June 10, 2015//
Meet Michelle Rocha '88. As assistant director for Student Activities at the UTSA Downtown Campus, she has helped create campus traditions since its permanent location opened in 1997.
My joy and passion come from being able to work directly with students. They're my bosses. If I'm not making time to meet students, I'm not doing my job.”
– Michelle Rocha
Rocha became a Roadrunner in the late 80s. While pursuing her B.A. in Psychology, she got involved in student activities, serving in leadership roles in Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, student government and in her sorority, Phi Omicron Chi. Through her involvement, she fell in love with UTSA.
After she graduated, she stayed connected to the university through the UTSA Alumni Association and by keeping in touch with her friends in Student Affairs. In 1993, she was hired as UTSA's first volunteer coordinator. In this position, she laid the groundwork for a group of passionate students to create VOICES (Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service).
In 1999, Rocha became the first assistant director of Student Activities for the Downtown Campus. Since day one, she has been committed to creating a welcoming environment and wonderful campus traditions that have helped foster a sense of pride for the UTSA Downtown Campus.
Over the years, the student population has grown and changed. Originally the Downtown Campus served primarily undergraduate students. Now it serves mostly juniors, seniors and graduate students who have different needs and interests than first and second year students. In turn, Rocha continuously shifts student activities and resources based on what current students need.
Needless to say, no two days in Rocha's life are the same. What is consistent, however, is her passion, dedication, generosity, leadership and her role as a mentor to students.
"When I was a student, I was inspired and encouraged by the Student Affairs staff. I saw their level of commitment to us and they became my role models. Consequently, those individuals have helped me determine what kind of role model I want to be for students today," shares Rocha. "My joy and passion come from being able to work directly with students. They're my bosses. If I'm not making time to meet students, I'm not doing my job."
Earlier this year, Rocha received the Order of the Roadrunner award, the highest honor a staff member can receive for his or her dedication to the UTSA community.
"Michelle has made a tremendous impact on this campus," said Jesse T. Zapata, senior vice provost for UTSA Downtown. "Her leadership, enthusiasm, knowledge and innovation have contributed a great deal to advancing UTSA's commitment to creating a rich and active student life."
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.