(June 21, 2013) -- UTSA biochemistry professor Andrew Tsin stood in the White House Oval Office in December 2011 to accept the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama. Tsin's national recognition included a $25,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance mentoring efforts.
The UTSA College of Sciences scholar is now using the grant funding to support a 10-week Summer Research Experience, which pairs undergraduate students with a faculty mentor. This month, the first 10 students selected to participate in the program arrived on the UTSA Main Campus. The diverse group includes two students from Puerto Rico and one student each representing Massachusetts, Mississippi and California. Five are from South Texas.
Rose Joachim grew up in Haiti and moved to Boston with her family. The 20-year-old junior biology major attends the University of Massachusetts in Boston and is interested in attending graduate school then later pursuing a doctoral degree.
Her mentor is Brian Hermann, UTSA assistant professor of biology.
"His lab is working on spermatogonial stem cells and trying to help kids going through chemotherapy treatments for cancer, so they do not become infertile and are able to have families later in life," said Joachim.
While at UTSA, the students will conduct hands-on research in the laboratory with their faculty mentors. The group also will receive training on how to write scholarly papers and apply to graduate schools. Social activities will include attending a San Antonio Missions game and a visit to Fiesta Texas.
"We hope that all the students will take positive feedback with them to their home institutions and help us recruit more students to UTSA," said Tsin. "Our great faculty, students and staff are providing them with a tremendous opportunity for professional advancement and training."
"For students to fully develop, they need more than classroom training to succeed," he added. "We want them fully prepared to enter the workforce or pursue additional training at graduate schools or professional schools."
The program ends Aug. 8, when the students will make poster presentations about the research they completed with their mentors.
Tsin is a nationally recognized biochemist with 30 years of experience in mentoring minority students and other underrepresented groups of students. Under his leadership, more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students have completed their degrees and either continued their educational journeys or taken positions as scientific researchers, medical physicians or educators. As founding director for the UTSA Center for Research and Training in the Sciences, Tsin helped secure more than $52 million in grant funding to support research and training programs for underrepresented minorities.
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Shrugging off retirement, the Bromley founder plans to earn a PhD and complete a 375-mile race
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