(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.
A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.
Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.
Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.
This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
After graduation, Queretaro native founded a music label recognized by SXSW
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.
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