AUGUST 12, 2022 — UTSA begins the academic year with nearly 100 new full-time faculty joining its ranks. Marking another year of outstanding new hires, the tenured, tenure-track and full-time fixed-term-track faculty bring their talents from a host of prestigious institutions from around the nation and world.
Notably, within this cohort, over 75% of the tenured and tenure-track faculty received their terminal degrees from Carnegie R1 research institutions and nearly half from AAU member institutions. A few of these premier institutions include Johns Hopkins University, New York University, Penn State University, University at Buffalo-SUNY, University of California-Los Angeles and University of Florida.
Five of this year’s new tenured and tenure-track faculty hail from international universities, including Fudan University in China, HEC Paris School of Business and Iniversite de Technologie de Troyes in France, the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
Nearly 100 tenured, tenure-track and full-time fixed-term-track faculty joined the UTSA community this academic year.
“We are pleased to welcome such a large cohort of new accomplished educators to our UTSA community,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “The expertise of these new faculty members, who are at the forefront of their fields, will support our students’ success through cutting edge curricula and unique learning experiences both in and out of the classroom.”
When asked why they chose UTSA, several faculty members said they were impressed by the university’s recent Tier One designation and shared excitement about working with its diverse student body.
A native of San Antonio and first-generation college student, microbiologist Diqui LaPenta decided to leave a longtime teaching position at California’s College of the Redwoods for the opportunity to join the UTSA Department of Integrative Biology as an assistant professor of instruction. With over 25 years of teaching experience, she is passionate about UTSA’s dual commitment to student success and research excellence.
“At UTSA, I can be a mentor and role model for first-generation college students who need help navigating what it means to be a college student,” LaPenta said. “I have watched UTSA grow from a few buildings to an R1-designated institution. I am also hopeful that UTSA will progress from a Hispanic Serving Institution to a Hispanic Thriving Institution, and it would be an honor to be an active part of that process.”
Several incoming faculty members were hired as a result of the programs that comprise Academic Affairs’ Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative. These programs support additional hiring of diverse full-time, tenured and tenure-track faculty who will advance inclusive excellence at UTSA by enhancing student success, research and academic distinction.
Four faculty were hired into tenure/tenure-track (T/TT) positions under the initiative’s Accelerating Faculty Diversity Hiring Program (FDP), which provides colleges with support to hire diverse faculty who will advance inclusive excellence at UTSA. Another four faculty were hired as part of the Dual Career Academic Partners Hiring Program, which provides colleges support to address the needs of dual career academic couples by helping partners of tenure-stream faculty find academic appointments at the university.
Assistant professor Cody A. Gonzalez was recruited through the FDP to UTSA’s Department of Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. In 2020, he was selected for the Alfred P. Sloan Minority Ph.D. Program, which supports efforts to diversify the doctoral degree-holding workforce and help change the demographics of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty.
“UTSA's commitment to diversity was a strong factor in my decision to attend UTSA,” said Gonzalez. “I've been committed to diversity my entire academic career. As an Alfred P. Sloan Scholar, I've been recognized for my dedication to improving diversity and I intend to continue that work at UTSA, furthering the university goals of becoming a Hispanic Thriving Institute.”
Additionally, two postdoctoral fellows were hired under the Provost’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows to Faculty Hiring Program (PDPFF), a program designed to promote and nurture the work of outstanding, diverse, early-career postdoctoral scholars and prepare them for faculty positions at UTSA or elsewhere, particularly in fields where there are fewer women or members of underrepresented minority groups.
Eduardo Gandara is one of the postdoctoral fellows who will be participating in the PDPFF program within the UTSA Department of Public Health. Specializing in community-based health intervention programs, Gandara joins UTSA from UT Health San Antonio’s South Texas Area Health Education Center, where he was working with Community Health Workers and on COVID-19 related initiatives.
“I decided to come to UTSA to advance the fight on health disparities impacting Latinos and African Americans in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond,” he said. “In addition, I am passionate about training the next generation of public health professionals, especially students who may come from underserved backgrounds and who are first-generation Roadrunners.”
This year’s cohort also includes new faculty who joined the Department of Art & Art History as part of the integration with the Southwest School of Art in July.
Additionally, Alonzo M. Flowers III was hired as the new chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies—the department from which he earned a master’s degree in 2007. He earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University and most recently served as associate dean of Drexel University’s Graduate College, where he was also a faculty member in the School of Education. Flowers has a strong record of scholarship in educational leadership and diversity in STEM education.
The group participated in the New Faculty Academy: Bold Beginnings program from August 1 to 10, an intensive development opportunity designed to effectively launch faculty at the university.
The program started with an orientation to UTSA and continued with daily sessions in which the faculty learned from some of UTSA’s most innovative faculty, participated in discussions about trends in teaching and learning and the university’s knowledge enterprise, and took part in hands-on activities to help them build a toolkit of best practices for teaching and conducting research at UTSA.
With UTSA welcoming this new cohort, UTSA now has nearly 1,400 faculty members across eight colleges.
The UTSA University Career Center invites you to attend the STEM Career Expo from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 1. Meet, connect and recruit UTSA students and alumni.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom
The UTSA University Career Center invites you to attend the All Majors Career Expo from 2 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feburary 8. Meet, connect and recruit UTSA students.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom
To coincide with the annual observance of Black History Month, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will unveil new content in the African American Texans exhibit including the "Fabric of a People" quilt and the "You Take It From Here" oral history project.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Texan fiber artist Taylor Barnes will share her experiences: where she was introduced to the personal and oral histories that influenced her artistic practice, as well as the significance of quilting and textile art in Black American history. A Q&A session will follow.Virtual event
Presented by the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio, attendees will learn basic sewing and quilting skills. RSVP required.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
Members of the African American Quilt Circle of San Antonio will be at the JPL to discuss their works in the new ITC exhibition "Fabric of a People." Chat about the heritage of African American story quilts or ask questions about quilting.John Peace Library, GroupSpot B
UTSA and 13 of the leading Hispanic Serving Institutions will come together to provide students and alumni an opportunity to network and interview with more than 250 companies from around the country.Handshake (Virtual Fair Platform)
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.