(July 2, 2013) -- Early last week, nearly 5,000 people crossed political, racial, religious, age and geographic boundaries to come together during the 2013 Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington, D.C. Nico Cousby, Jantel Fontenot and CaShonda Henderson, executive members of the UTSA Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service (VOICES), and Cristina Dominguez, UTSA program coordinator of volunteer services, were among the participants at the global conference.
"Service is the greatest unifying force in America," said Neil Bush, chairman of the Points of Light organization. Throughout the week, political leaders, activists, service leaders and businesses came together to show that notion in action.
Conference participants were able to hear conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly, liberal political strategist Donna Brazile, Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush, David Plouffe, former advisor to President Barack Obama, and Valerie Jarett, current senior advisor to the President, speak on the theme of service.
In a later panel, the students heard from a panel of leaders from diverse backgrounds including Congressman Joaquin Castro, representatives from Teach For America, FEED, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. John Legend, Grammy-winning R&B artist and education activist, closed the ceremony with a performance and remarks.
The UTSA students attended informational sessions on service-learning, leadership, civic engagement and empowering volunteers taught by a variety of experts. During the week in Washington, they also participated in two service projects. They helped package 1 million "All American Mac n' Cheese" meals for the Capital Area Food Bank and joined other organizations at the National Mall for the Servapalooza Service Festival, where they spruced up national monuments through planting and gardening efforts.
The trip was possible through funding by the UTSA Student Affairs Transformation Fund Grant.
"The Transformation Fund Grant gives a student with any background or status the opportunity to grow and learn," said Henderson, who was thrilled to visit the nation's Capitol for the first time.
This fall, VOICES will celebrate 20 years of service on the UTSA campus. Learn more at the VOICES website.
Learn about volunteer opportunities at the UTSA Volunteer Services website, visit the Volunteer Services office in H-E-B University Center Room 1.216 on the UTSA Main Campus or email email@example.com.
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.