(Jan. 31, 2018) -- Meet Curtis Wilkins ’11, ’13. This Houston native is an author, education mentor and college admissions counselor who developed his passion for higher education at UTSA.
As a high school student, Wilkins says he had to keep a job to help his mother, hung around the wrong crowd and didn’t think he was college material. But he was determined to graduate from high school, go to college and become the first in his family to earn a degree.
It took many years, but that persistence paid off. Today, Wilkins is a Houston-based undergraduate admissions counselor representing UTSA, the alma mater where he earned two degrees.
“I barely graduated from high school but was able to learn to thrive in both my bachelor’s and master’s degree programs because of the support I received from UTSA professors, staff members and peers through my involvement on campus,” said Wilkins. “Students who are in my shoes need to know that college is truly a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you have the right approach, success is possible, especially if the culture is a nurturing one like UTSA was to me.”
In his current role as a UTSA admissions counselor, Wilkins goes to high schools, community colleges and college fairs in the Houston area to educate prospective students about UTSA degree programs, financial aid and the admissions process. When he’s not answering questions posed by prospective students, he serves as a mentor to students enrolled at UTSA and other colleges in the San Antonio and Houston areas.
“I remember what it was like to be a first-generation student researching colleges,” said Wilkins. “It’s the reason I took this position at UTSA. I get to work with students who are going through that same experience.”
Wilkins regularly shares the lessons he learned with prospective students. He tells them about his college admissions experience and describes the time he spent as an Orientation leader when he was an undergraduate. He also tells them how working with freshmen new to San Antonio and UTSA ultimately helped him uncover a deeper interest in higher education leadership, and how he pursued that path to earn a master’s degree.
Eventually, Wilkins pondered about how he might make a wider impact. He decided to compile his experiences in a book.
Last summer, the UTSA alumnus published Potential University: A “3 M's” College Experience. It gives current and prospective college students a framework to guide them along their academic journey.
Meaning, motivation and mindset are Wilkins’ three Ms. According to Wilkins, finding meaning allows students to approach their college journey in a purposeful way. Likewise, identifying and embracing motivations allows students to reach higher levels of achievement. Lastly, developing the right mindset can turn the way students think about their ability to succeed.
The book mimics a student’s academic journey and Wilkins hopes the lessons he shares will encourage students to reach their highest potential.
Wilkins takes his tips on the road, doing speaking engagements for schools and organizations in San Antonio, his hometown of Houston and other Texas cities. The UTSA admissions counselor also speaks at higher education conferences nationwide.
“UTSA really had an impact on me. The faculty helped me succeed and now as an employee, I’ve really enjoyed working in an open and encouraging environment,” said Wilkins. “I’ve learned to apply myself in all that I do to be successful and I want to share that advice with all those students out there who need some encouragement.”
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.
De-stress during Finals Week with UTSA Libraries' Relaxation Stations, located at John Peace Library on the second floor, and at the Downtown Library. The Relaxation Stations will include puzzles, coloring and more from Dec. 6-Dec. 14.John Peace Library, second floor and Downtown Library, Main and Downtown Campuses
This UTSA student exhibit features the work of anthropology students who have examined the effects tourism has on local culture.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Students from grades 9 to 12 at Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering delved into their family histories and turned their family photos into artworks.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
One of UTSA’s most memorable traditions when hundreds of Roadrunners will receive their class rings. Before the rings arrive at UTSA, however, they make a special stop to spend a night in Texas’ most iconic landmark, the Alamo.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
The first ceremony begins at 10 a.m. honors graduates from the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, College of Business, College of Education and Human Development and College of Public Policy.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
At 4 p.m., the second ceremony will be held to honor graduates from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Science and the University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St., San Antonio
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 Day is an Open House and one of the best ways to see what it is like to be part of the UTSA Family! Schedule a visit the way you want, based on your interests and time. Learn more about the next steps on becoming a Roadrunner!Various locations, Main Campus