Tat-Tuesday: Students share stories behind ink

Mae Hamilton

Editor’s note: Tat-Tuesday is a weekly series that features students around campus and their tattoos.

Star Longoria
Star Longoria, an education administration graduate student, wanted a way to show her love and appreciation for the women in her family.

“My grandma was the first person in our family to graduate from high school, and the rest of my family was really athletic growing up, and I wasn’t,” Longoria said. “But I was really good in school, so she always encouraged me to pursue education when the rest of my family didn’t.”

Although her grandmother doesn’t like tattoos, Longoria committed to getting a tattoo of a portrait of her after her grandmother had a cancer scare. The tattoo also features a handicap symbol with wings.

“My mom’s name is Angel,” Longoria said. “She’s in a wheelchair. [My grandmother and my mom] are the strongest women I know. I just thought what better way to remember them than have them on my
arm forever.”

Melissa Castillo 

When social work freshman Melissa Castillo turned 18, she knew exactly what kind of tattoo she wanted to get.

“My name translates [from Spanish] as ‘honey bee,’” Castillo said. “Next month, I’m getting a butterfly because my sister’s name translates as butterfly.”

Castillo said she feels that a bee is a good symbolic representation of herself.

“Bees are pretty cool,” Castillo said. “They’re delicate but can still kind of hurt people.”

Shania Barretto

When environmental science freshman Shania Barretto’s mother died from cancer, Barretto wanted to remember her in an artistic way. Her mother was a designer and tailor, so Barretto memorialized her mother’s commitment to the thread.

“It’s my mom’s name in my dad’s handwriting,” Baretto said. “That was her tag. My dad made it for her. I put it on my back because that’s where your tag is on clothes and also because she made me. Family is really important to me.”