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A message from UTSA Vice President of Student Affairs- Dr. Gage E. Paine

Dr. Gage E Paine

August - hot and miserable, when the possibility of a cool evening seems far away and a cold day is just a faint memory - is really the beginning of the Fall Semester. It is the beginning of another new year, with another group of new students arriving on campus. So for those of us who make our living on college and university campuses, fall is not the time of poets when life begins to slow down and to prepare for the long winter. Rather, fall is full of energy, especially in those very early weeks. It is the time of year when all things are possible. New programs begin and all have the potential of success. Returning students look for friends among the unfamiliar faces as new faculty and staff members join with incoming students to recreate the campus community all over again.

Fall is not the time of drifting leaves and long dark nights, though we experience those things mid-semester. Fall is a time of energy. Fall is hot and sometimes frantic because everything has to get started and quickly. The semester is only sixteen weeks long and there is much to do. There is no ramp-up time. One day, campus is quiet and nearly deserted with hundreds of empty parking spaces, practically a ghost town with a few people roaming through echoing halls; a short week later, it is a bustling city. At the beginning of the year, nothing is routine. Those new students and faculty and staff members wander lost trying to figure out where they are supposed to be. Lines are long and, for a few days, there really are no empty parking spaces on campus, as everyone is on campus at the same time trying to get started. New students are homesick. The non-traditional students are just as anxious as the younger ones, though often hiding it more effectively. The specific reasons for the tensions vary, but it is all about facing the unfamiliar, jumping off into the unknown with no certainty of a parachute in the new backpacks they are wearing.

Returning students, on the other hand, know they are returning home, though their parents don’t like to hear them say it. Sophomores relish the difference in their level of confidence in just one short year. Graduating seniors are ready to enjoy their last year. Confident in their place, they are glad to reconnect with friends, faculty members, mentors and all of the people who make up their campus world. These returning students are ready to shape the campus to fit their needs or for the greater good or maybe both.

In an academic year, Fall is the start, the way it all begins. It is full of energy, passion, potential. Once again, we start anew and, while the slate may not be completely clean, everyone has another chance to make it all work. It is truly a beginning, no matter what the more traditional calendar may show. Fall, yet again, brings us to the start of the school year, that time of tradition for students, families and the entire UTSA campus and what a crazy, fun, hectic time it is!

Gage E. Paine

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Inaugural Football Season Kicks Off September 3rd

UTSA will play its first ever football game in the Alamodome on September 3rd! Students, family members, and the San Antonio community are all encouraged to be a part of this momentous occasion. Led by the UTSA Cheerleaders and Marching Band, we will officially kickoff the season on our Main Campus with Howdy Rowdy Bash on Thursday, September 1 on the Main Campus East Lawn.

On Friday, meet fellow UTSA families during Roadrunners on the River Walk, enjoy music by the UTSA Marching Band as they float down the river, and hear Coach Coker pump up the crowd at the 7:00pm pep rally outside the Grand Hyatt. Saturday at the Alamodome will be filled with tailgating, student booths at Roadrunner Station, and a free concert at Rowdy Town, all leading up to kickoff against Northeastern State University at 1:00pm!

Don’t have tickets yet? Purchase your season or single-game tickets today! To find more information on Game Day activities, buy your family UTSA gear, or learn about Roadrunner traditions, visit the Game Day web site below.

Picture by Jeff Huehn, courtesy of UTSA Athletics Communications

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Events for Families and Students!!!

Remind your students to attend Roadrunner Days from August 19-27. First-year Roadrunners are expected to participate in the week’s events and are required to attend Fall Convocation on Monday, August 22. The events are a fun way to meet new and returning students, find out about student organizations on campus, and just have a good time!


RR day schedule
Ross comedian


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Family weekend header

Come join us in San Antonio on October 7-8 for UTSA’s Family Weekend!  Spend time with your student, meet faculty and staff, and connect with other Roadrunner families throughout the weekend.  Show your UTSA spirit on Friday at Roadrunners on the Riverwalk and make sure to wear your orange and blue to the Alamodome when the Roadrunners take on the South Alabama Jaguars.  Visit the Family Weekend web site to learn more about the weekend’s events.

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Family Association Scholarship Still Available

The Family Association will once again offer four, $500 scholarships to the students of Family Association members for Fall 2011. To qualify, the applicant must be first-year Roadrunner, enrolled full-time at UTSA during the Fall 2011 semester, and have a family member in the Family Association. The deadline to submit a completed application with the required essay is August 26, 2011. The essay, which can be no longer than two pages in length, should be a response to the following prompt:

Why are you deserving of the Family Association Scholarship and how do you plan to get involved in the UTSA community your first semester here?

The application with the scholarship must be received by the Orientation and Family Programs office by 5:00 pm on August, 26 2011. You can download the application with the essay prompt and instructions for your student on how to submit their materials by clicking on the image below.



Download Family Association Scholarship

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UTSA ’11 Graduate Studies in Brazil

This summer, Joshua Conner, an environmental science May 2011 graduate, traveled with UTSA professor Dr. Carlos D. Garcia to conduct research in microfluidics, chemical analysis, and materials science.  The trip, funded by the National Science Foundation, brings together students and researchers from America and Brazil to collaborate on the development of a microchip that can detect the smallest amount of chemicals.  “I have been in Brazil for just over a month now, and so far, it has been a wonderful experience” explained Conner.  With his research at the University of Sao Paulo in Sao Carols and experience with the local culture, Conner knows he has “learned a tremendous amount, both inside and outside of the lab.”   
To learn more about Conner’s trip and the International Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, read the full article at UTSA Today.

Picture courtesy of Sherrie Voss Matthews

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Romo Appointed to Obama’s White House Advisory Commission on Hispanic Education

UTSA President Ricardo Romo has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on a commission that will advise the president and U.S. Secretary of Education on ways to improve education for Hispanics.  A nationally respected urban historian, Romo is the author of "East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio," now in its ninth printing. 
"I am privileged to be appointed to this important commission," said Romo. "The growing Hispanic population in Texas is a preview of the diversity we will soon experience across the nation. It is critical that we prepare all our students to succeed -- in school, at their jobs and in life."
The President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was created through an executive order signed by President Obama on Oct. 18, 2010, and is charged with "expanding educational opportunities, improving education outcomes and delivering a complete and competitive education for all Hispanics."  White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics director Juan Sepulveda said the commission will chart ways to increase Hispanic educational attainment, which is important for the country's economy.
To read the full article, click here.
Picture courtesy of UTSA University Communications.

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Family Association Updates

Welcome New Members

Family Association

This summer, 1,250 new families became members of the UTSA Family Association!  Please know that we are here to help you keep informed of UTSA news, deadlines, and opportunities to be involved with the UTSA community.  Through our programs, including Family Weekend, you will have the opportunity to not only meet with UTSA faculty and staff and spend time with your student, but also network with other Roadrunner families.  Whether with families from your hometown or right here in San Antonio, building friendships with Family Association members will help you stay informed and stay sane as you share the similar experiences of having a student in college.
UTSA Family Fund
The UTSA Family Fund offers parents an opportunity to make an investment in their student’s education. Each gift helps support the services and programs that our students use every day.  Your participation greatly enhances the activities that enrich life on campus and make attending UTSA comfortable, enjoyable and safe.
Many parents are surprised to learn that tuition covers only 40 percent of student’s education at UTSA.  While state funding helps make up a portion of the remaining amount, gifts from friends of the university are helping provide the access to excellent opportunities at UTSA.  Together, every contribution, no matter the size, adds up quickly and gives UTSA more to work with to benefit all students.
Supporting the UTSA Family Fund builds a community on campus that gives every student an impactful, meaningful and transformative collegiate experience.  Last year, Family Fund contributions helped support campus initiatives such as Alternative Spring Break community service projects, laptops for student athletes, and V-Day activities for the prevention of dating violence against women.
These projects, along with others, were decided on through a competitive grant process overseen by the UTSA Parent Council.  If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Parent Council representative, contact Jana Kennelly, Director of Development, (210) 458-5125, jana.kennelly@utsa.edu or Jeff Mayo, Associate Director of Orientation and Family Programs, (210) 458-4724, jeff.mayo@utsa.edu.

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Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities

Roadrunner Days – August 19-27
See a description of Roadrunner Days above under “Events for Families and Students!!!”

First Day of Class – August 24
For the full fall academic calendar, please click here

Census Date – September 9
Date when students are considered officially enrolled at UTSA.  It is the last day to drop classes without affecting tuition and fees or the student’s transcript.

UTSA Homecoming – September 23-34

Fall Family Weekend – October 7-8
See a description of Roadrunner Days above under “Events for Families and Students!!!”

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