Meet Our Faculty and Peer Mentors
Celeste Colmenero ’15
Political Science major
El Paso, TX
I enjoy keeping up with current events and discussing foreign policy; however, dancing is one of my favorite activities. As a peer mentor, I am here to help with any personal or academic challenge you might encounter. One of the biggest struggles in college is learning how to manage time effectively, so I can assist students with creating a schedule to balance their social life with academics. If you are feeling homesick — as most students do — I can help you get connected with other UTSA students or get more involved on campus
Bryan Barahona ’13
Something interesting about me is that I love to eat! As a peer mentor, I am able to impact the students in a tremendous way. The toughest thing a student endures as a freshman is the transition from high school to college. It is my job to help each and every student in my class make a smooth transition and help them feel comfortable throughout their school year.
Stephanie Cannon ’14
Kinesiology major/specialization in sport medicine
I’m from Florida, but being a military brat, I’ve lived all over. For many freshmen, going away to college is the first time they are going to school without their neighborhood peers, and it can be extremely intimidating being in a unfamiliar setting. Having always been the “new girl” in school myself, I can help you adjust to college life and to the pace it moves — and help you find your place at UTSA.
Nate Tuthill ’15
History major/certification in coaching
One thing you need to know about me: I could eat pizza rolls for the rest of my life. As a peer mentor, I encourage students to become more engaged on campus by attending events, utilizing campus resources, and joining student organizations. UTSA has a lot to offer its students, and I want to make sure that you make the most of their freshman experience.
Dr. Valerie Sponsel
Faculty - College of Sciences
I come originally from England (I still have a bit of an accent) and have been teaching at UTSA for 18 years. I teach many different courses, ranging from introductory biology to graduate classes in plant biochemistry. I love growing things, and happily my research on plant development allows me to grow many plants for experimental purposes, and for fun. (If you visit my office you will see that I share it with quite an assortment of plants). I also enjoy mentoring students, and am excited to have the opportunity to teach Academic Inquiry and Scholarship. I am looking forward to welcoming you, and sharing with you the many different ways, and things, you can learn at UTSA.
Dr. Lisa Montoya
Faculty - College of Business
When I started college, I moved from San Diego, CA, to Denver. As a first-year student living away from home for the first time, I was excited to live in a new city on the tenth floor of a high-rise and to have a roommate from Singapore. I learned a lot that first year, made friends from all over the world, and it set the stage for the rest of my academic career. I am looking forward to teaching this new freshman course, which I think of as a roadmap to understanding what we do at the university. Students will learn a lot in this class, make friends and be more a part of UTSA. I look forward to meeting you.