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 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.