Graduate Student Success for Faculty Excellence Initiative

Current StatusOperationalized


The Graduate Student Success for Faculty Excellence Initiative seeks to advance graduate education at UTSA by enhancing value-added programming and postdoctoral training; recruitment, admissions and diversity; funding opportunities; graduate programs and faculty; and career outcomes. Through this initiative, the university will review all its graduate education processes to ensure they are optimally aligned to support its dual mission of teaching and research; use evidence- and data-based decision making to provide recommendations for improving recruitment and retention, including programming to prepare graduate students to pursue careers across multiple sectors and positively impact society; and demonstrate the intellectual and economic contribution of graduate students to the city and state.

 View the Initiative Brief

Please feel free to submit questions or input to

Ambika Mathur, Chair   
Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate School


Bernard Arulanandam    
Vice President for Research, Economic Development & Knowledge Enterprise

Courtney Balderas
Graduate Student Association
Assistant Director, Student Center for Community Engagement & Inclusion / Dreamers Resource Center

Lynn Barnes
Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment

Jenell Bramlage
Senior Associate Vice President, Information Management and Technology

JoAnn Browning
Dean, College of Engineering

Janis Bush
Associate Dean, College of Sciences

Guadalupe Carmona
Professor, Interdisciplinary Learning & Teaching

Brian Cordeau
Assistant Vice Provost for Institutional Research

Margo DelliCarpini
Dean, College of Education & Human Development

Suzana Diaz-Rosencrans
Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

Sedef Doganer
Associate Professor & Department Chair, College of Architecture, Construction & Planning

Sandra Garcia
Associate Vice President for Sponsored Projects Administration

Heather Green
Director of Alumni Engagement Communications
Interim Director of Annual Giving

Shelley Howell
Interim Associate Vice Provost, Teaching & Learning

Kendra Ketchum
Vice President for Information Management and Technology

Mark Leung
Associate Professor &Department Chair, Management Science & Statistics

Laurie Lewis
Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Success

Chad Mahood
Chair, Faculty Senate
Associate Professor of Communication

David Matiella
Associate Dean, College of Architecture, Construction & Planning

Rosanne McSweeney
Behavioral Intervention Specialist, University Police

Denise Moore
Compensation & Employment Manager

Anne Peters
Associate Vice President for Presidential Communications & Special Projects

Megan Piel
Graduate Council Member
Assistant Professor of Social Work

Sushil Prasad
Professor & Department Chair, Computer Science

Jeff Prevost
Professor of Electrical Engineering

Jeff Ragsdale
Assistant Dean of Strategic Partnerships
Alumnus, College of Education & Human Development

Libby Rowe
Graduate Council Member
Associate Professor of Art and Art History

Juan Manuel Sanchez
Associate Dean, College of Business

Johnelle Sparks
Chair, Department Chairs Council
Professor & Department Chair, Demography

Angela Speck
Department Chair, Physics & Astronomy

Rob Tillyer
Associate Dean, College of Public Policy

Arnold Trejo
Executive Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships

Jose Trevino
Graduate student, College of Engineering

Sonia Valencia
Graduate student, College of Liberal & Fine Arts

Mario Vela
Executive Director of Career Center

Karina Vielma
Research Fellow, College of Engineering

Tyler Werland
Graduate Council Member
Graduate student, College of Business

Rebecca Weston
Associate Dean, Graduate School

Jason Yaeger
Associate Dean, College of Liberal & Fine Arts


Status Update (Spring 2024)

The Graduate Student Success for Faculty Excellence Task Force, led by Vice Provost and Graduate School Dean Ambika Mathur, completed its report on July 27, 2020. UTSA has made considerable progress in implementing the Task Force’s six recommendations, including standardizing appointments for doctoral students; increasing financial support and health benefits for full-time doctoral students; modernizing graduate school admissions and recruitment processes; and expanding professional development and micro-credentialing to ensure student success for careers in and outside of the Academy. These investments and a review of five doctoral programs and faculty were integral to UTSA’s effort to secure National Research University Fund (NRUF) eligibility in August 2023.

While this task force has fulfilled its objectives, UTSA’s commitment to support graduate student success and engage in innovation and continual improvement remains steadfast. 

View the Final Task Force Report

This Initiative Supports Strategic Destinations

Destination One: Model for Student Success

Destination Two: Great Public Research University