MAY 5, 2022 — Four UTSA students and alumni have earned the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship. The award recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.
Tanya Cruz, Zina Helal, Valeria Juarez ’20 and Sean Tritley will each receive three-year stipends of $34,000 annually, a $12,000 cost of education allowance toward their tuition and fees and access to opportunities for professional development.
All four winners are from the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering in the Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design.
Each of the students participated in either the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) or Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) programs—federally funded undergraduate research training and support programs which aim to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue careers in the behavioral and biomedical sciences.
Helal is a current Honors College student and Juarez and Tritley are recent graduates of the Honors College. Helal came to UTSA three years ago as a transfer student from Loyola University Chicago. She joined Teja Guda's tissue engineering laboratory in fall 2019 and is investigating the mechanics of tracheal stenosis, a respiratory condition that is prevalent in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Cruz joined the biomedical engineering laboratory of Chris Rathbone in early 2021 to study the effects of diabetes on skeletal muscle. She is planning to pursue neuroscience research while earning her Ph.D. and hopes to learn more about the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.
Juarez ’20 is now a second year Ph.D. student at the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering—a joint academic partnership between Emory University and Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Her research focuses on bioengineering synthetic immune organs in a dish or on a chip. By developing these mini organs, she intends to study responses to vaccines, infections and changes to the gut microbiome. While an undergraduate at UTSA, she worked with macromolecular bio-Interfaces researcher Gabriela Romero Uribe.
Tritley enrolled at UTSA as an undergraduate after medical issues ended his Air Force career early. He is the first National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in UTSA and UT-Health’s Joint Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Program, where he is currently researching new ways to model the human brain with Eric Brey and Amina Qutub.
UTSA students Claudia Collier, Ray Hagimoto and Linh Tram received honorable mentions from the NSF.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the oldest fellowship program in the nation that directly supports graduate students in various STEM fields. Since 1952, NSF has awarded over 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships from among 500,000 applicants. Currently, 42 Fellows have gone on to become Nobel laureates and more than 450 have become members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.
UTSA is a Tier One research university and a Hispanic Serving Institution that puts students first by cultivating an environment that focuses on their success. As a multicultural, next-generation institution where students from all background can excel, the university serves as a prosperity engine by educational and training graduates who are well-prepared to address the workforce needs of our city and state to excel in a global economy.
The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards partners with university faculty and staff to identify and support students who are eligible for major scholarships such as the NSF Graduate Fellowship and many others.
UTSA students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to raise their voices and participate in the upcoming joint primary runoff election. Any registered Bexar County voter may vote at the H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102).Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), H-E-B Student Union, Main Campus
Adult Mental Health First Aid consists of 6 hours of instructor-led training, in which teaches adults how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen nonjudgmentally and give reassurance to the individual, student/colleague, who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services at UTSAJohn Peace Library (4.04.12C), Main Campus
Refusing to Forget is a collaborative effort to examine and expose the devastating impact of state-sanctioned racial violence throughout the early 20th century in the Texas Borderlands. This will be a two-day workshop.Gregory Luna Room, Buena Vista Building, Downtown Campus
Join fellow UTSA accounting alumni for this fun-filled event that includes breakfast, a round of golf, an awards luncheon and great prizes. All proceeds from the tournament benefit student scholarships.Canyon Springs Golf Club, 24405 Wilderness Oak, San Antonio, TX 78260
UTSA students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to raise their voices and participate in the upcoming joint primary runoff election. Election day is Tuesday, May 24. Any registered Bexar County voter may vote at the H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102).Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), H-E-B Student Union, Main Campus
The Faculty Coffee Chat is designed to provide faculty members the space to discuss current issues they are facing in an inclusive and supportive environment.Virtual Event
These sessions are focused on incoming Freshman who are attending the UTSA Summer Orientation and are intending to major in areas within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts! We'll have important information and giveaways for you - come meet us.Willow room (SU 2.02.1), Main 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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
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.