Wednesday, November 25, 2015


UTSA McNair Scholars present at national conference, prepare for summer research

McNair Scholars
McNair Scholar Darrel Phillips

Top photo: At George Washington University (from left) are UTSA students Albert Castillo, Aruban Hussain, Brettany Johnson and Rafael Rodriguez
Bottom photo: UTSA student Darrel Phillips

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(May 24, 2011)--Albert Castillo, Aruba Hussain, Brettany Johnson and Rafael Rodriguez presented their research this semester at the 12th annual University of Maryland College Park National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C.

The national conference provided a wealth of activities, workshops and presentations. Speakers included Kwame Dawes, Emmy-winning Jamaican poet and writer, and Donald Asher, one of the nation's foremost authorities on the graduate admissions process. Deans from the nation's top universities led panel sessions, and conference participants were invited to attend an on-site graduate school fair with more than 40 universities represented.

While in Washington, the UTSA scholars visited Georgetown University and George Washington University, both of which offer McNair Graduate Fellowships to former McNair Scholars participants. The UTSA students met with faculty in their respective concentrations, spoke with doctoral students and toured each university. At the conference, UTSA scholars presented research completed during the 2010 McNair Summer Research Institute at UTSA.

  • Albert Castillo: "Humor, Social Support and Life Satisfaction" -- mentor Mary McNaughton-Cassill, associate professor of psychology
  • Aruba Hussain: "Factors in Gender Differences in the Emotion of Guilt" -- mentor Ann Eisenberg, associate professor of psychology and associate dean of the Honors College
  • Brettany Johnson: "The Effect of Study Modality on False Recall: A Comparison of Written and Spoken Recall" -- mentor Rebekah Smith, assistant professor of psychology
  • Rafael Rodriguez: "Studying the Earth's Atmosphere" -- mentor Greg Wene, professor of mathematics

Additionally, Hussain and Rodriguez, along with McNair Scholar Darrel Phillips will spend the summer in unique learning experiences.

Aruba Hussain, a senior majoring in psychology, was accepted into the Yale University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program (SURF). The eight-week program beginning in June acquaints students with the rigors of graduate study for the field in addition to offering guidance for Ph.D. level training and career building. Students are immersed in an academic, professional setting, are guided by faculty mentors, take part in research, and attend a series of workshops and panel discussions. Students are housed on the Yale campus and all meals and transportation are provided. Upon completion, Hussain, will be granted a $3,000 stipend.

Darrel Phillips, a senior psychology major, and Raphael Rodriguez, a senior mathematics major, will attend the University of North Texas Summer Research Seminar June 5-10. Phillips and Rodriguez will take part in research and expand their knowledge in research methods, ethics and other related topics.


The McNair Scholars program was named in honor of Ronald E. McNair, an African-American engineer, scientist and astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger shuttle explosion. Through his legacy, students from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education receive academic opportunities that will enable future enrollment in doctoral studies or other scholarly activities.

The McNair Scholars program is a government-sponsored, research-intensive program designed to help first-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students reach their highest goals of attaining a doctorate. The program offers educational support, workshops, assistance with applications and funding searches, and undergraduate research experience under the instruction of a faculty mentor. Additionally, the program strongly encourages students to attend conferences and present their research.

The McNair program is one of seven programs offered through UTSA's TRIO programs, part of the Office of P-20 Initiatives.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

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

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

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

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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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.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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