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Putting the Pieces Together: Student Spotlight on Sophia Sauceda

Back when she was a kid, Sophia Sauceda used to sit with her grandmother for hours, working puzzles. “I loved to see how all the pieces fit together,” the senior math major says. She could never have guessed back then that this love of fitting pieces together would lead to pursuing a degree in mathematics, but really, it was a logical path to take. “With math you have to rearrange an equation to solve it and see how it fits within a situation.”

Another passion of Sauceda’s—one that connects seamlessly to her love of math—is music. “Music has played an enormous part in my life,” she says, then admits that when she was younger, she was very introverted, preferring to stay inside and play video games or watch TV. But then in eighth grade, she picked up the violin. Now an alumnus of Mariachi De Juan Seguin, she became an intern for the program so that she could take on more responsibility and help others learn. “Joining mariachi allowed me to break out of my shell, become a leader, and embrace my culture. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t included music in my life and joined mariachi.”

And that love of music, coupled with plenty of hard work, led to Sauceda being named Youth Artist of the Year by the Seguin Commission on the Arts. “If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be receiving this award, I would have never believed you,” she says.

One might wonder where Sauceda finds the time to practice—much less study and do homework—as involved as she is on campus. She’s served as president of the Mexican American Student Association and is so dedicated to the organization that faculty sponsor Dr. Cesar Silva says, “We couldn’t exist without Sophia. She’s intertwined in everything in Seguin and at TLU.” Sauceda’s favorite memory from her years in MASA? “The Dia de los Veteranos event that we held in November 2023,” she says. “It felt great to honor our veterans in such a fun and cool way.”

She’s also a member of Xi Tau sorority, and says she cherishes memories of the group’s annual Bid Day, when new members are welcomed into the fold. “I love the feeling when watching your new sister run home,” she says. Then there’s the Society of Physics Students, of which Sauceda is an active member. She loved this year’s Family Physics Night, when she helped out with the demo show. She’s an Admissions Ambassador, and particularly looks forward to Bulldog Bound events, when future TLU students visit campus with their families. “I love the feeling when a student comes up to you and says, ‘You gave me my tour and now I’m coming to TLU in the fall.’”

On top of all of that, Sauceda is a member of the prestigious Black and Gold President’s Council. She fondly remembers her Jacket Passing Ceremony in May of 2022. “I had so much joy when Dr. Cottrell pinned me with my family in the audience and that is something that I will never forget.”

Sauceda says that during her time at TLU, she’s appreciated the personalized experience of a small school. “I have been able to grow more as a leader, student, and as a person because of it.”

After she graduates, she isn’t sure where her journey will lead next. “I would love to work in the medical field somehow, or perhaps become a data analyst for a pharmaceutical company,” she says. For Sauceda, what matters most isn’t what she’ll take from life. Almost like fitting the final piece of the puzzle, she’s more interested in returning to the beginning and paying forward her own blessings. “My ultimate dream is to help as many people as I can, and eventually come back to Seguin to give back to the community that gave so much to me.”