Magge Nuñez: Advocating for Change
By Toni Carter
In just a few short years, Magge Nuñez, a University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) senior, has gained the respect of her peers and professors as a devoted campus leader and advocate. Nuñez's motivation is apparent in her academic studies, extracurricular pursuits and in her work as a student and community activist.
Nuñez, a Salvadoran-American, is particularly passionate about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) rights and equality. At UHD, she is the president of the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), a student chapter that supports religious freedom and individual liberties. Currently, she is earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Spanish and taking deliberate steps toward promoting change within herself, and in the local communities.
"I love being an activist, and I take activism very seriously," said Nuñez. "Through my internship with Texas Freedom Network, I'm able to do a lot of things for the Houston community. I've participated in nonpartisan voter registration drives and various protests. I also have advocated for LGBTQ issues, women's rights and minority rights on several occasions."
Nuñez's internship experience not only exemplifies her acute awareness of gender equality and injustice, but also serves as an important checkpoint in her career path. Along with her goals to pursue a master's degree in psychology, she will participate in a leadership development program with Young People For, an organization that provides leadership skills and resources to young activists in hopes of implanting change in their community. She hopes to combine these skills with her studies to better help the Houston community.
A hardworking student in UHD's Honors Program, Nuñez, 20, holds her UHD education in high regard. As a first-generation college student, she is passionate about attending UHD and ultimately, completing her degree.
"The idea that I would be the first in my family to attend college, inspired me," said Nuñez. "No one in my family has encountered that, and no one in my family has a degree. Being able to set a precedent for my family is extremely motivating."
Beyond her academic pursuits, Nuñez is involved in multiple student organizations: National Society Collegiate Scholars Honors Society, Golden Key International, UHD Honors Program, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at UHD. She has also participated in various committee and student org activities including, #GatorsDontSayCampaign, a campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the ways in which our language choices often dehumanize, exclude, demean and marginalize others.
Nuñez is confident that her educational experience at UHD will help fulfill her career plans.
"At UHD, I've encountered a lot of people that have helped me in my academic journey," she said. "And I've been able to represent UHD in different capacities: television show segments, radio and debates. These connections will help me out in the long run."
Her connection with many professors has also been a grounding force. Nuñez said that Honors Program Director Mari Nicholson-Preuss was one of the biggest influences on her decision to apply to the UHD Honors Program. She also noted that psychology professor Kristen Anderson inspired her to be more involved in the community.
"Her classes are just so impactful," Nuñez said. "I leave the class feeling pumped, like we can do something for our community. She's also very transparent, blunt and motivating and I appreciate her efforts."
When asked about her future plans, she said she plans to "pursue a master's degree in industrial psychology or social psychology."
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 45,000 alumni and offers 43 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College).
UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates of any four-year university in Houston and Texas and is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.