(June 4, 2014) -- Meet Pat Graham. This October, Graham will celebrate her 40th year at UTSA.
The year she started, the university was still operating out of the Koger Center. She remembers clearly when everything transitioned to the "new" campus off of Loop 1604, today's Main Campus, which at the time was jokingly referred to as "UT-Boerne."
"We had to park along UTSA Boulevard, and then they would bus us into campus and drop us off at what is now the McKinney Humanities Building. The 'library' was in one of the [athletics] small courts in the PE building, and if you wanted to check out a book, the librarian would send a courier to UT-Austin to get the book and bring it back the next day for you."
Graham's mind is a treasure chest of vivid memories of all the students she has met. She's known for surprising UTSA alumni by remembering their first names and the first time they met.
In her role as executive director of the Special Events Center, she oversees major university events such as Commencement and Fall Convocation. She facilitates the UTSA Ambassadors program, which consists of 60+ student leaders each year who serve as hosts at campus events, conferences, and community and alumni functions. Over the past 25 years, more than 1,000 students have gone through the program. Many of them are passionately loyal to UTSA and remain in close contact with Graham.
"Dr. Graham did so much for me, and I'm so grateful to have had her in my life. She truly was my UTSA mom," said Diana Cuervo '13, M.S. '14. "What's really special about her is that she's not only like this with me; she's special with every single individual who crosses her path. She has a huge heart and a brilliant mind, and her experience with UTSA makes it easy for any student to relate. She can help anyone with anything, even problems that aren't UTSA related. She's always there to talk. Dr. Graham is the UTSA mom everyone wants to have, and I'm glad she was mine for the past 5 years."
One of Graham's most distinctive qualities is her ability to see the potential in people and help them recognize it for themselves.
"I believe in the rough diamond theory. A rough diamond just looks like an old rock. But if you polish it, you'll get a beautiful gem."
With all the ways the university has grown and changed over the years, she says there is still a clear understanding that we are here to help our students succeed above anything else.
"To have the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives is a huge responsibility, but it's also a huge reward," she said. "I have the best job in the world."
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.