(Dec. 19, 2013) -- Meet Cara Ward. When she walks across the Alamodome stage to receive her bachelor's degree in biology from the College of Sciences, it will mark the end of a long and hard-fought journey for the 21-year-old Austin native. Additionally, Ward will graduate with highest honors from the UTSA Honors College.
Raised in a foster family, the Lake Travis High School graduate excelled in high school and was accepted to several universities around the country. However, the financial price tags to attend those schools were more than she could afford. Disheartened but not defeated, Ward decided to pursue her dream of becoming a medical doctor and enrolled at UTSA with the help of a financial aid package.
After getting through a rough first semester with new financial adjustments and responsibilities, Ward flourished academically and found herself becoming more involved in campus activities.
She held several leadership positions in the Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical society and was inducted as a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honors society.
Ward earned a Teaching and Research in Environmental Ecology fellowship and was elected secretary of the Global Health Brigades, a new UTSA society focused on improving medical care services in Honduras.
In addition to her campus involvement and rigorous class schedule, Ward works in the College of Sciences dean's office at the Downtown Campus where she assists with the development of a Biosciences II class. She also spent two years with the Baptist Health Care System, employed as an emergency department scribe assisting physicians and patients.
For her outstanding efforts, Ward has received the College of Sciences Presidential Scholarship, the College of Sciences Letitia and George Riley Annual Scholarship, the Dr. Ruskin Norman and Karen Norman Endowed Scholarship, and the Sagik Memorial Scholarship Award, which is awarded to first-generation college students.
Ward hopes to attend medical school in Texas and has already visited UT-Southwestern in Dallas and UT-Medical Branch in Houston.
"I always like to challenge myself and that's why I chose medicine," said Ward. "It's multi-faceted and keeps your feet in different doors. In addition to being a doctor, sometimes you are also a sociologist, psychiatrist, social worker and a business person, depending on the situation."
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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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