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Sombrilla Mast


The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Healing Water

In a small village in Peru, clean water is a luxury most can’t afford. A group of UTSA students is installing a water distribution system to sustain all 500 residents.

A Tangle of Memories

UTSA’s leading researcher on Alzheimer’s disease will get a $1 million boost to find out more about the mind-robbing disease.

Unlocking the Vault

Sometimes the most impactful—and interesting—gifts are those without dollar signs before them.

Healing Water A Tangle of Memories Unlocking the Vault

The Paseo A Stroll Around Campus

Team Approach
TEAM Approach

Student teachers and children with autism both benefit from a new center

girl power
Girl Power!

The Institute of Texan Cultures celebrates 100 years of Girl Scouts with an exhibit that showcases artifacts and memorabilia.

infectious future
Infectious Future

What is genomics, anyway? For some San Antonio high school students, it’s an opportunity to peer into the world of microbiology.

beyond expectations
Beyond Expectations

One UTSA student defies the odds and pursues her college education with the aid of her service dog.

By the Numbers
In Brief
Together Everything’s Better

H-E-B's $5 million, five-year commitment supports recruitment of top faculty.

Early Success

UTSA extends its capital campaign goal to $175 million.

New Postings

Dean Mauli Agrawal is serving as interim vice president for research.

Morale Builder

For the Kids' annual dance marathon raises $40,445 for children with cancer and their families.

A Gift of Paper

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez donates legislative files and other papers to the UTSA Libraries' Special Collections.

The Newest Tradition

UTSA rings spend the night in a historic landmark.

A New Journey

Gerry Sanders named dean and Bodenstedt Chair for the College of Business.

Take a Bow

President Ricardo Romo receives two honors

Cover Girl

Student Alexis Harris, a new CoverGirl model, will appear in an upcoming issue of People magazine.

Roadrunner Sports
Athlete Spotlight

McKenzie Adams

Sports Briefs

UTSA Athletics update

Community Uniting Our Alumni

Alumni Profiles
Not a Hatchling Anymore

Antonio Gonzalez III '82

Changing Lives

Marti Hathorn, B.B.A. '03, M.S. '08

UTSA Alumni
Class Notes

Compilation of alumni submissions and reports from newspapers and other media outlets

In Memoriam

Editor's Note


To be around truly selfless people is so inspiring, so moving, that it gives me goosebumps. And it seems that here, even in South Texas where winter days can reach into the 90s, I’ve always got them.

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

- Winston Churchill


When I met with a group of students who had traveled to a struggling, earthquake-ravaged community in Peru, I had them. Here were four college guys, with a bond like that of brothers, who shouldn’t be worried about much more than passing their next final. Instead, they spent almost two years trying to find a way to deliver clean water to villagers who drink the same water their livestock use to bathe.

It wasn’t an assignment. It wasn’t for class credit. It was simply to do the right thing for a community that so badly needed a little help.

I got goosebumps again when I spoke with a graduate student working at one of UTSA’s newest centers, the Teacher Education Autism Model. With a small smile, she recalled sitting still while a preschooler punched her and spit in her face. Repeatedly, she’d try to redirect him. And repeatedly, she’d get hit.

Why do you do it? I asked her. The answer was immediate: “I want to make a difference,” she said.

That is altruism to the core, and it’s inspiring.

There are so many more goosebump-worthy moments, not just within the pages of this issue of Sombrilla, but throughout the hallways and classrooms of UTSA. And they happen all the time, even in the middle of the night.

Like the group of students who stayed on their feet for 18 hours straight, through pain and exhaustion, dancing to raise money for children with cancer and to show them that they care about their struggle and will not give up the battle to find a cure.

Or like the world-renowned researcher who has dedicated his entire career, and most of his life, to trying to understand the disease that ravages the brain and steals people’s memories, so that someday, maybe he can help stop it.

I hope that while you read these stories, you also get goosebumps, even in the midst of summer. And I hope it’s not from the air conditioning.


Signature Lety Laurel

Lety Laurel

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Can you guess where this is?

Can you guess what this is?


In the small Peruvian town of Viña Vieja, the air is dry, the land is arid and clean water is a luxury most who live there can't afford.

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