Sunday, August 02, 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?

UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

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.

Read More »
Events
Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

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

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

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.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p,m,; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

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.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

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.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

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

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

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.


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Meet a Roadrunner

Julian Acosta '12 is a musician with business cred

After graduation, Queretaro native founded a music label recognized by SXSW

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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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