Ds Scholarship

UTRGV to honor late professor with dance

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is honoring one of its professors who died of breast cancer in 2021 by holding a dance in her honor and setting up a scholarship in her name as well.

A “Dancing for Elena” event honoring Professor Elena Quercioli will be held from 1:30 pm to 3 pm Thursday at the PlainsCapital Bank El Gran Salon located in the Student Union at the UTRGV Brownsville campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Quercioli was an assistant professor of Economics in the UTRGV Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

“She was passionate about everything,” said Martha Lovett’ one of Quercioli’s colleagues.

“Dancing for Elena” will be full of performances presented by faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members, and will showcase a variety of dance styles from Jalisco to Tamaulipas to Veracruz, a UTRGV media release states.

Lovett, Lecturer I of Management in the UTRGV RCVCoBE, said she and Quercioli had a sister-like bond. Mainly, she admired her friend for always living her life to the fullest, never letting anything bring her down, and always having unforgettable energy. After Quercioli passed, her colleagues began to talk about what they could do in her memory, Lovett said. They decided on a scholarship in her name, for business students.

Then, the idea of ​​”Dancing for Elena” was put into motion, with Lovett leading the planning for the event meant to help raise funds for the Quercioli scholarship. It’s fitting, Lovett said, that Elena herself would have loved such a festive event.

The name for the event came from conversations Lovett and Quercioli had shared, with Lovett talking with her friend on the phone while she was away for treatments. When she had to end conversations to go exercise, Quercioli would ask Lovett to run for her, or swim for her. Those words stayed with Lovett.

“Let’s dance for Elena,” she said. It was perfect.

Visit the UTRGV website to make a donation to the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship scholarships.

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