Sunday, April 30, 2017

PIVOT office celebrates grand opening on UTSA Main Campus

PIVOT office celebrates grand opening on UTSA Main Campus

(Feb. 14, 2017) -- It’s a space for first-generation and transfer students to collaborate, meet, share their experiences and get support from UTSA faculty and staff.

The UTSA PIVOT for Academic Success office, located in the Flawn Sciences Building on the Main Campus, is home to the First to Go and Graduate, Roadrunner Transition Experience and the Math Matters programs.

These programs provide mentoring for first-generation, transfer, veteran, international and non-traditional students. More than half of UTSA students are Hispanic, and nearly half are “first-gen”, meaning the first generation in their families completing a 4-year degree.

“The PIVOT space is important to first-generation college students at UTSA because it gives us a place to talk about topics other students may not relate to. The space provides a support system for first-generation students at UTSA,” said Jacqueline Contreras, a First to Go and Graduate peer mentor.

In the PIVOT room, peer mentors in the First to Go and Graduate program host meetings and work with their mentees. Each mentee is placed in a “familia” or family where they are able to meet other first-generation students and faculty. Mentees can learn about coursework, internships and other campus resources available to them.

There is a television, computers and tables set up for students to socialize, study and host meetings. Artwork, selected by Arturo Infante Almeida the curator of the UTSA Art Collection, is displayed on the walls to make the space one of cultural belonging.

“Having an office space like this allows me to get to know other students. I am not big on crowds so any chance to be in a smaller space helps me come out of my shell,” said Stephanie Garza, who is receiving mentoring through First to Go and Graduate.

“The PIVOT office is like grandma’s home. It’s where everyone can go and is welcomed no matter what,” added Amber Trevino, who is also a first-generation student at UTSA.

An open house for the PIVOT office will be held on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Flawn Sciences Building 3.02.04.

The PIVOT for Academic Success initiative at UTSA prepares, inspires and helps first-generation and transfer students complete their undergraduate degrees. PIVOT is supported by a $3.25 million Hispanic Serving Institution Title V Collaborative Grant that was awarded to UTSA in October 2015.

UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.

- Kara Mireles

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