(Sept. 27, 2012) -- Every four years, Democrats and Republicans host national conventions to give Americans a glimpse of two possible futures for the United States. In an effort to improve the economy, education and other social issues, presidential candidates share blueprints aiming to strengthen the nation.
This year, UTSA students Rosalyn Huff, Morgan Barton and Hannah Beck were selected to attend the conventions, an opportunity offered through the Washington Center's Campaign 2012 internship program. The students indicated their interest to the UTSA Honors College by answering a questionnaire and drafting an essay.
With her eyes set on practicing law, Huff is a junior majoring in political science and minoring in African-American studies. Despite wanting to meet President Obama, she opted to attend the Aug. 27-30 Republican National Convention in Florida, believing that Republicans and Democrats can both learn from each other and together can develop the best plan of action for the nation.
"I have observed that most students don't realize as individuals that we can learn a lot from the other party," said Huff. "Out of respect to my country, I wanted to listen, and I wanted to be embedded into the other side. Politics is about making the proper decision collectively with both parties, to help this country. Overall, I just wanted to prove to everyone that Republicans and Democrats can come together without tensions and compromise."
Political science majors Barton, a senior, and Beck, a sophomore, opted to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, something Barton describes as a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a college student." The convention was Sept. 3-6.
Barton began her college career at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she volunteered at the White House. One day, she hopes to work for the United Nations or State Department in public health.
"I was so excited to attend such a historical event and learn what happens behind the scenes," said Barton. "That's something that you just can't teach in a classroom. So much planning went into this event. I was excited to see how the whole process really occurs."
While in Charlotte, Barton also had the unique opportunity to listen to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro deliver his keynote address.
Beck's interest in politics was sparked by a 10th grade debate class. She is now president of Young Democrats at UTSA, and she volunteered with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's campaign this year in Texas. She is pursuing minors in legal studies and business administration.
Beck attended the Democratic National Convention to discover new ways to engage disinterested students in politics. Via a career in law, she aspires to serve as a United States senator.
"At the convention, I was very interested in learning how to combat political apathy in students," said Beck. "I learned so much from the convention about what I needed to do to motivate students to become more involved in local and state politics, so that they can influence the policies and representatives that govern them."
The Washington Center's Campaign 2012 internship program places students in volunteer fieldwork positions with the party, convention committee, host committee, media and many other convention-related organizations and events. Prominent speakers address the participants each morning.
While at the conventions, the three students shared their experiences with their classmates via Skype and with the entire UTSA community via a convention blog.
The trip was funded by the UTSA Honors College and the Carlos and Malu Alvarez Special Opportunities Fund.
For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.
Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.
Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.
All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.
As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
Love of theater, history leads Lee grad to pursue anthropology degree
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