Moriah Torres (Student)
By University Communications
Monday, 03 26 2018
Inaugural freshman class member, Moriah Torres, is paving the way to her success one historical document at a time.
As a history and research intern, Torres spends 10 hours a week researching records, maps and databases to discover the history, influence and impact of African-Americans in San Antonio. She finds the historical exploration essential to telling the diverse story of the city, especially during the Tricentennial year.
When Torres first attended Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA), she set her mind on studying biology. But she swiftly changed her mind after taking a riveting history course that piqued her intellectual interest. It was during that class that she found a knack for research and a love of the past.
In summer 2017, Torres was approached by Dr. Philis Barragan-Goetz, assistant professor of history and Torres’ mentor, about a new internship opportunity at A&M-SA. Dr. Barragan knew Torres was striving to become an archivist and thought the internship would suit her. After Torres showed interest, she introduced Torres to her future supervisor, Everett Fly, a native San Antonian and landscape architect who works on preserving African-American historical landmarks.
Torres was selected as the intern and now works under the leadership of Dr. Barragan-Goetz and Fly to share the untold and forgotten stories of African-Americans in the Alamo City. Eventually, her work will contribute to and be permanently preserved in the upcoming San Antonio African American Community Archive (SAAACAM).
Torres’ internship has allowed her to embark on a world of research that she once thought was out of reach for an undergraduate student. Through her research, she has discovered the vital role that African-Americans played in the 300-year history of San Antonio.
“Black history is just as important as Mexican-American history in San Antonio. It’s not something you can just leave out because if you do, you’re just erasing a piece of history,” she says.
Torres firmly believes her internship opportunity would not have been presented to her if she had not spent time sharing her career aspirations with her professors. So, she advises all future and current A&M-SA students to approach faculty and staff and get to know them on a personal and professional level.
“Their doors are always open for students to engage with and share insight about their pursuits after graduation. You never know when those relationships might help you,” she says.
This April, Torres will be inducted into the University’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors. She is just one of many Jaguars who demonstrate that they are on a mission to seize opportunities.