UTSA Community Connect Breakfast brings together community agencies

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Community partner representatives engage in roundtable discussions

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(Aug. 12, 2014) --More than 70 representatives from 43 nonprofit organizations, businesses and public sector agencies recently gathered at the UTSA Downtown Campus for a special Community Connect Breakfast hosted by the UTSA Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion. Participants were invited to learn more about UTSA's multifaceted community engagement efforts and to provide feedback.

Jude Valdez, UTSA vice president for community services, welcomed the attendees with an update on the collective impact of UTSA students, faculty and staff on the community. He highlighted UTSA's dedication to improving the lives of individuals and the community at large.

Keynote speaker Francine Romero, associate dean of the College of Public Policy and associate professor in the Department of Public Administration, focused on challenges and opportunities faculty encounter with community-based research and teaching.

Followed by short presentations from various UTSA departments, the event concluded with roundtable conversations, where community partners were encouraged to provide feedback on how UTSA can help prepare students for service in the respective organizations and how community partners can contribute to educate UTSA students in active citizenship.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the many departments doing community outreach and to learn about how our organization can be engaged with UTSA in strengthening our community together," said participant Mary Flannigan, director of communications and partnerships with San Antonio Youth Literacy.

The breakfast was the first of several gatherings set for this academic year to further the conversation on the civic purpose of UTSA and ways to improve civic literacy. Community roundtables will be Oct. 8 and Nov. 12, providing an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to engage with community partners.

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For more information, email Brian Halderman at servicelearning@utsa.edu.

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