UTSA logo

UTSA Home UTSA Today Family Association Orientation & Family Programs

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

Dr. Gage E Paine

The start of the academic year is always hectic. In fact, the end of August through mid-September is one of the busiest times of the year. But I have to admit that it’s fun. Campus enrollment is up a little bit – less than 3% - but participation is off the charts. Late Night at the Rec hosted by Campus Recreation is always a hit, attracting about 3,000 students last year. This year, more than 7,000 people attended! Our mentoring program pairs incoming students with faculty and staff to support students in the adjustment to UTSA. In the inaugural program last year, 4 students participated; this year, 70 students have committed to the program! There are stories like this all across campus. So, I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised to see 8,000+ students at the inaugural football season opener and to see so much orange and blue in the stands filled with 56,000+ screaming fans.

But there’s a method behind all this madness. Study after study and personal story after personal story tell us the same fact – engagement on campus is an important factor in student success and graduation. Students who form connections are more likely to do well academically. These connections can be with other students, with faculty and staff or it can be a sense of connection to UTSA as a whole. It helps all of us to feel a part of something. Therefore, we spend time and energy at the start of the year to help students find ways to be engaged in their college experience. It’s also why the Family Association exists – family connections support student connections. Participation in Family Weekend and reading this newsletter are ways to be connected. A new way to connect with UTSA is the Family Association Facebook page. Even if the idea of joining Facebook seems far-fetched, I encourage you to give it a try. Better yet, engage. Ask a question, share a bit of information, or answer a question. In other words, the page only becomes a successful tool if families use it. Sounds like learning—the only way to do it is to jump in and get involved. Our students have set a high standard this fall for being engaged. They must have learned this somewhere. So, families, show us how it’s done! Let’s see how many of you will sign on to Facebook and how many attend Family Weekend.

Looking forward to connecting with you!

Gage E. Paine

Back to Top

UTSA Fall Family Weekend – October 7 & 8, 2011

Family weekend header

UTSA is gearing up to celebrate families and recognize their essential role in the success of students at UTSA. Mix and mingle with other Roadrunner families, faculty, and staff throughout the weekend. The weekend has events for the whole family, culminating in the Alamodome where the Roadrunners take on the South Alabama Jaguars on Saturday. Make sure you attend the Everything You Wanted to Know About Succeeding at UTSA (But Were Afraid to Ask) session with your student to learn about how to excel in the classroom and to enter a drawing for a FREE IPAD2! Please register for any and all weekend events you plan to attend. We can’t wait to see your UTSA pride!

Family Weekend Website
Family Weekend Website

family weekend footer

Back to Top

UTSA Family Association Now on Facebook!

With more and more family members joining Facebook to keep up with their students, friends, and coworkers, the Family Association wants to make connecting with UTSA that much easier. Just visit facebook.com/UTSA. Family and “like” our page. You will automatically receive UTSA news and updates in your News feed, have access to our Resources and Ask Rowdy tabs, and you will have the ability to network with hundreds of UTSA families across Texas and the globe.

New to Facebook? It is easy to sign up and set your privacy settings. Below is a tutorial that teaches you how to get started.


We hope to see many family members “like” the UTSA Family page. The page will have the most up to date UTSA news, pictures, and videos. However, the greatest value in the page comes from connecting family members sending their first student to college with family members who have been there before.


Back to Top

UTSA Wins Inaugural Football Game

Dr. Gage E Paine
Can’t make it to a game?
Watch all UTSA home games on the Longhorn Network! Find dates and times on the Roadrunner Football Schedule.

On one of the biggest stages in Texas that weekend, the UTSA Roadrunners won their inaugural football game on September 3, beating the Northeastern State Riverhawks 31-3. The record-breaking crowd was one of the many highlights from UTSA’s much anticipated first football game:

  • Largest attendance at an inaugural football game record being broken! 56,743! The previously held record was 49,212 by the University of South Florida.
  • UTSA scored on their first three possessions of the game, the longest such streak against the Riverhawks in nearly a year.
  • Wide Receiver Kam Jones out gained the entire Northeastern State offense in the first half.
  • Coach Larry Coker is alumnus from Northeastern State.
  • First UTSA Touchdown scored by QB Eric Soza on a 14 yard running play!
To read more about the inaugural game, click here.

Back to Top

Student Spotlight: Miss UTSA 2011 Krystal Nicholson

Dr. Gage E Paine

This month, we shine the spotlight on Miss UTSA 2011 Kyrstal Nicholson, who gives her insights on how to get involved on campus, how she survived freshman year, and why it’s a good thing our school colors are blue, orange, and white!

Age: 21

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies with a Specialization in 4-8 Grade Mathematics

Why did you choose UTSA?

UTSA was a university that was growing and I felt that I could help impact the university as well as its community. This quality was something unique to UTSA. Also, being from Houston, the location was great because it wasn’t too far or too close to home. Another reason why I choose UTSA was the school colors, which just happens to include orange, my FAVORITE color. It sealed the deal for my attendance at UTSA.

How did you get involved your freshmen year?

My involvement started at orientation. My orientation leader paved the way. Orientation highlighted the hundreds of organizations on campus as well as many opportunities to get involved. I hit the ground running that fall by joining a number of different groups.

What was the hardest thing about adjusting to life away from home here at UTSA?

The hardest thing about adjusting to college life would have to be the separation from my mom. She was the one I had depended on, and now all the responsibilities were mine. I was now an adult and I had to make decisions that would soon affect my life. We keep in touch every day. I think it keeps us both sane.

What’s your favorite thing about being a Roadrunner?

Seeing orange everywhere! Not only is it my favorite color, but it makes it easy to see our students’ school pride as I walk across campus.

What is a good tip you tell new students on how to adjust to college life?

Make this college experience your own. Get involved, be yourself and reach for your degree because you only get to be in college once.

What is your favorite thing to do on campus?

My favorite thing to do on campus is to sit outside the John Peace Library in the Sombrilla. It’s a great place for students to take a moment to relax, feel the wind blow, and mingle with other students.

Back to Top

Family Association Updates

Welcome New Members

new family association siteIn the 2010-2011 academic year, parents and UTSA Family members raised over $25,000 through the Family Fund. The money raised supports the Family Association as well as a grant process where staff and students can ask for financial support for various on-campus activities. We are pleased to announce that over $15,000 will directly benefit students this year through the Family Fund grant process. The remaining balance will support Family Association programs and a Family Fund reserve to provide for future years. THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the Family Fund to help make this support possible. We are in the final stages of the grant proposal process and will soon move forward to review and approve grants to be allocated for spring and fall programs.

Recently, UTSA students reached out to the members of the Family Association for our 2011-2012 Family Fund calling campaign. So far this year, we have raised $31,028 in gifts and pledges with an average gift of $59. Of the families called, 33% made a donation or pledged a gift in the calling campaign. To those of you who have made a gift or pledge, we again THANK YOU, a gift of any size makes a difference. If you would like to contribute to the Family Fund, you can make your donation online through our secure website. Your gifts make a real impact in the lives of UTSA students.

The UTSA Family Fund campaign and competitive grant process is overseen by the UTSA Parent Council. If you are interested in learning more about the Family Fund or 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.

Back to Top

Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities

Fall Family Weekend – October 7-8
See a description of Fall Family Weekend above under “UTSA Fall Family Weekend – October 7 & 8, 2011”

Credit/No Credit Option Deadline – October 20
Students must submit Credit/No Credit Request forms by this date. Learn more about the Credit/No Credit Option in the 2011-2012 Information Bulletin.

Best Fest – October 28
UTSA’s annual fall festival organized by Campus Activities Board (CAB) and held in the Sombrilla on the Main Campus.

Back to Top

Thank you for reading the Family Connection