Dear Friends,

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Community Connect, the magazine dedicated to telling the story of UTSA's involvement with our community.

Higher education in the United States has traditionally included a threefold mission: teaching, research and public service. At UTSA, public service is a robust and dynamic component of our work, engaging virtually all sectors of the community in economic development, lifelong learning, cultural enrichment and community-university partnerships.

For our economy, UTSA's extension services, which reach more than 37,000 businesses every year, are critical to stimulate growth and job creation for our graduates, elevating both labor supply and demand. Top-tier programs providing technical assistance, strategic planning, training and applied economics research generated a quarter of UTSA's $1.2 billion economic impact on the state.

For our children, UTSA works with schools to promote a college-going culture and raise college awareness. UTSA also conducts bridge programs for thousands of area students to ease the transition from high school to college.

For our society, the university offers learning and cultural enrichment through the fine and performing arts and our museum, the Institute of Texan Cultures. UTSA also provides forums for public discussion of critical community issues. Pressing social, civic and educational issues are addressed through this type of engagement.

For our future, faculty research and outreach scholarship provide insight and possibilities for transforming our community.

This first issue of Community Connect highlights a slice of UTSA's community engagement activities. We hope you enjoy reading it, and we welcome your comments and suggestions for future issues.

Ricardo Romo, Ph.D.
President, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Jude Valdez, Ph.D.
Vice President for Community Services