Advancing Belonging and the “Out of Classroom” Experience in the Digital Era 

Current StatusOperationalized


As UTSA looks to the future, we aspire to be recognized for excellence and leadership on the state and national level, especially in reinforcing our HSI identity and our unparalleled role in preparing a broad, inclusive mix of learners for the 21st century workforce in Texas through a UTSA learning environment driven by innovation and personalized, engaged, future-focused experiences in- and out-of the classroom. Our collective experience with remote technologies during the spring term and our decision to remain in that mode for the summer term has accelerated UTSA’s progress towards that future and created an intensified sense of momentum and enthusiasm amongst our students and faculty.

The Tactical Team for Advancing Belonging and the “Out of Classroom” Experience in the Digital Era will embrace our institutional momentum and enthusiasm to build recommendations for Fall 2020 as a stepping stone towards our three-year horizon and beyond.

As UTSA moves toward more academic programming being delivered in hybrid and online modalities, we will need to intentionally elevate student engagement and a sense of belonging in innovative ways to support student success and provide resources to all aiding in UTSA’s mission. We must be particularly cognizant of and focused on developing steps to reduce the impacts of differential access caused by technological and economic challenges. The highest priority recommendations will focus on approaches from the full range of student experiences that occur out-of-the-classroom. By necessity, these recommendations will be shaped by the realities of public health operations necessitated by the current pandemic following the recommendations and guidelines of the recently formed UTSA Public Health Task. Discussion and recommendations will also be presented about how to personalize the student experience to solidify students’ identities as Roadrunners with a strong affinity for UTSA during this pandemic. All delivered recommendations should be provided as first stops in a roadmap to Fall 2023 and beyond.

»  View the Tactical Team Report

Gerry Sanders, Co-lead 
Dean of the College of Business

LT Robinson, Co-lead 
Dean of Students and Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Diane Abdo
Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Writing Program, University College
Faculty Senate Representative

Tracey Bass
Assistant Dean of Graduate
& Postdoctoral Success, Graduate School

Edwin Barea-Rodriguez
Associate Dean for Student Success & Instructional Innovation, College of Sciences

Saadet Beeson
Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, College of Architecture, Construction and Planning

Sabina Bhattathiry-Kapoor
Director, Academic Advising, Student Placement, Student Success
Staff Senate Representative

Traci Guinn Buckley
Assistant Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

Lydia Bueno
Assistant Dean, Honors College

Stefanie Cisneros
Assistant Athletics Director

Erica Clark
Assistant Director, International Engagement, College of Business

Erika Cox
Director, Strategic Enrollment Initiatives, Strategic Enrollment

Maggie Floyd
Director, Student Development & Leadership, Student Success

Cié Gee
Associate Vice Provost for Career-Engaged Learning, Academic Success

Josh Gerken
Assistant Vice President, Campus Planning, Business Affairs
Paul Goodman
Associate Vice President of Facilities, Business Affairs
Mary Hernandez
Associate Vice President for Business Affairs Administration and Operations
Melissa Hernandez
Director of Counseling & Mental Health Services
Charlin Jones-Chavez
Senior Associate Director, Student Activities
Steve Kudika
Assistant Director, Fitness/Wellness, Recreation Center, Student Affairs
Mark Leung
Department Chair & Professor, Management Science and Statistics, College of Business
Department Chairs Council Representative
Bryan Lugo
Business Relationship Manager, University Technology Solutions
Ryan McPherson
Lecturer III, Department of Communication, College of Liberal & Fine Arts
Jenesis Montemayor
Student Government Association Representative
Kevin Price
Senior Associate Vice President for Housing &
Campus Services, Business Affairs
Em de la Rosa
Associate Director, Residence Life and Education, Student Success
Amy Rushing
Assistant Dean, Special Collections, Libraries
Patricia Sanchez
Department Chair & Professor, Department of
Bicultural and Bilingual Studies, College of Education and Human Development
Lorenzo Sanchez
Director, Emergency Management &
Business Continuity
Jana Schwartz
Administrative Manager for Student Success, College for Health, Community & Policy
Ann Margaret Trujillo
Associate Director, Multicultural Student Center for Equity & Justice, Student Affairs

Strategic Plan Midpoint Update (Fall 2022)

UTSA’s Tactical Team for Advancing Belonging and the “Out of the Classroom” Experience in the Digital Era completed its final report on July 7, 2020. Co-led by Gerry Sanders, (former) Dean, College of Business and LT Robinson, Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Tactical Team was aided by two sub-committees, the first addressed Student Engagement, Success and Support and the second focused on Public Health and Safety. The team’s recommendations included 17 Action Items concerning:

  • Belonging/Connectedness
  • Logistical Concerns
  • Event Planning
  • Technology/Equity/Access

By fulfilling its objectives, this Task Force enabled UTSA to deliver mission-critical operations while prioritizing the health, safety, and wellbeing of all members of the roadrunner community.

This Initiative Supports Strategic Destinations

Destination One: Model for Student Success