Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Meet a Roadrunner: Lorenzo Brancaleon expands international collaborations

Ben Fountain

Student Alicia Vall Sagarra (left) and Associate Professor Lorenzo Brancaleon

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(Oct. 30, 2013) -- Meet Lorenzo Brancaleon. The physics associate professor and chair of the graduate program in the UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy graduate program is fostering collaborations with researchers from the IQS School of Engineering in Barcelona, Spain.

This year, Brancaleon hosted Alicia Vall Sagarra, a 23-year-old chemist from Catalonia, Spain. She's working on a master's thesis about photosensitive dyes and proteins that could one day assist in cancer treatment therapies. Brancaleon is trying to establish the collaboration with her adviser, Santiago Nonell, a world-renowned photochemist.

Before leaving Spain, Vall Sagarra wasn't sure if she wanted to return and spend another five years pursuing a doctoral degree. But, after working in the laboratory under the mentorship of Brancaleon, she is more committed than ever.

"He made me fall in love with this by treating me like a scientist and not like a student," said Sagarra. "He showed me the importance of keeping track of all the work that I do. I feel like I have talent in this area."

Brancaleon is trying to find funding that would allow a stream of physics students to enjoy research opportunities at a university in Spain and also at UTSA.

"This collaboration could expand our research capabilities and also bring more visibility to the types of research we are doing here at UTSA," said Brancaleon.

Since joining UTSA in 2003, Brancaleon has seen physics faculty numbers triple to 16, physics majors increase to 119 and the number of physics graduate students increase to 90. The Physics graduate program is the fifth largest in Texas.

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Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
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6th Annual Texas Higher Education Symposium

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Vaquerocation 2015

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Aug. 17, 11:30 p.m.

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