Presidio native earns legal studies Masters, earning him a total five university degrees

PRESIDIO – On Monday, May 6, 2019, Florencio Urias Aranda III, a Presidio native, graduated from Arizona State University located in Phoenix, Arizona with his Master of Legal Studies from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Aranda is the son of Florencio Aranda, Jr. and Maricela Urias Aranda, of Presidio.

The 32-year-old, graduate of the Presidio High School Class of 2004 now holds five university degrees from two institutions of higher learning.

Dr. Aranda commenced his undergraduate education at Texas Tech University where he went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, with a minor in Political Science in May 2007, in 3 years.

He continued his graduate studies at Texas Tech University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages in Spanish & Portuguese, in May 2010.

During his Master’s studies, he studied and taught abroad in Seville, Spain, as a Graduate Part-time Instructor of Spanish.

Aranda graduated with a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies (Spanish, Higher Education, & Curriculum & Instruction) in May 2015 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from Texas Tech University in August 2015. During his doctoral studies, Aranda interned in the U.S. House of Representatives with Congressman Pete P. Gallego of the 23rd District of Texas during the 113th Congress. This sparked an interest to intertwine government, higher education, and the Latina/o community, propelling Aranda to focus his doctoral research on analyzing Latino U.S. Congressmen from the Southwest region of the United States and their impact on Higher Education.

His commitment to educational advocacy allowed Dr. Aranda to serve as the 2014 Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students and as the 2017 Plains Regional Representative of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education. To better serve the Latino community seeking higher education, Aranda decided to pursue a Masters in Legal Studies from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Aranda graduated with his MLS this May 6, 2019.

Currently, Dr. Aranda is the Multicultural Latino Retention Advisor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs at South Dakota State University and serves as the Chair of the Mentorship Program for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education and as the New Professionals Representative for the South Dakota Higher Education Association.

Aranda’s extensive education has allowed him the opportunity to serve and advocate for students who are underrepresented, overlooked, and under-served, in U.S. higher education. Dr. Aranda’s tenacity to be an agent of change is what drives him to be of service to others and to lead by example in the educational, political, and cultural arenas he navigates.

Aranda extends his most sincere gratitude to his parents, family members, and friends for supporting him throughout his academic journey. Furthermore, he extends his gratitude to his maternal grandmother Tela Urias for instilling in him that with God and humility all things are possible.