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Meet a Roadrunner: Huge heart, brilliant mind, Pat Graham is 'UTSA mom,' mentor to many

Pat Graham
Pat Graham

Pat Graham -- now and in 1975

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(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."

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

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Events
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. 15, 6 - 8 p.m.

Veterans' Networking Mixer

The intent of this event is to connect student veterans with employers who are seeking to provide advice and potentially recruit driven, skilled and equipped candidates for their organizations. This is an exciting opportunity to network and meet with seasoned professionals who will assist and guide you in transitioning into your next career move.
Wyndam Garden Riverwalk Hotel

Feb. 16, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

S.T.E.M. Career Fair

Are you looking for career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math? Come to the SPRING 2015 STEM Career Fair. Recruiters from across the STEM fields will be present with full-time, part-time and/or internship opportunities. Professional dress is required. Bring plenty of resumes! Download the UTSA Career Fair Plus App on iOS and Android.
Convocation Center, Main Campus

Feb. 16, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Spring 2016 All Majors Career & Internship Fair

Come to the Spring 2016 All Majors and Internship Career Fair. Recruiters from across all industries will be present with full-time or internship opportunities. Professional Dress is Required. Bring plenty of resumes! Download the UTSA Career Fair Plus App on iOS and Android.
Convocation Center, Main Campus

Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m.

CACP Speaker Series continues with Cesar Pelli

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning (CACP) welcomes renowned architect Cesar Pelli as part of the CACP’s 2015-16 Speaker Series. Pelli is founder and Senior Principal of the New Haven, Conn. firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. In his talk, “Becoming an Architect,” Pelli will present and discuss projects that were critical steps in his career.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown 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. 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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