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laptop award ceremony
At the Gateway laptop award ceremony are (from left) Julius Gribou
(UTSA executive vice provost and interim chief information officer),
awardee Sandra Mendoza and John Moder (HACU vice president
and chief operating officer).

Commencement Close-Up: Sandra Mendoza earns laptop award

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(Dec. 11, 2008)--Sandra Mendoza, a December graduate-to-be with a B.A. degree in sociology, is the fall 2008 winner of the UTSA Office of Information Technology Laptop Award. The winner is selected from graduates of the Academic Development Program (ADP) in UTSA's Tomas Rivera Center for Academic Success.

The 10th recipient of the Gateway laptop award, Mendoza is the first in her family to attend college and earn a bachelor's degree. Throughout most of her time at UTSA, Mendoza worked in the Office of the Vice Provost for Accountability and Institutional Effectiveness. She plans to earn a master's degree sometime in the future, but along the way her focus will be to give back to the community and to be a role model for other young Hispanic women.

"What impressed the selection committee the most about Sandra was her drive to break the stereotype of what it is to be an Hispanic female growing up in her community," said Cynthia Rodriguez, ADP director. "She emphasized that she owes so much to her parents for their support along the way. On behalf of UTSA and our collaborative partners, congratulations go to Sandra for all of her accomplishments."

A laptop computer and an award certificate were presented to Mendoza by Lee Gildon, chief operations officer of the UTSA Office of Information Technology; Julius Gribou (UTSA executive vice provost and interim chief information officer) and John Moder, vice president and chief operating officer of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). The program is co-sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and UTSA.

Others attending the presentation ceremony were Mendoza's brother, Julio Mendoza; her friend Dishanti Persad; Ana Esquivel, HACU executive director of development; Lawrence Williams, UTSA vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies; and Leticia Duncan-Brosnan, executive director of the UTSA Tomas Rivera Center.

A winner is selected each fall and spring semester from ADP students who apply for the award. ADP students are admitted to UTSA on a provisional basis; laptop awardees are selected from participants in the program who have developed their academic standing and will graduate with a minimum 2.50 GPA. Applicants must submit an essay detailing their academic and work experience.

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>> UTSA Fall 2008 Commencement ceremonies are Dec. 18-20.

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