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

Dr. Gage E Paine

"I will wax romantic about spring and its splendors in a moment, but first there is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck."

Parker J. Palmer

We call it the Spring Semester, but it starts in the dead of winter, when the days are short and cold, even in San Antonio. (Hard to believe it, but we actually had a snow day last month!) I'm convinced that February is really the longest month of the year—good thing it only has 28 days.

This time of year can be challenging for students. If they are freshmen, they've faced the reality of the first semester grades and may need to buckle down. Suggest they visit the Tomás Rivera Center. For seniors, there is the reality that it's hard work to find a job, and that's especially true for the first 'real' job. Suggest they meet the staff at the Career Center. It's flu season and some students may be facing their first illness away from home. Suggest a trip to Health Services. Any student may face the mid-semester blues. Suggest they talk with someone at Counseling Services. The middle of the Spring Semester can feel like nothing but mud and muck.

"In the spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four-and-twenty hours."

Mark Twain

It's true, the Spring weather can be a little crazy and the Spring Semester can be challenging! Families can help by reminding students of the available campus resources, by sending a small care package, or by encouraging an afternoon outside when the air is warm and the sun is shining. Because, while we can forget when we're in the mud and the muck, we do know the beauty of spring is coming. It will bring longer, warmer days and amazing wild flowers! On campus we will, once again, be celebrating the year-end events, successfully completed courses and Commencement!

"Spring teaches me to look more carefully for the green stems of possibility: for the intuitive hunch that may turn into a larger insight, for the glance or touch that may thaw a frozen relationship, for the stranger's act of kindness that makes the world seem hospitable again."

Parker J. Palmer

Wishing you and your family a wonderful spring semester,

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Student Recognition

Lyndsey Luther, a junior majoring in human resources management in the UTSA College of Business, was selected to serve on the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. Luther was one of 30 students chosen from across the United States as a board member.

Board members will oversee the awarding of more than $5 million a year in grant funding for student-led service learning projects. State Farm initiatives have included access to higher education, driver safety, environmental responsibility, financial literacy and disaster preparedness.

"I'm excited to be chosen for the State Farm Youth Advisory Board," said Luther, who is a member of the Honors College and the vice president of Kappa Delta Chi. "I wanted to be a part of something that will help other people."

As part of her appointment, Luther was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from State Farm. She will serve a one-year term with the board.

All information retrieved from http://business.utsa.edu/news/2011/lindsey_luther.aspx on February 22, 2011 and is provided courtesy of Wendy Frost.

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Football Signing Day

VIDEO: UTSA Welcomes 28 new football players to campus

To learn more about all 28 recruits, check out UTSA Athletic's press release. To buy tickets for the 2011 season, visit the Football Ticket Information website.

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Homecoming 2011

Tradition. Spirit. Pride. The UTSA community of students, families, alumni, staff, and faculty lived out these values February 3-5 in celebration of Homecoming 2011. Despite the wintry conditions, hundreds of students gathered at the Convocation Center on Thursday night to kickoff the weekend's festivities with the Golf Cart Decorating Party. Representatives from student organizations across campus spent hours inside "The Birdcage" preparing their carts for Friday's Golf Cart parade, enjoying pizza provided by the President's office, hot chocolate, and school spirit.

That night, however, brought with it snow in the sky and ice on the roads. Like most of Texas, UTSA was closed for business Friday, including the Fireworks Spectacular and the Golf Cart Parade. The hard work of the student organizations did not go unnoticed, with COLFA (College of Liberal and Fine Arts) Council winning best overall cart and the Hispanic Student Association winning most original cart. Roadrunner pride was still in full swing Saturday with the Campus Rec Homecoming Golf Scramble, Roadrunner Remembrance, and Alumni Luncheon starting off the day.

The afternoon began with the Family Appreciation Reception. Despite the weather, parents and families did not experience an "icy" reception. Attendees enjoyed networking with UTSA families from across the state, taking family pictures at the Photo Station, and learning about the exciting projects on campus sponsored by the Family Fund. The reception led into one of Homecoming's greatest traditions, tailgating! Roadrunners of all ages cooked up great BBQ, played games, and enjoyed a live concert by Starlume. Homecoming's main event, the men's basketball game versus the Lamar University Cardinals, came down to the wire, with the Roadrunner's capturing a 70-64 victory!

Homecoming weekend once again showcased the amazing pride and excitement the UTSA community has for the university. As John Kaulfus, Associate Dean of Students, summed it up, "the weather may have dampened some of the Homecoming events, but campus spirit was not dampened at all."

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Family of the Year

Homecoming 2011 marked the 7th year of the Family of the Year Essay Contest as sponsored by the UTSA Family Association and Orientation and Family Programs. The essay contest acknowledges and celebrates the supportive roles that family members have in the lives of students and the UTSA community as a whole.

This year, Family of the Year was awarded to the Krpec family, nominated by Marquie Krpec, a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major from Fulshear, TX. Marquie's family consists of her mother, Monica, her father, Mark, her aunt, Carol Kay, and her sisters, Mickenzi and Makayla. Marquie's winning essay tells the story of a supportive family full of UTSA pride! Whether it is a text message from her sisters or an encouraging phone call from mom and dad the night before an exam, Marquie knows she is always in her family's thoughts. This past Christmas, the family asked for UTSA shirts and gifts. When Marquie could not find a "UTSA Aunt" window decal, she special ordered one to complete the set for her family.

"Another thing they did before my economics final last semester was my dad made up this song. I struggled in economics and my dad made up this song saying how I was going to do great and things would end up working out in the end because I studied so hard. So, when I answered my phone that morning and heard them singing, I knew my parents had just as much faith in me as I did and it made me feel well prepared for my final… Words can't describe how much I love my family and how much they support me. When I told my family I was nominating them for family of the year, they were so happy. My dad just had the biggest smile on his face. All I could do was laugh, my dad was speechless."

During halftime of the Homecoming game, UTSA President Ricardo Romo and his wife, Dr. Harriet Romo, presented The Krpec Family with a Family of the Year plaque, a gift certificate to a San Antonio hotel, a UTSA gift basket, and a $500 check from L&M Bookstore. Congratulations, Krpec family!

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Diploma Dash

Although many participants walked or jogged, everyone was a "Runner" on February 26th during the 27th Annual Diploma Dash held on UTSA's Main Campus. A record 1,930 students, families, and community members lined up at 8:00 am for the 5k race hosted by the UTSA Alumni Association. Chass Armstrong led all runners and finished the 3.125 mile trek through campus in 15 minutes, 27 seconds. Carl Novan from San Antonio clocked the fastest time for a student at 16 minutes, 51 seconds.

Since 1998, the Diploma Dash has been San Antonio's Championship 5k race and is a certified flat and fast course. Proceeds from the race go directly to student scholarships and alumni programs. Jim Mickey '78, Associate Vice President of Alumni Programs and Marketing, worked closely with his staff to focus the event on students. It showed; student participation nearly tripled to 740 runners. Mickey is proud that Diploma Dash has taken a big step this year to contribute to student scholarships. "Last year we provided $72,000 in scholarships, and this year it will be over $100,000."

To learn more about the race, please visit the official Diploma Dash website hosted by the UTSA Alumni Association.

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Spring Break Tips

With spring break just around the corner, students with planned trips are aching to get out into the warm sun. Despite the excitement of a break from class, it is important that students remember to be safe this vacation. For this reason, we have gathered some important tips for your student from the Spring Break Awareness website.

Having fun takes energy and fuel. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and legumes. Drink lots of water and go easy on the salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat.

Don't know where to go for Spring Break? UTSA offers an alternative break program. It places teams of college students in communities to engage in community service and experiential learning during their spring breaks. The Inclusion and Community Engagement Center can also suggest other volunteer opportunities around San Antonio. For more information, contact Jennifer Rames at 458-4770 or jennifer.rames@utsa.edu.

Spring break tips provided by The Daily Campus.

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Family Association Update

Family AssociationThe UTSA Family Association has remained active on campus during the spring semester. During the Family Appreciation Reception, Parent Council President Yvonne Cantu updated attendees on the wide variety of projects supported by the Family Fund. The following staff and students were introduced at the reception:

The Family Association is also reaching out to students to make them aware of the benefits their families will receive as members of the association. Parent Council member Evelyn Gonzalez will meet with student organizations this spring to educate students on the programs and services provided by the Family Association, including Family Weekend, Summer Send Offs to welcome new students and families, and this monthly newsletter to keep parents informed. Evelyn will also describe the programs on campus supported by the Family Fund, all of which directly benefit students!

For family members who would like to learn more about how family associations have evolved on college campuses and the integral role they play in the lives of students, take a few minutes to read "One Big Happy Family: Parent programs expand to educational institutions of all shapes and sizes" in Currents journal. The article explains how family associations keep members informed, welcome members to campus for family events, provide advice to university administration, promote the institution, and fundraise to support their students.

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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New Leader for Family Programs on Campus

I am happy to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the Family Association. As the new Associate Director of Orientation and Family Programs, I will work closely with Family Association members throughout the year during Rowdy Ties (the family orientation program), Summer Send Offs for new students and families, Homecoming, Family Weekend, and through this newsletter, The Family Connection.

With my previous experience working with new students and families as an Assistant Director of Admissions at UTSA, I look forward to strengthening the bonds between families and campus by educating members on campus news and on opportunities to become involved. In addition to being an excellent support system for students, parents and family members are our best advocates in their communities. I hope to be your support system as you promote UTSA to your friends and coworkers.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Family Association, please feel free to contact me. I am excited to build upon our strong programs and services to provide excellent service to our students and families.

Jeff Mayo
Associate Director of Orientation and Family Programs
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Phone: 210.458.4724
Email: jeff.mayo@utsa.edu

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Thank you for reading the Family Connection