(Oct. 12, 2011) -- The UTSA doctoral program in English recently was honored by Excelencia in Education as one of America's top programs in increasing degree completion among Latinos at the associate, bachelor's and graduate degree levels. One of 16 finalists among 195 nominees, the program was recognized at a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., featuring U.S. Under-Secretary of Education Martha J. Kanter.
"For America to achieve President Obama's goal of becoming the world leader in college degrees by 2020, it is vital that we increase degree completion among Latinos," said Kanter. "The successful and innovative programs recognized today are examples of institutions working to do their part, and I commend Excelencia in Education for helping institutional leaders, educators and policy makers to understand these best practices."
UTSA's program was nominated by UTSA English professors Norma E. Cantu and Jeanne Reesman. Reesman leads the program as graduate adviser of record, and Cantu has been associated with the program since its approval in 2001.
Cantu believes several factors led to the program's selection. Sixteen doctorates were awarded, eight of them to Latinos, ranking them among the nation's best. She also cites UTSA's mission to educate students as an Hispanic-serving institution and the program's unique service-learning component.
"We offer them an opportunity, but don't require it. We just encourage them and support the work they do in the community," said Cantu. "This gives them the sense that what they do is not the 'ivory tower disconnect' from the community. It is intimately tied so that the theoretical critical analysis and thinking done in the classroom is translated to something they do in the community."
The service-learning projects include volunteering at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and the San Anto Cultural Arts Center. Additionally, doctoral students have assisted teenagers in writing newsletters and taught immigrants to read including Somali immigrants enrolled in a program at San Antonio Clark High School.
"This is the kind of program that can serve as a model for the future," Cantu said. "We don't look at only American and British literature; we also look at comparative literature and culture studies as well as film, drama, performance and a variety of cultural expressions."
Top honors in the associate, baccalaureate and graduate levels were awarded to El Paso Community College, Texas Tech University and Carlos Albizu University in Puerto Rico. All finalists will be included in the Excelencia in Education annual publication "What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education," which will be available for download at the Excelencia in Education website.
This panel presentation will look at the history of the YWCA and the impact the organization has had on women in the San Antonio community.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.02.10), Main Campus
The Demography Lecture Series continues with Dr. Barbara Bird of American University. Her topic focuses on Insights Into a Hard to Find Population: Latino Entrepreneurs in Metro Washington, D.C. Event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the pay stall spaces of the Monterrey surface lot.
Monterrey Building (MNT 3.240), Downtown Campus
This video tells the story of four Latina lesbians who fought for exoneration after being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 1980s and 1990s.
H-E-B University Center, Bexar Room (HUC 1.102), Main Campus
Tejana/Indígena author Ire'ne Lara Ailva will read from her latest work and discuss her approach to reimagining Tejan@ myths.
Main Building (MB 2.404), Main Campus
Muralist Crystal Arias will discuss her current mural "Cultivate the Past to Prestige" at La India Herbs and themes she utilizes in her other works.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 3.02.26), Main Campus
The UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is a co-sponsor of the CARTA 19th Annual Conference. The group meets annually to exchange educational programs, ideas, and techniques and to network with other teachers of Russian. Registration required.
DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown San Antonio
Into the Woods is a musically sophisticated show with a leaning towards dark comedy. Dr. William McCrary directs. $15 tickets $10 students military seniors 55+ with IDs $8 groups of ten or more in any price level. There will be a second show Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
UTSA faculty, staff and students are members of the Helotes Area Community Band and are proud to present a special Tapestry of Concert Band Classics. The event is free and open to the community.
John Marshall High School Auditorium, 8000 Lobo Lane, San Antonio
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