SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 — The UTSA Westside Community Partnerships Initiative has been named a regional winner of the 2022 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) for its commitment to serve as a driver of social mobility for West Side families and businesses. The accolade is awarded to four-year public universities that have made exemplary strides to become more closely and productively engaged with communities through their teaching and learning, discovery, and service activities.
The Westside Community Partnerships Initiative is a hyperlocal UTSA initiative meant to improve the lives of families living in San Antonio's Westside by helping residents tackle their most tenacious challenges. The initiative includes developing critical data for policy advocacy, enhancing networks and infrastructure for engaged research, and improving student success.
UTSA was recently named a regional winner of the 2022 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Fernando Godinez (left), president of the Mexican American Unity Council, Roger Enriquez (middle), executive director of UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative, and Teresa Niño (right), UTSA’s vice president for university relations, accepted the award in Athens, Georgia.
“Our Westside Community Partnerships initiative is amplifying the economic and cultural strengths of San Antonio’s historic West Side. UTSA faculty and staff are fostering meaningful relationships with Westside residents and business owners that will have a lasting impact on this culturally rich community,” said Teresa Niño, UTSA vice president for university relations. “From going door to door in an effort to prevent the displacement of homeowners to providing residents with technology literacy support and scholarship funds, we are committed to uplifting our West Side neighbors.”
San Antonio’s Westside embodies Mexican-American history and has helped define the city’s role as a national epicenter of Hispanic culture. It remains the heart of San Antonio’s Mexican American working-class community, and continues to be a source of pride, producing many leaders, artists, visionaries and professionals.
The community has, however, suffered from pervasive patterns of structural violence, including racial segregation, redlining, educational neglect and political disenfranchisement.
UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative, led by executive director Roger Enriquez, is aligned with the university’s larger identity as an urban serving university that tackles society’s grand challenges, serves as prosperity engine for its region and drives social mobility for its students and their families.
Since its launch in fall 2019, UTSA has made great strides in fostering meaningful relationships with Westside residents and business owners in an effort to spark educational excellence, economic opportunity and vital research partnerships in the community. To boost student success, UTSA created the Westside Scholarship Fund, a scholarship program exclusively for undergraduate students from the Westside.
At the same time, the UTSA Texas South-West Small Business Development Center (TXSW SBDC) Network has dedicated its time and its people to help existing and up-and-coming businesses thrive. To date, the center has advised more than 127 businesses, retained more than 300 jobs, created dozens of new jobs, and has provided some $1.3 million in capital infusion.
Roger Enriquez (left), executive director of UTSA’s Westside Community Partnerships Initiative, meets with community members at the UTSA Westside Community Center. Photo by Brandon Fletcher
As a regional winner, UTSA will now compete with the University of Georgia, the University of Vermont and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced in November. The winner of this national award will receive a sculpture and $20,000 prize. The three regional winners will each receive a $5,000 prize to further their work.
“Congratulations to this year’s regional winners of the Kellogg Community Engagement Scholarship Awards and our exemplary projects,” said APLU President Mark Becker. “Community engagement is a critical part of public universities’ mission and we’re pleased to highlight the work of institutions that are engaging communities in need. From the underserved areas of their communities and states to overlooked regions of the world, public research universities are engaging communities to solve the most pressing problems they face.”
A team of community engagement professionals from public research universities judged the regional competition. A second team will select the national winner following presentations at the 2022 National Engagement Scholarship Conference.
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, 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.