(Dec. 8, 2014) -- Edwin Barea-Rodriguez, professor and chair of the UTSA Department of Biology, recently was honored as the Mentor of the Year by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) at a conference in Atlanta. More than 1,300 attended the conference, where the nation's largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars discussed issues facing new and aspiring faculty members.
Barea-Rodriguez was selected for the award after the organization received a nomination letter submitted by Enrique Sosa, a UTSA doctoral student in cell and molecular biology. In the letter read at the conference, Sosa thanked Barea-Rodriguez for his assistance to him and his wife, also a UTSA doctoral student, as they relocated and transitioned into the Ph.D. program.
The circumstances were not easy for the pair, who had one-year-old twins to raise while pursuing their doctoral degrees. Sosa will receive his doctoral degree this month, joining his wife, who already earned her UTSA doctoral degree in cell and molecular biology.
"I was very touched and emotional because it made me realize that these students remember more things than we think," said Barea-Rodriguez. "The life of a doctoral student is not an easy one, and national statistics show us that 47 percent of minority doctoral students fail to complete their doctoral degrees. I remember how hard it was as a student and feel that we as faculty members should always be there to serve our students. That should be our mission."
Making a difference in students' lives is nothing new to Barea-Rodriguez. In 2012, he was one of 40 educators nationwide selected as a Vision and Change Leadership Fellow for the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE). The fellows identify barriers and consider how to make changes necessary to improve undergraduate life sciences education.
Since 2006, Barea-Rodriguez has led the UTSA Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS), Minority Access to Research Center (MARC) and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Ph.D. programs. They aim to increase the number and support undergraduate minority students pursuing advanced degrees in biosciences by providing research opportunities, a challenging curriculum and various enrichment activities.
A UTSA College of Sciences faculty member since 1995, Barea-Rodriguez has researched and published in the field of learning and memory, generating more than $16 million in research funding for UTSA. In 2006, he received the Richard S. Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Award. Barea-Rodriguez has mentored 27 undergraduates, six master's and four doctoral degree students.
Southern governors and legislators who recognized the link between education and economic vitality established the SREB in 1948. The organization works with 18 member states to improve public education at every level from pre-K to Ph.D. As the nation's first regional compact for education, SREB focuses on the critical issues that hold the promise of improving quality of life by advancing public education.
Learn more at UTSA Department of Biology website.
The UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is hosting a day full of outreach events and activities by the U.S. Navy as part of a larger Navy presence in San Antonio called Navy Week with various events in the community through Feb. 25.
Student Union Paseo and Convocation Center entrance, Main Campus
Join this interactive play that is a courtroom drama and the audience is the jury. Discussion and will follow.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Langston Clark, UTSA assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition will discuss exploring the historical context for the role of black athletes in contemporary social movements.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA African American Studies program invites speakers from the leading African American Fraternities and Sororities for a panel discussion of the history of each organization and to enlighten the audience about the community service, academic purpose, professionalism and ethical roots of each group.
Student Union, Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24), Main Campus
MuTe Fest is a celebration of original music and technology. Three days of concerts, sessions, and informative lectures will offer a unique experience of musical works created by fellow UTSA students and the chance to gain valuable knowledge about music technology.
Art Building, Music Tech Lab (Arts 3.01.30B), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries hosts Assistant Professor Ian Caine for his lecture, Architectural Postcards from Space, as part of the popular Pizza + Research series. Pizza will be served while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.304), Downtown Campus
The theme of this year’s symposium is Black & Brown Futures. The free event will give UTSA students and the community the opportunity to meet and hear national scholars talk about current research and academic trends relevant to the lives of African Americans in the United States.
Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
Registration is open now for this family-friendly and dog-friendly run that supports the UTSA Alumni Association scholarship fund.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
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.
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