Fostering Community-Campus Engagement


This task force will oversee UTSA’s efforts to engage, support and empower the Westside community through programming, services and institutional policies. Priorities will include supporting Westside arts and culture organizations, conveying UTSA’s services and programs into the Westside and ensuring that the Downtown Campus is welcoming to the community.  

Task Force Members

Elvira Leal, Chair
Assistant Vice President for Community Relations

Maria Alejandro
Program Director, Center for Civic Engagement

Arturo Almeida
Art Specialist, UTSA Libraries Art Collection

Tracy Cowden
Department Chair and Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Roy Garza
Project Manager, Office of Facilities

Belinda Harmon
Senior Director of Community Outreach, Institute for P-20 Initiatives

Jerod Jerry
Events Manager, Downtown Campus Buena Vista Theater

Sue Ann Pemberton
Assistant Professor in Practice, College of Architecture, Construction and Planning
Amy Rushing
Assistant Dean for Special Collections, UTSA Libraries

News and Updates

Possible Activities

  • Launch a new UTSA Community Center in the Westside to serve as a hub for university services and programs within the community.

  • Facilitate interactions between community-based institutions and UTSA academic departments—including art, music, architecture and history—to identify opportunities for integrating the arts and culture of the Westside into academic curricula.

  • Facilitate policy and programmatic opportunities to make the UTSA Downtown Campus a welcoming space for members of the Westside community, including:
    • Implementing new space reservation policies to allow community-based organizations and partners to use facilities for free or reduced charge
    • Hosting a farmers/artisans market or cultural events on the Downtown Campus in partnership with community based organizations
    • Undertaking a mural competition or project for the Downtown Campus in partnership with a community-based arts organization
  • Host speakers and community conversations in partnership with community-based organizations to promote community experts and their leadership and dialogue on topics relevant to the Westside community, such as neighborhood preservation and equitable neighborhood development.

  • Explore how materials and artwork housed within UTSA Libraries Special Collections and the UTSA Art Collection pertaining to Mexican-Americans and the Westside can be utilized for programming, exhibitions or permanent displays throughout the Westside.

  • Develop a Westside community historical archive in partnership with community-based organizations, including a plan for preservation of archival materials.