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The College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Awards and Accolades

Ovations is two-time CASE award winner

Ovations, Vol. 4, 2009, won the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District IV Achievement Award—University Communications, General Writing Collection, Ovations, Vol 4, 2009. A special thank you to Rudy Arispe and Cindy Tumiel for their writing contributions that help make Ovations COLFAbulous! Ovations is now a two-time CASE award winner.

Director named for UTSA Mariachi

Michael A. Acevedo, an accomplished mariachi musician, is the new director of UTSA Mariachi.

Acevedo grew up in McAllen and began his mariachi career with Mariachi Javelina at Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he obtained a B.A. in music in 2007. He then went to the University of Texas at Austin School of Music for his graduate degree. While in his final year, he became the director of UT's Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlan while serving as a grad assistant in the ethnomusicology department. In May, he graduated with a Master of Music in trumpet performance from UT Austin.

Along with directing the UTSA Mariachi, Michael will be the mariachi director at two Northside ISD middle schools, Pat Neff and Sam Rayburn. He's also a member of Mariachi Los Arrieros de Laredo.


Congratulations to Sonja Lanehart, Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities in the Department of English, and Raquel Marquez, chair of the Department of Sociology, who were among the first class of graduates in the Leadership UTSA program.

Diane Abdo, lecturer III, Department of English, Associate Professor Kolleen Guy, Department of History, Professor John Miller Morris, Department of Political Science and Geography, and Associate Professor Mary McNaughton-Cassill, Department of Psychology, were awarded University of Texas Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Gary Mabry, associate professor of music, was a guest conductor at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Mabry led a group of 60 UTSA Women's Choir and UTSA Women's Alumnae Choir members.

The Department of Sociology has received national recognition with the installation of the Alpha Xi of Texas Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international honor society for sociologists. The conferring of a charter signifies that UTSA meets high standards of program quality and scholarship. has received national recognition with the installation of the Alpha Xi of Texas Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international honor society for sociologists. The conferring of a charter signifies that UTSA meets high standards of program quality and scholarship.

Joycelyn Moody, the Sue E. Denman Distinguished Chair in American Literature, was one of 35 people from around the world invited to participate in the 2010 Oxford Round Table Sessions at Lincoln College, a component of Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The Oxford Round Table Sessions promote education, art, science, religion and charity. Participants were nominated by colleagues.

Xiaohe Xu, professor in the Department of Sociology, was invited to be a Research Affiliate of the Population Studies Center Institute for Social Research at The University of Michigan. The affiliation is a term appointment for five years to facilitate Xu's research through collaborations with the PSC researchers and students.


Elaine Wong, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English, was awarded the prestigious dissertation fellowship by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange for her dissertation project, "Visual Approaches in Poetry: A Dialogue with the Chinese Ideogram."

Students from the Department of Communication set a record for having the most student papers from a single university accepted for presentation and publication at the 22nd Annual International Academy of Business Disciplines (IABD) Conference held in Las Vegas. The eight UTSA students had five research papers accepted and were presented with the High Caliber of Students' Research Productivity Award. Communication professor Ali Kanso El-Ghori guided the students' research.

Juan Livas, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology, received second place at the Southwestern Social Science Association Annual Conference for his photo essay, "Social Makeup and Resources of a Community."

Larissa Mercado, a Department of English graduate student, received a Ford Foundation Dissertation award. Larissa is the fourth graduate student in seven years in the department to receive this national award.

UTSA Debate, housed in the Department of Communication through the leadership of Skip Eno, finished the year ranked 10th in the nation, ahead of debate powerhouses such as the U.S. Military Academy, Harvard, Vanderbilt, UT Austin, Baylor, Dartmouth and Kentucky.

Carla Pezzia, anthropology graduate student, was a recipient of the Summer 2010 Presidential Dissertation Fellowship.


English Department Post-Grad
Placement Success

Cordelia Barrera, Ph.D. in English '09, is assistant professor of Latina/o literatures at Texas Tech University.

Terri Pantuso, Ph.D. in English '09, accepted a position as assistant professor at Governors State University in Illinois.

Patricia Trujillo, Ph.D. in English '08, accepted a position in the Department of English at Colorado State University in Pueblo.

Lori Rodriguez, the first Ph.D. graduate in English in 2007, is assistant professor of Chicano studies at the University of Minnesota.

Marco Cervantes, Ph.D. in English '10, is assistant professor in bicultural-bilingual studies at UTSA.

Jody Briones, Ph.D. in English '09, is an assistant professor at Texas A&M–Kingsville.

June Pedraza, Ph.D. in English '08, has landed a tenure-track position with Northwest Vista College in San Antonio.

Melissa Vela-Williamson, master's degree from the Department of Communication '09, was honored with a Silver ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation–San Antonio chapter for her master's project, "The Unacculturated Hispanic Value Customer Event Toolkit."

Christa Brothers, B.F.A. '98, is owner of Bismarck Studios Fine Art Gallery in the Stone Oak area of San Antonio. The gallery strives to promote the arts and support charities through gallery functions.

Molly Hoff, B.A. in English '83, has published Virginia Woolf 's Mrs. Dalloway: Invisible Presences (Clemson University Digital Press, 2009). The book is intended to enrich lesson plans and syllabi and is a companion book to Mrs. Dalloway.

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