(Aug. 27, 2013) -- This past June, I was a fellow in the African-American Literature and Cultures Institute at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where I covered black studies materials, participated in graduate school preparation workshops, and interacted with scholars and students from across the country.
The program also afforded me a scholarly excursion to visit New York City. The program encourages students to become professors.
The selection process was intense and entailed writing two short essays about my commitment to diversity and my interest in working with African-American literature, providing two reference letters, and selecting and working with a dedicated mentor through the graduate school application process and the completion of a mentor-directed research project. Out of over 50 applications, I was fortunate to be one of six fellowship recipients. Three of us came from PWIs, or predominantly white institutions, the other three hailing from HBCUs, or historically black colleges or universities.
Initially, I found class discussions to be overwhelming. Not because I'm unaccustomed to challenging coursework and material, but because I was unsure of how to present my creative domain of communication studies to the group. I would constantly think back to my time in classes such as Foundation of Communication Theory, Rhetorical Criticism or Intercultural Communication at Drury and reflect on how to critically analyze artifacts and convey the results of that analysis.
After a while, class discussions became more interesting and fluidly interactive. UTSA professors were impressed by my oral presentation skills, knack for persuasion and knowledge of 20th-century philosopher Kenneth Burke, especially at the undergraduate level. My Drury education had prepared me to engage with some of the best African-American students in the country.
While I am a communication studies major, Drury has nourished my love for learning for the sake of learning and has encouraged me to explore many facets of psychology, religion and history in depths that only a liberal arts institution can offer. While my fellowship has given me a scholarly toolbox, I feel it is my liberal arts education that has given me the true diverse education that will allow me to thrive in an ever-changing environment in the 21st century.
Confidence and intellectualism in the academic and professional essence sum up my fellowship experience.
After Drury, I plan to attend graduate school to eventually earn a Ph.D. in communication, which I will use to teach at the college level -- just like my Drury professors who have given me so much.
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.