A Message from VPSA Sam Gonzales
Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales
Great things come in four! From the teenage mutant ninja turtles to Mount Rushmore, four seems to be a lucky number. It is true for the undergraduate experience as well. Our aim for students is that they are able to Finish in Four. To illustrate this point, we have posted inspirational reminders throughout the campus. Just one of these examples from our John Peace Library is pictured below. The banners, posters and t-shirts remind students of the benefits of staying on track with their class year.
While I understand that it is not always possible because of responsibilities of work and family, I do hope that our staff and faculty are able to facilitate the pathway to timely graduation. Registration is beginning now for summer and fall depending on the student’s academic classification (i.e. freshman, sophomore, etc.). You will find out more about when your student should register in this newsletter.
Finishing college in four years just makes sense, both from a financial and personal perspective. That is why it is so important to register for 15 credit hours each semester. Additionally, taking summer classes is a great way to keep the momentum going when a full load of classes is not feasible. As a person who loves math, I tend to think about things as a calculation. The typical undergraduate education is comprised of 120 credit hours. Therefore, my mind automatically thinks, “How can that effort be equally distributed?” In this context, 15 hours a semester for 8 semesters equals 120 hours in 4 years. Equal distribution of effort means steady progress toward the ultimate goal – graduation. Now is the time of the semester to discuss what progress means for your student. Is it 15 hours in the fall or spring or less plus summer courses? Any way you calculate it, we hope the solution to your equation equals #Finishin4.
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Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 – Registration Schedule
Is your student planning to take Summer 2015 and/or Fall 2015 courses? If so, encourage your student to visit with his/her academic advisor to discuss Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 class schedule plans. Refer to http://www.utsa.edu/advise/ to find Academic Advising Centers’ contact information.
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31st Annual Diploma Dash 5K
The Diploma Dash, taking place on April 4, is a UTSA annual tradition that features a 5K certified course around UTSA’s Main Campus and is open to all walkers, competitive runners, families and even dogs. Some race highlights include world renowned UTSA mascot, Rowdy, UTSA’s band, Spirit of San Antonio, The Official San Antonio City Championship Race, video finish for all racers, race medals for 18 team and age categories, and much more.
A fun feature of the Diploma Dash is the Race Festival which includes a Silver Eagle Beer Bash, music, Popeye’s chicken biscuits, Whataburger taquitos and Kiolbassa sausage.
Register your family before March 26 to ensure a new Diploma Dash t-shirt.
Make sure to check out the Alumni website to get information on running training schedules, a running playlist, sponsorships and more at http://alumni.utsa.edu/page.aspx?pid=422
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UTSA Honors student named 2015 Miss San Antonio
Emma Faye Rudkin, communications major and UTSA Honors College student, was crowned Miss San Antonio 2015 at the recent Miss San Antonio / Alamo City Scholarship Pageant, the official preliminary to the Miss Texas and Miss America Scholarship Pageants.
A first-time beauty pageant winner, Rudkin, 18, will represent San Antonio and the surrounding area at the Miss Texas Pageant in June alongside the seven other queens crowned at the pageant on Feb. 21.
Legally deaf since age four, Rudkin has devoted her life to advocating on behalf of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Her nonprofit, Aid The Silent, advocates and supports deaf and hard of hearing children and teens. It also provides funding for deaf research and educational programs that support the deaf and hard of hearing communities. She also speaks publicly across Texas about, in her words, “turning a disability into an ability.”
To read more, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/03/misssanantonio.html
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UTSA Architecture Students Design Transition Home for Former Foster Youth
Thirteen undergraduate architecture students in the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning have been working around the clock to create architectural designs for a full-service living complex for former foster youth to develop, grow and practice skills necessary for independent living. These designs will serve as the class’s capstone semester project.
In late fall, Brenda Lee Knowles and Mary Elizabeth Fuentes Valdez from San Antonio nonprofit organization Youth Transitioning Into Adulthood(YTIA) approached Sue Ann Pemberton – a senior lecturer of historic preservation and architecture, president of the San Antonio Conservation Society, director of the UTSA Center for Architectural Engagement and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects – to ask if the college could provide preliminary designs for “The Dorm,” a long-time dream of the organization’s.
To read more, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2015/03/transitioncomplex.html
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Annual UTSA Student Affairs Conference
UTSA held their seventh annual Student Affairs Conference on March 6 in efforts to grow, support and celebrate the profession of student affairs and higher education. With the theme of “Grow More to Give More”, this annual conference provides a variety of professional development sessions on topics relating to trends and progression in higher education, as well as UTSA specific. The conference provides invaluable professional development, knowledge and information in order to better serve our UTSA students.
The conference had an attendance close to 350 participants, and also welcomed student affairs professionals from other local universities including Texas A&M San Antonio, The University of Incarnate Word and Our Lady of the Lake University.
UTSA Student Spotlight: Michelle Baca
Hometown: Dallas, Texas-
Extracurricular Activities: Voices, UTSA Ambassadors, Resident Assistant, Business Student Council, Honors Alliance, National Society of Leadership and Success, Resident Hall Association
Have you ever attended Diploma Dash? How was it?
Yes, I have definitely attended Diploma Dash on multiple occasions. This year will actually mark my third year attending Diploma Dash! It was an extremely rewarding experience. I loved being able to meet many different Roadrunners and have that sense of community. It was an extremely rewarding experience.
What is Diploma Dash for those who are unaware?
The Diploma Dash is a fast, certified 5k course around the UTSA campus for runners that features a scenic route for walkers, strollers and dogs! All proceeds benefit the UTSA Alumni Association Scholarships, Programs, and Services.
Are there any traditions upheld during this event?
At the end of the race there is always a big party going on. All of the sponsors come with their booths and give away free things. There is lots of food and great music. It's such a fun and exciting experience.
Have you ever volunteered during this event?
Yes! This upcoming Diploma Dash will actually be my second year in a row as a volunteer. As a volunteer I had many positions. Before the race began I helped check people in. I prepared and served the food to all of the Diploma Dash Participants. I also provided assistance in the water station so that the runners had something to keep them hydrated. And one of the best parts about volunteering is that you receive the latest Diploma Dash t-shirt for free!
What other opportunities can students take advantage of during Diploma Dash?
I would say the top three things students can take advantage of during Diploma Dash would have to be giving back to the UTSA community, learning about many of the resources UTSA provides, and networking. This entire event is centered on raising money for the UTSA Alumni Association. So by raising money students are giving back to the community. All the different organizations that are out give students the opportunity to gain knowledge and network. Diploma Dash is packed full of great opportunities.
Important Spring 2015 Dates
Friday, March 20, 2015 – Last Day to Drop Classes
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 9, 2015 – Final Exams
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 – First Day of Fall 2015 Classes