Wednesday, November 25, 2015


UTSA education professors to travel to Spain, Portugal for summer institutes

Lilliana Saldana and Marco Cervantes

Lilliana Saldana and Marco Cervantes

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(June 13, 2014) -- Two faculty members from the UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies will travel abroad this summer to take part in two summer institutes.

Lilliana Saldana and Marco Cervantes, assistant professors of bicultural-bilingual studies, will travel to Coimbra, Portugal, and Barcelona, Spain, respectively, to conduct international research. Both were selected to attend the institutes from a pool of applicants from around the world.

Saldana will participate in the Learning from the South: Towards Intercultural Translations Summer Institute and the Epistemologies of the South-South, South-North and North-South Global Learnings International Colloquium from June 30 to July 12 at the University of Coimbra. Both the institute and colloquium are coordinated by the ALICE Project.

"I want to learn how other scholars are thinking about the impact of colonialism," said Saldana. "I really want to learn what teachers are doing in different countries, for example, in South African or in Latin America, to create different ways of teaching and learning. That's what motivated me to participate in this program."

Currently, Saldana is researching the coloniality of education in San Antonio and plans to apply what she learns from the institute this summer to her research and upcoming publications, including a manuscript on decolonial pedagogies through hip-hop and nueva canción with Cervantes and a manuscript that looks at the ways teachers enact a curriculum of embodied knowledge to impart knowledge.

"I am going to be looking at the ways in which Mexican-American teachers negotiate the curriculum," Saldana said. "I am looking specifically at that space between what they have to teach, because it is mandated by the state, and what they want their students to learn about the world. What I'm finding is that teachers who are products of public education and who are products of colonial education, which includes language, oppression and cultural exclusion, create an alternative space for teaching and learning."

Cervantes will participate in the Decolonizing Knowledge and Power Summer Institute from July 7 to July 17. The institute, hosted by the Diáleg Global Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues, will focus on post-colonialism and its impact on society, education and culture.

"During the institute, I'm hoping to research and write about decolonial teaching models and ways to enhance our Bicultural-Bilingual Studies and Mexican American Studies classes here at UTSA," said Cervantes. "I'm most excited about meeting and working with theorists who are engaged in African diasporic research. One of the areas I feel I need to broaden my awareness of is the concept of the African diaspora and what that means in different contexts."

While in Spain, Cervantes said he plans to interview several Spanish hip-hop artists and perform a couple of concerts under the stage name Mex Step. This, he hopes, will help further his research into the cultural fusions of African-American and Mexican-American music.

"Hip-hop is a real Americanized art form, and it's interesting to see the way Spanish artists reinterpret it for their own culture," said Cervantes. "These artists are reaching a lot of people, and I think that what they are doing with their music is, in a lot of ways, educating those around them. The artists are very politically aware. It's really interesting to see how they are using hip-hop music to educate."

This will be the first time both Saldana and Cervantes will participate in their respective summer institutes, which is something they are both excited about.

"I'm really excited to meet some of these leading scholars and to speak with students, activists and cultural workers that probably have the same questions as I do and who are working toward social justice in their own communities," said Saldana. "I want to learn from what they are doing to create that change and bring that back with me to see what we can do here in San Antonio."


Learn more at the UTSA College of Education and Human Development website.

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Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

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

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

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

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

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.

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