Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: Alex Guajardo learned importance of education, community

Alex Guajardo

Alumnus Alex Guajardo

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(Aug. 6, 2014) -- Meet Alex Guajardo. He graduated from UTSA this spring, but can already say he's worked for a mayor and walked the halls of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

"UTSA opened the doors to limitless opportunities for me, like working with former San Antonio Mayor and now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro from the 20th District. These opportunities provided a high-quality education, teaching me the importance of community engagement and the impact of public service," Guajardo said.

While at UTSA, Guajardo was part of a group of students in the Student Government Association who rallied to bring Iron Rowdy to campus. Being part of new traditions such as this is what he says made his UTSA experience unique.

"While engaging in student activities, I felt UTSA offered so many opportunities for new beginnings and traditions that I could be a part of," he said. "I felt I could make an impact to my university in attaining Tier One status."

Guajardo grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, where he saw a number of injustices he says he hopes to help change through public policy.

"I strongly believe it is my vocation to fulfill my civic duty by working in government in order to voice the concerns that resonate with many of my people in the Rio Grande Valley," he said.

Professors at UTSA helped connect him to people and places where he could learn to help express those concerns.

"These experiences were only made possible thanks to the help of my instructors and advisers. They helped revise personal statements, resumes, policy papers and compose letters of recommendations," he said. "I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the faculty and staff at UTSA."

In the future, Guajardo will attend law school and later hopes to run for public office, using the knowledge and experiences he's gained as a UTSA student.

"What motivates me to succeed is knowing there are students like me out there who wish to pursue a higher education, yet are limited on opportunities and resources. I want to ensure that I can do all that I can, working tirelessly to help them achieve and live some of the same experiences I've had the honor of living," he said.

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Do you know someone connected to 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.

Read the stories of other UTSA students, faculty, staff and alumni on the Meet a Roadrunner website.

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Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

Read More »
Events
Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 6, 5 - 7 p.m.; 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
Downtown Campus

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

Midnight Light

Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus

Aug. 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Plaza

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus

Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

President's BBQ on the Lawn

Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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