Community Connect

Office of the Vice President for Community Services

Contents

Committed to Community

UTSA's outreach efforts garner distinguished honors.

Stories of Texas for Texans

New museum exhibit’s format teaches visitors about their history.

Reap What You Sow

Business students take their acumen and volunteer time to underserved Costa Rica

Testing through Volunteering

Students opt for an alternative to the midterm exam.

Battle Against Bullying

Small business development aids a cultural issue.

Mind, Body, Spirit

Social work students target community health.

Safe Haven

Students design center for human-trafficking victims.

Outreach Activity

UTSA by the numbers

Q&A "Engaging Engineering”

Dean plans to get students involved in the community.

Ricardo Romo and Jude Valdez

Dear Friends,

This new issue of Community Connect highlights an extraordinary recognition that UTSA received this year. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected UTSA for its prestigious Community Engagement Classification in recognition of the university’s commitment to service the local and broader community and its impact through teaching and research, public service, volunteerism, civic partnerships and economic development.

UTSA is among 83 universities in the U.S. to receive the designation for the first time, and we are among an elite group of only 361 campuses to gain the designation since the foundation began recognizing community engagement achievements.

We believe the Carnegie designation speaks to UTSA’s commitment to community outreach and our drive to make a difference in the lives of our students and our community. Last year alone, more than 13,000 students and more than 3,000 of our faculty and staff provided services and programs to more than 710,000 people across Texas’ south-central region. We highlight some of the specific efforts in our cover story, “Committed to Community.”

But the outreach that our Roadrunner family takes on also extends well beyond our local communities. In one example, finance lecturer Ron Sweet and his students give crucial support to one of Costa Rica’s poorest and most underserved areas. Most schools there are woefully underequipped, medical access is limited or nonexistent and jobs are scarce. In addition to these issues, through a nonprofit he cofounded, Sweet seeks to help small–scale farmers become profitable. That’s where his UTSA students come in; they travel with him each year to Costa Rica to offer guidance to these farmers [see “Reap What You Sow”].

We hope you enjoy this edition of Community Connect, which highlights even more of UTSA’s engagement efforts. The Carnegie recognition is a remarkable milestone for the university and another advancement in our journey to Tier One recognition. But it also reinforces for us that the university exists to not only advance knowledge but also apply that knowledge through sustainable partnerships with our local community to develop real soutions that further the public good.

Ricardo Romo, Ph.D.
President

Jude Valdez, Ph.D.
Vice President for Community Services

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