(Sept. 13, 2017) -- Meet Soe Than. This Roadrunner traveled a long way to pursue his dream of studying computer science at a top university in the United States. Than was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma) and is the only student enrolled at UTSA from that country.
The international student said that while researching American universities, he read articles about UTSA being a prestigious cybersecurity school in the United States. He read more about the different programs in the College of Business and College of Sciences and knew that UTSA was where he wanted to be.
In the spring of 2015, Than enrolled at UTSA. At the time, he had a few friends in Austin, but he didn’t know much about Texas.
Than says his transition to life in the United States and San Antonio was made a little easier once he asked questions and utilized resources on campus, such as the Office of International Programs and Tomás Rivera Center.
When he visited the Tomás Rivera Center, which provides comprehensive academic support to students, he discussed his academic goals and received coaching that helped him stay on track to earn his computer science degree with a focus on computer and information security.
“I asked a lot of questions and even with the cultural barrier, I was able to tap into support services at UTSA to develop my skills and stay on track to graduate in May of 2018,” said Than.
He credits the center for a lot of his early successes at UTSA and has since grown to become a web specialist there. He has also worked in the center as a supplemental instruction leader.
He has also devoted significant time to serving students outside of the classroom.
Than is the founder of the Global Roadrunners Association, a student organization that aims to help other international students, like himself, feel connected to the campus community.
“The group is meant to bring together all international students and provide them with a support system for a smooth transition to life in the United States and at UTSA,” said Than, who wants to build the group this year through meetings and networking events and eventually form a global network of UTSA alumni.
In his free time, the Roadrunner works with the UTSA organization, VOICES, which coordinates volunteer projects and programs for students, faculty and staff. He also serves as the public relations officer in the Association for Computing Machinery at UTSA. The latter helps students identify career paths and networking opportunities in the computing and technology fields.
Despite those time commitments, the Roadrunner continues to provide support to those in his home country. With fellow members in Austin, Than volunteers for a non-profit organization called Love for Myanmar, which sponsors orphanages.
“I am learning to become a global citizen during my time at UTSA. When I see a problem, I want to be a part of the solution,” said Than. “I hope to use the expertise I’ve gained at UTSA to bring about social equality and bring citizens around the world, from different backgrounds, together.”
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.
In honor of UTSA's 50th Anniversary in 2019, the university is hosting Roadrunner Days Spring Edition - two weeks of semester-launching activities built around our deeply held values of student success, student involvement, community service and fun!Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
Tracy Cowden, Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and chair of the UTSA Department of Music launches the UTSA 50th Anniversary Scholars Speaker Series with Music as Medicine: The Power and Influence of Music on our Health.Radius Center, 411 E. Martin, San Antonio
UTSA African American Studies Program presents this series featuring Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus)
Join fellow Runners to walk for 10 minutes on the Main Campus. The event reminds us of the importance of exercise, diet and healthy habits in protecting our hearts.Outside the North Paseo Building, Main Campus
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Bryan Gervais, UTSA assistant professor in the Dept. of Political Science & Geography, for his presentation "Political Incivility in the Digital Age." Pizza will be provided to UTSA students while supplies last.John Peace Library Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22)
Level up your career with a graduate business degree from the UTSA College of Business. Join us for this Open House to learn which of our 13 degree programs is right for you.Business Building (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
Basura Bash is a one-day, all-volunteer event to clean the San Antonio Watershed. For the past 24 years volunteers have cleaned area waterways. Join the UTSA community for the 25th Annual Basura Bash Waterways Cleanup.Maverick Creek, near Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, 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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.