College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

International student and athlete excels in studies

Gabby Rangel, a 2012 graduate, is an expert at multitasking. During her time at UM, she was a double major in the College of Liberal Arts, captain of the tennis team and even studied in Spain.

“My biggest accomplishment at UM has been reaching academic success while also playing a collegiate sport at a highly competitive level,” Rangel said. “While I have had to dedicate numerous hours every day to practice and other team activities, I have been able to focus on my studies and keep a 3.94 GPA while double majoring in international studies and economics.”

Rangel is from Brazil and speaks three languages. She attended high school in Nashville and was recruited to play NCAA intercollegiate tennis at UM, where she devoted more than 20 hours per week to practicing, conditioning, traveling and competing with the team.

“Leadership is one of the biggest skills that I’ve gained from being on the team,” she said. “You have to know when to be a leader and when to work as a team. Also, you learn discipline. You have to get used to being somewhere every day at 6:30 a.m., and you can’t be late. Both of these things are going to be really important in the future when I have a job. It won’t be new to me because I’ve done it every day for four years.”

Rangel feels that studying in the College of Liberal Arts helped her to find a clear path for her academic career.

“I’ve always had some interest in economics, but it wasn’t until I took a political economics class that I really wanted to pursue it,” she said. “I’m so glad I made the decision to come to Ole Miss and know I chose the right place. I got to know my professors, and all of them have really prepared me for the future.”

As a student in the Croft Institute for International Studies program, Rangel was able to combine her interests in international studies and economics. Her thesis was titled “Currency Devaluation and Trade Imbalances: Chinese Export Growth and United States’ Trade Deficit.” Her senior thesis mentor, international economics professor Ali Gungoraydinoglu, indicated that she conducted “highly sophisticated work, at an advanced M.A.-candidate level that is nothing short of amazing.”

Rangel’s professors were impressed with her performance in the classroom.

“I had Gabby in my very challenging Econ 545 Game Theory class, and she was one of the top students in a very bright group,” said John R. Conlon, professor of economics. “In the homework, I made every few problems especially challenging, requiring a good imagination to figure out the correct way to solve these problems, and Gabby was always one of the four of five students — out of 20 or so — to get them right.”

Rangel also made an impression on Kees Gispen, director of the Croft Institute.

“Without a doubt, Gabby is one of the most impressive students I have encountered,” Gispen said. “I hesitate to use the word brilliant, but that’s what comes to mind when describing Gabby, even as she remains a very down-to-earth individual with an unassuming and pleasant style.”

Rangel plans to pursue a Ph.D. in political science with a concentration in political economy.

“I really would like to be a professor one day,” she said. “I’ve always liked to tutor and help other students. The professors here have made such a big impact on my life, and I want to be able to do that one day.”

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