(Dec. 17, 2017) -- One year after its grand opening, The UTSA Graduate Student Professional Development (GSPD) Center is promoting professional development and student success for UTSA graduate students, doctoral candidates, alumni and the community.
The GSPD Center at UTSA is the first in the University of Texas System and one of eight in the United States and Canada
Since opening its doors in November 2016, UTSA students have visited the GSPD Center thousands of times to network with leaders in the community, collaborate on group projects, conduct thesis and dissertation writing boot camps and prepare research grant proposals.
During the past year, 43 grant proposals have been submitted and UTSA graduate students have applied for $3.4 million dollars in project funding with assistance at workshops and from faculty in the Center.
Located in the Graduate School and Research building (GSR 1.204) on the UTSA Main Campus, the center has a student lounge, a multipurpose room for workshops, lectures and other sessions, conference rooms and a computer lab with state-of-the-art technology.
Christopher Pratt ’08, who is completing his master’s degree in accounting from the College of Business this December, says the space has been great for studying as he has continued his education and pursued a new career path.
“The center has provided me with a quiet study environment that is close to the resources I need: professors, research materials and other graduate students to bounce ideas off of,” said Pratt.
Victoria Lopez who is in the first year of the master’s program in psychology at UTSA, said the center has helped her as she navigated graduate school in a new city.
“As an out-of-state, first-generation student, moving to Texas from Arizona for graduate school was intimidating to say the least. The Center offers workshops that have helped me learn how to search for grants and write proposals,” said Lopez. “In addition, I utilize the computer lab which is equipped with software I need for my coursework.
Vanessa Cerda, who is a doctoral candidate in the Neurobiology program within the Department of Biology, said the Center has provided her professional development opportunities, such as a grant writing course and assistance with preparing for academic presentations.
“The GSPD Center is designed with graduate students and doctoral candidates in mind. The Center has great events and quiet meeting rooms to get work done when I’m not in the laboratory,” said Cerda. “For students who don’t know about the Center, I would strongly encourage them to explore all that it has to offer.”
The GSPD Center also offers year-round workshops for aspiring teachers and faculty members who want to develop their teaching skills.
In addition, it offers an international student development program to help international students acquire professional and academic skills, acclimate to the United States and network with other students.
“Graduate students, alumni and members of the community are preparing to be future leaders in industry and academia at our center,” said DeBrenna Agbenyiga, vice provost and dean of the UTSA Graduate School. “This space encourages interdisciplinary networking and has become a model locally and nationally for the structure, program design and supportive services we offer.”
The UTSA Graduate School is part of a diverse scholarly community promoting and supporting educational and career advancement through the GSPD Center and collaborations with world-class faculty, UTSA alumni and San Antonio business leaders.
The Graduate School offers 69 master’s, 24 doctoral, and 30 graduate certificate programs to more than 4,200 graduate students across seven academic colleges.
UTSA is ranked among the nation’s top four young universities, according to Times Higher Education.
- Kara Soria
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