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UTSA scholarship recipient excels in research

UTSA scholarship recipient excels in research

After graduating from UTSA, Yesenia Yanez plans to continue her research in graduate school.

(May 11, 2018) -- Undergraduate Yesenia Yanez completed three research projects at UTSA. She credits scholarships for creating the opportunity.

“I believe that research is one of the most important contributions to society someone can make,” said Yanez, a senior double majoring in psychology and statistics. “While some can theorize and speculate about the world around them, researchers get the opportunity to bring us all closer to the truth. I am honored to be a part of the research that is being conducted at UTSA and I hope to continue for the rest of my academic career.”

A first-generation college student, Yanez grew up in California. After graduating high school, she set her eyes on attending college in Texas, landing at UTSA.

Her hard work and dedication to academics and involvement in student organizations helped her earn several scholarships including the Jerry and Mary Keating Annual Scholarship, the Rosemary Kowalski Scholarship and the Richard M. Wenzlaff Endowed Scholarship. All have allowed her the freedom to pursue research as an undergraduate.

Under the guidance of David Pillow, UTSA associate professor of psychology, Yanez’s first research project delved into the world of social media and how users portray themselves online. What she discovered was that the unique structure of Facebook yields identity conflict, which may in turn lead to anxiety and inhibition.

Since then she has expanded her repertoire to include researching the early predictors of adolescent delinquency, and exploring the varying conflict levels of identities.

“Without the support of scholarships, I wouldn’t have much time for my research. I am beyond grateful to the donors for allowing me this opportunity,” said Yanez, who has showcased her various research findings across the U.S., including the McNair Scholars Conference at the University of Maryland and at the University of California, Berkley.

After walking the stage at Commencement this weekend, Yanez plans on attending graduate school where she hopes to pursue research on violent school crime. Her career goals include earning a Ph.D. in forensic psychology and working for the FBI.

Yvonne Zamora Byrd

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UTSA targets Hispanic success through new leadership council

UTSA’s Mission

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.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

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.