Tuesday, July 28, 2015

UTSA biology professor Valerie Sponsel named Romo Endowed Professor

Valerie Sponsel

Valerie Sponsel

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(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.

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

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Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
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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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Vaquerocation 2015

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Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

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Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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