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A Message from VPSA Sam Gonzales

“Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales” Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales

Now that most of the students have left campus for the summer, it is quiet on the UTSA campuses.  Final exams have concluded.  Some students are preparing for internships, some for summer classes and some are relishing the success of graduation. We completed three amazing commencement ceremonies at the Alamodome last weekend.  I encourage you to see all the photos at our Facebook page.  

Participating in graduation as part of the stage party is an enjoyable time for me, because my vantage point gives me an opportunity to to witness the joy for both the student and the families in the crowd.  There are no words to adequately describe the sense of excitement and pride that both feel in that moment.  I am blessed to witness it all.

College completion is a success for the entire family.  Our community of scholars receives support and love from the most dedicated group of families which has a huge impact on what students are able to achieve.  Thank you for all that you do.

Graduation also provides encouragement for students who are still completing their coursework.  It reminds them to never give up.  College is a journey that is not always easy.  Stay focused and do the work.  Reap the rewards and remember that we are here to support you and your student in the fun-filled and challenging times ahead.  To paraphrase our Roadrunner Creed:  Now and forever, we are Roadrunners.

Best Wishes,

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Mary McNaughton- Cassill Selected for UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers


Mary McNaughton-Cassill, professor of psychology in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, was chosen for induction into the University Of Texas System Academy Of Distinguished Teachers. McNaughton-Cassill is one of four UT System faculty selected for membership in the Academy this year. The group will be inducted at a ceremony April 29 in Austin.

The Academy of Distinguished Teachers, the only system-wide academy of its kind, was created in 2012 to recognize the most outstanding educators at UT's nine academic institutions. Members of the Academy serve as an advocacy group dedicated to enhancing teaching, fostering innovation in the classroom and promoting interdisciplinary perspectives on education. McNaughton-Cassill is the first UTSA faculty member to be inducted into the Academy.

To read more, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/04/mcnaughton-cassill.html
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ITC Hosts New Student Exhibit Examining Circumstances Leading to Genocide


The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures is currently hosting “Faces of Survival,” a new UTSA student-curated exhibit which will be on display until Nov. 15. The exhibit, by UTSA history graduate students and Honors College undergraduates, examines the circumstances that can lead to a genocide, in any place, at any time.

While humanity often looks to the Holocaust of World War II as the exemplar for genocide, other nations have carried out systematic attacks against ethnic and religious minorities.
Genocide did not begin or end with World War II. In the modern era, the atrocity has taken place in other nations: Cambodia, Rwanda and more. In History 6483, Comparative Genocide, the students studied the architecture of these horrible acts to see how and why they happen.

The exhibit features a concentration camp uniform among the artifacts on display. Student researchers have collected accounts of the atrocities targeting ethnic, political or undesirable classes or groups, and photographs documenting the end result. The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio has supplemented the students’ findings with additional artifacts and materials.

To read more, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/04/survival.html

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UTSA Mobile Go Center visits local high schools with support from H-E-B


The UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives Mobile Go Center has been busy visiting local high schools and providing college access information.

This week, the computer lab on wheels made a stop at the Harmony Science Academy. The Mobile Go Center serves as a one-stop source of college knowledge and helps prospective college students and their families prepare college admission applications and financial aid forms.

UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives staff members Lara CrouchBelinda Harmon and student mentor Jonathan Weaver helped 81 Harmony Science Academy freshmen and seniors. The ninth graders created profiles on scholarship databases and searched for scholarship matches. Seniors logged in to their prospective college accounts and were able to sign up for college orientation and view any registration or financial aid holds that could prevent them from enrolling this fall. Many financial aid questions were also addressed.

To read more, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/04/harmony.html

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Athletics: Mabry, Wade agree to terms following NFL Draft


Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade both made UTSA Football history following the most recent National Football League (NFL) Draft, as both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, to become the first players to move on to the professional ranks in the program's four-year history.

Mabry, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive tackle, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner. The San Antonio MacArthur High School product was second among the team’s defensive linemen with 49 tackles, six of which went for loss, a year ago. That came on the heels of a junior campaign that saw him register 41 stops, which led all defensive linemen, and 2.5 of those came behind the line of scrimmage, including a half sack in the program’s first-ever Conference USA tilt at UTEP. All told, he appeared in 46 games as a Roadrunner, including 28 starting assignments.

Meanwhile, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Wade leaves the Alamo City as the most decorated player in school annals. The 2014 Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) semifinalist, three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain led UTSA with 86 tackles, 14 pass breakups, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries from the free safety position en route to second-team All-Conference USA accolades last fall. He finished his Roadrunners career as the program leader in tackles (293), pass breakups (35), interceptions (12), forced fumbles (8) and fumble recoveries (6) after appearing in 46 contests, including 40 starts.

For more information on this exciting UTSA Football moment, visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/05/nfl.html

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UTSA Softball Ends Regular Season As Number One in West Division of Conference USA


Congratulations to the UTSA Softball Team! They ended the regular season as number one in the West Division of Conference USA by beating Louisiana Tech.

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Gearing Up for Fall Orientation 2015


Fall Orientation is just around the corner and the office of Orientation and Family Programs is busy planning away and prepping for an anticipated class of approximately 5,200 incoming freshman students! Along with our large class of students, we are also anticipating close to 2,000 individual family members or guests to attend and experience Family Orientation. Orientation and Family Programs is implementing new family oriented sessions and offering even more opportunities for students and family members or guests to attend sessions together.

The Office of Orientation and Family Programs hopes that you remember your Family Orientation experience with fond memories and follow UTSA Family on Facebook to check out all of our new incoming Roadrunner families!

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UTSA Student Spotlight: Christine Velasquez


Name: Christine Velasquez
Hometown: Pearland, TX-
Major: Marketing
Extracurricular Activities: Gamma Phi Beta, UTSA Ambassadors, Business Scholars Program, Orientation Leader, Team Leader, Orientation Leader Association, Omicron Delta Kappa, Honors Alliance, Resident Assistant

How does it feel to finally be graduating?

Oh wow! I have a multitude of emotions going on in my mind. It feels extremely overwhelming and simultaneously exciting. I am beginning to reflect, and I'm realizing just how fast time really flies by! I feel like I've only been here for one year when I have been here for four years. All of this graduation talk is very surreal.

What tips would you give to parents to ensure their student will succeed at UTSA just as you have?

I would tell parents to always be supportive and be there for their students when they need them. Another thing I would advise for parents to do is to keep their distance and be understanding in general, because the transition from high school to college is different for every individual. I strongly recommend that families attend Family Orientation, Family Weekend, Homecoming weekend, and any other events their students invite them to.

What was your biggest challenge transitioning to college?

My biggest challenge was learning to let go of my high school life and my family at home as a whole. I had a lot of trouble expanding my horizons and not allowing myself to get stuck in the past. I was terrified of meeting new people and making new friendships because the ones I had in high school seemed permanent. I had to get into the mindset that I was moving on to bigger and better things. I would go home a lot my first semester at UTSA and that did not help me at all with my transitioning period. I will forever advise new students to be open to new experiences and not go home as much as I did because college is about growing up as an individual and you can only do that with healthy separation.

How has UTSA impacted you since you have been here and what values will you take into your future from your Roadrunner experience?

Faculty and Staff mentorship has definitely impacted me significantly throughout my college experience. The Business Scholars program is a fantastic program for first generation college students that helps them with their transition from high school to college. I came into college very ignorant as to everything that I needed to do to become academically successful. I was fortunate enough to have three advisors/mentors that were very important people in the College of Business. They were always there to assist me in my academics and professional development. My first job on campus as an Orientation Leader was an extremely impactful position. It helped me grow into the strong successful leader and individual I am today.

Are there any favorite collegiate experiences or memories you have?

Definitely, my first summer as an Orientation Leader! Becoming an Orientation Leader was an extremely rewarding position that granted me with the best summer of my entire life. Another fantastic experience was walking on the football field and being a part of the homecoming court of Fall 2013. It was such a gratifying experience that reminded me to always strive for excellence and that hard work pays off.

What plans do you have after graduation?

I plan on acquiring a job at USAA, STATEFARM, or RACKSPACE. After one year of work experience I plan on returning to UTSA to earn my Masters in business administration. My goal is to graduate with my MBA in two years and continue on to even greater endeavors.

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See you in August 2015!


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