Dec. 4, 2019 — UTSA is working with a San Antonio middle school on the city’s West Side to provide an alcohol and substance abuse prevention intervention program designed to educate at-risk adolescents on the effects that alcohol and other illicit drugs have on the body and mind.
The UTSA Institute for Health Disparities Research has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund Project Preventing Adolescent Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
The 2018 Texas School Survey of Drugs and Alcohol Use indicated that 34% of seventh graders had used alcohol in their lifetime and almost 15% indicated having used alcohol in the past month. The rate of use is even higher among eighth graders, with 42% having ever used alcohol and 20% having used in the past month.
—THANKAM SUNIL, Director of UTSA’s Institute for Health Disparities Research
The UTSA project will address these issues in partnership with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
“We will implement a nationally used, evidence-based intervention curriculum on a middle school campus focused on building emotional capacity for drug-free living through an interactive process of setting realistic goals, making responsible decisions, managing emotions, refusing negative peer pressure and building healthy relationships,” explained Thankam Sunil, the principal investigator and director of the UTSA institute.
Professor Sunil said like the IHDR’s other research projects, project PAASA will offer opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to get involved as research assistants.
“At the IHDR, our current and past research projects reflect a demonstrated commitment to addressing health disparities in underserved communities,” Sunil explained. “Our projects have given UTSA students opportunities to get hands-on experience in a formal research setting by applying their public health knowledge through internships and volunteering.”
This urban-serving research institute, housed in UTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts, was established in 2010 and its primary mission is to reduce and eliminate health disparities in South Texas through integration of biomedical and sociobehavioral science approaches.
Part of the University Relations Speakers Series, this panel discussion addresses the impact of Covid19 on the Latino community. Sarah Zenaida Gould, Ph.D., Mexican American Civil Rights Institute; Gabriel R. Sanchez, Ph.D., University of New Mexico; Marie T. More, Ph.D., University of Missouri; and Dr. Rogelio Saenz, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Demography at UTSA will be a part of this panel.Virtual Event
Rosie Castro is an American civil rights activist and educator from San Antonio who has been invovled in prominent groups like the Young Democrats of America, the Mexican American Youth Organization, the Committee for Barrio Betterment and La Raza Unida Party. She is the mother of former presidential candidate Julián Castro and Rep. Joaquín Castro.Virtual Event
In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, the book for this month will explore issues of Latinx identity, diversity, equity, student success and social justice. Weekly sessions will include guest speakers and virtual discussions. The club will be reading "Redeeming La Raza: Transborder Modernity, Race, Respectability, and Rights" by UTSA professor Dr. Gabriela González.Virtual Event
Organized by faculty and staff from the College for Health, Community and Policy, the third Texas Latino Policy Symposium convenes academics, practitioners and activists from across the state to engage in discussions that examin the need of our Latino population and the impact of COVID-19 in Texas. The goal of this symposium is to formulate policy responses to propose to the Texas legislature that redress the disproportionate lasting impact the pandemic has had on Latino families.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.
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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.