Welcome Back Student Spotlights
WB participant earns degree after 15 years.
Gustavo (Gus) Parra received his Bachelor's degree on December 16, 2011.
"I'm counting the days," he exclaimed in anticipation of the ceremony.
"I stopped out of school in the late 90's because of a great job offer while I had only a few hours remaining for my degree. Around the first of 2011, I considered coming back to finish but it had been so long ago that I wasn't sure about how or when to start the process. Then I learned of a wonderful program at UTSA called "Welcome Back" within the Graduation Initiative Office. With the help and extra efforts of the WB program coordinator and the GI Director, I am finally going to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies/Bicultural-Bilingual Studies specialization," explains Gus.
"I will finally be fulfilling my dream of becoming a UTSA Roadrunner College Grad this December 16! I want to thank the College of Education and Human Development and, especially, the Welcome Back program. TO all of you students, I encourage you to stay strong, be persistent, and don't give up."
!!!GO ROADRUNNERS!!! - Gus Parra
WB participant earns biology degree after 10 years.
Michelle Dueñas graduated from UTSA on Saturday, May 7, 2011 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology ten years after starting here.
“I came to UTSA as a transfer student in fall 2000. Then I stopped out in spring 2007, just 2 courses short of a degree,“ said Michelle in an interview with the Graduation Initiative’s Welcome Back! program coordinator, Linda Chalmers.
"I had lost motivation and was not sure that this major was really for me,” she explained. Michelle stopped out to work in her family’s florist business and to gain a “real-world” perspective. She sometimes thought of coming back to finish a degree but kept pushing it to the back burner.
“I got caught up in the work thing,” she explained.
"I'm a redeemed quitter."
"I received the Welcome Back invitation letter in 2009 and it just brought back the feeling that I had left something unfinished. I thought it a great opportunity to close a chapter in my life, “recalled Michelle. It took her a few months to get things situated so she could return to UTSA as a Welcome Back program participant.
“I returned with a different perspective and a greater commitment level of responsibility. It felt good.” confessed Michelle.
Michelle’s own words express her gratitude to UTSA for the Graduation Initiative’s Welcome Back! program: “Thank you so very much for believing in me and giving me the encouragement it took to return to school and obtain my degree. Your letter reminded me that people care about my education and recognizes how close I was [to earning the degree]. Your belief in me gave me that extra push to complete my goal of earning my BS in Biology. The special touch of keeping in touch with me over the semester reminded me that you were always around supporting me in the background. Again thanks on behalf of me and my family." -Sincerely, Michelle Dueñas
WB participant earns degree after 6 year hiatus.
Follow this link to read about Sharon Agold, a Welcome Back participant who will earn her BS in Biology and walk the stage this May.