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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

Viva Fiesta! Viva UTSA!

You can feel Fiesta in the air as San Antonio celebrates with over 100 programs in 10 days. Fiesta San Antonio highlights many community agencies, schools and non-profit organizations.  UTSA plays a big role in this epic celebration by hosting Fiesta UTSA, Party on the Paseo, and participating in the Cavaliers’ River, Battle of Flowers and Fiesta Flambeau parades. Our participation highlights why it is great to be a Roadrunner and emphasizes our deep connection to the City of San Antonio.

You can follow along with Fiesta celebrations or watch the parades through live streaming and videos.  Find all the details at http://www.fiesta-sa.org/.  The UTSA Family social media platforms will keep you updated with links and information.  If you are in San Antonio, we hope to see you in person at these incredible events.  As our float passes by in the parades, let us see your Roadrunner hand sign as we show the entire community our pride in UTSA. Celebrations are important to a community. They serve to bring us together and provide the opportunity to review our success and plan for the future.

Recently, our Student Government Association hosted the 39th annual University Life Awards that celebrated student accomplishments from all over the university.  As the presenters described the many accomplishments of the awards winners, I was astounded at the dedication and resilience of our students as they reach new levels of success every day. 

Our students excel in the classroom, in organizations and on the court, too! Join me in celebrating the UTSA Men’s Tennis team who are now the 2015 Conference USA Champions.

As our students prepare for final exams, we help them celebrate a successful semester (and foster great study habits) with events like the Late Night Breakfast, Stress Down Days and through extended hours in our food venues, University Center and libraries.  Great preparation yields great results.  We wish every Roadrunner the best of luck in finals.

Through it all, remember that UTSA Appreciates.  Take time to celebrate all that your student and UTSA have accomplished.  Viva!

Best Wishes,
Sam


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Recap of Fiesta UTSA


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Fiesta UTSA has been a part of Fiesta San Antonio for over 26 years and has been a part of the traditions at UTSA for more than 28 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 UTSA’s Student Affairs’ Facebook page at facebook.com/UTSAStudentAffairs to check out photos of the event!
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UTSA Fiesta Medal on Sale at Roadrunner Express, ITC, Fiesta Store


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UTSA Fiesta medals are still on sale at Roadrunner Express, the Institute of Texan Cultures and the Fiesta store on Broadway.

This year's UTSA Fiesta medal features an orange and blue ribbon and the Rowdyhead enclosed by a circular wreath of multi-colored flowers.

Fiesta spans from April 16 through April 26. The annual event centers on the city's century-old parades and celebrations, honoring the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

According to the Fiesta San Antonio Commission, medal collecting and trading is one of the most popular Fiesta traditions, dating back at least 50 years. The exact details regarding the origins of the tradition are scarce, but each year, more than 100 nonprofit organizations sell the medals for fundraising. Local military organizations, private companies, individuals and other institutions create and sell the medals as mementoes.

To read more please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/04/fiesta2015.html


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President Romo Hosted Campus- Wide Forum on UTSA 2020 Blueprint


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UTSA President Ricardo Romo conducted a Main Campus open forum to give faculty, staff, students and alumni the opportunity to provide ideas for the UTSA 2020 Blueprint strategic plan.

UTSA 2020 Blueprint is being designed to align resources with strategic initiatives in six key areas: educational excellence, superior student experience, strong community involvement, world-class graduate programs, superior infrastructure and innovative research and discovery.

Strategy teams have been working on benchmarks and evaluating recommended approaches to key issues, based in part on feedback from forums held since February with the Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Leadership Council, and faculty, staff and students at the Downtown Campus and Institute for Texan Cultures.

To read more, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/04/2020blueprintupdate.html.


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UTSA'S Alternative Spring Break 2015


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The University of Texas at San Antonio had a phenomenal attendance for Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) 2015! Students from various majors came together to volunteer during their spring break vacation from March 8th- 14th. This year, UTSA helped three different agencies that needed volunteers. Common Ground Relief, Schwartz Farms, and Catholic Charities Camp were the nonprofit community partners UTSA was able to assist.

Thirteen students jumped on the chance to spend their Spring Break with Common Ground Relief located in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. The Wetlands Restoration program was created to proactively address the dangers faced by New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Region. During this week, students were able to hear about social justice issues of the Lower 9th Ward from Ms. Kimberly Roberts, whose film, Trouble the Water, was an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary featured in 2008. One of our student volunteers’ expressed, “Common Ground Relief is an organization focused on helping New Orleans and the 9th Ward revive itself. It works with its own community to bounce back from the injustices it experiences and it helps volunteers feel they're using their time positively. "

The city of San Antonio had two ASB groups volunteer with local agencies. Schwartz Farms focuses on educating the community on sustainable farming and animal care. Four of our UTSA students were able to learn about sustainable living through a hands on practical application; such as gardening and landscaping, general animal care and feeding, and enclosure building. Abigail Roman a UTSA volunteer was enlightened by this service project. She said, “The experience from ASB taught me how important working together as a team when helping others is. I also learned a lot from the people we were engaging with and enjoyed the wisdom they shared with us as a group.”

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio, who run the Guadalupe Community Center, reached out to UTSA Volunteer Services for volunteers to aid them with their School Impact Program. Guiding young students through a week-long of craft projects as well as reading to them. Our volunteers were also able to sort out food and guide the young children in fun activities. Kenny Hasson, senior graduating this May said, “Normally when I volunteer, I know I’m helping but not to what extent. This past Spring Break, volunteering with Catholic Charities has helped me become aware of the role I can play in someone else’s life and how important a role that is. The amount of lives I can positively effect is incredible, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to change someone’s life for the better.”

For more information on volunteering with local agencies, visit the Volunteer Services office in HUC 1.216 or contact us at 210-458-7291.

Need more information about volunteering with our Alternative Spring Break agencies of 2015?   Please visit their respective web links: Common Ground Relief http://www.commongroundrelief.org/ Catholic Charities: San Antonio http://www.ccaosa.org/ and Schwartz Farms can be contacted at 210-570-7220.


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UTSA turns out for Cesar Chavez March for Justice


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The UTSA community, including UTSA President Ricardo Romo, joined thousands of local citizens from across San Antonio to march in memory of Cesar Chavez and the causes of social justice that he advanced.

The UTSA Student Leadership Center (SLC), with support from the Associate Provost for Diversity and Recruitment, the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion, the UTSA Multicultural Greek Council and Sigma Gamma Rho, promoted the march for UTSA students. UTSA students, faculty and staff joined the other participants in the annual march.

“I had the honor of marching in the march this year,” said Chassidy Frelow, junior psychology major and participant in UTSA’s 2015 Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience. “While I don’t experience the same struggles as many of my fellow marchers, particularly Hispanic citizens, it doesn’t mean that I can’t help them make a change. The beautiful thing about justice is that it is for everybody and when it’s not given to you or others, you must fight for it.”

The SLC facilitates access to existing opportunities ranging from the Texas Conference for Women and the National Collegiate Leadership Conference to the LeaderShape Institute. It also creates significant undergraduate leadership development programs specifically tailored to UTSA students.

The SLC’s latest initiative is designed to broaden its reach among students by starting a local trip focusing on the continuing history of social justice activism in San Antonio. Student feedback and involvement in local events such as the Cesar Chavez March for Justice underscore the need to connect the national history of social justice activism with local and contemporary issues deserving the attention and energy of this generation.

“This was my first time at this march,” said Julie Diaz Badillo, senior communications major. “The atmosphere was indescribable. Knowing the history of Cesar Chavez and the reasons for the annual march made me feel like my presence was valuable.”

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Spring Commencement - 2015


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Do you have a Roadrunner who is scheduled to walk the stage in a few weeks? If so, congratulations on your graduate’s remarkable achievement of earning a college degree. Commencement is not only a major event in a graduate’s life but also a celebration and acknowledgement of you – friends and family – who have provided guidance, care and support to the new graduate.

Please visit   http://www.utsa.edu/commencement/guests/index.html to gain detailed information on commencement traditions, history, parking, and driving directions. Once again, congratulations to you and your Roadrunner!

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Purchase a Graduation Gift Package at Roadrunner Express


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Sending your college student a care package or gift basket is a great way to show them that you care and are proud of them, especially come graduation time! Students love receiving plain, old snail mail, so imagine their excitement when they are delivered with a beautiful gift package.  Since graduation is just around the corner, The Roadrunner Express encourages you to make it an extra special occasion for your students by sending them a UTSA Graduate Gift Package. The gift packages can ship directly to your student's campus. For more information on how to order one please visit http://utsa.edu/uctr/retail.html

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Purchase a Graduation Gift Package at Roadrunner Express


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Name: Korede Osifuwa
Hometown: London, England-
Major: Human Resource Management
Extracurricular Activities: Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, UTSA Ambassadors Membership Engagement Chair, V.O.I.C.E.S Vice President of Special Projects, Woman of Honor, Business Student Council, Honors College

What are the University Life Awards?

The University Life Awards are similar to the Grammys. It is a prestigious, annual award ceremony where outstanding students and organizations are recognized.

Have you ever attended this event in the past?

Yes, I have definitely attended this phenomenal event! It was such a great opportunity to acknowledge the numerous organizations and successful students present at UTSA. This event inspired me to create my own legacy at UTSA and serve as a role model to my fellow Roadrunners so that they may aspire others to do better as well.

Why are the University Life Awards important and why would you advise students to participate in this opportunity?

As previously stated this event is made solely to praise students who have achieved greatness and have been successful throughout academia and extracurricular activities. I would advise students to attend this event to get inspired. This inspiration will hopefully push them to achieve greatness for their remaining semesters at UTSA and onward.

How do you plan on celebrating FIESTA?

I plan on participating in Fiesta UTSA, which is an annual event hosted by UTSA organizations. This is a chance for all organizations to sell an assortment of foods and drinks. It's also a great opportunity for these organizations to get exposure.

Are there any activities around campus or even San Antonio to keep students engaged during this celebration?

Yes definitely! There are several activities to do on and even more off campus. Some of these activities include: concerts, pageants, festivals, and so much more. One of the biggest things that happen on campus is Fiesta UTSA. This event is full of food, fun, laughter, music, games-and did I mention food!

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Important Spring 2015 Dates


Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Last Day of Classes

Thursday, April 30, 2015 thru Friday, May 1, 2015 – Study Days

Saturday, May 2, 2015 thru Saturday, May 2, 2015 – Final Exams

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Thank you for reading the Family Connection!