Wednesday, September 02, 2015

UTSA physics professor Miguel Jose Yacaman awarded for international influence

professor receives award

Professor Miguel Jose Yacaman (left) receives award from American Physical Society

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(May 20, 2011)--Miguel Jose Yacaman, UTSA professor of physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has received the John Wheatley Award. The award is presented by the American Physical Society with support from the Forum on International Physics, and recognized Yacaman for his work in the field of physics throughout Latin American countries.

Presented every other year at the general meeting of the American Physical Society, the award recognizes a physicist who has made an outstanding contribution to the development of physics in a developing country by working with local physicists in research or teaching.

For seven years, Yacaman has directed the International Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (ICNAM), which promotes partnerships between scientists and engineers in Mexico and the University of Texas System. Yacaman's laboratory has hosted numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from Mexico and other Latin American countries, and he believes the experience benefits all parties involved.

"Scientists from abroad can learn a lot about the American entrepreneurial spirit," said Yacaman, who grew up in Mexico. "Also, practicing science abroad strengthens a number of skill sets including language and cultural understanding."

At UTSA, a Hispanic-serving institution at which total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a minimum of 25 percent of the total enrollment, interactions with scientists from Latin America provide great value. Students working with international scientists here or abroad can develop a new perspective of how successful Hispanic scientists can be.

Hard work is important, Yacaman said, but higher education opens doors that hard work alone cannot. During the 1950s and 1960s, attaining higher education was a guarantee for a better life for people in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Yacaman believes it is important to students in Texas and hopes to instill that value in his students at UTSA.

UTSA College of Sciences Dean George Perry agrees. "Real examples of successful Hispanic scientists will help our students visualize themselves as succeeding," he said. "Miguel is doing a great job of connecting people and making stronger bonds throughout Latin America."

In addition to receiving the award at the American Physical Society's meeting in Anaheim, Calif., Yacaman gave a talk, "Picometer Resolution Electron Microscopy: A New Tool to Tailor Materials at the Atomic Scale," in which he discussed his research and connections to Latin America.

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The American Physical Society was founded in 1899, when 36 physicists gathered at Columbia University with the goal to create a society that would advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics. APS is active in public and governmental affairs, and in the international physics community. The society has 46,000 members within 14 divisions and nine topical groups covering all areas of physics research.

The John Wheatley Award is given to a physicist, generally from a developed country, who at personal or professional cost, goes to a less-developed country and promotes physics, as John Wheatley did in Argentina.

 

 

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Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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