November 20, 2013
This is the time of year when we reflect on what makes us thankful and participate in time-honored traditions. UTSA is also about traditions. Our students are creating new ones all the time, whether it is going to a football game, restoring the Sombrilla Fountain or adding a Roadrunner statue to campus.
UTSA has another great tradition -- engaging our students not just in the classroom and the laboratory, but at the personal level, too. That's why, this time of year, I think about faculty members like Associate Professor Wayne Wright in the UTSA Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies. Since he joined UTSA in 2004, Dr. Wright has made it a tradition to invite international graduate students to his home at Thanksgiving and to introduce them to our holiday.
Sovicheth Boun has spent his last three Thanksgivings with Dr. Wright and his wife. Sovicheth is a Cambodian graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in Culture, Literacy and Language at UTSA. Their holiday meal includes American favorites like turkey, ham and mashed potatoes. They also include fried rice and other Cambodian favorites. At every celebration, the Wrights and their guests take turns sharing thoughts about what makes them thankful.
By opening their home to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to celebrate this holiday, the Wrights have introduced our international guests to new traditions. They are creating memories for the students that will live on well past their college days. They are enriching lives.
There are many other faculty and staff on campus with stories similar to the Wrights'. All of them are dedicated to ensuring that our students have top-tier experiences while they are at UTSA. Sovicheth Boun can attest to that.
This holiday season, I have so much to be thankful for – my family and friends; the closeness of our UTSA family; the faculty, staff and students who devote their holidays to volunteer work at local charities, taking care of others and giving back to the community. And, I am so thankful for you. Because of your support of UTSA, we are giving students opportunities for excellence that will last a lifetime.
This year, as you take part in time-honored traditions, whether old or new, Harriett and I wish you a happy holiday season surrounded by friends and family.
The University of Texas at San Antonio
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
UTSA Arbor Day event where volunteers will plant trees and give away 100 sapling trees to neighbors in the surrounding communities.
Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, Main Campus
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.