GALVESTON, Texas – When the 2018 School of Health Professions graduates walk to receive their degrees they will be joining more than 12,000 who have received degrees and certificates since the school’s founding in 1968.

They will also be receiving advice from one of those graduates, Marco Rodriguez, who received his degree in Occupational Therapy as a member of the class of 1992.

Rodriguez is chief executive officer for El Paso’s Transformations Rehabilitation Services, which he founded in 2013.

Recognized as a pioneer, Rodriguez has worked to shift the perception for children diagnosed as neurologically atypical by developing outpatient rehabilitation services for corrective, therapeutic treatment.

His agency is dedicated to serving people of all ages and various diagnoses including orthopedic, neurologic and mental health. As a philanthropist, Rodriguez has provided over $1 million of therapeutic services to families unable to pay.

He currently serves on the board of directors for the Autism Society of Texas at El Paso.

“Never apologize or feel guilty for having taken full advantage of the opportunities that were presented to you,” said Rodriguez when asked what advice he will be sharing with graduates. “Wake up every morning with a grateful heart and spend the rest of your life creating opportunities for others.”

In addition to occupational therapy, the school’s graduates will be entering fields such as clinical laboratory sciences, respiratory care, health professions, physical therapy, rehabilitation sciences, and nutrition and metabolism.

The school’s graduates live in all 50 states and other countries, treating thousands of patients annually in their health care practices throughout the state, country and world.

As the state’s population grows and ages, there will be an increased need for health care providers. Graduates from the SHP can help fill that need, entering a strong job market that has key economic indicators projecting continued growth.

“We offer exceptional academic programs with a world class faculty,” says Vicki Freeman, the school’s interim dean, “which, along with demand makes for a very bright future for all of our graduates.”

What:      UTMB School of Health Professions graduation
Where:   Moody Gardens Convention Center
                Seven Hope Blvd, Galveston, TX  77554
When:    2 p.m. Friday, August 17