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Top photo: From left are Molly Cox (UTSA American Humanics
coordinator) with 2009 certificate recipients Monica Folk
(executive director of South Texas Symphony Association) and
Glenn Lafitte (CEO of World Radio Network).
Bottom photo: UTSA students and NextGen recipients at the 2009
American Humanics Management Institute in Indianapolis, Ind.
From left are Zulema Reyna (2009 graduate), Llyas Salahud-Din,
Crystal Del Bosque (2009 graduate), Luis Tienda Jr. and
Cristina Forbes (2009 graduate).

American Humanics program ranks in top 5 nationally in certifications

By Molly Cox
Senior Program Coordinator, American Humanics

(July 21, 2009)--The American Humanics program in the UTSA College of Public Policy's Center for Policy Studies recently received national attention for its record-breaking certifications. The UTSA program is in the top 5 of American Humanics national certifying institutions for 2009.

American Humanics (AH) is a unique, national program that brings together universities, nonprofit organizations and community partners to educate, prepare and certify professionals to lead nonprofit organizations. UTSA's AH program is composed of graduate and undergraduate students, as well as nonprofit professionals in South Texas.

This year, the program surpassed the performance of the last five years combined. Between 2003 and 2008 the program certified 16 individuals. This year, however, 21 were certified, earning UTSA's program a spot among the 2009 Top 5 American Humanics National Certifying Institutions.

Certification is no easy task. Students seeking certification must complete a demanding course load, be active in leadership and service activities, and participate in a 300-hour internship with a nonprofit organization. Last academic year, students contributed more than 2,000 hours as interns and more than 1,000 volunteer hours in the local nonprofit community.

Local nonprofit professionals receive certification with completion of UTSA's nonprofit management program, an eight-month, non-credit, continuing education program. Requirements for professionals include a history of working with or volunteering in the nonprofit sector, a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited university and completion of a five-page reflective essay.

The program has had a significant impact on communities with graduates from the UTSA program having taken positions with nonprofits locally and nationally. Former American Humanics Student Association president and 2009 graduate Crystal Del Bosque now works in community development at the National Association of Latino Community Builders.

Graduate Amy Rothe is director of special events for the New York Staffing Association. Zulema Reyna, B.A., '08, interned with the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America before becoming district executive of the Houston area council. The experience students get while participating in the AH program provides them the skills to graduate and move directly into the work sector.

Certified student Jacob Bunch said, "Through the AH program, I feel even more secure in my decision to be a nonprofit professional, serving as a disability advocate and fundraiser. The professional development provided by the program to the benefit of my eventual, professional career is invaluable." Bunch is working toward a master's degree in nonprofit studies at Arizona State University.

Alan Beckstead, president of the board of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation and recent AH certificate recipient, said, "The primary reason I sought out certification was to get a better insight to the changing environment for nonprofits and how to inspire the board and staff -- to continue their evolution as a stronger agency."

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2008-2009 UTSA American Humanics certification recipients

  • Leticia Alvarez, B.B.A., management, 2007
  • Jacob Bunch, B.A., speech communication, 2008
  • Crystal Del Bosque, B.A., American studies, 2009
  • Cristina Forbes, B.B.A., finance, 2009
  • Gianna Gallegos, B.A., American studies, 2007
  • Alicia Limon, B.A., marketing, 2008
  • Emily Mandes, B.A., communication, 2008
  • Zulema Reyna, B.A., communication, 2008
  • Natalie Ross, B.A., psychology, 2008
  • Amy Rothe, B.A., communication, 2008
  • Julie Sergot, B.A., political science, 2007
  • Celina Valdivia, B.A., anthropology, 2007

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