Stress, frustration and confusion are as much part of the college experience for many students as they are inundated with textbooks, lectures and papers.
An outlet of moral support during times of hardship can be crucial to student success. So much so that Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Office of Student Success offers mentor services to help students pursue academic achievement while maintaining a healthy balance between work and life.
On Oct. 27, the First-Year Seminar Leadership Lecture Series hosted a special presentation by Dr. Roger Campos, president of Campos Family Dental and a TAMUK alumnus. The presentation outlined the importance of mentorship, giving back to the community, motivation, and overcoming adversity.
Campos graduated in 1981with a bachelor’s in biology. He later became a dentist. He has been recognized for his work as a board of directors for the Greater San Antonio District Dental Society, a leader with the TAMUK Natural Toxins Research Center and his volunteer work with the Los Quijotes de San Antonio Medical and Dental Group.
One of his distinctive contributions is creating and donating customized mouth guards for high school and college athletes. Campos credits his success to his early experiences in life, most importantly the support he received from university mentors.
“If it wasn’t for the faculty and mentoring [at TAMUK], I would have never made it,” he said.
Campos was influence by his parents to pursue a career in health sciences. However, it wasn’t until he met Dr. Arturo Ramirez that he knew he wanted to go into dentistry
“Mentoring is what got me excited about dental,” he said.
After Campos concluded his introductory speech, the audience was presented with a video highlighting Campos’ achievements. The attention was then transferred to a panel of university health graduate students. Marco Treviño and Alberto Celedon discussed the role student mentors have played in their bouts of overcoming difficulties. Celedon talked about how difficult it was to get into medical school. He was rejected twice before finally being accepted.
“Try, even if you fail, keep trying,” Celedon said, “I never thought that I would choose to attend graduate school. It’s about doing things you’ve never done before.”
Celedon acknowledged his mentors for their constant encouragement.
As a former student mentor, Treviño said that mentoring is a great experience. He said the most trying moments for him are when he meets a student who is not using their full potential. He encourages these students to try new things and be different.
“People are scared, but that’s a good thing,” Treviño explained. “Reach out to professors and do things that push you.”
The seminar ended with a raffle of door prizes, ranging from gift cards to football tickets, courtesy of Campos. Humberto Garcia, a student attendee, said after the seminar that he now better understood the importance of helping through mentoring.
“The event was influential because it outlined the importance of mentorship, which is a great opportunity for people to gain experience and help each other grow,” he said.
Campos will continue his mission in helping communities and future dentists. All of his success can be traced back to the supporting words he received from mentors in Kingsville and important people he has meet throughout his dental career.