Saturday, October 03, 2015


UTSA scientists teach the teachers at microbiology summer camp


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(July 22, 2013) -- Last week, nine local high school teachers on the UTSA Main Campus polished up their understanding of microbiology with morning laboratories such as Introduction to Microscopy Techniques, Introduction to PCR and Electrophoresis, and Subculture and Differentiation of Microorganisms.

In the afternoon, the teachers sat in on topics such as Cell Wall Structure, Recombinant DNA Technology, Eukaryotic Organisms, and Vaccinology.

The lessons are part of a program offered by the UTSA Center for Infection Genomics (CEIG). Ultimately, the program aims to increase the pool of talented high school students pursuing microbiology research careers.

UTSA began the program in 2011 with John Jay High School in Northside ISD and Thomas Edison High School in San Antonio ISD.

"We've provided them with the curriculum, supplies and equipment they needed to introduce the Medical Microbiology class at their schools, including textbooks and microscopes," said Raquel Shrager, program manager. "Our scholars and graduate students also visited the classes and helped with lessons and laboratory exercises to get it off the ground."

Since Fall 2011, UTSA biology faculty and graduate student fellows have regularly visited John Jay High School students and introduced them to various specialized areas including insect borne diseases, pulmonary infections, gastrointestinal infections and immunology. More recently, UTSA expanded the program to a class of students at Edison High School.

"Over the past year, we've invested a great amount of time helping the teachers develop their Microbiology courses. We've also offered hands-on workshops to help them polish their own skills," said Bernard Arulanandam, assistant VP for research support and CEIG director. "At the same time, the program compliments our robust graduate training program at UTSA as well. All of our doctoral fellows in the CEIG visit the high schools regularly to assist students and their teachers. It's a great experience for them as well."

This summer, the CEIG introduced the program to Stephens High School and Warren High School, both in Northside ISD. The CEIG plans to include even more schools in the future. In order to accommodate the overwhelming number of high school students interested in the new microbiology class, John Jay High School is increasing its number of Microbiology sections. There are more than 70 students interested in participating in the class this year.

UTSA's CEIG is funded by a five-year, $4.6 million grant from the Department of Defense's Army Research Office. It supports microbiology research, teaching and outreach activities that are aligned with the Army's priorities and serves as a conduit for the training of undergraduate, master's and doctoral students with an interest in Microbial Genetics and Infectious Diseases. The Center is housed in UTSA's larger South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

To learn more about the CEIG, visit

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Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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