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Family Connection Newsletter Banner Photo March 2016

A Message from VPSA - Sam Gonzales

Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales

We have reached the point in the semester where finals are upon us. The last week of classes is next week and I know your student is prepared for final exams the following week. I can sense that cringe of anxiety, as you read that sentence. I used that statement purposefully and did not phrase it as a question - here is the reason. There is a great sense of validation that a student feels when they hear a loved one say, “I know you are prepared and ready.” This is different from the way the student feels when they hear, “Are you ready? Are you sure? Did you study enough?” Over the next couple of weeks, I wish you the strength to validate their efforts while at the same time keep pushing them further.

Recently, I had the chance to meet with the Parent Council. They are a dedicated group of parents that works to further the goals of your Family Association. They gathered to complete the Family Fund grant process that provides additional funding to student groups and programs. These grants are possible because of your generous contributions to the Family Fund. As we close out the academic year, I am grateful for your active participation in your student’s future whether it is through giving, presence at events, following us on social media, remaining informed about campus services or all of the above.

Soon, many of our staff will be traveling the state with the Roadrunner Road Trips. These events provide an opportunity for students, families, and fans to meet our new UTSA Football coach, Frank Wilson, and new Men’s Basketball coach, Steve Henson, as well as talk with UTSA staff. Our team is ready to hit the road and celebrate with you. Registration is required and you can find more about all of our stops here.

Together, we are a powerful team for the Roadrunners. You all are a part of Roadrunner Nation and I am so glad that you are here.

Best Wishes,

Roadrunner Roadtrip

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Recap of Fiesta UTSA

Fiesta Photo with Dr. Romo Mr. UTSA, Miss SA and Ms UTSA

Fiesta UTSA has been a part of Fiesta San Antonio for over 35 years and has been a part of the traditions at UTSA for many years. This year’s event featured food and activities in booths sponsored by student organizations, a visit by the Fiesta Royalty, Rowdy the Roadrunner and several musical performances. Visit the UTSA Student Affairs Facebook page at to check out photos of the event!

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UTSA One of Just Five U.S. Universities Recognized in Prestigious International Ranking of Young Universities

UTSA Entrance

UTSA has been ranked as one of the best young universities in the nation, as well as a global leader, according to the 150 Under 50 Rankings released by Times Higher Education (THE).

UTSA is listed No. 4 in the United States and No. 77 internationally in the annual rankings, which assess universities less than 50 years old. The rankings are based on excellence in teaching, research, citations, international outlook and economic contributions. Only 150 universities globally are selected for recognition.

Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings are considered one of the most widely respected measures of university excellence.

In addition to UTSA, just four other U.S. universities made this year’s 150 Under 50 list. They are Rush University, UT-Dallas, George Mason University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“This ranking is forever looking forward,” said Paul Baty, editor of the THE World University Rankings. “Now in its fifth year, it was designed to celebrate the achievements of young institutions that have made a big impact on the world stage in years rather than centuries, and to highlight future rising stars, or as economist Andrew Oswald described them: ‘The likely future Harvards or Berkeleys.’”

This is the fourth year of five that UTSA has been included in Times Higher Education’s young university rankings. The university also was included in THE’s 2012, 2013 and 2014 rankings.

"Times Higher Education’s annual rankings are meaningful and highly regarded by the international community,” said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. “To see UTSA recognized as one of the best young universities in the nation, and among the best in the world, is a tremendous accomplishment. This is validation that UTSA is competitive on a global scale and its top-tier work is making a positive and lasting impact on society.”

As in years past, UTSA scored particularly well in THE’s citation category, a metric designed to quantify the creation of knowledge through research influence. To measure success in citations, THE examined more than 51 million citations to 11.3 million journal articles published around the world between 2010 and 2014. Citations to these papers were also evaluated.

Article originally published at UTSA Today

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UTSA Hires Steve Henson as Men’s Head Basketball Coach

UTSA welcomes our new Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Steven Henson to the Roadrunner Family! For the past five years, Henson was part of the basketball coaching staff for The University of Oklahoma. Enjoy a video message he sent out to our UTSA Roadrunner fans.

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UTSA Offers new Social Justice Engagement Tour Focused on San Antonio


The UTSA Student Leadership Center launched a new leadership-focused, city-wide tour for students interested in positively impacting their community. The Social Justice for San Antonio – or “SJ4SA” – tour took place on Saturday, April 2, free to UTSA students.

More than 30 UTSA students attended the inaugural SJ4SA tour. SJ4SA aims to give students the chance to meet and connect with local civic leaders, activists, advocates, nonprofits and civil service agencies. The tour's itinerary was developed by student-led research teams. The tour is funded by the UTSA Family Fund and is an extension of the Student Leadership Center’s mission to connect students with access to leadership opportunities within the community.

“The SLC is dedicated to finding new ways for students to connect their academic life and leadership aspirations to greater civic awareness and opportunities to serve their communities,” said Eliot Howard, associate director of the UTSA Student Leadership Center. “Every day, we see the need for more citizens to stand up and do good. SJ4SA is one local, small-scale effort to promote awareness and engagement in our community. We hope that it continues to grow so our graduates go out into the world with a core understanding of social justice.”

During the eight-hour trip, the UTSA students met with several San Antonio organizations, including COPS Metro, San Anto Cultural Arts, the San Antonio Office of Diversity and Inclusion, RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) and MOVE San Antonio. They were given the chance to learn about each organization’s mission and services, involvement opportunities, and how their work translates into advancing the cause of social justice.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn about the many community service and engagement organizations working to better San Antonio,” said Alix Rowe, a senior Mexican American studies major and anthropology minor who participated in the trip.

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United To Serve: Day of Service at UTSA

United to serve at work United to serve group photo

United to Serve is a system-wide volunteer initiative involving the UT System students, faculty, staff, alumni, and student organizations in an effort to engage and mobilize thousands of volunteers in their community. It has also become one of UTSA’s longest standing volunteer traditions.

On Saturday April 9, Roadrunners had the opportunity to volunteer across San Antonio and surrounding communities. Projects included community gardens, painting youth centers, landscaping, arts and crafts projects, and many more!

During United to Serve, at the Open T.R.A.I.L. Ranch, a Therapeutic Riding Center for children, teens, and adults with special needs of all kinds, students helped build new arena obstacles for their riders. They worked hard to also build a mail box station, rope gate, cross rails, and a bridge!

Be on the lookout next year, volunteers can sign up as individuals or as groups; faculty, staff, students, alumni, family and friends are welcome to participate.

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Purchase a Graduation Gift Package at Roadrunner Express

Gift Package Yellow Rose Bouquet

Providing your college student a graduation gift basket, or bouquet is a great way to show them that you care and are proud of them for their recent accomplishment! Since graduation is just around the corner, we encourage you to make it an extra special occasion for your students by sending them a UTSA Graduate Gift Package from the Roadrunner Express or purchasing your student a bouquet of flowers (proceeds of bouquets benefit UTSA scholarships). For more information regarding gift baskets, please visit and for more information regarding bouquets, please visit .

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UTSA Department Spotlight: The University Center

University Center Logo

Please describe your department, i.e., what it does and some general information

As the “Heart of Student Life”, the University Center offers programs, meetings spaces, dining options, and areas of relaxation for UTSA students, faculty, staff and guests. Everything you will need is here in the UC! Need a new computer for the upcoming school year? Head down to the Campus Technology Store. Frost Bank is here for all your banking needs. In need of a haircut? Rios Golden Cuts Salons is here to help. Have a package you need to pick up? The UPS Store is on your way to your residence hall. And don’t forget to purchase all of your textbooks, school supplies and UTSA spirit items at the Rowdy Campus Store (UTSA Bookstore). Hungry? Come by and choose from our six dining options: MOOYAH, Panda Express, Taco Taco, Subway, Chili’s Too, or Starbucks and pick up a quick snack from The Rowdy Mart. Hundreds of students come through the UC to relax, study, get a bite to eat, and enjoy any of our weekly programs! The UC is an inviting and inclusive environment where ideas are exchanged, relationships are built, and memories are made!

What type of programming do you offer for students?

The UC offers daytime, weeknight and weekend events. Students, we know you want your weekends filled with movies, concerts and free food! And we are just the place to go! Join us for weeknight events like Open Mic Night and Casino Night and our weekend events like Late Night BBQ and Live on the Lawn concerts. Families, don’t worry. We know your students are here in college to learn. We offer events such as Health Awareness Days, Worlds Aids Awareness Day and Remembrance Day, to bring awareness to topics that affect our students. Every Friday and Saturday, the UC shows blockbuster hits at UCinema Nights; in the next two weeks we will be showing “Star Wars; The Force Awakens” and “Zoolander No. 2”.

What events do you have coming up?

In April, UC Programs is hosting Runner Rink (4/19), Let It Go (4/28-4/29), and a Late Night BBQ/ UTSA Underground (4/30) collaboration with many departments around UTSA. Strap on a pair of roller-skates and join us for a night of music, food, and roller-skating. Relieve some of that finals week stress, and join us as we pop the stress away. This year we are going BIG for our Late Night BBQ series and will collaborate with the College of Music, Musicians of Business, Student Activities, Roadrunner Productions and Housing and Residence Life. In addition to our BBQ plates, we will have mechanical bull riding, a photo-booth, a chance to make your own license plates and a live performance by Hydra Melody! UTSA Underground will have live music and visual art all throughout the UTSA Tunnel System. Don’t forget about UCinema Night every Friday at 9 pm and Saturday at 7pm. This month’s movies include: Dirty Grandpa, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Zoolander No. 2, and Ride Along 2.

What do you see as the future for your office or hope to accomplish in this new semester?

The University Center will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in the 2016-2017 school year! To celebrate, the UC will host multiple events that will highlight the growth, changes and successes of the University Center. As we continue to grow as a department, we will strive to provide outstanding customer service, expand on being a resource to students, and provide student development and involvement opportunities and programs that will keep students here on campus.

How can people stay up to date on information regarding your office?

There are many ways in which students, faculty, and staff can stay up to date with the University Center. They can follow us on all of our social media: Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat @THEUTSAUC. There are also many displays around the UC with posters of our future events and they can always stop by the Information Desk and pick up one of our monthly calendars.

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Important Spring 2016 Dates

  • Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Last Day of Classes
  • Monday, May 2, 2016 and Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Study Days
  • Wednesday, May 4, 2016 through Tuesday, May 10, 2016 – Final Exams

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