(Nov. 18, 2011) -- The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Family Programs Directorate recently honored UTSA student Jeremy Barnhart, his wife Katrina Barnhart and their children Logan Ricketts, Kayleigh Barnhart, Colton Barnhart and Brayden Barnhart as the 2011 recipients of the AUSA Volunteer Family of Year Award. The award recognizes exceptional families whose volunteerism has contributed significantly to the well being of the Army community.
As recipients of this year's AUSA award, the Barnhart family received a trip to Washington, D.C., a cash prize and a gift basket courtesy of TriWest, AUSA and other sponsors.
A UTSA senior biology major, Jeremy Barnhart is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and is a Purple Heart recipient because of severe wounds suffered in Baghdad, Iraq. Upon his return to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Barnhart immersed himself in volunteer activities. He served as the noncommissioned officer in charge and musical director of Fort Carson's Harmony in Motion.
He gave time to the local Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) and spent numerous hours mentoring young people about life and career choices, as they make the transition from juvenile correctional facilities. Barnhart also enjoys serving as a youth soccer coach and a volunteer cub master and den leader with the Cub Scouts. He coordinated the "Make a Difference Day," volunteered at National Night Out, and participates with Thanksgiving pumpkin and toy give-a-way programs during the holidays.
"After being wounded in Iraq, I had a long recovery process that is still ongoing," said Barnhart. "Volunteering to help Army families and the community in general really makes me feel like I can do something worthwhile, even if I can't go back to the fight. Helping others has a healing effect on me, and I would encourage anyone to find opportunities in their communities to help out. It makes me feel good to give back to all the people who have given so much to me."
Katrina Barnhart has helped the lives of soldiers and their families as well. While her husband was deployed multiple times, she was the key person in re-activating the dormant Enlisted Spouses Charitable Organization (ESCO) that became a thriving organization to assist soldiers, families and the local community. Her leadership was instrumental in promoting Parent-to-Parent (P2P) programs to provide emotional and informational support for families with special-needs children at Fort Carson, Colo., and across the country.
When the 4ID was moved from Fort Hood, Texas, to Fort Carson, Katrina began the initiative to provide coats for soldiers and families to help them make the transition from the warm climate of Central Texas to the much colder temperatures in Colorado.
"Being an Army spouse is tough and lonely at times, but getting out into the community helps you to meet new people and become a part of something better," she said. "Volunteering is a way of making your community a better place to live in, and it gives you a sense of purpose."
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.
Shrugging off retirement, the Bromley founder plans to earn a PhD and complete a 375-mile race
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