(Aug. 9, 2017) -- As the summer of 2017 comes to a close, the Roadrunner Pantry at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is filled with students busily working on outreach and marketing to expand services to the UTSA community. The group of 12 energetic incoming freshmen is spending time this summer learning about food insecurity among college students and dedicating time toward promoting the pantry’s efforts across campus.
The students are incoming UTSA freshmen enrolled in the first pilot cohort of Project LEAD. Project LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Academics and Dedication) is one of two UTSA programs funded by the University of Texas System. The goal of Project LEAD is to increase student success and retention for incoming freshmen. The student volunteers earn college credit for their participation.
Rhonda Gonzales, UTSA associate vice provost for strategic initiatives, heads up the summer LEAD pilot program. Incoming freshmen enrolled in the program participate in a college success seminar and attend a history and political science class as well as an academic inquiry class. Additionally, students participate in a service-learning component with the Roadrunner Pantry, making them the first volunteer Roadrunners helping Roadrunners.
“The service learning component has afforded these students the opportunity to gain insight into this initiative to address food insecure students on campus,” said Nikki Lee, UTSA University Center senior associate director of events management and advisor to the Roadrunner Pantry. “Most were not exposed to this concept and all are developing skills in working together to support students in need.”
The students have learned about the important role the pantry plays on campus. They’ve worked on projects to promote the UTSA Ambassador Program and scheduled food drives in various departments. The team also focused on marketing the pantry by making a video highlighting the important service the pantry provides, and creating social media content for the UTSA community.
Through their efforts, the students developed a connection to campus and gave back to the community they will call home for the next four years.
“It’s been a humbling experience to see the impact we’ve had by giving to other students we don’t even know,” said Lonnie Smith, an incoming freshman originally from Hawaii who came to UTSA to study computer engineering.
The Roadrunner Pantry opened in March of this year. So far, it has served more than 1,000 UTSA students and distributed more than 4,500 pounds of food. The pantry is open to all students with a UTSA ID. All members of the UTSA community are invited to contribute to the efforts by donating food, time and money. The Roadrunner Pantry is currently doing a crowdfunding project to raise money during the month of August.
Celebrate homecoming as the Roadrunners take on Rice. Come early for the Spirit Walk, tailgating, games, music and food. Stick around for a halftime show with SOSA and the crowning of Mr. and Ms. UTSA.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., Downtown San Antonio
The Leadership Storytelling Homecoming Brunch brings together UTSA alumni and students to share a delicious meal as well as a roundtable conversation about how experiences in college carry us forward on unique leadership journeys.University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
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