A Message from VPSA Sam Gonzales
Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales
This semester seems to be going by so fast. I can’t believe that midterm exams will be here before we know it. It is that time of the semester when the students’ study patterns seem to really kick into high gear. Our campus prepares for that with superior academic tutoring and plenty of technology- driven study space in the libraries.
We know that students study often and study late. It’s no surprise then that we have extended hours for Chick-Fil-a and Starbucks near our John Peace Library (JPL). Roadrunners can eat great while they study late. If students are staying late in the JPL, we encourage them to utilize the excellent group study spaces and contact our UTSA Police Department for a safe escort to their residence hall or car when they are done. Suggest they get advice on papers from our amazing research librarians and writing center and check out our tutoring services available in the Quantitative Skills Tutor Lab. With so many resources available, success is within reach. Remind your student to take advantage of everything the campus has to offer.
The spring semester is also full of amazing experiences outside of the classroom. The Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion has partnered with many campus organizations to prepare commemorative activities for Black History Month, including the Black Heritage Banquet on February 26th. Our Alumni Association brings the campus community together in the traditional Diploma Dash and our spring sports are underway, including Basketball, Softball, Baseball and Tennis. Encourage your student to check out one or more of these great events. You can follow all the details on social media at @UTSAStudents, @UTSAAlumni, @UTSA_Inclusion and @UTSAAthletics.
With so much going on inside and outside of the classroom, it’s never been a better time to be a Roadrunner. I am grateful for your continued support of UTSA and your student. Together, we can make each Roadrunner successful.
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Tomás Rivera Center Learning Assistance Program
The Tomás Rivera Center Learning Assistance Program offers one-on-one academic coaching services for both undergraduate and graduate students at UTSA. Each session focuses on creating and implementing a personalized study plan to help students improve their academic skills. Topics covered include time management, test preparation, note-taking, thesis/dissertation assistance, and much more to help each student be academically successful in their courses. Additionally, we offer a wonderful Expert Learner Workshop Series for undergraduates. Our next workshop covering “Overcoming Procrastination” will be on March 25th at noon in the HUC 2.218 on Main Campus and in DB 2.114 at the Downtown Campus. For our veteran students and their dependents at both campuses, we have a Student Veteran Workshop Series with the next session on March 5th at 11:30am in UC 2.01.24 covering reading and note-taking skills.
With midterms just around the corner, it is time to start preparing each day for your exams, papers, and projects. Working backwards from the due date, you can create a plan of action to work a little bit each day and avoid cramming. Break up the materials into manageable portions and set aside even 30 minutes each day to work toward your goal.
To set up an individual academic coaching session, call (210) 458-4694 or stop by the TRC in MS 1.02.02. For more information about the academic support services we provide our undergraduate and graduate students, visit our website www.utsa.edu/trcss/la/.
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Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience 2015
The UTSA Student Leadership Center took 41 students across four states to participate in the Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience. The experience allowed UTSA students to become immersed in the history of the civil rights movement as well as explore current social justice issues. Participants in the trip were guided through the experience by Student Facilitators, who fostered small group discussion and peer support as they too embarked on the same journey in past civil rights trips.
The Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience took place Jan. 6th-10th, ending with participation in the MLK March in San Antonio on January 19th.The trip took students from San Antonio to New Orleans to Birmingham and on to Memphis. Students visited the 9th Ward Living Museum and other historical markers such as the Civil Rights Institute, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park and the National Civil Rights Museum.
As the students toured the downtown area in Memphis, Tenn., they visited the Slave Haven Underground Railroad, the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ headquarters where Rev. Martin Luther King gave his last speech ("I've Been to the Mountaintop"), the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the W.C. Handy Museum. Along with site visits, students were required to follow a curriculum that included documentaries, written journals, group discussions and presentations from guest speakers and activists.
“The Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience has truly moved me by allowing me to step into the shoes of those throughout history. My eyes were opened because I realized that my struggles can be endured especially knowing that my ancestors struggled severely in an attempt for freedom. ” said student, Christina Coleman (Junior, Education major)
Student Juan Zuniga (Junior, Biology major) said, “I learned that the Civil Rights movement is not one race’s fight. We all have to help each other to get to the ‘top of the mountain’, this trip sparked my hunger for knowledge about what Mexican Americans went through during the Civil Rights movement and what they did. Change takes time and dedication to keep going no matter how hard it knocks you down.”
Student Hannah Beck (Senior, Political Science major ), a student participant last year, shared her experience of being a student facilitator for The Civil Rights and Social Justice Experience by stating, “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn and grow with other UTSA students; our small group discussions never seemed to be long enough. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with them. This year was definitely just as impactful as last year, if not more so, because of the climate around racial justice in America right now.”
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Black Heritage Banquet – Tickets Available for Purchase at Roadrunner Express
Black Heritage Banquet tickets are currently available to purchase at the Roadrunner Express. This year’s banquet will take place on February 26, 2015 in the HEB University Center, Ballroom at 6:00pm and features keynote speaker, Andrea Hardeman as well as a variety of musical performances by current UTSA students. For more information regarding the event, contact the Student Center for Community Engagement & Inclusion at 210.458.4770.
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2015 LeaderShape– Applications Available
The Student Leadership Center is currently accepting applications for the 2015 LeaderShape Institute. The LeaderShape Institute helps participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be. As a result, the Institute creates space for students to identify core values and explore how individual choices have an impact on congruence.
Past LeaderShape Institute participant Jaswanth Kintada shared, "LeaderShape was an experience that transformed my mindset positively and reinforced the notion to lead with integrity. During the week long leadership-intensive program, I made friendships and connected with leaders in the community, but most importantly, I learned to funnel my passion for healthcare into an idealistic vision and have a healthy disregard for the impossible."
Current undergraduate, full-time, UTSA students who have a UTSA cumulative GPA of a 2.5 or higher are encouraged to apply. Visit the LeaderShape website at http://www.utsa.edu/slc/leadershape/leadershape.html for more information.
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UTSA Men's and Women's Basketball Team – Last Conference Games of the Season
By early March, the UTSA men’s and women’s basketball teams will wrap up their 2014-2015 regular conference season. Make sure to catch a game with your student before the season ends – they are fun, family- friendly events. From live music to the UTSA Pep Band, performances by the Pom Squad and food trucks – not to mention outstanding basketball – you don’t have to be a basketball fan to love these events. Check out goutsa.com to find a game you can catch before the season ends! Go ‘Runners!
UTSA Athletics Releases the 2015 Conference USA Football Schedule
The 2015 UTSA Football schedule has been released! Attending the UTSA Football games is a great tradition you can begin or continue to do with your Roadrunner family. From taking a group picture with Rowdy the Roadrunner, and tailgating to cheering on our boys inside the Alamodome, it’s a great way to spend a weekend with your family.
For ticket information, please visit http://www.goutsa.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=659317&DB_OEM_ID=13100&DB_OEM_ID=13100
UTSA Student Spotlight: Larissa Rios Cruz
Hometown: Midland, TX-
Extracurricular Activities: Residence Assistant, Residence Hall Association: Secretary, Senator, Orientation Leader, Team Leader, Student Coordinator, Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority Inc.: Community Service chair, Alumni chair, Standards Chair, Membership Educator, Multicultural Greek Council: Vice President of Internal Affairs, Road Runner Productions: Rowdy Rush Wrangler
What is your favorite tradition during Spring Break?
My favorite tradition during Spring Break is going home and spending quality time with my family. Usually, my mother and my sister have a surprise trip planned for me or something fun for us to do. One time we traveled to Dallas/Arlington area and vacationed there for a few days!
Is there anything for students to do if they are not going home for Spring Break?
Yes! If a student is staying in San Antonio for Spring Break, there are plenty of things to do here. If they want to have a fun-filled break, they could go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas or SeaWorld. If they like the more relaxed scene, they could go downtown to the River Walk or the Alamo. Also, there are museums they can visit if they are more into the arts. If they are the type of person who loves to give back to the community, then VOICES, a volunteer organization on campus, offers a program called Alternative Spring Break. Alternative Spring Break is basically an opportunity to learn about the global community through education, reflection, and direct service while on a weeklong service trip.
What are you going to do for Spring Break?
I am going to Corpus Christi with some of my friends and enjoy a few days of great weather and beach time. Then, I'll head back home to spend the rest of my Spring Break with my family. Hopefully they will have a surprise planned for me this year!
Is there anything that parents should expect for their students' first college Spring Break?
For some parents, their student will be excited to go back home and spend the entire break with their family and loved ones. However, for others, their student may want to go away and have that "first college spring break" with their friends and have fun on their own. Parents should expect for their student to be a little more disengaged from how they were before they entered college because now the student is used to a whole different lifestyle and routine.
Is there any advice you would like to share with the freshman regarding their first ever college Spring Break experience?
My advice is to make sure you are safe! Yes, have fun and enjoy your first ever college Spring Break experience but also be aware of your surroundings and decisions that may impact you after Spring Break. Always be careful, and if you are with a group of friends make sure to look out for one another. Also, always keep someone who is not with you (your parents, aunts, cousins, or another friend) informed about your whereabouts in case of an emergency. Lastly, make it a great and memorable Spring Break!
Important Spring 2015 Dates
Monday, March 9, 2015 thru Saturday, March 14, 2015 – Spring Break
Friday, March 20, 2015 – Last Day to Drop Classes
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Last Day of Classes
Thursday, April 30, 2015 thru Friday, May 1, 2015 – Study Days
Saturday, May 2, 2015 thru Saturday, May 9, 2015 – Final Exams
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 – First Day of Fall 2015 Classes