(Dec. 20, 2013) -- Meet Jesus Kristian Martinez. His inspiring story demonstrates it's never too late to pursue your dreams.
Martinez was the ninth of 10 children raised in the Rio Grande Valley by a single mother. After graduating from high school, he began taking college courses. But, life took over and circumstances deterred him from completing his baccalaureate studies.
After 16 years of "living in the real world," however, Martinez decided to give college another try. He was inspired by the "We Are UTSA" commercials he saw on television and thought, "Maybe I can do that. Why not? Maybe it's not too late." So at 39, he enrolled as a transfer student at UTSA.
"I've always wanted to be a part of the UT System -- always, always," he explained. "As a Texan, I think it's really important to be part of the UT System."
It was a decision he hasn't regretted.
At UTSA, Martinez found a warm community and a sense of belonging -- a friendly environment teeming with rich cultures. He also found a great support network among the UTSA faculty.
"The professors here are very, very helpful... they all want to see you succeed," he says. "They prepare you to just never give up. It's easy to give up, and it's easy to think that you have nobody on your side or backing you up. The professors were always behind you 100 percent."
Today, Martinez dreams of pursuing a master's degree at UTSA in counseling to build a career in social work and therapy -- a professional path dedicated to building and strengthening community.
To prepare for his master's program, he's pursuing courses in community health, kinesiology and sociology as a multidisciplinary studies major. The customizable degree program allows undergraduates to earn a bachelor's degree while pursuing three focus areas, provided one of the three is liberal arts-based.
Now, Martinez is eyeing graduation, which is just days away. He's eager to be a part of the UTSA alumni network one of his classmates joined just a semester earlier.
"The way they treated her when she walked in to pick up her invitations for her guests -- with such dignity and respect… she was a Roadrunner. She had already accomplished it. That made me extremely proud. And, then they welcomed her to the Alumni [Association], and I just couldn't wait for them to say that to me."
He added, "She had a sense of belonging. She was part of something. And that will never go away."
Do you know a fascinating UTSA student who is planning to graduate in May 2014? Share that story with us at email@example.com.
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.