Roadrunner Excellence

UTSA’s faculty, staff, students and alumni regularly garner recognition for their outstanding contributions to organizations and scholarly endeavors that benefit Hispanic/Latinx communities.

Read about some of our Roadrunners doing exceptional work below. Visit our page on Groundbreaking Research Benefitting Hispanic Communities for more stories about UTSA faculty making historic strides.

Manuel P. Berriozábal

UTSA Professor Emeritus of Mathematics
Texas Science Hall of Fame Honoree
American Mathematical Society Fellow
Founder of Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP)

“PREP is the accomplishment of high goals and hard work of many people.  Looking back, there were crucial times in my life when people stepped in and encouraged me to persist. Through PREP I was able to do the same for students who wanted to make the most of their abilities. It has been a privilege for me to serve them.”

Read his Story

Josie Méndez-Negrete

Professor Emerita
2020-2021 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Scholar Awardee

“I have been reminded that our charge as Chicana/o academics is to engage the creation of knowledge so as to create change and to make our surroundings as humane as we possibly can while engaging research and social change in all the work that we do.”

Read her Story

Vanessa Sansone

Assistant Professor of Higher Education
Top Women in Higher Education 2020
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

“Being named one of the 35 most outstanding women in higher education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is an absolute honor. I am most happy that my work, which focuses on tackling racial, spatial and class disparities in higher education particularly among the Latinx community in South Texas, is being recognized at a national level. I have always aimed for my research to go beyond me and ego and instead contribute work that makes a positive difference in the lives of historically marginalized students and communities. I hope my recognition of this award encourages other senior and future scholars to do the same.”

Read her Story
ramiro gonzales

Ramiro Gonzales '10

President and CEO, Westside Development Corporation

“The West Side has suffered from decades of disinvestment and population loss. Children who grow up in this high poverty area are far more likely to live a life of poverty themselves. And so WDC was created to change this trajectory and introduce more economic opportunities for the people on the West Side.”

Read his Story

Karina Castro & Stephanie Vasquez

2019 Graduate Fellowship Awards
Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education

“Being named a Graduate Fellow means that I am honoring the legacy – the life stories, struggles and perseverance – of those who have helped pave the way for me to have the opportunities and privileges that they did not.”

– Stephanie Vasquez

Andrea Ramos Fernandez ‘18

Congressional Intern – Fall 2018
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

“I feel so grateful to be a student in this very prestigious internship program, walking the halls of Congress, halls that were built without the intentions of a person like me to walk on – all because someone believed that I could be a leader.”

Read her Story

Lisa Carrington Firmin

Associate Vice President for Veteran and Military Affairs
Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans Appointee
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

“This is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and we have a lot of minority veterans here. I can take their feedback and channel it all the way up to the secretary of the VA.”

Read her Story

Claudia García-Louis

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Junior Faculty Fellow
American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education

“In my attempt to make a valuable contribution to the field of higher education, I looked at current social-political trends and identified the need to better understand the fastest growing and youngest demographic group in the United States – Latinxs.”

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Patricia Sanchez

Professor & Chair of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies
Educator of the Year
National Hispanic Institute at San Antonio

“I am so proud to have received this award!  I have worked with the National Hispanic Institute since the mid-1990s and only recently connected with its affiliate in San Antonio. NHIatSA is preparing the next generation of vocal, informed, and passionate Latinx student leaders, so I am truly honored that they see their values in my own teaching at an HSI like UTSA.”

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T. Jackie Cuevas

Associate Professor and Interim Chair of English Director of the Women’s Studies Institute
Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize – Honorable Mention 2018

“It was an honor to have my intersectional work in Latinx feminist and queer theory recognized by the National Women’s Studies Association. Prior book prize winners in this category have included highly-regarded intellectuals such as Lorgia García-Peña, Sara Ahmed, and Lisa Thompson, so it has been one of the highlights of my career to be recognized among such amazing scholars. I was especially proud to inform my first-gen students of my achievement and to know I am helping pave the way for the next generation. I am also delighted to contribute to moving UTSA from Hispanic-serving toward Hispanic-thriving.”

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Krystel Castillo-Villar

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Award winner in Education 2018
Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference

 “I’m passionate about merging my research with educational and outreach efforts to provide access and outstanding training to minority students to nurture the next generation of diverse engineers and scientists.”

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Elvira E. Leal

Assistant Vice President for Community Relations

“San Antonio is historically diverse and rich in culture and tradition with Hispanic influences.  At the crossroads of downtown development, we are about building positive relationships with our neighbors and having conversations about balancing our growth with the preservation of community assets and strong cultural heritage.”

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Edwin Barea-Rodriguez

Associate Dean for Student Success and Instructional Innovation
My Brother’s Keeper
Advisory Committee to the Director for the Working Group on Diversity, National Institute of Health

“For the past 24 years at UTSA, I have taught and conducted neuroscience research, which are both rewarding. However, my work in My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio (MBKSA) and on the Advisory Committee to the Director for the Working Group on Diversity (ACD WGD) at the National Institute of Health provides me the opportunity to impact thousands of lives in San Antonio and the United States. Through MBKSA, my work impacts men of color by developing opportunities to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities. My work at ACD WGD allows me to create opportunities that will impact African Americans and Latino/Latina scientists. One word I use to describe my experience on these committees is ‘transformational.’”

Read his Story