Meet a Roadrunner: Alumnus James Pobanz helps local vets struggling with mental illness
(May 24, 2017) -- Meet James Pobanz '14, '17. This UTSA alumnus and veteran is making a difference in the lives of other local veterans.
This spring, Pobanz was offered a job at a local non-profit agency called Family Endeavors. He assists veterans and their families at the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic where quality, accessible and comprehensive mental health care is provided to veterans and their families at no cost. Services are available to any person who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves, regardless of their role or discharge status.
"My volunteer work and the social work courses I took at UTSA prepared me to help veterans transitioning into civilian life," said Pobanz. "I am a veteran myself, so I understand the challenges service members face when it comes to pursuing academic and career goals."
Pobanz served in the U.S. Army for 17 years, with four overseas combat deployments during that time.
After serving in the Army, Pobanz moved to San Antonio to be closer to family. He wanted to continue his education so he enrolled at UTSA in 2013 to earn his bachelor's degree in multidisciplinary studies.
When he returned to UTSA to pursue his Master of Social Work degree, Pobanz made time to serve. He became involved in veteran volunteer services including the American GI Forum, where he worked with homeless veterans. He was also a mentor for the Wounded Warrior Project and a fellow in the Veterans in Global Leadership program. The latter is run by a non-profit agency that brings together young veterans interested in global leadership opportunities.
"UTSA is very veteran-friendly. I was fortunate that people took time to mentor me during my time at UTSA," said Pobanz. "I thought it was imperative for me to give back and help others transition into civilian life and being a full-time student."
His desire to give back happened on and off campus. As a mentor of the PIVOT for Academic Success program at UTSA, Pobanz tutored other student veterans.
In 2016, Pobanz was selected as the social work Student of the Year in the UTSA College of Public Policy. He attributes much of his academic success to the scholarships he received as a UTSA student, opportunities like the Juanita Firestone Endowed Scholarship and the Gunn Family Endowed Scholarship in Social Work. The scholarships enabled Pobanz to receive an education and have time to volunteer with different groups.
Before graduating from UTSA, he received the President's Volunteer Service national award for completing 281 community service hours in 2016.
"At some point, we all need a hand up or someone just to listen. The sense of satisfaction one gets from selfless service is immeasurable. I hope that my example motivates UTSA students to engage in our community to become that agent of change," said Pobanz.
Do you know a Roadrunner who is achieving great things? Email us at email@example.com so that we may consider your suggestion for our next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.
The ITC will livestream. Smithsonian Affiliations, the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos & the Conservatorio de Músico will bring U. S.-based scholars of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies to Puerto Rico to engage with local scholars about migration, music, art, literature, education, history, and diasporic experiences.Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Infection, Immunity and Vaccines discussed during this two day conference.The Eilan Hotel and Spa, 18603 La Cantera Terr., San Antonio
UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty and staff will conduct a presentation on recent developments in astronomy and astrophysics followed by stargazing in the observatory.Flawn Sciences Building (FLN 2.02.02) and Curtis Vaughan Jr. Observatory, 4th floor, Main Campus
The annual concert series begins the choirs and orchestra performing Dvorak's "Te Deum" . This concert is open to the public. Admission $10.Arts Building Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The second of three in the annual holiday concert series which will feature the Chamber Singers (Santa Baby), Saxophone Ensemble (Sleigh Ride), Jazz Ensemble (Sugar Rum Cherry), Flute Ensemble and more performing holiday favorites. Admission $10.Arts Building Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
The Roadrunners close out the regular season at home against North Texas.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
This event showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines. The symposium is designed to provide a public venue where UTSA senior engineering students to present advances achieved in their design projects.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
Join the Office of Information Technology for the grand opening of the Digital Experience Lab (DEx Lab). The DEx Lab is open to the entire UTSA community and contains innovative learning tools and serves as a virtual reality lab.Applied Engineering and Technology Building (AET 0.202), Main Campus