APRIL 8, 2021 — Hector Aguilar, distinguished senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, has been selected as a fellow in The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He is the third UTSA faculty member to be inducted into this esteemed group of educators.
The academy recognizes outstanding educators who are leaders in education committed to improving the student learning experience. Established in 2012, the academy selects educators across The University of Texas System’s eight academic institutions. Fellows of the academy serve as the system-level advisory and advocacy group devoted to cultivating classroom innovation, interdisciplinary educational perspectives and promoting best practices for undergraduate instruction throughout UT System campuses.
“I am blessed to have a career that allows me to live my passion of educating, mentoring, and guiding students toward their future ambitions,” said Aguilar. “I am honored and excited to be part of this extraordinary group of educators, and I look forward to contributing to the academy’s mission to actively advocate for exemplary undergraduate learning across the UT System.”
Aguilar is setting the standard for what it means to be an exemplary teacher. His passion and enthusiasm for chemistry makes his courses some of the most popular on campus, engaging students with innovative new methods of instruction. Aguilar’s commitment to student engagement ensures his students can apply what they’ve learned to be competitive in the workforce.
“Dr. Aguilar has a talent for engaging undergraduate students, particularly underrepresented and first-generation students, and helping them succeed,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “What sets him apart is his true dedication to creating experiential learning opportunities in the classroom.”
Aguilar earned his Ph.D. from UTSA in 2013 and takes every opportunity to help his students succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. He serves as assistant director at UTSA for the National Institutes of Health–funded Enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Educational Diversity program, which provides valuable opportunities to underrepresented and first-generation students.
He also cocreated and codirects the College of Sciences’ honors program and has collaborated with the Honors College to create a streamlined program for honors students interested in the sciences. He is an elected member of the Honors College Advisory Council and the Instructional Advisory Board. Aguilar is also the faculty adviser for the American Chemical Society Student Affiliated Chapter and the Pre-Pharmacy Organization at UTSA.
Aguilar has a distinguished list of accomplishments
Hector Aguilar’s most recent accolades include the highly competitive Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award in 2017. He was also inducted into the UTSA Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars that same year. Aguilar in 2018 received the UTSA Innovation Award and the Honors Alliance Award from honors students. Aguilar in 2020 received UTSA’s President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in University Service.
Travis Menard, a Roadrunner alumnus who is now pursuing his graduate education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, realized Aguilar was different from his other undergraduate instructors when, despite the large class size, Aguilar took the time to learn all his students’ names. Menard’s career trajectory, he said, was influenced in large part by Aguilar.
“Many of my most fond memories are from taking classes with and working for Dr. Aguilar,” said Menard. “I learned more than I ever thought I could about a topic I never knew I would be interested in. His courses helped me to not only find my ganas (“passion”) but also gave me the skills necessary to further pursue it.”
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.Virtual Event
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This September 30, the Friday Series will feature Prof. Milena Ang, who will be presenting A Tren to Nowhere: Statistic Development and the Politics of Racial, a paper co-authored with Tania Islas-Weistein where they discuss Mexico's long history of state-led development projects that contribute to economic and racial inequality. The authors argue that despite professing racial justice, official discourses surrounding the Tren Maya reproduce existing symbolic and material forms of racism.McKinney Humanities (MH 4.01.01,) Main Campus
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.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.