(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.
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.
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
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.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
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.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
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.
Victor Cyrus, Jr will see his first book of poetry published this fall
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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