At Eryka's high school ring ceremony.


Rodney Mendoza with his wife, Loretta,
  & daughter, Eryka.

The UT System, as “a microcosm of the world,” helps students understand and appreciate diversity.
(The photo was taken during Eryka's high school ring ceremony.)







Honest Appreciation for Integrity and Impact

There are many reasons for Rodney Mendoza to be proud of his affiliation with The University of Texas System. There are the amazing faculty members, which have helped build the stellar reputations of each UT institution. There are the innumerable ways in which the UT System benefits all of society through research and medical advancements. And then, Rodney states, there is the integrity of the administrators and staff members who keep those institutions operating.

The most recent example of the UT System’s veracity was its analysis of admissions policies at UT institutions and the system-wide guidelines that resulted from that assessment. “They evaluated the issue and then said, ‘We need to let the public know our thoughts.’ That willingness to be transparent means a lot.”

Rodney also appreciates the UT System’s holistic approach to the admissions process. “It’s important that schools have a full appreciation of what a student can bring,” he states. It “hits home” with him because his daughter will be heading to college soon. “I hope all aspects of my daughter’s profile are considered when determining if she would be a good fit for a particular school,” he states, adding that suitability cannot be determined by grade point average alone.

If Rodney praises how UT institutions accept students onto their campuses, he also applauds the quality of education those students receive. The San Antonio native earned his undergraduate business degree from UT Austin and believes the confidence he had when he entered the workplace stemmed from his exposure to professors whose knowledge-base was rooted in real-world experiences (he also received three (3) master’s degrees from other Texas-based colleges). “When I graduated from the McCombs School of Business, I felt that I was prepared for a commercial banking position because I learned from the best in the industry,” he asserts.

Rodney is now the manager of special projects for BP America Production Company (BP PLC’s lower 48 onshore division, based in Houston), overseeing real estate assets,  due diligence for acquisitions and divestitures and managing non-core assets. Since joining the company in March of 1990, he has seen many other UT grads come aboard. Those who receive the high-quality educational experiences UT institutions provide are in high demand—for good reason. “At BP, we hire a lot of graduates from UT institutions,” says Rodney. “You just know that the preparation is there, the skill set is there, the desire is there, the energy to succeed is there—you get all that from a graduate of a UT institution.”

Graduates of UT institutions are also well-prepared for the global workplace. “While at UT Austin, I met so many people from different cultures and countries and it helps me in the corporate environment,” Rodney says. “It’s easy for me to speak with someone from halfway across the world because I once had a class with someone from halfway across the world.” The UT System, as “a microcosm of the world,” helps students understand and appreciate diversity, Rodney proudly states, and that kind of education is invaluable.

The Chancellor’s Council Annual Meeting & Symposium
Honoring the life-changing work of the UT System

If Rodney Mendoza had to identify a single, defining characteristic of the 2015 Chancellor’s Council Annual Meeting and Symposium, it would be this: passion. Regardless of age or circumstance, whether one was an attendee or featured speaker, passion for the life-changing work of the UT System was clearly evident. It’s an experience that Rodney believes other Chancellor’s Council members shouldn’t miss. “It’s a chance to learn about initiatives and research that benefit thousands upon thousands of people every day across the state,” he says. “That opportunity doesn’t happen every day.”