September 10, 2013
From left Bianca, Cassandra and Nicole Rodriguez-Lamas are all enrolled at UT at the same time.
Half of the Costa Rican students on campus are related; sisters to be exact.
There’s only three of them, but Cassandra, Nicole and Bianca Rodriguez-Lamas make one happy contingent.
“I love being here on campus,” said Nicole ’15, an elementary education major. “There is always something going on.”
Her sister, Cassandra ’11, MBA ’14, took classes over the summer just so she could stay in Tampa.
“UT just feels like home,” Cassandra said.
When it came time for Cassandra to start looking for colleges, her mother had suggested The University of Tampa, a school she attended for two years before transferring. When the family toured UT, Cassandra fell in love with the campus, the similar weather to Costa Rica and its relative proximity to home.
“Our parents let us chose on our own where we went,” said Cassandra, teasing her sisters by adding, “the other two just followed me.”
Nicole remembers visiting Cassandra twice while her older sister was an undergraduate, leaving her with a familiarity that just felt right. For Bianca, a freshman, her campus visits in California were too far from home and in institutions just too big. So she joined her sisters at UT.
The three are U.S. citizens, raised in Costa Rica, all live on campus and are all on work study. Like Cassandra, who worked in UT’s IT department for four years as an undergraduate and now in Career Services as a graduate student, her two sisters also have jobs in IT. Bianca is a lab assistant, and Nicole is a lab supervisor as well as Gateways mentor.
The best thing about having two of your sisters on campus?
“I steal their clothes,” Bianca said without missing a beat.
“You can get loans from each other,” laughed Nicole.
The worst part?
“So far, nothing,” Nicole said.
Have a story idea? Contact Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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