From left are UTSA President Ricardo Romo, Dr. Harriett Romo,
contest winner Regina Sloan, husband Bill Sloan and step-son
Bradley Sloan at the Homecoming game half-time presentation
of the award. In the foreground are sons Christopher Sloan
and Jonathon Sloan.

Student Regina Sloan wins Family of the Year Essay Contest

By Adi Pavlovic
Student Writer, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

(Feb. 15, 2006)--UTSA student Regina Sloan is the winner of the 2006 Family of the Year Essay Contest. Sloan and her family were presented the award by UTSA President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Harriett Romo during half time at last Saturday's Homecoming basketball game.

The contest is sponsored by the UTSA Family Association and the Office of Orientation and Transition Services.

A non-traditional student majoring in political science and history, Sloan lives in Ingram, Texas, and commutes 130 miles, five days each week.

Her family includes husband Bill, a UTSA student working toward teaching certification, step-son Bradley (a UTSA, freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, and two sons Christopher, age 6, and Jonathon, age 5, who both can't wait to grow up and attend UTSA.

As the contest winner, Sloan received complimentary tickets for her family to the Homecoming-Family Weekend men's basketball game, a commemorative Homecoming poster signed by the artist, official Homecoming t-shirts, a commemorative plaque, a gift package from the UTSA Bookstore, and weekend accommodations at the Westin La Cantera Resort.


Excerpts from award-winning essay by Regina Sloan

Family support is at the heart of my college success. When Bill and I first met, even before we started dating he said to me, "You need to go to college. If you don't, it would be a real shame." No one had put it to me that way before. He meant I needed to go to college because I belonged there. I made two of the best decisions of my life based on that sort of statement. First, I married this fellow believer in me, and then I started my college career.

Our family love affair with UTSA began in 2004 when I entered as an undergraduate transfer student from Austin Community College to major in political science and history. My husband attended Roadrunner Roundup with me and found the school to be impressive.

Being there got him excited for not only me, but also thinking he would like to further his education, too. In the summer of 2005, nearly 15 years after graduating college from UT Permian Basin, Bill began classes working toward a teaching certificate and achieving his life-long goal of coaching high school football. Hey, we do everything together, why not college? Sure does make that 150-mile commute five days a week from our home to school a lot more pleasant.

In ways both big and small, UTSA is a part of my family's life. My family is my family-of-the-year every year. This university is aiding in making our dreams a reality. I am honored to have started the family tradition of UTSA pride inside.

The award is intended to celebrate the supportive roles families play in the lives of UTSA students and the university community. Honoring an outstanding family reminds the UTSA community that families are an essential part of the support network for our students. Their dedication and determination helps UTSA students achieve their higher education goals.

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