Samuel Bartolome Valiente—Outstanding Computer Science Student

Samuel Bartolome Valiente—Outstanding Computer Science Student

July 11, 2022 • ISSUE 631

Samuel Bartolome Valiente

Outstanding Computer Science Student

MIU graduate Samuel Bartolome Valiente grew up in Spain and learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique at the age of six. His father had encouraged him to apply to MIU, and they visited campus in 2003. In 2018 Samuelfinally applied.
Prior to enrolling at MIU, Samuel worked in the family’s retail business for 16 years. He has always enjoyed computers, so he decided to earn a BS in computer science at MIU.
“It was a really great program and my professors were amazing,” he said. “They allowed me to take some courses with the graduate students in the ComPro Program. I also felt supported during my stay by the faculty and staff.”

Samuel with Professors Anne Dow and Cathy Gorini and classmate Kidist Zihon

The block system of taking one course at a time was an extremely beneficial aspect of his education at MIU. It allowed him to immerse himself in one subject at a time and improve his retention of the material. He also enjoyed the healthy daily routine. “You are in an environment where it’s easy to practice TM; it’s part of your class.”
Samuel graduated this June with an Outstanding Student Award. For the first time in three years, he was able to return to Spain and reunite with his wife and daughter.
In July Samuel is returning to campus to complete his one-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) for international students. He is joining the team that maintains the Computer Science Department’s online education platforms. He is excited to return to campus to continue learning and gaining valuable experience, and this time he will be able to bring his family.

Melissa Melchor—Creating Content for Personal Growth

Melissa Melchor—Creating Content for Personal Growth

July 4, 2022 • ISSUE 630

Melissa Melchor

Creating Content for Personal Growth

Melissa Melchor hails from El Paso, Texas, where she had attended a local community college as well as the University of Texas prior to coming to MIU. She didn’t feel connected to what she was learning there and began looking for a university that allowed her to explore her inner growth.
She found MIU through an Instagram ad and wanted to experience the lifestyle MIU was offering: regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program, healthy living, and a like-minded community.
Melissa came to MIU with the dream of becoming an online content creator, and her goal became tangible once she began taking writing and social media marketing classes. She gained both the skills and the self-confidence to achieve her goal.

At the 2022 Graduation Awards Ceremony

“After practicing the TM technique I began to believe in myself,” she said “MIU allows you to focus on your creativity and innate talents and encourages you to prioritize your individual expression and self-reflection. It helped me develop my sense of self and purpose.”
While exploring her personal development in the past, Melissa had found support from people sharing their own spiritual journeys on YouTube. This inspired her to create a podcast for her senior project, called “Wake Up to You,” which aims to support her listeners’ emotional and spiritual growth. She began creating her podcast episodes and designed her social media marketing strategy. 
“I hope that by sharing my own stories, I can inspire and empower people to do something they are passionate about,” she said. Melissa graduated in June with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree and received an Outstanding Student Award.