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Lion VoicesSeptember 14, 2022

Cristina Castorena


Today’s #LionVoices feature is UAFS alumna and ROAR first-year advisor Cristina Castorena! 

Cristina grew up in Zacatecas, Mexico, moving to  Fort Smith when she was young. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree focused on finance.

Seeing her parents, who are both Mexican American, work hard to provide a better life for their family inspired her to “carry on that legacy” in her work and her personal life. “Work hard, do it right, be nice to people, and just do it! Eventually, it will pay off.”

She said what moves her most about her career is the one-on-one interactions with students. “Yes, it's talking about classes, about registration, about graduating, but it’s also about ‘hey, how are you?’ and ‘how’s life?’” At the ROAR, she said, advisors often remind each other, 'You serve the student in front of you, that's how we make a difference.'

Making that difference at the university that helped shape her into the leader she is today is especially fulfilling, she added.  “UAFS allows you to grow into the professional you are going to be, and empowers you to be yourself in that.” 

She spoke further about how she integrated the values she witnessed at UAFS, especially being inclusive and accepting or others, into her life and work. “That’s the kind of help and service I need to give others, especially in a leadership position.”

Cristina went on to say that “seeing the community grow, seeing the people advocate for the students, and knowing the students that leave here will leave prepared for their career” is what makes her a proud UAFS alum.

Next week, Cristina will help the UAFS community grow even more, as she kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month on campus. Join her and the entire HHM committee at one of their incredible events, listed at!