(Nov. 21, 2011) -- Richard Gambitta, retired director of the UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs and professor of political science, was one of 27 individuals recognized as one of the nation's "U.S. Professors of the Year" at a recent ceremony in Washington, D. C., by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council For Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Established in 1981, the "U.S. Professors of the Year" program salutes the nation's most outstanding undergraduate teachers who influence the lives and careers of their students. The award is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards honoring undergraduate teaching.
Among nearly 300 nominees, the winners exhibited extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching by demonstrating excellence in several areas including impact on and involvement with undergraduate students, scholarly approach to teaching and learning, contribution to undergraduate education in the institution, community and profession, and support from colleagues and former undergraduate students.
"We are truly proud of all of our outstanding teachers at UTSA, and Richard Gambitta is certainly deserving of this recognition for his many years of service to the university and to our students," said John Frederick, UTSA provost and vice president for academic affairs. "We hope this is the first of many professor-of-the-year awards for UTSA."
Gambitta's education career spanned 35 years at UTSA, where he taught politics, constitutional law, civil liberties and public administration. He chaired the Department of Political Science and Geography and co-founded and supervised the UTSA Summer Law School Preparation Academy (SLSPA). The academy contributed significantly to increasing the number of minority and underrepresented students admitted to more than 150 law schools across the country including top-tier schools such as Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, California-Berkeley and University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Gambitta co-founded the UTSA McClendon Legislative Scholars program, which awards $10,000 to 10 selected students who are placed with members of the Texas House of Representatives including the Office of the Speaker of the House.
"Our national vitality and liberty and our local prosperity and competitiveness so greatly depend upon our success in educating our people," said Gambitta. "I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to open intellectual and professional doors for our students and to facilitate a few of their dreams across 35 years, therein contributing to the health, welfare and wisdom of our society, economy and polity. This national recognition of our work at UTSA by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation and CASE lends credence to the significant success of our efforts."
A Fulbright scholar, National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, and Piper professor, Gambitta has presented research across Europe, Asia and North America and his writings have appeared in diverse books and journal articles. A media favorite, Gambitta has served as an adviser to CNN and TBS, written for the "PBS Newshour Online," moderated televised political debates and provided political analysis at the federal, state and local levels for broadcast and print media.
Known for his community involvement, Gambitta currently serves as a commissioner of the San Antonio Housing Authority and chairs the VIA Intra-City Rail and Streetcar Commission, contributing to policy-reform leadership in regional housing and transportation affairs. Formerly, he chaired the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of San Antonio. Additionally, Gambitta has served on the Mayor's Commission on Integrity and Trust in Government, the advisory council to the board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the advisory committee of the San Antonio Police Department Training Academy.
A recipient of numerous accolades and accomplishments, Gambitta received the 2011 UTSA President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in University Service, the 2011 Richard Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduates Award, the UT System Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award (twice) and the inaugural University of Texas Regents Award for Outstanding Teaching 2009, which provided a $30,000 honorarium.
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
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
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
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.
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.