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BRTV Fall Mid Semester Update


Behind the scenes of a BRTV live streamed newscast

VIEW our latest newscast here:


It has been a very active semester for Bronc TV and Bronc Radio. Live newscasts in both Spanish and English continue to be the backbone of BRTV. This semester newscasts have covered a variety of topics, with reporters producing several well-researched, informative stories. An example is a story covering issues connected to UTPA shuttle buses. Other stories illustrate the fun, community spirit alive on the campus. Coverage of UTPA Spirit Week is a great example of the community-based stories produced this semester. The goal of all the stories is to allow both students and administration to have a voice in topics affecting our UTPA community. Bronc Radio has a variety of live programming 5 days a week. image


Anchors in action

BRTV’s mission includes bringing the latest news concerning our transition to UT-RGV to the community. UT-RGV related news reports this semester have discussed academic advisement, addressed graduation questions and covered other valuable information. 


Bronc Madness

Outside the BRTV studios, our journalists have brought audio and video to six major UTPA events, an average of more than one per month. Capturing live events has become a responsibility BRTV takes seriously. BRTV leadership schedules a variety of events covering multiple UTPA departments. 


Ready to report the news:

Below is an overview of BRTV’s coverage this semester from our core crew of 12 journalists:

• 10  live-streamed newscast in both English and Spanish newscasts, an average of one per week. 

• Bronc Madness – BRTV technicians/artists worked as the professional crew streaming footage to the JumboTron and gathering archival footage. 

• Produced stories for the Athletics Department show “Bronc Country”. The show is aired across Texas on the TWC channel.

• Majors Fair – and put together a video of the Communication Departments Thriller dance

• Live Remotes every Tuesday at the Student Union

• BRTV students work as production crew for all UTPA home Athletics events. 

• Student Union Costume contest – BRTV not only MC’d this event but we also gathered footage for use in upcoming news stories

  • Scheduled Fiesta Marathon at Wellness and Recreation Center – BRTV will live stream all guest speakers and seminars for the event.


Our awesome anchors


Shooting Bronc Madness


Getting the shot!

PACE 6th Annual Bioethics Conference

University Theatre Productions at The University of Texas-Pan American will hold Readers Theatre for the production of the original play “Locked.”

It will run Oct. 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. at the Studio Theatre in the Arts & Humanities Building, next door to the Albert L. Jeffers Theatre, which is located at the corner of University Drive and Sugar Roads.

“Locked,” written by two UTPA professors, Dr. Philip Zwerling in the Department of English, and Dr. Lorenzo Pace in Department of Art – one white and one black – examines the impact of slavery  on three generations of a contemporary American family as they struggle with shame and fear and finally triumph over racism. The play is based on the true story of Pace’s family which holds the 150-year-old iron lock that once bound the chairs of their ancestors in slavery.

The admission is free with open limited seating. No children below the third grade will be admitted.

For more information or to receive a season brochure, call the University Theatre Box Office at (956) 665-3581 or email Elva Galvan at galvane@utpa.edu.

Original Post on Oct 16, 2014

The University of Texas-Pan American is sorry to hear of the loss of longtime faculty member James Abgriffith Hawley, who helped start Pan American College’s (now UTPA) Theatre program. His obituary and information on services for him are below.

James Abgriffith Hawley was born October 28, 1932 and died October 7, 2014.Dr. James Hawley lived a life devoted to his family, his church, his students, and his community. He and his wife Alice came to the Rio Grande Valley in 1971 and became a part of the community through Pan American University and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Jim was born in Davenport, Iowa during the Great Depression. He put a priority on his education, often taking hard jobs to get through school, such as picking tomatoes, digging ditches and pouring concrete, all of which added to his life experience and gave him the perspectives he often shared with others. He attended Augustana College and graduated from Drake University in 1954. He received a Master of Arts in Theatre from Purdue University 1956 and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Theatre History, Literature and Speech in 1967. In addition to teaching at Pan American University, he taught at Drake University, Purdue University, Washington University, and the College of Wooster. He also served as an intelligence photographer for the U.S. Army from 1957-58.

His favorite professional role was that of teacher and his passion was expanding the horizons of his students. Jim helped start Pan American College’s (now UTPA) Theatre program in 1971. He co-designed and developed four undergraduate majors in theatre—performance, production, television-film, and teaching, as well as the Master of Arts in Theatre program. Jim served as a member and chair of the Academic Computer Council and on a committee for the University Self Study and Program Review. He was co-founder of the Pan American Summer Stock (PASS) Summer Theatre Program and developed an academic class in photography that was taken by over 1800 students. During his tenure at UTPA, he designed over 175 theatre productions and directed 35.

His extensive directing career primarily centered on revivals of classic old American comedies, like My Three Angels and Two Blind Mice. His gift for photography was demonstrated in “Faces of the Theatre,” an exposition of his collection of photographs from student theater productions over his many years of teaching. He loved catching the passion and emotion on the actors’ faces.

He appeared as an actor in a number of UTPA productions, from the musical George M. in 1976, where he learned to tap dance for the role of George M. Cohan’s father, to his final appearance on the stage with his wife Alice in the two-person play he had written, Elizabeth and Robert, a reading of excerpts from the love letters between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.

Jim actively served the community through his church and volunteer work. He was the first driver for the Hope for the Hungry Brown Bag Program that picked up produce from local farms and delivered it to families in need. He volunteered regularly for the Easter Seal Society of the Rio Grande Valley and Habitat for Humanity. He developed tracking software and served as University representative for the Early Auditory Regional Screening Program, E.A.R.S, a community program to screen and track newborns for hearing problems, which became the model for the state program that is currently in place. He was Technical Chair for the Nombres de la Frontera Host Committee for the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Display at the University. Jim also hosted the the Alumni Film Forums at the Tower Club. He served as Eucharistic and lay minister at St. John’s Episcopal Church and was a member of the choir.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather, a devoted uncle to his many nieces and nephews, and a mentor to his students. He is remembered for his kind heart, hard work, gentle spirit and creativity. He is also remembered for baking cookies, fixing things, tatting, telling long stories, and loving trivia and bad puns.

He died following an acute illness. He was surrounded by his four children and was ready to rest after a life well lived. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Alice Claire Hadley Hawley. He is survived by his children, Jonathon Hawley and his wife Robi; Christi Anthony and her husband Kevin; Julia Trizzino and her husband Darren; and Laura Koenig and her husband Don. In addition, his life is celebrated by his grandchildren Patrick Ricard and his wife Amanda, Alexis Sadoti, Savannah Hawley, Evan Hawley, Alleen Koenig and Miranda Koenig.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of James Hawley will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 11 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2500 North 10th Street, McAllen, Texas, with a short reception following in the parish hall.

Jim and his wife Alice were passionate proponents of education and in lieu of flowers, donations to the Hawley Family Faculty Development Endowment and the James and Alice Hawley Theatre Scholarship at the UTPA Foundation would be greatly appreciated.

Contributions designated to the endowments can be made to the UT Pan American Foundation, 1201 W. University Drive, ITTB 1.210, Edinburg, TX, 78539-2999. For additional information, please call (956) 665-5301to speak with Yvette Padilla or Cecilia Johnson.

Original Post on Oct 10, 2014.

Laredo-based writer Raquel Valle Senties is one artist whose work is featured in riverSedge. This portrait accompanies her work.

The University of Texas-Pan American’s College of Arts and Humanities invites the public and University community to celebrate an evening of local literary accomplishments with the relaunch of the literary journalriverSedge from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 in the ARHU Art Gallery & Lobby.

riverSedge is an annual publication thatfeatures a broad collection in the genres of creative non-fiction, poetry, fiction, scriptwriting, visual art, and literary criticism. The journal displays an openness to publish writers who incorporate English, Spanish, and Tex-Mex in their work, with a unique view on border life while not excluding voices from other areas.

UTPA’s English Department –in conjunction with select faculty from The University of Texas-Brownsville (UTB) and South Texas College (STC) – produce the literary journal that features pieces from talented writers from South Texas and beyond.

“Thanks to the hard work of many faculty, staff, and students at UTPA, UTB, and STC we are reviving the literary journal riverSedgeoriginally founded in our English Department in 1977. With its excellent prose, poetry and art, we think it will be a great addition to the literary world of our Rio Grande Valley,” said UTPA Associate Professor Philip Zwerling, who is the journal’s editor-in-chief.

The cost of riverSedge is $12 per issue. For more information, contact Marianita Escamilla at (956) 665-3421 or at maescami@utpa.edu.

Original Post by Christy Mendoza, Student Writer on Sep 29th, 2014.

The University of Texas Board of Regents Thursday approved the academic structure of the new UT Rio Grande Valley, taking an essential step forward in making the new university and medical school a reality. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has also approved the structure.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey proposed the 11 colleges and schools that will form the academic foundation for the new institution, including an Honors College and a Graduate College that will offer advanced degrees and create more opportunities for research.

“We want to attract the best students in the Rio Grande Valley and offer them educational opportunities similar to those offered at flagship universities across the nation, so we will create an Honors College that will serve both residential and commuter students,” Bailey said.

UTRGV will include a College of Medicine, College of Health Affairs, College of Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine Arts, College of Engineering and Computer Science, College of Business and Entrepreneurship, College of Education and P-16 Integration, Honors College, Graduate College and University College. (link to illustration.)

The College of Health Affairs will be the temporary home for the School of Nursing, School of Social Work and School of Allied Health.

When the School of Medicine is fully accredited, a College of Medicine and Health Affairs will be formed that will include Nursing, Social Work and Allied Health. Until that time, UTRGV will operate a College of Medicine and College of Health Affairs on an interim basis.

The 11 colleges and schools will report to the provost, a crucial position that will be filled in the coming months, along with other executive hires in academic affairs, finance and administration, human resources and compliance.

About the University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

The University of Texas System Office of Public Affairs

210 West 6th Street, Suite 2.100
Austin, Texas 78701
p: (512) 499-4363      f: (512) 499-4358
email: UTpubaffairs@utsystem.edu

Original Post on Aug 21, 2014

The University of Texas-Pan American’s Bronc Radio and TV (BRTV) garnered a little help in preparing future communicators.

UTPA Image
Pictured standing is Ivan “Pepper” Herrera, communications student and Bronc Radio station manager, directing fellow students and radio staff.

Bronc Radio and TV, the student-run radio and television programs at UT Pan American, received more than $65,000 from the University’s Office of Student Services to purchase new equipment. Fred Mann, Bronc Radio’s adviser, and Nick Taylor, Bronc TV’s adviser, submitted the student service fees funding request and said their respective programs have long needed new supplies so that they can better train their students for working for news and other communications organizations.

“Working with professional equipment makes it a lot easier to get professional jobs,” Mann said.

Some of the purchases made include microphones, a more advanced automation and a tricaster. An automation is a device that will allow radio personalities to potentially stream their shows live 24/7. A tricaster is known as a “control room in a box,” one of its many features will enable Bronc TV to air multi-camera events and stream them directly to the Internet.

Calling it a “fresh start” and “a whole new era,” Taylor said this opportunity will serve the BRTV community well as they prosper and contribute their talents to bring out the best in their school and the new University to come — The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“We really take in part of our mission to show what a great place this is,” Taylor said. “It isn’t just for BRTV … it is to showcase what’s out there and how great UTPA is and bring it out to the web. … They will utilize their artistry and storytelling skills to produce projects of more quality.”

BRTV began in 2006 and has evolved tremendously. For the last five years, BRTV have been finalists in several categories such as top public service announcement, newscast and news reporting. Although these awards are gratifying moments for the team, Mann and Taylor said they are most proud of seeing their students get jobs in the industry.

“Many students have gone on to work at local radio and TV stations,” Mann said.

Ivan “Pepper” Herrera, communications student and Bronc Radio station manager, said he believes that this upgrade will allow the organization to be more “hands on” with hard news.

Herrera said he believes it will allow him and his peers to grow into knowledgeable journalists.

“We will be able to broadcast 24/7, which we haven’t done so that’s going to be ground breaking for us,” he said.

BRTV has had many success stories. UTPA and BRTV alumni Alex Pena was hired by ESPN in Connecticut, and Raquel Gonzalez took a job with CBS Radio at its network affiliate in Dallas.

“We definitely want to thank the University,” Herrera said. “This is something we have worked really hard for. We just want to put the best face out there for the University.”

Original Post by Simona Ilizarov, intern on Aug 8th, 2014

UTPA Image
Seven UTPA faculty members received the prestigious UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award this year. Twenty-six other UTPA faculty members have won the award since it was initiated in 2008.

Seven faculty members at The University of Texas-Pan American were selected by The University of Texas System Board of Regents to receive the prestigious 2014 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. It is the largest contingent of winners from UTPA since the award was initiated in 2008.

The award – believed to be one of the single largest financial teaching awards in the nation – recognizes tenured, tenure-track and other instructional faculty for their outstanding teaching, mentoring, personal commitment to students and the learning process as well as motivating students in the classroom.

The UTPA Regents’ Award recipients – among 96 faculty members in the UT System’s 15 academic and health institutions honored this year – are:

• Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, professor and director of the Network Research Lab, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science (Tenured);

• Dr. Javier Angel Kypuros, associate professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean for Undergraduate Affairs, College of Engineering and Computer Science (Tenured);

• Dr. Virgil U. Pierce, associate professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Science and Mathematics (Tenured);

• Dr. Russell K. Skowronek, professor of anthropology and history, Departments of History and Philosophy and Sociology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Humanities (Tenured);

• Dr. Laura M. Grabowski, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science (Tenure Track);

• Dr. Alexander V. Stehn, assistant professor of philosophy, Department of History and Philosophy, College of Arts and Humanities (Tenure Track); and

• Dr. Ken A. Grant, lecturer in history and religious studies, Department of History and Philosophy, College of Arts and Humanities (Contingent).

A complete list of winners by institution can be found on the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards website.

“The teachers we are honoring are truly the best of the best,” said Board of Regents Vice Chairman Steven Hicks in a UT System release announcing the awards.

“We are proud that these awards support and promote a culture of teaching excellence, especially in undergraduate programs, at all our campuses.”

Award recipients were vetted by their peer colleagues, students and UT System presidents before advancing to competition at the System level. The review panel considers a range of activities and criteria, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes. The Regents have awarded nearly $13.4 million since the awards program began.

UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said the awards are a reflection of the Regents placing the highest priority on undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching excellence System-wide.

“Our excellence in teaching faculty is a critical part of the System’s vision of an institution of the first class,” Cigarroa said.

This year’s winners join 26 other UTPA faculty members who have received the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award since it was initiated five years ago.

UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen said the number of awardees for this 2013-14 academic year – seven – is almost as outstanding as the faculty are outstanding.

“At every graduation ceremony, I end the ceremony by telling the graduates and the audience how great the faculty at Pan Am are. We have, once again, proof of their greatness,” Nelsen said. ” I am very proud of them and honored to count them as colleagues.”

Each of the 96 System wide awardees will receive $25,000 and be honored at a ceremony Aug. 20 at The University of Texas at Austin’s Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom in the Texas Union.

Original Post by By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative on Aug 7th, 2014.

It’s not too well known that the Rio Grande Valley played a key role in the American Civil War, but Dr. Russell Skowronek, a history professor at The University of Texas-Pan American and principal investigator of UTPA’s Community Historical Project with Schools (CHAPS), hopes to change that.

Skowronek and his team at CHAPS are joining with historians throughout the Valley and beyond to develop a Civil War trail here.

“It’s a very important thing for our region, an entity, once it is created for our region because it will actually knit together the entire valley from the Gulf of Mexico to Laredo and we’ll be able to talk about the significant activities that took place here, basically from the 1840s to the 1870s,” Skowronek said.

The trail will highlight important landmarks from Laredo to Brownsville. Sites include Palmito Hill Ranch near Brownsville, where the last battle of the Civil War was fought, as well as Forts McIntosh in Laredo, Ringgold in Rio Grande City, and Brown in Brownsville.

Recently, a group of a few dozen historians, educators, as well as representatives from state and federal agencies, met at UTPA’s McAllen Teaching Site to begin work on this endeavor.

Dr. Tony Zavaleta, a professor of anthropology at UT Brownsville and owner of the Palmito Hill Ranch battle site, said he supports the creation of the trail because it will tell the story of the Civil War that not many have heard and create more tourism to the area.

“It’s important to develop this project because not only is it historical development, it’s economic development,” Zavaleta said. “One of the things that we Valley natives have not done completely enough is to promote our eco-tourism and our historical or cultural tourism. Once people realize and recognize that there’s a Civil War trail in south Texas they’ll come to south Texas, not only to see birds and butterflies, but to stand on a site.”

Dr. Stephen McBride, director of interpretation and archaeology for Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park in Kentucky, a Union recruiting center for black troops during the Civil War, shared Zavaleta’s sentiments on why the trail should be created.

“There is a lot of history here and a lot of really important events that took place that need to be brought out to the public,” McBride said. “It has the potential to bring other people and visitors in.”

Skowronek said he and his collaborators hope to garner community support so that they can have a website, podcast and brochure promoting the trail by the beginning of next year.

“This is a legacy that will have payback in this Valley for a century to come, perhaps longer, Skowronek said. “Right now we are marking the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War; more people died in that war than all other wars combined for the United States. Here the war ended, the last battle was fought in 1865, and here we’re hoping we can mark this so that, by the time that we are marking the bicentennial of the civil war in 50 years, those children that will be part of that will be able to say well there’s always been a civil war trail.”

Learn more about the project in this video:

Civil War in the Valley UTPA

Original Post by Office of Public Affairs  on June 27th, 2014.

photoFlutist Baltazar Diaz has a passion for music. Go to a concert in which he is performing, and you will likely see him playing from memory. A native of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Diaz performs in the University of Texas-Pan American Concert Band, University Orchestra, Flute Ensemble, and as a member of several UTPA chamber music ensembles. His enthusiasm, love of music, helpfulness to fellow students, and diligent quest for knowledge are all qualities that have helped Diaz secure the highly competitive Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship administered by the Texas Association of Music Schools.

Full-time music majors enrolled in a Texas Association of Music Schools member institution of higher education are eligible to apply for the Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship. Recipients from four-year state institutions such as the University of Texas-Pan American receive their renewable award for up to four years, to cover expenses until the student graduates. Applicants apply during the second semester of their freshman year.

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