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Roman McInnerney
Roman McInnerney
(Photo by Evangelina Williams)

UTSA Close-Up: Student Roman McInnerney sees multicultural education as global responsibility

By Evangelina Williams
Public Affairs Intern, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

(July 26, 2006)--Roman McInnerney, a 27-year-old UTSA pre-med student and single father of two young boys, will travel to New Zealand in July to begin a semester abroad at the University of Otago.

McInnerney is one of 20 UTSA students who will travel this fall as part of UTSA's Study Abroad Program. He is one of two students who received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a highly competitive award that helps students cover the cost of studying at an international university.

A biology major, McInnerney hopes to graduate in May 2007 and will apply to medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He plans to pursue specialized study in public and international health.

McInnerney's class work in New Zealand will include several biology courses and classes on the cultural anthropology of the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

"The differences that exist in the world are something that we should appreciate," he said. "In the context of today's society, it is almost our duty to know what other people are like and what other people do in order to create a sense of global responsibility."

In addition to his studies, McInnerney is an officer in UTSA's Pre-Med Society, a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas in San Antonio and a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Holly Hill, assistant director of study abroad and exchanges, calls McInnerney the "poster child for the study abroad program," because he has worked hard to overcome obstacles and pursue his study in New Zealand. According to Hill, studying abroad is a realistic goal for many students.

"You don't have to be any particular major," she said. "You don't have to have straight As and you don't have to be super rich. Basically any student can go."

Students such as McInnerney can take advantage of this unique opportunity to represent UTSA in other countries by contacting an adviser in the Office of International Programs. They also can attend the Study Abroad Fair on Sept. 12 at Sombrilla Plaza on the 1604 Campus.

For more information on UTSA study abroad programs, contact the Office of International Programs at (210) 458-7204.

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