(Dec. 16, 2009)--In 2008, the UTSA College of Liberal Arts began offering a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies and this weekend the college will mark a milestone with the first graduate from the program.
Sarah Montoya, a 22-year-old Corpus Christi native, is graduating Cum Laude with a grade point average of 3.5, and will participate in the Friday, Dec. 18 ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. for the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the College of Public Policy.
In 2008, Montoya was majoring in English and minoring in Women's Studies as her original graduation date drew closer. With the new major in Women's Studies now being offered, Montoya decided to stay an extra semester to complete the course requirements and earn two bachelor's degrees, one in English, the other in Women's Studies.
"I think that was really important for me to do because I think that's where my future is, and Women's Studies is kind of a vocation," said Montoya. "A commitment to feminism is a political and activist commitment that is going to take up a huge part of your life."
As a Women's Studies major, Montoya spent much of her time away from school working with social justice organizations and events in San Antonio such as the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, the San Antonio Free Speech Coalition and the International Women's Day March.
While pursuing her double major, Montoya was fortunate to take classes, then later serve as an intern and undergraduate research assistant for Women's Studies Institute Executive Director Sonia Saldivar-Hull.
"Sarah was one of the best undergraduates I have had the privilege of teaching at UTSA," said Saldivar-Hull. "I have no doubt that she will continue her exceptional academic career and earn her PhD in Women's Studies. I look forward to someday working with her as a colleague."
Additionally, as an Honors College graduate, Montoya wrote a thesis on Latina children's literature and focused on social scripts and behavioral models. Two of the experts she consulted were Hull and Ben Olguin, UTSA Associate Professor of English.
"Sarah is a theoretically sophisticated student scholar who is engaged with her historical moment as an activist, said Olguin. "She's an organic intellectual who dialectically draws upon her community's needs to shape her academic work, and uses her academic work to impact her community and society at large."
The first in her family to graduate from a university, Montoya looks to pursue a master's degree at UTSA, then travel outside San Antonio to pursue a doctoral degree in Women's Studies at one of the 14 universities in the country that offers a doctoral in the discipline.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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