Summer 2022 Reflection
Wow! It’s crazy to think that the Fall semester has begun already and that I’m no longer at Texas A&M. For those of you who don’t know already, I’m now an Assistant Professor of
Communication at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). Trust me, it’s surreal for me too.
Photo by Dr. Joey Lopez
Let’s talk the summer though. Let me begin by saying that it was a heck of a summer! During May, I was under so much stress of the job market. At the end of the month, I received the call that would change my life. I found out that I would get the job at the University of Houston-Downtown. It was an awesome experience and here is a video after I got call. Thanks to my friend, Diego for filming this.
Video by Diego Rodriguez
Okay, let’s talk classes now.
It was a a roller coaster of emotions in every way. During both summer sessions, I had the opportunity to teach Intro to Public Speaking, and I had an amazing group of students and speakers.
During my June and Summer I session, I learned a lot. As an instructor, one tends to learn new things each semester. One thing I continue to learn is to lead each class with empathy. Students face various situations outside of class and I feel that it is my job as a professor or instructor to be there for them. I had some situations arise and it took a lot of energy out of me, but it was definitely a learning experience that I will never forget. I’m grateful that my department was so helpful through that process as well. During this time, I was also looking for an apartment, which was another minor stress, but things worked out. Also, I was glad to have my family visit and check out Houston with me. It had been a while since I had seen my family in person, and seeing them and my puppy Oreo was the best! Through this entire process, they have been there for me and I cannot say enough how lucky and blessed I am to have such a wonderful and supportive family!
Photos by Dr. Joey Lopez and Alice Flores
On another note, summer 2 was fantastic! I taught my final class at Texas A&M and never in my time at A&M did I have so many athletes in one class. I had six football players and a bodybuilder. I have fun with all my classes, but these two summer courses brought out so many smiles from me. One of my students did a persuasive speech on Kangaroos, another on why Waffle House needs to be in College Station, and others that were humorous, passionate, and incredible! I am beyond grateful to have met so many wonderful students during my time at A&M and during these two final classes.
Photo by Ruben "Deuce" Fatheree III
I constantly say that my favorite part of the job is helping and working with my students, and I mean that. Being in the classroom brings me so much joy and I’m super happy knowing I found my calling in life.
Aside from teaching, I had the opportunity to work with one of my mentors and someone I consider family, Dr. Joey Lopez. Joey is the Director of the Media and Gaming Lab in the Communication and Journalism department at Texas A&M. As soon as the semester ended, Joey and I were working on the Media and Gaming lab and creating social media profiles for it. Being able to work at the Media Lab was a wonderful experience for me as I learned what it takes to run a lab, how to create an inclusive and welcoming space, and how to create a fun and creative space as well. This inspired me to want to create a lab here at UHD. Joey and I also met Arden Duffield, who is a young filmmaker and was working on his short film called Hot Ramen. Arden is someone who is incredibly talented and mature for his age. His work is out of this world and I cannot wait to see what other legendary creations he comes up with.
As I was teaching and working in the lab, I was also working on my dissertation. I was up late many nights, awake early many mornings, and worked many hours writing and editing my dissertation. On August 11th, I had the chance to defend my dissertation and my committee congratulated me as Dr. Anthony R. Ramirez. It definitely was the biggest achievement thus far in my life, and I’m super grateful for every one that has been with me every step of the way.
Photos by Miranda Calderon, Dr. Asha Winfield, and I
Additionally, I took a few trips down to San Antonio with Joey, Dr. Corina Zavala Lopez (his wife and my super awesome friend), and Joey aka Jojo (their incredibly amazing son and my buddy). I had the chance to go twice to San Antonio during the summer and it was a lot of fun! I had the chance to meet up with my friends Samantha Ceballos-Sosa, Hector Garza, James Yu, Angie Galal, and Valentina Auden. Samantha, Hector, and I are the founders of a collective group called The Capirotada Collective. Here’s our mission statement:
The Capirotada Collective is a group of Latinx scholars/artists/degenerates who believe in culture, community, and innovation. As a diverse group of individuals, we aim to highlight and elevate diverse and inclusive interdisciplinary works. We want to create a bridge for the academic community and general public to enjoy the work by so many talented Latinx individuals.
Images by Dr. Joey Lopez, Mike Sosa, Valentina Auden, and Tina Lopez
The collective and I are planning various projects and events. We can’t wait to share them with you all soon.
Also, Texas A&M's College of Liberal Arts wrote a wonderful interview piece on me. Tiarra Drisker, a student from A&M interviewed and wrote this article about me. It was a great honor and privilege being highlighted by the College of Liberal Arts. You can read the article here: Liberal Arts Article
This summer was a fast-paced roller coaster of a ride. Everything happened back to back, and I’m still getting used to the fact that I’m an assistant professor now and that I live in Houston. I’m overwhelmed in the best possible way and cannot wait to grow into this role and to flourish with all the wonderful opportunities that come my way. I’m just trying to get a little more comfortable in all these new spaces.
On a final note, as many of you know I have two podcasts called Academics and Amigos, and The ReSocial Hour. I plan on bringing back Academics and Amigos later this year and hopefully bring back The ReSocial Hour as well. Be sure to check out past episodes of both podcasts wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
I will continue to use this blog and my website to highlight various projects and updates in my professional life.
Thanks for reading and until next time. Be cool and stay awesome.