Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New portrait honors UTSA Professor Emeritus Budalur S. Thyagarajan

portrait dedication

Budalur S. Thyagarajan

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(Dec. 22, 2010)--Former UTSA students Blair Andera '98, Damon Wilkerson and Steven Vela commissioned a portrait of UTSA Professor Emeritus Budalur S. Thyagaragan to honor his lifetime commitment and passion for teaching science students. Thyagarajan is the founding director of the UTSA Division of Earth and Physical Sciences, which led to the development of the UTSA College of Sciences.

Thyagarajan's portrait was unveiled at an Oct. 20 event in his honor. UTSA President Ricardo Romo, Provost John Frederick, College of Sciences Dean George Perry, former Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner Kenneth Ashworth, painter Susan Farris and many of Thyagarajan's former students attended the celebration. Thyagarajan's family including son Karthik Thyagarajan and grandson Ocean Milan also were present.

"President Ricardo Romo best summarized Dr. Thyagarajan's extraordinary accomplishments and his impact on students in a letter he sent to me, which read: 'Dr. Thyagarajan's legacy will continue at UTSA for generations through the endowed scholarships that he has established. It is inspiring to me that he has not only shared his knowledge with students, but he has also encouraged their dreams through funding for scholarships,'" said Andera.

Thyagarajan made an impact on countless students during his career. He mentored undergraduates and graduates from England, Egypt, Greece, India, Japan and Korea, who now hold professional careers in medicine, science, business and education. With the words of his grandmother as inspiration ("Life is to give, not to take."), Thyagarajan's legacy continues through the Dr. Budalur S. Thyagarajan Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports UTSA undergraduates pursuing chemistry, geology and physics degrees.

To honor Thyagarajan's service and dedication to teaching, many of his former UTSA students and family members contributed to his endowed scholarship fund. The gifts will help support future generations of science students. Thyagaragan also established and supports the Mrs. Parvathammal Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of his mother. The fund supports female undergraduate geology majors.

An organic chemist by training, Thyagarajan earned his doctoral degree in 1956 from the University of Madras, India, where he served as an organic chemistry reader for eight years, following the completion of postdoctoral fellowships at Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

From 1965 to 1966, Thyagarajan served as a visiting professor at the University of Southern California (USC). In 1967, he presided over the First International Conference on the Chemistry of Dimethyl Sulfoxide in Los Angeles. Thereafter, he accepted faculty appointments at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho and the University of Hokkaido in Japan.

From 1974 to 2000, Thyagarajan served UTSA as founding director of the Division of Earth and Physical Sciences. While at UTSA, Thyagarajan recruited faculty and developed curricula in chemistry, geology and physics to complement the biological sciences program already in place. Simultaneously, he researched novel topics in sulfur chemistry. Additionally, he developed an efficient and cost-effective method to manufacture the explosive HMX, a high-energy propellant used exclusively by the military.

To learn more about the Dr. Budalur S. Thyagarajan Endowed Scholarship Fund or to make a gift, contact Kim Fischer in the UTSA College of Sciences at 210-458-7672.

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

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Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
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Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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