(April 4, 2018) – It’s easy for first-generation students at The University of Texas at San Antonio to feel a sense of belonging. The more than 11,000 Roadrunners who are the first in their families striving to earn a bachelor’s degree are surrounded by support. That is evident this week as UTSA hosts the First-Gen Fest. The second annual festival has grown from one day to six with a series of events on the Main and Downtown Campuses.
Hundreds of first-gen students, faculty and staff filled the Sombrilla on Tuesday for the First-Gen Fair. More than two dozen UTSA offices and organizations provided information tailored to first-gen students.
Aldo Sepulveda is a first-generation Roadrunner studying physics. The San Antonio native benefited from the First to Go and Graduate Program when he arrived at UTSA. Now he’s a peer mentor with the same program.
“Having these programs for first-gens meant a lot to me, and now I can use my experiences to give back and be there for other students,” Sepulveda said.
At the fair, students also enjoyed playing games, eating, listening to music and socializing with fellow Roadrunners. T-shirts were available for all UTSA first-gens so they can show off their pride.
At the end of the fair, first-gen students, faculty and staff came together at the Roadrunner Statue for a group photo. Patricia Sánchez, professor and department chair in the UTSA Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies and first-generation faculty, was part of the celebration.
“When I was in college, I didn’t even know the term ‘first-generation student.’ I had to figure the college process out myself,” Sánchez said. “It’s great to know there are so many people at UTSA dedicated to the success of first-gens.”
First-generation staff member and UTSA alumnus Brandon Cruz ’16 contributes to cultivating an exceptional student experience as the senior program coordinator for the First-Generation and Transfer Student Center.
“We want to empower them with knowledge about the opportunities out there, whether it’s about scholarships, leadership or work study opportunities,” Cruz said. ”UTSA invests in its first-generation students. We want to see them persist, graduate and go on to successful careers. We remind them they can do it.”
A second First-Gen Fair takes place today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Bill Miller Plaza on the UTSA Downtown Campus.
Other UTSA First-Gen events:
First-Gen Poetry Slam
Thursday, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Student Union Fountain Courtyard, Main Campus
Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez will lead a night of slam poetry just for first-gen students, faculty and staff.
Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Student Union Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
The First-Gen Institute is a free, one-day institute for UTSA faculty and staff, featuring presentations by David Laude from UT Austin and La’Tonya Rease Miles from UCLA.
First-Gen Familia Day/Dia de la Familia
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Main Building (MB 0.104/0.106), Main Campus
First-gen students are invited to bring their families to campus for an afternoon geared specially for parents and relatives of first-gen students.
The UTSA community is encouraged to use the hashtags #FirstGenUTSA, #FirstGenPride, #FirstGenOrgullo, and #FirstGenRunners during the First-Gen Fest.
Learn more about UTSA First-Gen Fest.
Community input is central to developing a well-conceived roadmap for the next 50 years of the ITC. To date, the visioning process has included opportunities for public input and ideation through two rounds of Community Conversations that sought input from a wide variety of ITC stakeholders.Virtual Event
Please join us Thursday, July 7th, 2022 for a discussion with Colonel (ret) Michael Davis, MD, FACS, FRCS (Hon), former Director of the U.S. Combat Casualty Care Research Program. Dr. Davis will discuss how to best identify strengths at UTSA that can be effectively leveraged for funding proposals to the Department of Defense.Business Building (BB `2.06.04,) Main Campus
Educators will develop strategies that can be implemented to stimulate, guide, and build capacity of diverse student populations.UTSA Downtown Campus
Participants will be introduced to applications included in Adobe Creative Cloud, a tool that is free for all UTSA faculty, staff, and students. Attendees will be able to complete short projects that will give them the opportunity to produce artifacts that they can use to improve digital literacy in their coursesVirtual Event
The Innovation Academy is an 8-hour online hybrid course designed to introduce faculty to a variety of educational ideas, best practices and resources for becoming more comfortable in teaching in different modalities. This academy will run July 18 – August 21. Upon completion of all activities, faculty will receive a one-time incentive of $1,000Virtual Event
Learn how to design surveys that are scientifically valid and are inclusive of diverse populations. Anchored in culturally and linguistically competent practices, this interactive workshop will explore and apply concepts related to the lifecycle of survey development from design to implementation.Virtual Event
The virtual conference will bring together information professionals and academics to discuss current research, ideas, insights, and best practices that advance STEM research and education.Virtual Event
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.