, and it has finally paid off.”

Rosas chose to turn down an opportunity to go on active duty with the U.S. Army and to continue with the Texas Army National Guard, where he has been a member for the past three years. He will attend the infantry basic officer leader course at Ft. Benning, Georgia for several months, and then return to join his National Guard unit, the 3/141 HHC, IBCT [Headquarters and Headquarters Company Infantry Brigade Combat Team] in Weslaco, Texas.

At Commencement, Rosas will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. He said he became enamored of Spanish literature, studying the great writers through the centuries from Medieval Spain, through the Siglo de Oro, across the oceans to Colonial Hispanic America and into contemporary Spanish authors and the Chicano narrative.

“I love Spanish literature, especially the comedy, the picaresca, mocking the political systems, the dark and uncanny, and the surrealism,” Rosas said.

Dr. Cipriano Cárdenas, Associate Professor of Hispanic Literature and Culture in the Department of Modern Languages, had Rosas in four Spanish literature courses.

“Pedro turned out to be one of the most enthusiastic students I have had in my 42-year career as a college professor,” Cárdenas said. “His wit and his introspective analysis of Hispanic literary and cultural studies served him well in my classes; his contributions as a member of class presentation groups were worthy of some of our best Spanish majors.”  

Aside from English and Spanish, Rosas studied French while studying in Canada for a year and a half, and he picked up a lot of Korean while living in Korea over the course of a year, where he supported himself on his earnings by being a Spanish tutor.

“There are a lot more English teachers and tutors available in Korea than there are Spanish tutors, so I was in demand,” Rosas said.

After Korea, Rosas was off to New York where he started his college studies at the City University of New York. It was during this time, when he was working for the Mexican Cultural Institute at the Mexican Consulate, that he became interested in diplomatic service.

“That gave me introspection on what I want to do, on the career path I want to follow,” Rosas said. “Not right away, but in the future I definitely want to get my master’s in foreign policy and I want to end up in the U.S. State Department as a foreign affairs officer.”

Rosas said he feels the ROTC program at UTB has helped him develop a good foundation, citing advantages such as skill identification and learning about organizational planning, management techniques, logistical coordination, teamwork and ethical conduct.

“Cadet Rosas has done remarkably well since he started with us two years ago,” said Eva Bratschi, UTB Senior Military Science Instructor, who is also a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves. “We are excited for the onset of his new career as an officer in the Texas Army National Guard. Cadet Rosas is very proud to be able to serve in the military, and he is a great example for others to follow.”

Rosas is one of 745 students that are candidates to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Winter Commencement will take place at 9 a.m. on the Student Union Lawn.​​

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