(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.
Join the UTSA Master of Social Work Advanced Social Work Methods Policy Practice Advocacy Class for a panel discussion on child care policies and its effect on higher education. Event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 1.322), Downtown Campus
UTSA Associate Dean/Associate Professor Francine Romero will sit down with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg for a wide-ranging conversation about the Mayor's vision for the City's future. Seating is at capacity but the San Antonio Express-News will stream it live.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
The sympoisum will focus on the interface between aging and neurodegenerative diseases, will educate the wider research community about advancements in this fast-paced field and stimulate collaborative research in this area. Register online for this free event.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.106), Main Campus
The 23rd International Conference on Historical Linguistics is offering four special panels open and free to the San Antonio public July 31-Aug. 3 to mark the tricentennial next year. The event is co-sponsored by UTSA Research.
Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., San Antonio
Orientation marks a major step toward becoming a Roadrunner. It is a unique experience designed to welcome freshmen and transfers to UTSA and ensure a successful transition into college. They will learn about UTSA, prepare for their first semester and have fun meeting other students. There is also a special Family Orientation program too.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, 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.
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.