UTSA IED student researcher Gregorio Ortiz awarded NSF fellowship

Gregorio Ortiz

UTSA graduate student Gregorio Ortiz

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(April 11, 2014) -- Gregorio Ortiz was awarded the 2014 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States.

Ortiz became involved with the UTSA Institute for Economic Development Rural Business program after meeting Director Gilbert Gonzalez at the second annual Eagle Ford Consortium Conference. "Greg struck me as a very passionate, intelligent and culturally aware individual, who I thought would make a terrific addition to our Rural team," said Gonzalez.

Ortiz has worked at the Rural Business program as a business and economic research associate since May 2013, and currently is enrolled in the UTSA anthropology doctoral program. Through his work as an researcher, Ortiz helped facilitate a municipal capacity-building program in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale designed to give participants the knowledge, skills and best practices to allow them to build and tailor a plan of action to any future community need or challenge to sustainability.

With the funds received from the fellowship, Ortiz plans to focus his research on the social and environmental impacts of petroleum development. "I hope that my research will shed important data on the impacts of energy development in American households and livelihoods and explore the local ecological knowledge that is missing in the energy literature today," said Ortiz.

In addition to his work at the institute, Ortiz serves as a teaching assistant for the UTSA Department of Anthropology. Fellow anthropology Ph.D. student Rebecca DelliCarpini also received a 2014 NSF fellowship. She began school at UTSA in fall 2013. DelliCarpini and Ortiz are the only graduate students from UTSA to receive this honor.

"My experiences at the Graduate School, and the Institute for Economic Development have helped me grow as a student and professional, and I look forward to taking the things I have learned at UTSA and applying them to my research in the field," said Ortiz.

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About the IED

The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its 12 centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders.

Programs serve San Antonio and the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community engagement mission.