(April 1, 2013) -- UTSA President Ricardo Romo, a noted educator and historian whose work celebrates Latino history and heritage while also creating opportunities for the advancement of minorities, received the Wheaton College Otis Social Justice Award in Boston last week.
Romo received the college's award for promoting social justice through education and public service. Following the award presentation, Romo delivered a lecture, "The Latino Bridge to the Civil Rights Movement."
Romo began his tenure as president of UTSA in 1999, and he has led a dramatic expansion of the school's programs and its capacity to serve students. Student enrollment has risen by 68 percent. The university has added numerous programs and facilities to enhance student life and expand its research capacity. The institution was named one of the state's eight emerging research universities by the Texas Legislature.
Romo has received numerous awards and recognitions for his service to the university and the community. In 2011, Romo was presented the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Chief Executive Leadership Award for transforming UTSA from a regional campus into an emerging Tier One research university. In February 2012, Romo received the Colonel W.T. Bondurant Sr. Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the San Antonio Academy of Texas Alumni Council.
A nationally respected urban historian, Romo's scholarship has helped to uncover the history of Mexican-Americans and their role in the development of the United States. His area of interest reflects his background as the grandson of Mexicans who emigrated to Texas in search of a better life.
"I became a history teacher because in college I discovered the history that I was going to learn had nothing to do with the unofficial history that I had learned as a child," said Romo in a public television interview about his work. "I was learning history with very little connection to my community and my family."
"East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio," Romo's best-known book, tells the story of the settlement of Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles early in the 20th century and their contributions to southern California's cultural and economic development. He also is the author of numerous journal articles and reviews, and he is the co-editor of the book, "New Directions in Chicano Studies."
Romo began his academic career teaching social studies in Los Angeles. He went on to teach at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin. He was a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley in 1985 and visiting scholar with the Stanford University Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences.
A San Antonio native who grew up on the city's West Side, Romo graduated from Fox Tech High School before attending the University of Texas at Austin on a track scholarship. At UT Austin, he was the first Texan to run the mile in less than four minutes, a record that lasted 41 years. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from UT Austin, a master's degree in history from Loyola Marymount University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.
The Otis Social Justice lecture series was established in 1959 through the generosity of Henry Witte Otis, whose children included two Wheaton graduates. Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving U.S. first lady (1933-1945) and the first chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, was among the earliest Otis lecturers (1962). Today, the purpose of the Otis Fund has broadened to support a colloquium in social justice -- a forum through which the Wheaton community may address key contemporary social issues. The first Otis Social Justice Award was presented in 1990 to former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. Texan Molly Ivins, an author, also received the award in addition to playwright Howard Zinn and U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy.
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
This exhibit includes prints by 25 Latino and Latina artists who worked in collaboration with a master printer in the print studio at the UTSA Department of Art and Art History. It runs through Oct. 12.
Downtown Campus Art Gallery, Durango Building Room 1.122, Downtown Campus
This book talk will feature a presentation by the book’s co-editors Anne-Marie Núñez, ELPS associate professor, Sylvia Hurtado, professor at the University of California Los Angeles, and Emily Calderón Galdeano, director of research for Excelencia in Education.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus
As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
Love of theater, history leads Lee grad to pursue anthropology degree
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