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Meet a Roadrunner: Alex Camacho plans to help improve life in Mexico

Alex Camacho

Alex Camacho

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(April 30, 2014) -- Meet Alex Camacho. After graduating from UTSA, he plans to return to his native country, Mexico, so he can to help make life better for everyone.

A senior majoring in political science and public administration, and a member of the Honors College, Camacho recently won a UT System Archer Fellowship and the 2014 Elie Wiesel ethics essay prize.

For the Archer fellowship, he will spend the fall semester as a public policy intern at an agency in Washington, D.C. Only 40 students from across the UT System receive the award, which provides opportunities for career development and cultural enrichment.

Additionally, Camacho won third place in the 2014 Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Contest for his paper, "Exploring the Ethics of National Loyalty: The New 'Compromiso' -- Mexican Students Abroad in the U.S." He will receive a $1,500 award in New York in September, where he also will meet Wiesel.

The contest is sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Wiesel is a holocaust survivor and president of the foundation, which he and his wife created to fight indifference, intolerance and injustice. In the annual contest, a committee reads the submissions and narrows the field to 13 finalists. Wiesel reads the 13 essays and selects the five winners.

Camacho says he received invaluable guidance on the Wiesel essay from John Phillip Santos, UTSA distinguished senior lecturer in the Honors College, who also is a filmmaker, producer, journalist, author and the first Mexican-American Rhodes Scholar.

"The faculty at UTSA treat you like you belong and are not just another number," said Camacho. "Professor Santos is one of those excellent teachers and has helped me tremendously."

After graduating from UTSA in December, Camacho plans to earn a law degree and a master's in public policy, and then return to Mexico to help change the political system. He would like to be mayor of Mexico City, but overall, he wants to influence policy to improve the education system and reduce poverty and violence.

A San Antonio resident for 12 years, Camacho came here with his parents from Mexico when he was age 10. After drug violence in Mexico subsided and when the recession hit the U.S., his parents returned to Mexico, but he remained to pursue a UTSA degree.

Camacho knows San Antonio best, but he has maintained Mexican family and cultural ties over the years. His core belief is that it's an ethical responsibility for foreign students to return to their home countries to aid in development.

"I want to stop the brain drain from Mexico," he said. "To do that, graduates need to have networks and information about jobs in their home countries."

So, he is working with Rene Zenteno, UTSA vice provost for international initiatives and former Mexico undersecretary of population, migration and religious affairs, to establish a student organization to help with networking.

Called Mexicanos En (Mexicans In), the group will help Mexican students in the United States learn about Mexico job opportunities. He hopes Mexicanos En can expand to universities across the United States.

It's a tall order, but with calm assurance, Camacho is set on achieving his objectives to give back to his native country.

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Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu, and we will consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

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

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

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

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

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

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

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

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

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

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

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

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

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

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

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

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

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

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

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)


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