By Richard Zagrzecki
Attending the University of Houston has allowed Diego Rivera to explore his creative side.
Rivera, a freshman from Austin, has always harbored a love for photography. But since arriving on campus six months ago, he’s had a chance to dabble in various other arts, including drawing, sculpture and charcoal.
He’s also developed an interest in film-making, spending time making short films and learning editing and other technical aspects of the craft.
“This was stuff I was interested in, but until I got here never actually got to do,” he said.
Not long after the fall semester got underway, Rivera applied for and was offered a student worker job in the Office of Sustainability, a position that helps foster his creativity even more. As an outreach assistant, he is involved in the planning and execution of sustainability-related events on campus, including this spring’s RecycleMania activities. That has included the development, creation and submittal of digital signage to market the events on the various screens in buildings across campus.
When sustainability events take place, he can be found with his camera in hand, snapping photos to use on Facebook and the website, as well as capturing footage to use in videos. It’s valuable experience he’s using to help determine his academic path and eventual career choice. Right now, he’s majoring in photography, but is seriously contemplating changing it to media production.
“If I pursue that angle, I can use it to become a jack of all trades within the marketing field, perhaps doing something in event planning,” he said. “But I would still like to work in a job that is somehow sustainability-related.”
Although he grew up in Austin and had never stepped foot in Houston, he somehow felt the University of Houston was where he would be attending college. He knew Houston – the fourth-largest city in America – was a hub for technology and media-related fields, and he wanted to be part of it.
“I just decided to take the leap and come to UH,” Rivera said. “This was really the only place I wanted to go. I just had a good feeling about the University of Houston.”
He has no regrets about his choice and has really grown to love the school.
“The sense of community and the sense of pride here is great. I really like that,” he said.