(March 7, 2013) -- UTSA administrators, faculty and students recently welcomed representatives from the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) to the Main Campus.
The visit comes as the national organization, serving a community of more than 23,000 at 1,000 institutions nationwide, looks forward to celebrating its 40th anniversary at its annual conference Oct. 3-6 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. The theme of this year's conference is "Strengthening the Nation through Diversity, Innovation and Leadership in STEM."
UTSA Provost John Frederick complimented the organization on a longstanding relationship with UTSA that has included several College of Sciences faculty among its members.
Biology professor Luis Haro is a former president of the organization and enjoyed mentoring Hispanic and Native American students to introduce them to the scientific pipeline and provide them with exposure to more research opportunities.
"When I first started with SACNAS, we had about 200 attendees at our conferences; now we average almost 4,000," said Haro. "We have really expanded through our partnerships with the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and other federal departments and entities."
A society of scientists, SACNAS is dedicated to fostering the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists -- from college students to professionals -- to attain advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership.
George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences, said the October conference will be beneficial to the diverse San Antonio community.
"This really addresses a bigger issue in our community -- to have a broader array of educational opportunities in the technical fields, said Perry. "Most of the high-paying jobs of the future are going to have a technical foundation in either science, engineering or related fields. One of the critical issues for the development in San Antonio is to not be a low labor point, but a destination for a labor force that has broad skills in a variety of different areas."
SACNAS President Maggie Werner-Washburne said the organization has a great deal of experience with mentoring and has different approaches that they think can help empower students to be become strong and self motivated.
SACNAS and its members have won numerous national awards for mentoring including the White House Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) and the National Science Board Public Service Award.
Werner-Washburne also spoke about the value of and importance of diversity. "When people really honor who they are and where they come from, they bring their experiences and their creativity to the table," she said. "That is when diversity can lead to innovation."
The SACNAS 40th Anniversary Conference will be an economic boon for the Alamo City with several thousand visitors expected to attend the three-day event.
Take Back the Night is an international initiative to end violence. The event begins with banner making, followed by a march, presentations and poetry reading.
Sombrilla, Main Campus
Members of the UTSA community have published “Adapt and Overcome: Essays of the Student Veteran Experience,” an important book to help active duty military and veterans successfully transition to college life. The event includes a panel discussion with UTSA alumni student veterans who contributed chapters to the book. Guests can also purchase the book. All proceeds benefit the UTSA Student Veteran Association.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Graduate School is hosting a panel discussion for all of our current students, alumni and members of the San Antonio community who are interested in learning more about graduate education.
Graduate School and Research Building (GSR 1.204), Main Campus
The annual UTSA Graduate fair gives students an opportunity to meet representatives who can provide the information on admission requirements, fellowship opportunities, and other key information.
University Center, Main Campus
A recruiter will speak to potential candidates for the Archer program. The Archer program has helped students land successful careers in public service.
Durango Building (DB 2.208), Downtown Campus
Canadian scholar Jasmin Hristov will present a lecture on paramilitarism, complex type of politically-motivated violence in different parts of Latin America. This presentation will explain paramilitary violence as a tool of economic globalization.
Buena Vista St. Bldg., Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Engineering Technology Symposium showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines including engineering, science and business. The public is invited.
H-E-B UC Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
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.
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