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West Side San Antonio Gets UTSA Boost

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In the next few years, the West Side of San Antonio near downtown is going to get a lot more upgrades thanks to the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The San Antonio City Council unanimously approved the sale of two city-owned lots located at 506 Dolorosa and 702 Dolorosa which will support UTSA’s School of Data Science, National Security Collaboration Center, as well as the construction of faculty and student housing.

“This is a catalytic investment which will spur economic growth, and help to erase the false boundary highways like I-10 can create,” Councilman Roberto Treviño said. “It will connect the campus and many West Side neighborhoods, such as Prospect Hill, to our urban core where the efforts of our students and professionals can be leveraged with new and emerging partnerships with the private sector.

In September, UTSA received a $70 million commitment from the University of Texas System Board of Regents for construction of two new facilities at its Downtown Campus for a National Security Collaboration Center and a proposed School of Data Science.

According to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan for the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, two-thirds of global cybersecurity employers said they did not have enough employees to address current threats. By 2022, it is estimated there will be a demand for an additional 1.8 million information security and technology professionals in the United States to keep critical information and intellectual property safe.

The National Security Collaboration Center will comprise 80,000-square-feet of innovation space, laboratories and research facilities and will serve as a hub for government, university and industry partners in the cybersecurity field. It will focus on forensics, visualization and analytics, network security, cyber training/workforce development, big data analytics and privacy, post-quantum cryptography, cyber physical systems and embedded security, security of the cloud, attack and threat modeling and mitigation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, platform and software integrity, and hardware integrity.

UTSA has already established federal partnership agreements with the National Security Agency, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the U.S. Secret Service, 24th Air Forces Cyber and 25th Air Force. To further strengthen the ecosystem, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories have all executed partnership agreements with UTSA to work within the NSCC.

The proposed School of Data Science will include UTSA’s existing departments of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Statistics & Data Sciences, Information Systems and Cyber Security, and the UTSA Open Cloud Institute. These departments will be co-located in the new facility.

UTSA will continue to offer bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs to expand the pipeline of highly trained professionals who protect government and business networks. Enrollment in these programs is expected to grow significantly after the new building is opened.

The UTSA Downtown Campus is also home to the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the UTSA College of Public Policy, and several programs in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development.


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Education

Hungry For Education

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Denny’s to award $200,000 in scholarships to high school and college students throughout the United States

As part of a national campaign to raise awareness about hunger and increase access to education, Denny’s has partnered with National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), the Tom Joyner Foundation and PUSH Excel to sponsor the 2019 NCNW Hungry for Education Tour of seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The tour, organized by NCNW, marks the seventh year of the Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarship Program. The major initiative kicked off with a press conference at 10 a.m. August 16 at the NCNW national headquarters’ Dorothy I. Height Building, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. John Miller, Denny’s president and CEO, April Kelly-Drummond, head of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, NCNW’s national president, and Janice Mathis, executive director of NCNW, will be among the officials participating in the event, which is open to the media.

Beginning in September 2019, the NCNW 2019 HFE HBCU Tour will visit seven campuses in six cities to encourage college enrollment, academic excellence, and career preparation for students of all backgrounds. Tour stops will be South Carolina State University and Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C. (Sept. 7); Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla. (Sept. 14); Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. (Sept. 21); Howard University, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 28); Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, (Nov. 2); and Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas (Nov. 6).

As part of its annual Hungry for Education Scholarship Program, Denny’s will be awarding more than $200,000 in scholarships this year to high school and college students who apply this fall. During each stop along the HBCU Tour, Denny’s also will provide $500 meal scholarships to four high school students and four college students, totaling $4,000 at each college stop. The meal scholarships will be a direct tie-in to Denny’s efforts to address food insecurity on HBCU campuses and an extension of the meal swipe initiative, created by Mary-Pat Hector, winner of the HFE scholarship.

During the tour stops, activities will include panel discussions with celebrity HBCU alumni, marching band performances, campus tours, an overview of campus life including admissions, financial aid, and career counseling, information sessions about Denny’s Hungry for Education scholarships and the opportunity to explore careers at Denny’s. Participating high school students also will have the opportunity to meet current college students, professors, and potential employers.

Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarship Program recognizes and rewards students who show initiative and creativity in the fight against childhood hunger. Partnering with leading nonprofit minority advocacy organizations, Denny’s Hungry for Education program has awarded more than $1,000,000 in scholarships to deserving elementary, high school, and college students since its inception. Just as importantly, the program has implemented student-generated ideas for reducing childhood hunger.

“At Denny’s, we have found that supporting HBCUs is an incredibly effective way to invest in the diverse communities we serve,” said April Kelly-Drummond, head of Diversity Equality Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement. “HBCUs make up only 3 percent of the colleges and universities in the United States, yet they produce 23 percent of African-American college graduates.”

Denny’s President and CEO John Miller said that, “The Hungry for Education Scholarship program benefits the scholarship recipients, of course, but when those students use their scholarships at HBCUs, it’s like we’re investing that scholarship twice—once in today’s student and once in the future students who will benefit from the incredible work that HBCUs are doing.”

Janice Mathis, executive director of NCNW, added, “NCNW is very pleased to have great partners like Denny’s, and our HBCU destinations to help us spread the good news that nothing levels the playing field like education.”

Promoting the importance of HBCUs is critical to these school’s success, said Thomas Joyner, chairman and CEO of the Tom Joyner Foundation, “HBCUs have played and still play a key role in providing a nurturing, tough-love environment for so many students over the years. We’ve been working with Denny’s for more than 18 years, and this tour is another example of how we work together to celebrate these schools and give students access to the information and scholarships needed to help them succeed.”

About Denny’s
Denny’s is one of America’s largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating more than 1,700 franchised, licensed, and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Philippines, New Zealand, Honduras, the United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Guam, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, Aruba, El Salvador, and Indonesia. For further information on Denny’s, including news releases, please visit the Denny’s website at www.dennys.com, www.dennyshungryforeducation.com or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Instagram, or YouTube.

About NCNW
National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four- pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education and civic engagement. Founded nearly 85 years ago, NCNW has 290 community and campus bases sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than Two Million women and men. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D. is seventh President of NCNW. For more information or to register for the NCNW Hungry for Education Tour, please visit www.ncnw.org.

About Tom Joyner Foundation
The Tom Joyner Foundation (http://tomjoynerfoundation.org) was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 22-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $66 million has been raised to support more than 31,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students. You can follow them on Facebook.

About PUSH Excel
PUSH Excel strives to be a world leader in promoting educational excellence and equity in funding and allocation of educational resources so that every child is guaranteed an opportunity to receive a quality education. The mission of PUSH Excel is to promote education excellence by engaging the stakeholders in education to work collaboratively to create opportunities, transform the lives of students and improve communities. Davida Mathis, a South Carolina lawyer, volunteers with PUSH Excel to produce King Legacy Week, an innovative introduction to higher education and STEAM careers for SC youth.

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Education

Kids Changing the World

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Nationwide — Adom Appiah, a fifteen-year old student athlete and former Scripps National Spelling Bee participant, has written a third book to motivate children. The book, Kids Can Change the World – Young Readers’ Edition, has been accepted by the Library of Congress.

 A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) writing program, Adom wrote his first book, Kids Can Change the World, in June 2017. His second book, titled Bouncing Back from Failure, was released in July of 2018. Whereas the first book encourages kids to turn their passion into progress, the second book offers an uplifting perspective for kids facing disappointment.

Adom is the founder of Ball4Good, a nonprofit that supports communities through sports. He was recently named the South Carolina High School State Honoree for the prestigious Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

All three books are available in select bookstores and online.

You may follow Adom’s journey on:
Facebook – @iamadomappiah
Instagram – @iamadomappiah
Twitter – @iamadomappiah

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Free Tuition Near A Reality

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In the event you missed the news back in the spring, free tuition is becoming closer to a reality in the Alamo City.

A blue ribbon roster of local business, education, and non-profit leaders gathered in April for their first meeting as the steering committee for the Alamo Colleges District’s AlamoPROMISE initiative.

The district is working collaboratively with the city and county to make the concept of AlamoPROMISE a reality. AlamoPROMISE will provide the first two years of college at one of the Alamo Colleges District’s five colleges to eligible students who plan to earn an associate degree or certifications, take courses for transfer or complete workforce training. 

AlamoPROMISE will provide a last-dollar scholarship, funded with support from public and private sector partners and foundations, to fill the gap between a student’s financial aid award and the cost of tuition and fees for the first two years of college at one of the district’s five colleges. AlamoPROMISE also incorporates comprehensive student support services, from career exploration and advising to connections to social services and student advocacy centers. This support, which is provided to all Alamo Colleges District students, will address transportation and childcare costs, food insufficiency and other barriers students face in completing college.

Chairing the committee are Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. They are joined on the committee by:

  • Kevin Voelkel, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing  Texas
  • Peter John Holt, CEO, Holt Cat
  • Jeff Goldhorn, Executive Director, Education Service Center Region 20
  • Richard Perez, President/CEO, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
  • Diane Sanchez, President/CEO, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Cynthia Matson, President, Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  • Taylor Eighmy, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Ryan Ludgalia-Hollon, Executive Director, Up Partnership
  • Lloyd Verstuyft, Superintendent, Southwest ISD
  • Pedro Martinez, Superintendent, San Antonio ISD
  • Brian Woods, Superintendent, Northside ISD
  • Jeanette Ball, Superintendent, Judson ISD
  • Kate Rogers, Outreach and Civic Engagement, Charles Butt Foundation
  • Rebecca Brune, President, San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Romanita Matta-Barrera, Executive Director, SA Works

All of the chairs were encouraged and enthused about the program and the partnerships. 

“With AlamoPROMISE, we will impact not only our students and their families, but the larger community as well,” said Flores. “We will make a college education possible for a larger percentage of high school graduates and address regional workforce needs by providing more graduates who have the skills to qualify for the high-demand, high-wage jobs that often go unfilled in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”

“AlamoPROMISE is a transforming initiative for San Antonio students, said Wolff. “It will lift the barriers allowing Bexar County students an opportunity to obtain the best in skill training and education,” he added.

“The AlamoPROMISE will be truly transformative for our city,” said Nirenberg. “Tuition-free community college through a last-dollar scholarship is a game-changer for workforce and economic development. Today’s steering committee meeting was productive and TeamSA is all working together to make this promise a reality,” he added.

Steering Committee members were invited to learn first-hand about the Tennessee Promise program and how its success can be replicated for AlamoPROMISE.

At the Alamo Colleges District, high quality education and affordable costs provide exceptional value to students and alumni who are major contributors to the economy and culture of our community. For more information, go to www.alamo.edu/promise. 

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