Army ROTC battalion commander. Psychology major. Niner guide. S.A.F.E. mentor. Class of 2021 graduate. UNC Charlotte senior Roxana Pozos wears many hats.
As a first-generation, Mexican-American college student, Pozos came to UNC Charlotte unsure of what to expect from the college experience yet eager to make the most of her time on campus.
“I grew up in Charlotte coming to campus for various school activities and things with my sisters, so I knew the campus was beautiful and full of opportunities,” said Pozos. “When I arrived freshman year, I decided to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.”
However, despite her busy schedule, Pozos let us tag along to see what a typical day looks like for her.
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
Most mornings, Pozos is up before the sun to take part in physical training with her fellow Army ROTC cadets at Memorial Hall. She’s the Battalion Commander—the highest-ranking student officer on campus—which requires her to oversee the entire battalion and its activities, a responsibility that was truly challenging throughout the pandemic with instruction moving online given that she is tasked with preparing the cadets for their annual summer Advanced Camp.
HITTING THE BOOKS
With many of her psychology classes online due to the pandemic, she enjoys heading to the Popp Martin Student Union to listen to an online lecture or do some studying.
“The second- and third-floor mezzanine has a ton of great study spots where you can put on some AirPods and focus or take a break and people watch. It’s my go-to spot!”
PAYING IT FORWARD
Mentoring is very important to Pozos mainly because she remembers the challenges she faced trying to navigate the college environment as a first-generation, Latinx student. She serves as S.A.F.E. mentor, a ROTC mentor and she mentors local high school Latinx students as they plan for life after high school. Recognizing the value of representation, she is passionate about helping the next generation find their path to success. She’ll often have lunch with her mentees at the Chick-fil-A in Prospector, and loves sitting outside when the weather is nice.
“When I came to UNC Charlotte there wasn’t a great place for Latinx students to connect with the city of Charlotte, which always bothered me. I helped create the Latinx Student Union to promote a better cultural exchange with the city and to enhance the college experience for Latin American students on campus. In many ways, that effort feels like I’m leaving a legacy in a sense.”
‘WELCOME TO UNC CHARLOTTE’
As a member of the Niner Guides, Pozos gives tours to prospective students and their families hoping to learn more about UNC Charlotte. It’s a great way to meet other students and to learn more about the University. Niner Guides get University apparel and priority class registration for active guides who fulfill tour requirements.
“I love getting to meet new people who travel from all over the country and world to visit our amazing University! It’s such a great feeling to share the knowledge and love I have for our campus! Being a Niner Guide has been a fun experience with such an amazing team.”
TROOPS ON THE GROUND
As part of her military science studies, Pozos participates in her ROTC lab course in which her and the other cadets execute real-world navigation training on ROTC training grounds on campus. The course uses hands-on learning to prepare cadets for the complex demands of leading as a commissioned officer in the United States Army.
Like many of UNC Charlotte’s students, Pozos is no stranger to the University’s Recreation Center—known on campus as UREC. The 148,000-square-foot building offers multiple levels of dedicated fitness and recreation space with unique amenities and hidden gems throughout the building.
TURNING THE TASSEL
With graduation right around the corner, graduation photos on campus are a must! Pozos made sure to hit up the best graduation photo spots, including the Dickson Gate entrance, Belk Plaza and the colorful flowers around Hechenbleikner Lake—or Hech Lake.
Photo credit: Kat Lawrence and Ryan Honeyman