Thursday, September 22, 2022

Commitment to research excellence was key in UTSA freshman’s decision to be a Roadrunner

Commitment to research excellence was key in UTSA freshman’s decision to be a Roadrunner

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SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 — New Braunfels, Texas, resident North Awad says that UTSA’s proximity to home was a factor in their college search. The other driving factor for their enrollment was the university’s research opportunities, which have grown and expanded tremendously in recent years.

As a research enthusiast, Awad was pleased to hear about UTSA’s recent Tier One classification. They feel that UTSA’s dedication to scientific exploration is commendable and a key factor that distinguishes the university from other institutions.


“The Honors College academic advisors emphasize the importance of enriching your experience with diverse opportunities.”



With an unparalleled drive for discovery, Awad opted to major in neuroscience at UTSA, a rapidly advancing field that intersects other disciplines such as psychology, artificial intelligence, health and microbiology. Students in this major can expect a multidisciplinary curriculum that includes upper-division classes ranging from neurobiology to abnormal psychology.

Awad has always been academically motivated. As a student at Memorial Early College High School, they served as a writing tutor and assisted their peers with essays, presentations and SAT preparation. In collaboration with their best friend, Awad created the Monster Mash, a fundraising event for the high school’s National Honor Society featuring a wide range of activities to build connections and bring students together.

That ambition earned them a place as a UTSA Top Scholar. The program’s mission to create a community of driven, talented students and empower students’ professional growth and lifelong learning aligned with Awad’s goals for developing personally and professionally.

“I knew that my background as a first-generation college student, community service and personal goals helped me stand out as a candidate,” they said.

Thanks to the Top Scholar Program, Awad was able to form a supportive network that encouraged them to pursue outside interests, even before school began.

“I won’t forget when Dr. Sean Kelly, the dean of the Honors College, said to never skip an opportunity,” Awad said. “This piece of advice has stuck with me because it is important to not only grow in your major but in other hobbies and interests. The Honors College academic advisors emphasize the importance of enriching your experience with diverse opportunities. It’s not just about achieving good grades but rather creating an impactful experience.”

After graduating, Awad hopes to continue their education and conduct research as a neuroscientist. Helping others and solving the mysteries behind the body’s most complex organ are at the forefront of their goals, and UTSA is providing the opportunities and resources to help Awad succeed.

Ryan Schoensee and Pelle Muñoz



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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

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.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

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.