(Oct. 18, 2018) -- Promoting and strengthening the ability of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to develop programs that attract, retain and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) science workforce is the goal of a four-year, $275,000 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture award to The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
This interdisciplinary project, led by Janis Bush, a UTSA professor of environmental science and ecology, is funded by USDA’s Hispanic Serving Institutions Program. Through Project ASSIST (Advancing and Strengthening Science Identity through Systematic Training), Bush and her team will design an innovative education model that can be transferred to other minority-serving institutions with student populations similar to those at UTSA.
Building an effective model first means understanding the barriers to, and the support mechanisms for, enabling underrepresented minority student success. Targeting high school, undergraduate and graduate students, Project ASSIST develops and tests a unique model that cultivates students’ science identity – combining holistic mentoring, writing-to-learn and public science communication – to enhance the quality of undergraduate agriculture education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). It also aims to increase persistence and graduation rates of underrepresented minority (URM) students pursuing bachelor’s and advanced degrees in agricultural fields at HSIs.
An interdisciplinary team of UTSA faculty from the College of Education and Human Development, College of Sciences, and College of Liberal and Fine Arts will work collaboratively to develop the comprehensive program, which will address the personal, cultural, social and institutional barriers faced by underrepresented minority students.
The program will focus on two skills for future leadership: (1) writing-to-learn activities designed to improve content learning and bridge the gap among lower and upper division courses and encourage graduation; and (2) public science communication training, a value-added skill that responds to the demand for scientists as engaged leaders of public deliberation. These skills will be integrated across specific writing intensive classes for the Environmental Sciences at UTSA.
“We want to create a pipeline from area high schools to UTSA to increase the numbers of students pursuing majors in food, agriculture, natural resources and human science. These students will develop rigorous skills in science that will make them attractive future employees of natural resource and conservation organizations,” said Bush.
The UTSA team includes Janis Bush, principal investigator (PI) and professor and chair of Department of Environmental Science and Ecology, Amaury Nora, professor and associate dean for research in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Sue Hum, associate professor in the Department of English, Kenneth Walker, assistant professor in the Department of English, Jeffrey Hutchinson, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology, Gwen Young, lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology and Juliet Ray, director of Grant Services at Johns Hopkins University.
UTSA is ranked among the nation’s top five young universities, according to Times Higher Education.
Learn more about UTSA College of Sciences.
Learn more about UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
Learn more about UTSA College of Education and Human Development.
In honor of UTSA's 50th Anniversary in 2019, the university is hosting Roadrunner Days Spring Edition - two weeks of semester-launching activities built around our deeply held values of student success, student involvement, community service and fun!Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
All UTSA students, faculty, staff, alums & families are invited to march as a unified community. Register here: bit.ly/2TYbHbR. Shuttles will be provided from the Main and Downtown Campuses.Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, 3501 MLK Dr., San Antonio
UTSA's John Nix invites the community to sing "Amazing Grace" and “We Shall Overcome” at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The intent of this nationwide effort is to honor Dr. King's legacy and to spread a sense of community in the United States.Locations throughout the United States
Opening Reception got exhibit featuring artists Miguel Aragon, Aaron Coleman, Sandra Fernandez, Annalise Gratovich, Marco Hernandez, Kristen Powers Nowlin, & Patricia Villalobos EcheverriaMain Art Gallery, Arts Building (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
Tracy Cowden, Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and chair of the UTSA Department of Music launches the UTSA 50th Anniversary Scholars Speaker Series with Music as Medicine: The Power and Influence of Music on our Health.Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Cir. #120, San Antonio
UTSA African American Studies Program presents this series featuring Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus)
Join fellow Runners to walk for 10 minutes on the Main Campus. The event reminds us of the importance of exercise, diet and healthy habits in protecting our hearts.Outside the North Paseo Building, Main Campus
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
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.
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