Seed Site

Innovation and Impact (I-Squared)

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Purpose of Award

Innovations, both in the areas of learning and research, are central to UTSA’s vision of becoming a model for student success, a great research university, and an exemplar for strategic growth and excellence. Founded in fall 2018 to foster and celebrate innovative thinking at UTSA, the President’s Innovation and Impact (I2) Award, recognizes creative and innovative team projects of high impact which involve partnerships across boundaries (within UTSA and/or elsewhere) and have potential for future expansion. We seek nominations of teams working in any area relevant to the mission of UTSA.

Areas of innovation and impact relevant to this award include:

  • Innovative instruction, course design/redesign, and new degree programs impacting student success
  • Innovative programs such as extracurricular programs impacting student experience
  • Innovative community-involved research, research resulting in intervention or commercialization impacting practice or policy
  • Innovative artistic, creative, and performance production impacting community and/or students

The I2 award is intentionally broad in scope to encourage nomination of any work contributing to UTSA’s success as an urban-serving, multicultural discovery enterprise considered a destination of choice for students. Innovative work may be novel or inspired by techniques developed elsewhere that are creatively applied at UTSA. We seek nominations of highly impactful programs of benefit to students or others in the public or private sector, particularly large-scale or scalable projects.


A faculty-led team of up to five individuals may be nominated. While the team must have a faculty lead (T, TT, or FTT), it may also include non-faculty team members, such as graduate students, staff, or postdocs. A collaborator from a partnering institution or organization may be included on the team although, per policy, non-UTSA employees on the team are not be eligible to collect a monetary prize.

Prize: $1000 per current UTSA employee or student on the winning team, up to $5000 total to the winning team.


The selection committee will consider the following criteria in selecting winners:

  • The degree of innovation and creativity shown in the project’s development and implementation.
  • The effective use of partnerships, including unconventional partnerships to pursue these goals.
  • The impact/outcomes, including potential for the work to be expanded in the future

Nomination Materials

Please identify the lead faculty member for the team that you are nominating and submit the nomination to that faculty member’s home college. The nomination packet for this award will consist of only the following, assembled into a single PDF file in the order indicated:

  1. Completed award nomination form
  2. Letter of support from a peer faculty colleague, department chair, or college leader clearly addressing why the team is deserving of this award. Please note the relevant discipline(s) or activities and any demonstrated benefits or potential benefits to UTSA students, businesses, the public, or others.
  3. Self-statement (4 page max.) prepared by the team lead describing the work, including both the project’s development and implementation. Be sure to clearly articulate why the work is both innovative and impactful.For the purposes of this award, projects that are farther along in their implementation and that have shown evidence of impact will be at an advantage.
  4. OPTIONAL: Nomination packets may include up to two of the following as additional evidence of impact: a letter of support from a group that can speak to the impacts; data on the impacts; a media article; or evidence of student involvement (e.g. student stories), if applicable.

Be mindful that the reviewers come from various fields of study. Both the nomination letter and the self-statement should make the case clearly, in language that is understandable to non-specialists.

Each dean’s office should upload completed nomination packets by the deadline.

Each college may submit a maximum number of three nominees (1 Tenured, 1 Tenure-Track, 1 Fixed-Term Track).


College Maximum Number of Nominees
HCaP 3
University College 3
Honors College 3

Past Recipients


Meizi He, UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy
Summer Wilmoth, UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy
Bradley Wilhite, UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy
Jesus Castillo, Program Coordinator, Rio Grande Valley
Thomas Turk, Community Partner, Rio Grande Valley


Dr. Wei Wang, UTSA College of Sciences
Dr. Kathy Ewoldt, UTSA College of Sciences
Dr. Mimi Xie, UTSA College of Sciences
Dr. Alberto Mestas-Nunez, UTSA College of Sciences


Advancing and Strengthening Science Identity through Systematic Training (ASSIST)
Gwen Young, UTSA College of Sciences
Kenneth Walker, UTSA College Liberal and Fine Arts
Jeffrey Hutchinson, UTSA College of Sciences
Amaury Nora, UTSA College of Education and Human Development
Sue Hum, UTSA College of Fine and Liberal Arts
Benjamin Tuggle, external partner
Juliet Ray, external partner


Department of History Core Curriculum Changes
Jodi Peterson, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Kirsten Gardner, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Jennifer Dilley, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
David Hansen, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Gregg Michel, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts


John Quarles, UTSA College of Sciences
Sohail Baig, student, UTSA College of Sciences
Sharif Shahnewaz Ferdous, student, UTSA College of Sciences
Dr. Kevin King, UT Health San Antonio

Program for the Integrated Training of Counselors in Behavioral Health (PITCH)
Heather Trepal, UTSA College of Education of Education and Human Development
Jessica Lloyd-Hazlett, UTSA College of Education of Education and Human Development
Nancy Amodei, University Health System
Stacy Ogbeide, UT Health San Antonio