Our Stories  

College of Architecture

William Dupont

William Dupont, professor in the College of Architecture, gives old structures new life through a passion that has made him known around the world. An expert in historic preservation, he is recognized for his restorative work on projects like the Ernest Hemingway home in Cuba and an American Indian village in New Mexico. He has served as the chief architect for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, among other accomplishments.

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Ben Rosas

The College of Architecture gives students the skills necessary to independently impact the community through service-based initiatives. With knowledge gained through coursework, Ben Rosas and his classmates started an organization called Volunteer Initiative to turn an underused outdoor area at Methodist Mission Home into a pavilion that is accessible to all.

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College of Business

Lisa Montoya

Lisa Montoya and her students are preparing the next generation with financial management skills. The Latino Financial Issues (LFI) program in the College of Business serves the San Antonio community by offering programs and workshops in financial literacy and education.

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Corey DeAngelis

Named one of the inaugural 100 Best Business Students at UTSA and with a 3.96 GPA in economics, Corey DeAngelis is uncovering his full potential at UTSA. What is not immediately apparent is just how hard he works to succeed.

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Eli Embleton

A former entrepreneur from Chico, California, Eli and his family relocated to San Antonio in 2008 after facing hard economic times. Shortly thereafter, he began taking courses at UTSA.

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College of Education and Human Development

Laura Rendón

As a child, Laura Rendón watched her mother work three jobs to help her family survive, and she vowed that she didn’t want to have to do the same. This motivation and her experiences in education growing up in Laredo as a minority woman have inspired her research on first-generation college students and the factors that promote and impede student success.

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Misty Sailors

Sixty children in a classroom, eager to learn. If they have to share books, they don’t complain. This is what Misty Sailors saw children having to endure in parts of South Africa. So she began the Ithuba Writing Project in 2005, which uses resources from UTSA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other sources to create books in the home languages of South African children in rural and impoverished classrooms.

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Krystal Nicholson

Future teacher Krystal Nicholson loves to boast about UTSA. “If you are looking for a university with proud students and the leaders of tomorrow, then come to UTSA,” she says. Her Roadrunner enthusiasm, along with a great deal of involvement on campus, led to her election as Ms. UTSA by her peers and has inspired her desire to be a teacher: “I get my drive from students,” she shares.

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Meizi He

“With the right tools, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of Latinos,” says Meizi He, associate professor of health and kinesiology who is working to fight childhood obesity in Hispanic communities of San Antonio.

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College of Engineering

Mauli Agrawal

Mauli Agrawal has been called a rock star in the field of biomedical engineering because his vision is changing the possibilities for amputees. His specialty is orthopedic and cardiovascular biomaterials and implants, with a primary interest in tissue engineering and regeneration. His work will alter the course of treatment for those with tissue wounds and amputations.

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Andrew Baines

For as long as he can remember, Andrew Baines has been inspired by cars. As a child he played with building blocks, and those early designs launched his dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer. He says, “Hopefully you will see my car out there soon.”

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Les Shephard

Les Shephard, a world-renowned expert in energy and water issues, has come to UTSA to help solve the world's most pressing energy issues.

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Brandy Alger

Brandy Alger did not have the easiest time growing up. On her own since age 16, scholarships supported by donors have made it possible for her to attend college. “I wouldn’t be able to be at school without them,” she says. “I received enough scholarship money to have to work only part-time allowing me to focus on school and be active in organizations. I am encouraged knowing there are people in the community supporting me.”

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Ruyan Guo

When Ruyan Guo came to UTSA in 2007, she brought her dedication to quality education and a philosophy centered on student success. Awarded the Robert E. Clarke Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering endowed position, Dr. Guo uses the endowment funding to support students and research projects, and she collaborates with other faculty members to develop programs that create more opportunities for student success.

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Honors College

Ishmael Mendez

For Ishmael Mendez, choosing a college was a difficult decision. His parents wanted him to go to a school close to home in the Rio Grande Valley and offered to help him financially to do so; but he longed for a top-tier university experience in a bigger city where he could take advantage of an abundance of opportunities. He decided if he got a coveted scholarship from the Terry Foundation of Houston—covering most tuition and fee expenses every year—that he would leave the comfort of home to attend UTSA.

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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Mansour El-Kikhia

When Jon Stewart wanted to know for the The Daily Show how to topple a dictatorship, he called Mansour El-Kikhia to give the lesson. The professor of political science and geography at UTSA appeared on the show to talk about the rebellion in Libya to force Muammar Gadhafi out of power. Exiled from Libya for speaking against the government, El-Kikhia also shared his knowledge on CNN, returning to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, his hometown, after 30 years to advise opposition rebels.

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Rod Sachs

Rod Sachs is a nontraditional student who is using his life experiences to help others. He came to UTSA to complete a bachelor’s degree after attending Northwest Vista College. A member of the Honors College, Sachs used study abroad as an opportunity to take his learning to the next level through intense reflection and experience in another culture.

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Annie Moras

If being a member of the marching band takes commitment and talent, then being a drum major for a brand new marching band in Texas takes passion and drive to the next level. Annie Moras has both, and she is making history as one of the leaders of the new Roadrunner marching band with scholarship support from unrestricted gifts to the university.

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Jeanne Reesman

Jeanne Reesman, the Jack and Laura Richmond Endowed Faculty Fellow, is making moves to bring new literary insight to her teachings. A professor of English and a recognized expert in Jack London literature, she has authored several books, including Jack London: One Hundred Years a Writer with Sara Hodson. Last year, she taught on Mr. London for two weeks in China.

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Alexis Haight

McKinney Scholarship recipient, English major and a top-student, senior Alexis Haight has a unique plan for writers in San Antonio. Although her personal goal is to complete undergraduate and graduate school at UTSA focusing on creative and professional writing, helping others to get published is also on her list.

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College of Public Policy

Johnelle Sparks

Johnelle Sparks, assistant professor in the Department of Demography and Organization Studies, is conducting research to save the lives of infants in rural Texas and beyond. “The whole point of my research is to help people who may not know how to help themselves,” she says. Sparks uses demography to identify risk factors that cause low birth weight variations among racial and ethnic groups. Finding answers to the health disparity will result in better prevention efforts.

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Krizia Ramirez

Krizia Ramirez could be a statistic, but instead she is advocating for change.  “Foster care kids move around so much. Every move sets us back six months in school, making it difficult to be college ready. By staying enrolled, I show that I’m not just another number. I show other kids in foster care that, yes, it is hard, but you can do it,” she says.  Now a senior after only two years at UTSA, she is majoring in criminal justice and public administration with big plans to make a difference for young people like her.

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College of Sciences

George Perry

George Perry wants to understand why we age so he can change the course of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Dean of UTSA’s College of Sciences, Perry is one of the most cited researchers of Alzheimer’s, in part because of his innovative work. The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer's affects about 5.4 million people in the U.S., 340,000 in Texas.

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Jessica Felhofer

Jessica Felhofer is helping build a chemical analysis "lab" the size of a microchip that will be accessible anywhere. The potential uses for the chip are limitless; instead of collecting samples and sending them out to be analyzed, results will be available immediately. Imagine the impact for a military medic on the front lines monitoring patient health or for scientists trying to understand the effect of an emerging environmental crisis.

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Doug Frantz

Doug Frantz is working to grow new heart muscle cells and turn cancerous cells benign. His lab is developing drug-like molecules that target stem cells to treat cardiovascular disease and cancer. Support from the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund is helping Frantz treat these diseases and is bringing other top researchers to UTSA.

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Astrid Cardona

Astrid Cardona is giving UTSA students the opportunity to be on the front lines of chronic disease research.

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John McCarrey

“Visionary philanthropy,” is how Dr. John McCarrey describes the ongoing support of the Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation. The recently appointed Robert and Helen Kleberg Distinguished Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology, McCarrey says the dedication and generous support of the Kleberg Foundation makes a major difference for his team’s ability to uncover new knowledge about stem cells.

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Amanda Griffee

Amanda Griffee is one of five pioneering students selected for the inaugural group of the new UTSA Top Scholar program. The program awards comprehensive, merit-based scholarships and provides enrichment programming to some of the best students in Texas.

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Larry Coker

Larry Coker’s arrival on campus in March 2009 as the first Roadrunners football coach was a fantastic moment for UTSA. With a national championship at Miami and two National Coach of the Year honors under his belt, Coker brings the skills and experience to forge a winning football program.

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Nate Leonard

“I may not be the biggest, fastest, strongest guy out there, but I don’t let that stop me from pursuing excellence.” Nate Leonard, center for the UTSA Football team, has proven to be a leader both on and off the field.

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Mauricio Sanchez

Mauricio Sanchez is a starting safety on the football team. A first-generation college student from San Antonio, he was recruited by other universities in Texas, but he knew that being part of the first UTSA Football team in his hometown could “be something special.”

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Student Affairs

Diana Cuervo

By the time Diana Cuervo arrived at UTSA, she had moved 17 times. A native of Columbia, she has lived all over the world as her family moved for her father’s job. She aspires to earn her degree in finance so she can use her experiences in business.

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Janet Oyeteju

Janet Oyeteju earns award for her dedication to volunteerism

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Pat Graham

Since joining The University of Texas at San Antonio in 1974, the ever-cheerful Dr. Pat Graham, executive director of the Special Events Center, has helped brighten the lives of countless colleagues and students. During that time, she also has seen every graduate walk the stage at commencement, encouraged students to excel academically in the honor societies she helped form and mentored hundreds of UTSA Ambassadors to become role models and student leaders. Despite all that, she is the first to credit the generosity of others for the success of so many of the university’s students and alumni.

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Community Services

Joann Andera

The Institute of Texan Cultures’ Jo Ann Andera, director of the Texas Folklife Festival, wasn’t around for the first festival some 40 years ago, but she certainly knows how important private donations were then—and now.

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Bob McKinley

Bob McKinley is UTSA’s expert in economic and business development. For more than two decades, he has guided the steady growth of the UTSA Institute for Economic Development as its associate vice president. The institute provides 37,000 business clients each year with consulting, training and research services, and its programs extend UTSA's presence through the entire southwest Texas border region and beyond.

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Harriett Romo

The UTSA Mexico Center and the Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) are two programs under the Office of Community Service that focus on the future of our region. Both are under the direction of Harriett Romo, professor of sociology.

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Krisellen Maloney

“The library has a different feeling. I never came to study here before, but now it is so beautiful. I like to come here,” says Julia Gutierrez, an undergraduate business major.

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Aracely Rodriguez

Aracely Rodriguez, an undergraduate from Pharr, Texas, is not your typical librarian. As a student, she is reaching out to others and helping them use the library to its fullest extent. “To support students today, there are so many technologies available here, and it can be a challenge to navigate,” she says.

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