McNair Scholar and Jane Findling Award recipient enhances wellness of others at UTSA and in San Antonio – utsa.edu

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OCTOBER 7, 2022 — UTSA McNair Scholar Erica McFarland is deeply devoted to improving the health and holistic well-being of others. Her interest in wellness was sparked during her time at the Hightower High School Medical Science Academy in Missouri City, Texas, where she enjoyed shadowing nurses at Saint Luke’s Hospital and gained experience in clinical teaching during her senior year.
To continue growing in the field, she decided to study biology at UTSA. Then she switched to public health with a concentration in health promotion and behavioral science in the College for Health, Community and Policy.
McFarland had her sights set on UTSA from the time she was in elementary school, after her older sister toured the university. At the young age of nine, she was already impressed with the school’s diversity and location. Of the 12 colleges she received acceptance letters from nearly nine years later, UTSA remained her top choice. She was thrilled to finally have the chance to attend her dream school.
“UTSA is incredibly diverse and welcoming, and that is something I was really looking for in my higher education journey. I live right outside of Houston and I wanted to attend a school in a major city that has access to resources and more opportunities for growth,” McFarland said.
With an altruistic spirit and great appreciation for motivational environments, McFarland dedicates the majority of her time outside the classroom to volunteering and serving in leadership roles that augment her college experience.
The 2021-2022 UTSA Spirit of the Roadrunner recipient is a Senior Senator in the Student Government Association and a member of the President’s Student Advisory Council, the Honors Alliance, and the Volunteer Organization Involving Community, Education and Service (VOICES).
She served as a Calm Counselor for children with special needs at the Children’s Association for Maximum Potential (CAMP) and also gained clinical teaching practice during her freshman year at UTSA in the UTEACH program.
As a result of McFarland’s contributions, she has received several awards and scholarships. She won the first Jane Findling Award, given to UTSA students who show excellence in leadership and service, and she was accepted into the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, a federal program funded by the U.S. Department of Education TRIO grant.
The McNair Scholars program supports first-generation and low-income students in their pursuit of research-based graduate studies. Through this program, McFarland won an additional internship scholarship with UTSA’s Najim Center for Innovation and Career Advancement.
“Scholarships in the UTSA community are so incredibly important as they provide us with essential support, not just financially, but also emotionally and mentally,” McFarland said. “With the support I’ve been given, I have been able to conduct extensive research on personal development and growth for the past three years and have seen an exceptional improvement in my own mental health and well-being.”
McFarland’s experiences at UTSA helped her realize her potential. With lessened financial pressure, she has been given the space to understand her likes, dislikes, interests and passions. Her ability to participate in extracurricular activities is helping her grow as an individual and narrow down exactly what she wants out of life. While McFarland’s still in the process of developing her professional path, she knows that she will continue helping others become their very best selves.
Jordan Allen
UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to [email protected]. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
The Racial Justice Book Club was established at UTSA by members of the campus community to explore social justice following acts of racial violence across the nation over the last few years. We are reading The Injustice Never Leaves You: Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas by Monica Muñoz Martinez. We will meet every Wednesday in September and October at 2 pm on Zoom.
We invite you to learn about the process of screenwriting and explore the intersection of identity and pursuing dreams from Jorge Ramirez-Martinez and Raymond Perez, screenwriters for the Selena: The Series, released on Netflix. They will discuss their careers and writing process, including how their identities as Mexican American and gay men have shaped their professional experiences.
Please join us in remembering those who have entered the next part of life by designing a nicho box in their memory. This workshop will provide the necessary items to create your nicho box, though please remember to bring a photo or small object that can fit in a 3.5 x5x1 inch box (small jewelry box).
Come celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month with La Comunidad at The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will have food, games and dancing!
UTSA is proud to present Secretary Cardona as our 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month keynote speaker. This virtual, livestreamed event is free and open to the public – no preregistration required. Attendees are welcome to submit questions for Secretary Cardona in advance.
Join us for the dedication of UTSA’s Gregory Luna Welcome Center and Assembly Room.
LMSA invites you to join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month through an interactive cooking lesson! This cultural experience will teach you how to prepare a popular Mexican dish, street taquitos. You will be able to sample this dish and learn the recipe to use in your own home.
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Spotlight
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.
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