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Yesenia Yanez

Scholarship Recipient Excels in Research at UTSA

A senior double majoring in psychology and statistics, Yesenia Yanez currently has three research projects under her belt and credits scholarships for allowing her the opportunity to pursue them all.

“I believe that research is one of the most important contributions to society someone can make. While some can theorize and speculate about the world around them, researchers get the opportunity to bring us all closer to the truth. I am honored to be a part of the research that is being conducted at UTSA and I hope to continue for the rest of my academic career,” said Yesenia.

A first-generation college student, Yesenia grew up in California. After graduating high school, she set her eyes on attending college in Texas, and landed at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Her hard work and dedication to academics and student organizations, like the UTSA Ambassadors, landed her several scholarships including the Jerry and Mary Keating Annual Scholarship, the Rosemary Kowalski Scholarship and the Richard M. Wenzlaff Endowed Scholarship. All have allowed her the freedom to pursue research.

With the guidance of UTSA professor David Pillow, Yesenia’s first research project delved into the world of social media and how users portray themselves online. What she discovered was that the unique structure of Facebook yields identity conflict, which may in turn lead to anxiety and inhibition.

Since then she has expanded her repertoire to include researching the early predictors of adolescent delinquency, and exploring the varying conflict levels of identities.

“Without the support of scholarships I wouldn’t have much time for my research. I am beyond grateful to the donors for allowing me this opportunity,” said Yesenia, who has showcased her various research findings across the U.S., including the McNair Scholars Conference at the University of Maryland and at the University of California, Berkley.

After graduation, Yesenia plans on attending graduate school where she hopes to pursue research on violent school crime. She hopes to one day earn a Ph.D. in forensic psychology and work for the FBI.

-Yvonne Zamora Byrd


Visit giving.utsa.edu/paymypledge2019 to make a gift and help more students like Yesenia.