Kudos! To UTSA's brightest and best

(April 4, 2005)--Kudos! acknowledges faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of UTSA for all the things they do -- whether it's achieving great things in work, education and community service, receipt of a well-deserved award, publication of a book or article, recognition for respected research findings, or daily dedication and hard work.

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UTSA graduate student Russell Stephenson was named runner-up in the Emerging Texas Artist in the Emerging Texas Artist Program. Presentations were made at the recent Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair in Kerrville where students displayed their work. Stephenson won a $3,000 scholarship for his work. The program is sponsored by the Texas Arts and Crafts Educational Foundation, Inc.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) awarded 10 undergraduate engineering scholarships this academic year. Two of the competitive scholarships for $3,000 were awarded to UTSA mechanical engineering students Jeanette De Leon and Alfred Vitela III.

Three UTSA students placed in the top five at the 80th Battle of Flowers Invitational Oratorical Contest Feb. 25 at the San Antonio Garden Center. Speaking on this year's theme, "Unsung Heroes and Heroines of the Texas Revolution," UTSA communication major Brett Owen won first place, UTSA Spanish major Lindy Collins ranked second and UTSA communication major John DeMott placed fifth. The Oratorical Contest is a platform speech contest open to undergraduate and graduate students attending Texas colleges and universities. Only the first 12 eligible entries are accepted in the competition. During Fiesta Week, Owen will deliver his speech at the annual Battle of Flowers Association luncheon, where he will be presented with his prize check of $2,000, and will ride on a float in the Battle of Flowers Parade. Copies of the top three speeches will be given to the Institute of Texan Cultures library, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas library at the Alamo and the San Antonio Public Library.

Communication major Anthony Sampeck, advised by Associate Professor Kent Wilkinson, recently was honored at the University of North Texas Student Conference for writing the top university undergraduate paper. UTSA student Val Funkhouser presented a paper at the conference.


Tom Cannon, assistant professor of marketing and director of the College of Business tourism management program, was appointed to a two-year term on the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Commission by the San Antonio City Council. Cannon also will serve as chair of the commission's budget and finance committee. The commission advises the staff of the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau (SACVB), the Convention Center and the Alamodome, which oversees a $13.6 million annual budget. SACVB promotes San Antonio as a premier visitor and convention destination.

Steven Kellman, professor of comparative literature, was recently elected to membership in the Texas Institute of Letters. Founded in 1936, the organization promotes and recognizes distinctive literary achievement in Texas. Membership is by invitation only. Each year, the institute gives more than $25,000 in prizes for fiction, poetry, non-fiction, newspaper and magazine writing, design, translation, humor, and children's and young adult literature. More than 60 Fellows have been chosen since 1967.

Rhonda Gonzales, assistant professor of history, recently was named a winner of the American Historical Association (AHA) and Columbia University Press Gutenburg-e Prize for her manuscript, "Continuity and Change: Thought, Belief, and Practice in the History of the Ruvu Peoples of Central East Tanzania, c. 200 B.C. to A.D. 1800." The manuscript will be published by Columbia University Press. The Gutenburg-e Prize program, launched in 1999 with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, rewards excellence in scholarship in electronic publishing. By legitimizing electronic publishing, the AHA hopes to change attitudes of academics toward e-books.

Amy Jasperson, assistant professor of political science and geography, was awarded the 2005-2006 American Political Science Association (APSA) MCI Communications Fellowship. The congressional fellowship begins in November with a 12-month stipend.

Paul LeBlanc, assistant professor of communication will receive the best quantitative paper award at the annual International Association of Business Disciplines (IABD) Conference this spring. UTSA student Margarita Rios won the IABD best undergraduate paper award. The Department of Communication will receive the High Caliber of Student’s Productivity Award based on the high participation rate of UTSA students in the conference.


Anne Jett, associate director for training and development, was recognized by the San Antonio chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (SA-ASTD) as 2004 Professional of the Year for her efforts in continuous and process improvement. Jett played an instrumental role in needs identification and design of the new support system for principal investigators recently adopted by the university. The award is presented to a SA-ASTD member who has made a significant contribution in the field of training and development.

Karen Roth, associate director of learning assistance in the Tomas Rivera Center for Student Success, published a paper, "Academic Coaching: Strengthening Your Learning Assistance Program," in the National Tutoring Association spring newsletter.

Lisa Johns and Carmelita Dunbar, academic advisers in the Tomas Rivera Center, presented "Making Success the Freshman State of Mind: Creating an Experiential Course that Works" at the 24th annual Conference on the the First Year Experience and Students in Transition in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information on the conference, visit the National Resource Center Web site.

Executive Director of Campus Recreation Suzy Gray was selected to serve a three-year term on the editorial board of the Recreational Sports Journal (RSJ) of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). Gray attends her first editorial board meeting in April at the NIRSA annual conference in Orlando, Fla. RSJ is a leading sports industry publication distributed in the spring and fall.

Institute of Texan Cultures guard supervisor William Schellenger was named ITC Employee of the Semester and Sgt. Robert Hudson was named ITC Officer of the Semester for fall 2004.

--Bronwyn Wingo

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