Monday, August 31, 2015

UTSA Commencement Close-Up: Zaida Flores, College of Public Policy

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(Dec. 18, 2013) -- Meet Zaida Flores. The Honors College student aims to use her degree to help immigrants become U.S. citizens.

It's a situation all too familiar to Flores. As a young child, she was an immigrant, and it wasn't until 2007 that she earned her green card. Recently, she became a U.S. citizen, an unforgettable moment that made her very proud.

She plans to give back and enable others to have the same sense of pride and achievement that she has attained at UTSA.

When Flores first enrolled at UTSA, everything was new to her. She was used to the small town life of Giddings in East Texas, and she found it a challenge to balance social life with classes.

But she says UTSA was the perfect fit, and she credits three people with helping make the university and San Antonio her home away from home.

Her mother was her rock. She taught Flores the values of working hard and never giving up on your dreams. Likewise, Freshman Composition instructor John Helton taught Flores the importance of discipline and of persistence in getting through tough times. Marilyn Caskey, who owns a small clothing consignment shop and for whom Flores has worked for nearly three years, has been a strong mentor -- a person Flores characterizes as being selfless and devoted to helping others.

The best advice the criminal justice major ever received was to not let failure get you down, to look for the good in what you've done and then figure out how to better it next time.

"I'm sad and happy and scared about graduating," said Flores. "I'm sad because I'm going to miss the people I've come to know here because it has been like a second home. I'm happy because I'll be moving on to my future and seeing what opportunities that are there. I'm scared because you never know what the future holds, but I think that's a good thing. I have learned so much at UTSA about learning how to be self-reliant and always doing your best."

Flores graduates this month with her bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology.

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Do you know a fascinating UTSA student who is planning to graduate in May 2014? Share that story with us at news@utsa.edu.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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Meet a Roadrunner

Mairin Derk exits the stage for academic life at UTSA

Love of theater, history leads Lee grad to pursue anthropology degree

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