Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Eisenberg gift to increase experiential opportunities for UTSA students through Archer Center

Eisenberg gift to increase experiential opportunities for UTSA students through Archer Center

JANUARY 24, 2022 — Thanks to a generous gift from UTSA professor emeritus and longtime Honors College administrator Ann Eisenberg, more Roadrunners will now have the unique opportunity to live, learn and intern in our nation’s capital through the Bill Archer Fellowship Program.

The University of Texas System’s Archer Center recently announced the creation of the Dr. Ann R. Eisenberg Endowed Scholarship to support more students’ participation in the Archer Fellowship Program. Archer Fellows earn in-residence credit for their coursework and gain hands-on work experience in an internship during the fall or spring semester. Many Archer Fellows are interested in careers in public service.

The scholarship will support students from UTSA, UT Rio Grande Valley and UT El Paso who demonstrate exceptional financial need, with preference given to UTSA students.

UTSA global affairs senior Mark-Joseph León is the inaugural Eisenberg Scholar. He is excited and grateful to be able to spend his last semester at UTSA as an Archer Fellow this spring, interning with two organizations where he can pursue his passion for indigenous peoples’ rights — the International Indian Treaty Council and the Water Protector Legal Collective.

“The Bill Archer Fellowship Program was transformative for me for so many reasons.”

“Having been affected by COVID, I did not think I would be able to afford the move to D.C., but because of the gracious support of the Archer Scholarship Committee and the new Dr. Ann R. Eisenberg Endowed Scholarship, I am able to pursue the internships that are most valuable to me,” said León.

Eisenberg served as the Archer Center’s campus coordinator at UTSA for 12 years. During that time, she helped 96 undergraduate students participate in the Archer Fellowship Program. In total, 112 Roadrunners have participated in the program.

 “During my time at UTSA, I had the privilege to become involved with many programs that had the power to transform students' lives, but the power of the Archer Program seemed unique,” said Eisenberg. “Archer, more than anything, convinced the talented students I worked with that they could do much more than they originally thought and it showed them how they could make the impact they wanted to make—on Texas, the nation and the world. In fact, three Archer Fellows, including UTSA alum John Lira ’12, are currently running for Congress.”

In addition to Lira, UTSA alumna Raven Douglas ’18 is creating a bold future for herself and people across Texas by working with various organizations to advance voting access, voter rights and youth engagement in politics and policy-making. Douglas interned with America Votes during her Archer Fellowship in Fall 2016.

“The Bill Archer Fellowship Program was transformative for me for so many reasons,” said Douglas. “Not only did it help solidify my professional trajectory post-graduation, it helped create professional and personal connections that I benefit from today. Some of my closest friends to date were in my cohort and I still have the opportunity to work with America Votes and the coworkers I had during my fellowship, even as they've moved on to other professional opportunities.”

UTSA alumna and Top Scholar Brianna Diaz ’19 interned at the Department of Education’s White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics during her Fall 2017 Archer fellowship. Today she is doctoral student in applied developmental and educational psychology at Boston College.

“The Archer Fellowship allowed me to learn and grow among a community of civic-minded folks and pushed me to consider the impact I hope to have on the world and education specifically. Most importantly, it showed me the value of having an experiential-based civics education, which has majorly motivated my current doctoral research around civic development,” said Diaz. “In my doctoral program so far, I have worked with other researchers, teachers, and nonprofit organizations on how to create better civic opportunities for youth in our country, and I don't think this passion would have developed without the Archer experience.” 

Learn more about the Archer Fellowship Program.
Explore the UTSA Honors College.
Read about Raven Douglas, a UTSA Honors College alum.

Both Douglas and Diaz say Eisenberg’s mentorship throughout their years at UTSA and since then has made a significant impact on their lives.

Eisenberg joined the university in 1983 as a faculty member in the UTSA Department of Psychology. She served in a variety of roles at UTSA, including associate dean of the UTSA Honors College, director of the Office of Scholar Development, director of the University Honors Programs, director of the McNair Scholars Program and director of the Career Opportunities in Research Program. In each of her academic roles at UTSA, Eisenberg had the opportunity and privilege of mentoring multiple generations of university students. She retired from UTSA in 2019, and in the same year was appointed dean of the Honors College at Eastern Michigan University, where she serves today.

“The Archer Fellowship is a model experiential learning opportunity that creates a lasting impact on our students and helps them build lifelong leadership skills and networks,” said Kristi Meyer, assistant dean for special programs in the Honors College. “We are so grateful for Ann’s continued support of this program, whereby she is able to make a lasting impact on Roadrunners for generations to come.”

The Archer Fellowship Program is available to UTSA undergraduate students from all majors and areas of study. The deadline to apply for the 2022-2023 Archer Fellowship Program is March 1, 2022. To learn more and apply, visit the Archer Center website.

The UTSA Honors College focuses on student development through one of the most experiential honors curricula in the nation. Its non-traditional, project-based approach provides students with unique opportunities outside of their major, empowering them to become leaders, develop as professionals, and reach intellectual achievement beyond coursework. As the only residential college at UTSA, the Honors College community is made up of roughly 1,700 high-achieving, academically driven students from across all majors and disciplines, including the UTSA Top ScholarsTerry Scholars and many of the university's nationally award-winning students. Visit the Honors College website to learn more.

KC Gonzalez

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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