One of the best things about being a university president is having the opportunity to interact with students. Without question, UTSA students are incredibly talented and motivated, and they have great stories to share.
Just the other day, I heard about a UTSA student who is taking advantage of exceptional opportunities while working toward her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Alyssa Schaefbauer is a 21-year-old Houston native who grew up watching her father build space suits as a NASA engineer. Talk about a hard act to follow.
Alyssa came to UTSA with plans to stay for just one year and then become a Longhorn. But a great opportunity changed everything.
One of our mechanical engineering professors invited her to conduct research in his laboratory. She accepted and joined a team of students researching computational bioengineering.
The students worked with their professor to create a football kicking simulator that can help athletes significantly improve their performance. They even brought one of the UTSA football kickers into the laboratory to make the simulator as realistic as possible. Recently, they filed a patent application for their invention.
Think about that. These undergraduates had the chance to work side-by-side with a top UTSA researcher on a project with tremendous potential for the commercial market. At most universities, that kind of experience wouldn’t come until they were graduate students. But at UTSA, they got a top-tier research experience as undergrads.
That opportunity – that access to excellence – transformed Alyssa into a loyal Roadrunner. She realized the opportunities she wanted to pursue were right here at UTSA.
As supporters of UTSA, you are helping to create opportunities for students in every discipline. And your support is changing the course of their lives.
As UTSA continues to recruit top faculty, open top-tier research labs and build a top-tier institution, let’s keep in mind the reason why we’re all here. We’re here for students like Alyssa. We’re here to prepare them for successful careers. And we’re here to change the world one student at a time.
The University of Texas at San Antonio