Sunday, May 13, 2018

UTSA dean Margo DelliCarpini shares her thoughts one month into her new role

Midnight Light

“UTSA is a family,” says DelliCarpini

(Sept. 6, 2016) — UTSA officially welcomed its newest College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) dean, Margo DelliCarpini, on Aug. 1.

For the past month, DelliCarpini has been immersing herself in COEHD, one of UTSA’s largest colleges. COEHD is the top producer of educators for the greater San Antonio region. Its six departments also offer academic and research programs focused on improving the overall wellbeing of individuals and families.

To get to know the new dean, we asked her a few questions:

What brought you to UTSA?

There were a number of things that interested me about UTSA, but the most important is that UTSA is aligned with my professional and philosophical beliefs and roots as an academic.
While researching UTSA and COEHD, it became apparent that the college prepares the university’s diverse student body to be professionals and leaders in their fields, to have a great, positive impact on the communities they might find themselves a part of and to become exemplary practitioners and scholars.

My career has been focused on working with diverse populations and preparing those university level students to work with diverse communities. I want to help prepare them to provide professional services and expertise for their communities in ways that create opportunities for further growth and success. It was a perfect fit.

UTSA is also in an exciting growth stage, and San Antonio itself is a center of growth, culture and possibilities. This makes UTSA the type of place that attracts top-tier scholars, and creates a university culture of intellectual, cultural and economic development.

In short, UTSA is an exciting place to be.

You’ve been here about a month. How does it feel to be the dean of COEHD?

My first month has been incredibly welcoming and informative. I’ve devoted myself to delving into the programs and centers in COEHD. I’ve gotten to know the amazing department chairs, associate deans, faculty and center directors, and I’ve tried to get an understanding of their needs and strengths. I’ve also set meetings with my colleagues across the university and community. These meetings and investigations have only gotten me more excited about being part of UTSA.

What has impressed you the most about UTSA so far?

I’ve been really impressed by the dedication of the UTSA faculty and administration to the students and the university mission. I have met with people from across the campuses, and this dedication is a common thread throughout my interactions.

The commitment to UTSA is also impressive. As faculty members, our identity is often tied to our academic disciplines. That’s important and necessary for our development at scholars. However, at some universities, I sometimes see a commitment to discipline that is set apart from a commitment to the institution. It’s either one or the other, but at UTSA, I see a strong commitment to both. People are dedicated to and active in their fields, but they’re also dedicated to UTSA. It’s a very nice environment in which to work. It facilitates the establishment of shared goals, student success and institutional advancement.

Beyond that, the positive energy at all levels is very apparent. There’s this vibrant culture of excitement, energy and eagerness to advance.

What is your vision for COEHD?

My vision for COEHD is to continue the positive growth happening here and to continue establishing strong community and institutional partnerships. I’m focused on community involvement here in San Antonio, but also regionally, nationally and internationally.
Our faculty, programs and centers have impact that is far reaching. COEHD will be a strong part of UTSA’s momentum toward Tier One status. Our departments and educational programs, service and research centers, and partnerships with community organizations, position us to play a key role within the university and its future.

I am dedicated to working with faculty and administration to seek increased research opportunities, collaborations across colleges and support for our faculty to accomplish our goals. I believe the future of COEHD is in scholarship that plays a role in policy, and in the forging of partnerships that create opportunities for the people of San Antonio.

The new semester is officially in session. What advice do you have for new and returning students?

UTSA is a family. The University and COEHD place students’ success at the center of our family. We have supports in place and want to work to ensure you do well and complete your degree. When you come to UTSA, you enter a network that is truly invested in your success. My advice is to work to your highest potential, don’t doubt yourself or your ability to succeed, and don’t hesitate to reach out for our support. Also, there are so many opportunities for involvement at UTSA and in the community that I urge you to find your niche and get involved.

Oh! And, of course, as an educator and parent, my final piece of advice for students is to study.

I wish all new and returning students a successful and engaged year back.

- Jesus Chavez


Learn more about the UTSA College of Education and Human Development.

Read more about the newest UTSA deans in the latest Sombrilla Magazine.

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