(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 UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory
This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus
The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus
The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium. The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus
The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)
Faithful Alabi holds the Raw Teen III American deadlift record
2015 was a significant year for UTSA. As the university moved forward on the road to Tier One research, designations and recruitment of high caliber faculty and students, it also completed its first ever capital campaign. Read about UTSA's accomplishments in the 2015 Year in Review as we look forward to what the next year will bring.
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