Texas Tech University

CoMC student shares experiential learning with their Harlingen counterparts

Michael Anthony Ortiz

December 20, 2021

Matthew Cavazos, a senior in creative media industries and marketing, extends the College of Media & Communication (CoMC) transformative experience through recruiting efforts in his home town of Harlingen, Texas. Cavazos, in a first for his local Harlingen community, took the initiative to invite his peers to continue their higher education through CoMC. The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District (HCISD) will host the meet-and-greet and give away 50 tickets to the South Padre Island Battle on the Beach basketball game.

Cavazos felt compelled to improve the recruiting efforts around the Rio Grande area after looking at the scarce statistical data available. While Harlingen certainly extends beyond the borders of Lubbock, Cavazos didn't want the CoMC experiential learning to end there. Cavazos spearheaded a visit for CoMC to reach out to prospective students with the assistance of HCISD.

“I know it's a long way, but I'm trying to give that extra push we need,” Cavazos says. “I love my community, I love my school, and I want to see them meet up because I know there's an opportunity there to give the community a chance.”

For Cavazos, this has continually remained at the core of his mission statement. He welcomes the need for his community to continue their higher education through CoMC without having to sacrifice opportunities. In particular, Cavazos hopes to share the same experiential learning he encountered during his internship with Texas Tech Athletics.

“I got to film sporting events and that's just not something the kids in my region know about,” Cavazos says. “Texas Tech offers so many great programs for students that other universities don't offer, especially when it comes to gaining experience.”

After reaching out to Todd Chambers, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate affairs, the synergy made sense for Cavazos to connect CoMC to HCISD Media Arts and Communications academy. Chambers further notes the caliber of the event as truly unique compared to previous recruitment events.

“From the moment you meet Matthew, you see his passion for what he is doing and how much pride he has for his hometown, it makes you smile,” Chambers says. “Although we've had students in the past help organize visits, I can't remember a trip where we've been able to package a recruiting event, multiple class visits, and a tailgate!”

The collaboration between CoMC and HCISD doesn't end at recruitment. This event spans a weekend of activities focused on providing prospective students a glimpse of the day opportunities offered through CoMC.

“The College of Media & Communication is all about getting students plugged into day one opportunities,” Chambers says. “For some students, they can continue some of what they might have been doing in high school. Now, any of our students can do the traditional media and communication opportunities to expand their strategic communication.”

This event was also made possible with the help of Texas Tech University Admissions and the Texas Tech Alumni Association. They'll be partnering with Cavazos and Chambers in connecting prospective students to the many opportunities CoMC provides. Cavazos, with the help of CoMC, is beyond elated to spread the word and believes everyone can benefit from this event.

“Every party can have a victory in this visit,” Cavazos says. “The main thing is that these students can see that they have other options and Texas Tech is willing to give them options. That's been my mindset going in, why not make this a reality for everyone?”

The reality for Cavazos is tapping into the latent talent he believes Harlingen possesses. He wants all within his community to reach beyond their limits.

“Speaking from personal experience, I matched pretty well with video production coming from the valley,” Cavazos says. “I want to let CoMC know just how great these students are and that there's a lot of great talent waiting to be shown.”