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Innovation and Impact (I-Squared)


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, will recognize creative and innovative projects of high impact that emerge from our institution.

We seek nominations of teams working in all areas relevant to the mission of UTSA—for example, the student experience (e.g., course design/redesign, a new degree, an extracurricular program) or research-related (e.g., a commercialization or other type of intervention impacting a practice or policy). 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.

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 from all disciplines and backgrounds, and nominations of teams that include transdisciplinary collaborators or other unconventional partnerships are particularly encouraged. We also encourage nominations that demonstrate a simultaneous benefit to UTSA students and the broader public (e.g., by involving students in research or through sharing innovative teaching practices with other institutions), although this is not a requirement.

Award Criteria & Eligibility

A faculty-led team of up to five individuals may be nominated. While the team must have a faculty lead (T, TT, or NTT), it may also include non-faculty team members, such as graduate students, staff, or postdocs. Even 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.

Screening Process and Nomination Packet

An I2 Award review committee will focus on this award and be composed of faculty from across disciplines and external representatives from some of UTSA's innovative community partners.

Selection criteria will include:

  • 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

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. Recent letter of support from a faculty member or department chair clearly addressing why the team is deserving of this award. Please note the relevant discipline(s) or activities and any demonstrated benefts or potential benefits to UTSA students, businesses, the public, or others.
  3. Self-statement 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 department chair’s 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 to SharePoint by the deadline. [Specific SharePoint links will be provided to each dean's office.]

Each college may submit a maximum number of nominations (based on the size of the college) for this award category:


College Maximum Number of Nominees
HCaP 4
University College 1
Honors College 1

Past Recipients


Department of History Core Curriculum Changes
Jodi Peterson, lecturer III, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Kirsten Gardner, associate professor and chair, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Jennifer Dilley, lecturer III, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
David Hansen, lecturer III, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Gregg Michel, associate professor, UTSA College of Liberal & Fine Arts


John Quarles, associate professor, UTSA College of Sciences
Sohail Baig, student, UTSA College of Sciences
Sharif Shahnewaz Ferdous, student, UTSA College of Sciences
Kevin King, MD, UT Health San Antonio

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