(Nov. 2, 2011) -- UTSA was recently honored with the 2011 San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Refreshing Ideas Pinnacle Award for water conservation and environmental protection. At an Oct.18 luncheon ceremony at the Pearl Stable, the award was accepted by Dave Riker, UTSA associate vice president for facilities, and Albert Carrisalez, UTSA assistant to the president and director of external affairs and corporate relations.
The Refreshing Ideas awards recognize businesses for "doing more with less" and helping to preserve and protect the community's water supply. Mayor Julian Castro opened the ceremony and the keynote address was by Robert Puente, SAWS president and CEO.
"This was a true team effort, and we were pleased to accept this award on behalf of the entire UTSA community," said Riker. "The university continues to look at ways we can help protect our most precious resource and, at the same time, lower costs for our institution. This is good for UTSA, San Antonio, our state and the planet."
The university was honored for several projects that have helped conserve water at the UTSA campuses. To accommodate growing athletics and intramural sports programs, Campus Recreation Services paid to replace 10 acres of natural grass with artificial turf on playing fields, saving an estimated 14.5 million gallons of water per year and eliminating the need for fertilizers and pesticides in the area. UTSA also recently retrofitted the Chisholm Hall campus residence with 250 high-efficiency toilets and showerheads to aid in water-saving efforts.
Additionally, the Facilities Grounds department is installing more efficient irrigation systems and xeriscaping at selected locations around the campuses. Xeriscaping involves planting less grass and using more mulch and native plants that need less water.
For water-quality programs, UTSA was recognized for treating all research building water using neutralization tanks that ensure water quality is maintained before it enters the sanitary sewer system. The university also recycles condensate water from the Applied Engineering and Technology Building to supplement water used in thermal energy plant cooling towers. Also, the operations team does smoke testing of water infrastructure to ensure the integrity of the wastewater system.
A portion of the proceeds from the SAWS Refreshing Ideas awards luncheon benefits the Water Conservation Fellowship Fund for college students and Project Agua, a nonprofit payment assistance program that helps low-income families.
>> Read more at the San Antonio Water System website.
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.