(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.
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.