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UTSA faculty complete compassionate integrity training to aid students

UTSA faculty complete compassionate integrity training to aid students

AUGUST 4, 2020 — Six faculty members from UTSA have participated in the San Antonio Compassionate Institute 2020 along with representatives from multiple other city educational organizations. The institute, hosted by Compassionate San Antonio, consists of online curriculum where community educators and leaders receive compassion training to take back to their educational institutions and communities. Participants met virtually from June 15 to July 16.

Participants from UTSA who completed the 2020 Compassionate Integrity Training were Erica Sosa, associate professor in the Department of Public Health; Angela Speck, professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy; Jessica Wright, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Classics; Kathryn Henderson, assistant professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies; Greg Griffin, assistant professor of urban and regional planning in the Department of Architecture; and Gary Jacobs, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering.


“CIT has equipped me with the tools to guide students to self-reflect on what role compassion plays in building partnerships.”


Mayor Nirenberg Greets Compassionate SA



Other members of the UTSA community are also involved in the program. Members of the CIT planning committee include Maria Alejandro, director of the Center for Civic Engagement; Mel Webb, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Classics and Honors College; Elvira Leal, assistant vice president for community relations; and Ph.D. student Kerry Mckeon. They have all previously taken the CIT training and will be facilitating post-training CIT workshops for other higher education participants.

 “I was excited when the opportunity to bring CIT to San Antonio arose, since it is the only compassion-based training that also includes an analysis of the ways that systems, such as educational systems, can reproduce patterns of harm that require determined, compassionate engagement to repair,” said Webb. “I am glad to offer this program as part of a wider effort to deepen our local commitment to compassion and to move the needle toward more equitable outcomes for students at every level, in every region of San Antonio.”

CIT participants will continue to meet with educators from around the world in events hosted by a designated facilitator through the next academic year to assess how the training is being applied in their classrooms and educational settings.

“CIT has equipped me with the tools to guide students to self-reflect on what role compassion plays in building partnerships for authentic community-engaged experiential learning and scholarship,” Alejandro said.


Learn more about the Compassionate Institute.


The San Antonio Compassionate Institute 2020 grew from the Compassionate SA Resolution approved by City Council and signed in 2017 by Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Earlier this year Nirenberg reached out directly to local university presidents, superintendents and educational leaders, asking each to nominate participants for the program from their institutions.

In collaboration with the San Antonio Compassionate Institute 2020, the University of Incarnate Word will be hosting a workshop titled “Critical Thinking, Compassion, Paths to Civic Engagement,” open to all San Antonio university and college educators on August 11.



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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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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.