Saturday, November 28, 2015


Meet a Roadrunner: Doctoral student Jossina Gonzalez has passion for neuroscience

Jossina Gonzalez

Jossina Gonzalez

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(May 9, 2013) -- Meet Jossina Gonzalez. She's a young woman with a passion for neuroscience, and she graduates this month.

In 2004, Gonzalez was accepted into the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston to prepare for training as a physician. However, when the university learned she was unable to walk and generally weakened due to a debilitating neurological condition, the health science center revoked her admission, causing an uproar that landed in the laps of the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Office of Civil Rights in Washington, D.C.

The crux of the issue was whether she could complete the physical training of medical school, residency and the day-to-day of physicians. Ultimately, Gonzalez lost her fight. Disheartened, she began pursuing other avenues.

"I had Jossina in my undergraduate neuroscience classes, and almost every time we took an exam, her grades were much, much higher than the rest of the class," recalls Brian Derrick, a professor in the UTSA Department of Biology. "I suggested she ought to become a scientist. She was just so smart. She needed to put that talent to work as a researcher."

Energized by Derrick's encouragement, Gonzalez applied and was admitted to the UTSA neurobiology doctoral program in 2007, five years after receiving her bachelor's degree in biology. Since that time, she has been studying the biological basis of hippocampal mnemonic function in the hopes that her research will provide new insights about how memories are encoded and recalled. She plans to pursue post-doctoral training to become an academic research neuroscientist.

Do you know an amazing UTSA student who has beat the odds to accomplish their dreams? Email, and we will consider your submission for the next installment of Meet a Roadrunner.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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