(April 24, 2014) -- Valerie Sponsel, UTSA professor of biology in the College of Sciences, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Ricardo Romo Ph.D. Endowed Professorship. Sponsel is the second professor to be selected for the professorship since it was created in 2009.
The endowment, named for the president of the university, is awarded to professors in the Honors College who exemplify attributes of leadership, service and research.
"Besides her teaching, Dr. Sponsel has worked side-by-side with students on their research," said Richard Diem, dean of the Honors College. "She's an excellent mentor and epitomizes what the Romo professorship is all about."
The three-year professorship will allow for new programs to be created within the Honors College, which was established in 2002. The Honors College gives students with high academic achievements rich educational experiences, which Sponsel plans to develop even further.
"I want to do things to enhance students' experiences in science and engineering," Sponsel said, adding that she would like to add more service-learning opportunities to show students how they can solve real-world problems with science.
"Honors students are always open to learning, but sometimes they need to be exposed to new opportunities for excellence," she said.
Sponsel has taught honors students since 1998 and has been involved in several collaborative research projects with faculty in the College of Engineering. She is an expert in plant growth and development.
Sponsel earned her Bachelor of Science in Botany degree and Ph.D. in plant physiology from the University of Wales, and a Doctor of Science degree for her research on plant metabolism from Bristol University. She has been teaching at UTSA since 1995.
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
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
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
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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