MBA Grad Survives Health Challenge, Now Helps Other UTRGV Students Succeed

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Griselda Muñoz walked the stage on May 10, 2019, to get her master’s degree at the TSC Jacob Brown Auditorium in Brownsville. She is always proud of such a great accomplishment.
Griselda Muñoz walked the stage on May 10, 2019, to get her master’s degree at the TSC Jacob Brown Auditorium in Brownsville. She is always proud of such a great accomplishment.

Mega Doctor News

By Maria Elena Hernandez

Rio Grande Valley, Texas – When UTRGV graduate student Griselda Muñoz walked across the stage on May 10 to accept her master’s degree in business, she knew the source of her strength will be sitting in the audience – her 13 – year old twins, Christian and Dominic Peña. 

The Brownsville resident, who enrolled in the UTRGV Master of Business Administration program in 2013, already had twins,a full-time job and was involved in the community. So, she took one class a semester. 


The challenges didn’t stop there, though. While she was working on her degree, she fell ill and suffered from bad headaches. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was benign, but any sort of brain treatment is a serious challenge to day-to-day routines and functions.

“I was very weak and there were days I couldn’t even get up,” she said. But her drive to survive, to move forward with her life, never wavered as she looked to the twins as her inspiration. She fought not only to regain her healthbut also kept working toward her MBA.

“Now I want to be their inspiration, my kids, obviously,” Muñoz said.  “I knew I had to do it for them. I knew I had to get better for them.”

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Muñoz also credits her faith in God for helping her overcome her health issues and said the UTRGV faculty supported her when she most needed help. 

“Sometimes, I was not able to meet the deadlines because I was sick in bed.” She recalled contacting UTRGV management professor Dr. Jennie Johnson, now retired, to ask for an extension and for help with completing an assignment.

“Dr. Johnson was the main one who supported me. She helped me to finish the semester,” Muñoz said. She had surgery to remove the tumor and returned to her classes the next semester. “No more tumors. Everything has been perfect,” Muñoz said. “I’m super healthy now.”

She’s more than ready now for commencement. “I feel so accomplished. I cannot even express it. I’m very happy, very excited,” she said, as she proudly displayed her UTRGV class ring. “Everything, with passion and dedication, can be accomplished.”

She already anticipates her children following in her footsteps. “At least a master’s, just like me, or a Ph.D.!” she said. “Actually, I’m planning to do a Ph.D. later.”

“I was very lucky to have had very good professors at this university. I want to go share my knowledge one day with students.”

Muñoz, now the human resources manager at CK Technologies, is already helping fellow UTRGV students and graduates. The company, come summer, will be working with the university’s engineering programs on internships.

“I always feel that in order to be successful, not only education is important, but also experience,” she said. “I had the opportunity to work while I was going to school, so I feel like I should give that back to the community.”

She also recently hired two UTRGV graduates for full-time positions at CK Technologies; she hopes to continue to grow the local workforce. “I’m so happy to have this university in our backyard,” she said of UTRGV. 

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