(May 5, 2010)--An estimated 2,851 graduation candidates will walk the stage as The University of Texas at San Antonio celebrates six commencement ceremonies May 6-8 in the Convocation Center on the Main Campus. Following are sketches of some of the graduates-to-be from across the university.
>> Read details about the UTSA Spring 2010 Commencement ceremonies May 6-8.
"Adrian has a fascinating story," said Michael Edward White, lecturer in political science and geography. "He came to the United States eight years ago from Cuba, via Mexico. He was educated as an accountant in Cuba, made his way to the United States, worked hard, learned English and is completing his engineering degree this month."
"The Department of Demography and Organizational Studies is pleased to honor Mary Bollinger as the first Ph.D. graduate in the program," said Francine Romero, associate dean of the College of Public Policy. "The first class of students enrolled in fall 2006 and 25 students are currently in the program."
"Mary was born and raised in San Antonio and graduated from high school in Bandera. The third of five children born to Mary Caves and William Conaway, she is married and has a daughter and three sons. Mary earned her B.A. degree in sociology from UTSA and a master of public health degree from the UT Health Science Center in Houston. She plans to continue on with the V.A.'s VERDICT research center, but in a new capacity -- data manager and health services researcher. Her dissertation is a study of obesity in South Texas veterans in the V.A. health care system. She received a writing fellowship in the Department of Applied Demography, a UTSA Presidential Dissertation Fellowship and the College of Public Policy Student Research Competition paper award."
"Tabitha has Usher's Syndrome and is completely deaf and also visually impaired, though she does have some sight," said Rosalie Ambrosino, professor of social work. "Throughout her degree program, she has taken 12 hours each semester and has a 4.0 G.P.A. She is excelling in her field practicum and has gotten some good press in the community for her efforts to strengthen services for the elderly who have hearing impairments. She did her first field practicum at an area school district and was hired to work there part-time facilitating groups for parents of hearing impaired children. In May 2003 at UTSA, Tabitha received a B.S. degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in reading."
"Orlando will be the first to graduate from college in his family," said history lecturer Lesli Hicks. "He is graduating in architecture in four years, when the average is usually five years. He tested out of Spanish and received credit for Spanish 1-4. He is a graduate of Business Careers High School. He is an officer for La Despedida, a bilingual-bicultural graduation ceremony held at the UTSA Downtown Campus. Orlando was one of 10 students in his middle school to receive a scholarship from American Funds because of his diligence and hard work."
"Rahwa and her family immigrated from the northeast African nation of Eritrea to the United States in 1984 when she was a toddler," said Renee Nank, assistant professor of public administration. "Before immigrating to the United States, they lived in a refugee camp in Sudan. She and two older sisters were born in Sudan. Her two older brothers were born in Eritrea and her younger brother was born here in Fort Worth, Texas. She completed elementary school, junior high, high school and college in Fort Worth. Additionally, Rahwa graduated from Texas Christian University with a B.A. in sociology in 2005."
"Bea is the mother of two and once was a homeless student in high school when her father lost his job," said Harriett Romo, professor sociology and director of the UTSA Mexico Center. "She has presented academic papers at six regional and national academic conferences including the American Sociological Association, the American Educational Research Association and the Southwestern Social Science Association."
"She was just elected the student representative of the executive council of the Southwestern Social Science Association. She will be completing her thesis this summer, which is a compilation of the papers she has presented at these conferences. She was key in organizing and leading the Sociology Graduate Student Association and the national Sociology Honors Association, AKD at UTSA. She will be applying for Ph.D. programs in the fall and will teach classes as an adjunct professor in the sociology department as she waits to see where she will be accepted. Bea has worked on a research project interviewing foster care youth as they age out of state care and is organizing programs at UTSA to assist foster care youth."
"Nicole has been a UTSA Ambassador and served for two years as secretary to the Beta Omega chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English National Honor Society," said Barry McKinney, director of student activities. "Nicole has been involved in these activities, and at the same time uses a wheel chair. She spent the spring 2008 semester as a legal intern at the capitol in Austin, part of the prestigious statewide internship program, and her academic record is perfect. Also, Nicole's parents are professors in the UTSA Department of Computer Science."
"Sheri is a former officer who was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington," said Rosalie Ambrosino, professor of social work. "She received a Hogg Foundation fellowship and has a job at a base in Colorado already. Her husband is still in the military and he is being sent there. She also is a mother of three children."
"History M.A. candidate David Underwood has the most compelling and distinctive history of any student I've seen in our program," said Gregg Michel, associate professor of history."He is a decorated veteran of the Iraq War who began his graduate studies after sustaining life-threatening wounds in a bomb attack. He has excelled in our program and remarkably, given his injuries, is resuming his military career this summer."
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.