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A Message from VPSA Sam Gonzales

“Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales” Pictured Above: Vice President for Student Affairs, Sam Gonzales

Viva Fiesta!  It’s Fiesta time in San Antonio.   It is often referred to as party with a purpose with over 100 events all throughout the city.  UTSA joins in the festivities in a major way, appearing in the Cavaliers’ River Parade, Battle of Flowers and Fiesta Flambeau parades.  We also host our very own Fiesta event on campus.  Fiesta UTSA is a tradition now in its 37th year.  The event features food and activities in booths sponsored by student organizations, a visit by the Fiesta Royalty, and several musical performances. This event is always one of the first official events on the San Antonio Fiesta calendar and was the first Fiesta event held north of the city.

I included a picture below of our beautiful Sombrilla being prepped for the big day. You can read more about San Antonio’s Fiesta celebration in this newsletter. 

I’ll give one hint though.  When an individual calls out “Viva Fiesta,” the response from surrounding people is “Viva.”  It is a sign that we are joined as a community and sharing in the culture of the city.  Try that one on your student.  Ask them what Fiesta events they are attending.

Celebrating the vibrant spirit of San Antonio is what Fiesta is all about.  On campus, it’s true as well.  We want our students to take advantage of all San Antonio has to offer.

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in another tradition at UTSA.  Started in 1978, The University Life Awards (ULA) ceremony recognizes outstanding students, student organizations, staff, and faculty for their contributions to the quality of student life at UTSA. These awards are coordinated by the Student Government Association.  As I presented the awards, I was so impressed by all of the accomplishments described.  Our students do amazing things for the campus, city, state, and beyond.  Their research, service and dedication to leadership make UTSA students stand out.  It reminds us of the power of education to transform the students’ entire perspective.  I am so proud of their hard work.

Viva Fiesta!

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Hats Off to Fiesta! Institute of Texan Cultures Exhibit

Pictured Above: Institute of Texan Cultures hat, originally worn by Angelica Docog

San Antonio’s Fiesta defines the spirit of the city. While originally founded to celebrate and commemorate the fallen heroes of the Texas revolution, the festival has become an annual tradition, creating a city-wide party. The spirit of the season is reflected in the people’s clothes, from cool guayaberas, to opulent gowns, to medal-strewn sashes.

The Institute of Texan Cultures has prepared an exhibit specifically for the Fiesta season, "Hats Off to Fiesta!" featuring nearly 50 artistic, over-the-top hats that embody the uniquely San Antonio tradition. Hats Off to Fiesta will be displayed March 28 through July 6.

"The best part about Fiesta hats is that there are no rules or limitations," said Diana Luis, curator for the exhibit. "It is your own personal creation and reflects how you feel about Fiesta. Anyone can make and wear one of these amazing pieces of art, and show off how amazing San Antonio really is."

Luis attributes the inspiration for the current Fiesta hat traditions to the early celebrations of the Battle of Flowers, when women often wore decorated hats, and to the excitement surrounding Fiesta Royalty and their crowns. She explains, "Fiesta hats allow everyone to feel royal for a day."

Hats Off to Fiesta is a starting point for additional Fiesta displays at the museum. The San Antonio Conservation Society is commemorated in the museum’s "A Night in Old San Antonio: A History in Photographs," a display created in partnership with the San Antonio Conservation Society. The photos illustrate how the "party with a purpose" has evolved from its beginnings as an autumn harvest festival to the current four-day cultural adventure, and how its proceeds help preserve historic buildings throughout San Antonio.

Also known for its 2013 medal display, the ITC will accept donations of 2014 medals for a giant "Fiesta Medal Mania! II" sash. The museum is scheduled to host the medal weigh-in, Fiesta Fan Fest, on April 29.

"Fiesta is about the people who make the city of San Antonio so great," said Luis. "It really brings out the creative side of many San Antonians."

For more information regarding the exhibit, visit http://www.texancultures.com/fiesta_2014_at_the_institute_of_texan_cultures/.

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Fiesta San Antonio

For out-of-towners who may not be familiar with one of San Antonio’s most treasured traditions, Fiesta, we highly encourage you to come and enjoy the amazing plethora of activities and events the city will be hosting throughout its three week run!  UTSA actually hosts our very own official Fiesta event called Fiesta UTSA, which will take place this year on the Main Campus on Friday, April 11th. To find out more information about Fiesta UTSA and other ways you can enjoy the festivities, check out the official Fiesta website at http://www.fiesta-sa.org/

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The Value of Internships

While there are still many myths out there about what an internship really is, great intern experiences do exist! We, as a Career Center, have seen your students grow in their professionalism, decide on a field/company of interest, strengthen their resume through relevant experience (many times paid), and network with influencers that directly impact their job search once graduated. Please take a look at some statistics provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) from 2013 national data.

•The average hourly wage for interns at the bachelor’s degree level is $16.26.
•The average hourly wage for interns at a master’s degree level is $21.90.
•80 percent of employers offer some type of benefits to interns; 75 percent offer benefits to co-ops.
•The most popular benefits include planned social activities, paid holidays, and recognition for work service time.
•54 percent of employers offer relocation assistance to interns.
•Employers made full-time offers to 56.5 percent of their interns.
•Respondents who hired interns/co-op students from their own programs retained 88.9 percent of these hires after one year.

Please read our blog for some specific stories of students who have done internships:http://hireroadrunners.blogspot.com/.

Data bullet points above were copied from NACE’s public document at:http://www.naceweb.org/internships/benchmarks.aspx.

Karen Ivy, Assistant Director of Student Services, UTSA Career Center

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Purchase a Graduation Gift Package at Roadrunner Express

Sending your college student a care package or gift basket is a great way to show them that you care and are proud of them, especially come graduation time! Students love receiving plain, old snail mail, so imagine their excitement when a beautiful package is delivered to them. Since graduation is just around the corner, we encourage you to make it an extra special occasion for your students by sending them a UTSA Graduate Gift Package from the Roadrunner Express. The gift packages can ship directly to your student's campus, and more information on how to order one please visit http://utsa.edu/uctr/retail.html

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Meet a Roadrunner: Leo McAfee Jr.

Picrured Above: John Lambert and sons.

Meet John Lambert. When his late wife Ivania's health was declining toward the end of her battle with breast cancer, he made a promise to her that he would complete his degree and become a history or social studies teacher, so he could have the same schedule as their 10-year-old twin sons, Ivan and Johnny.

Today, Lambert is closer to fulfilling that promise with his student teaching set to begin in the fall and a December commencement ceremony in sight.

Lambert's dream could not become a reality without the assistance of the Nau Scholars Program Fund. John Nau and Bobbie Nau have committed $1 million for undergraduate scholarships, graduate teaching assistantships and fellowships. Undergraduate history majors can receive up to $10,000 in scholarship support, graduate students up to $12,000 and teaching assistants up to $16,000.

"There was a tough moment there when things became tight for me financially, and the Nau scholarship funding was very timely," said Lambert. "I thank you, my kids thank you and my livelihood thanks Mr. Nau as my graduation day draws closer."

In addition to a career as a public school teacher, Lambert plans to continue performing in local improvisational theater and possibly pursue graduate studies focusing on oral histories.

To read more about John Lambert and how to nominate a student for the upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner, please visit http://www.utsa.edu/today/2014/02/lambert.html.

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Important Spring 2014 Dates

Friday, April 11 :: Fiesta UTSA

Monday, April 28 :: Withdrawal Deadline

Wednesday, April 30 :: Last Day of Spring 2014 Classes

Thursday, May 1 - Friday, May 2 :: Study Days

Saturday, May 3 - Thursday, May 8 :: Final Exams

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Thank you for reading the Family Connection!