UTSA President, Taylor Eighmy

Welcome to the new academic year, Roadrunners!

As you settle into your classes and adjust to the pace of the fall semester, allow me to offer you a few words to carry you through the year: 

Remember to dream big. 

Believe me, I know it’s easier said than done. I have vivid memories of being a student and how easy it was for life’s many distractions and responsibilities to get in the way of visualizing where I wanted to go. 

In fact, as a freshman at Tufts University back in 1975, I had no idea how to set big goals. After a rather lost first year (followed by a year away from school where I worked to help put myself through college), I had the good fortune of finding a faculty mentor who changed the course of my life.

Dr. Pechenik brought me into his marine biology lab and invited me to join his research group. He sparked my AHA! moment – the realization that I had the passion and capacity to become a scientist. He helped me find my big dreams, and undergraduate research became my catalyst.

One of the most important things you can do before leaving UTSA is find a faculty mentor. When you experience an AHA! moment in the classroom, seek out those faculty members after class to have a deeper conversation. Invite them to coffee. Ask if you can get involved in their research. Putting a little energy into these connections will reap tremendous benefits. 

One of our Commencement speakers last May, Lorenzo Gomez, spoke about assigning important people to your individual board of directors. You can view his speech at bit.ly/GomezUTSA. A UTSA faculty mentor is a perfect personal board member.

Enjoy every moment of your year, Roadrunners. Make the most of your time at UTSA. Your professors are rooting for you, and so am I. 

Be bold, think big and dream on.

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