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Michelle Montanio
Michelle Montanio

UTSA Spotlight: Michelle Montanio says campus community members go above and beyond to help others

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(Feb. 27, 2008)--Michelle Montanio, assistant director of student activities, oversees the daily operations of the Office of Student Activities and Student Activities Center at the Downtown Campus. She has worked at the campus since it opened 10 years ago.

Her job is to help provide involvement opportunities for students that enhance their overall experience at UTSA.

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JB: What's different now from 10 years ago?

MM: It amazes me that enrollment has grown from 1,900 students to more than 6,400 students and the physical lay of the land has grown from one building to four in such a relatively short time.

JB: Are things easier? More difficult?

MM: From day one, the Downtown Campus has truly been a community of caring where everyone goes above and beyond to help others. Time has not changed this core value, which is why it is a joy to work at the Downtown Campus.

JB: What's the biggest challenge of working at Downtown Campus?

MM: The biggest challenge for me is having to commute to the 1604 Campus on a weekly basis, but it is also an opportunity to stay connected and build community with colleagues.

JB: From your point of view, what is the Downtown Campus' role at UTSA?

MM: The Downtown Campus' role at UTSA is to support the overall mission of the university and provide unique opportunities based on the Downtown Campus' location and resources.

For example, the College of Architecture and College of Public Policy are natural fits for the Downtown Campus because they allow their students to connect and contribute to the community in unique ways that would not be possible from the 1604 Campus.

JB: What do you think is the Downtown Campus' role in the community?

MM: The Downtown Campus' role in the community is to provide additional access to higher education and other outreach resources.

JB: Describe your best day or memory at the Downtown Campus.

MM: This is a difficult question to answer because I have so many... like the first day we opened the campus and welcomed the very first student to come through the doors. I still remember his name -- Mario Guerra III.

My favorite memories have been helping to create traditions at the Downtown Campus, like "Jazz in the Plaza" and the pre-Fiesta event, "NIUTSA."

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