Who you help
Creating New Knowledge and Serving Society
Faculty recruitment is a key priority for UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo. UTSA aspires to bring “super stars” to San Antonio who will enrich the community with knowledge and who will expose our students to the latest ideas and technologies. In academia, the standard to attract and reward such renowned faculty are professorships and chairs.
Increasing the number of endowed professorships and chairs at UTSA not only ensures the long-term success of the university, but it is essential to achieving the goal of becoming a Tier One university. Top faculty members secure research funding that advances UTSA’s research mission and inspires economic development in San Antonio and across Texas. Exceptional faculty members are also key to recruiting and training top graduate students.
Other universities have had more than a hundred years to build endowments and philanthropic programs that leverage excellence. As a fairly young institution, UTSA has not had the benefit of time to build critical funding for faculty support. In order to remain competitive and bring the brightest minds to San Antonio, UTSA needs additional private investment in research and faculty recruitment initiatives.
Texans deserve access to world-class opportunities—investing in faculty support and research helps attract the best and brightest to ensure the region’s continued educational and economic growth.
For more information contact:
UTSA Development Office
Astrid Cardona is giving UTSA students the opportunity to be on the front lines of chronic disease research.
When Dr. Garry Cole joined UTSA as the Margaret Batts Tobin Endowed Chair in 2005, he had already dedicated years to researching San Joaquin Valley fever—a human respiratory disease found mostly in southwestern regions of United Sates.
William Dupont, 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.
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.
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.
Daniel J. Gelo
“A lot of the people who I have spoken with were elders of the tribe and they have a lot of knowledge that we want to preserve," says Gelo. "And since I ask my colleagues in the college to excel in research, it’s really important for me that I stay active in research myself.”
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.
The recipient of the Ricardo Romo Ph.D. Endowed Professorship since 2011, Dr. Guy herself has been an instrument of change, using funds from the Romo endowment to support student research and projects, and teaching them the importance of building community bridges.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Les Shephard, a world-renowned expert in energy and water issues, came to UTSA to help solve the world's most pressing energy issues.
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.