The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Campus Briefs: Oct. 22-25

Campus Briefs: Oct. 22-25 - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Psychology Club donation box located in the Central Academic Building lobby. The club is collecting donations for the San Antonio State Hospital. Photo by Jose de la Rosa

Jags to learn (ethical) hacking

By Sebastian Cervantes

A campus cybersecurity expert is teaching students how to hack into a hacker’s brain.

Attendees can learn ethical hacking techniques to protect their data and information at “Hack Savvy with Dr. Barton” at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 in Suite 256 of the Science and Technology Building.

Dr. Kevin Barton, a computing and cyber security professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, will teach and host the event with help from the Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter.

The event benefits not only computer science or computer security majors, but all students, said Clinton Minton, association president. They can learn how hackers obtain information and secure themselves from being hacked through email or social media.

All students are invited to join. Organizers recommend a laptop or USB drive with Kali Linux; however, no knowledge of hacking or computer languages is needed.

Students will use Kali Linux, a software that compiles hacking tools and languages to penetrate security software. They will play learning games such as Capture the Flag to use what they have learned to test the security defenses of a computer, access a secured file or become an administrator of the computer.

“On Linux systems, the administrator account is called root and once you got root, you basically own the system,” Minton said. 

The knowledge is also applicable on Windows and Macs, Minton said.

The HackSavvy workshops continue this semester at 2 p.m. Fridays in Suite 256 of the Science and Technology building. The next events are Nov. 1, Nov. 8, Nov. 15, Nov. 22 and Nov. 29.


Psychology Club seeks donations for State Hospital

By Morgan Lewis

The Psychology Club will meet this week to discuss activities such as collecting donations for the San Antonio State Hospital.

The meeting is noon-1 p.m. Oct. 23 in Room 204 of the Madla Building.

The club’s monthlong drive continues through October for the hospital. Drive boxes where students can leave donations are located in campus buildings. 

Donation items include:

  • chips
  • shampoo 
  • body wash 
  • reading glasses 
  • books

The club has over 30 members and is open to all students at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. 

“Psychology Club is very important because it’s a large field that is growing constantly,” said Genesis Escobedo, the club’s president. 

Escobedo said she wants to make sure psychology is well promoted because as the field continues to grow, it creates more knowledge in studying the human brain and improving mental health.

“Knowledge is power,” Escobedo said. 

For more information, email the Psychology Club at for times and dates on club meetings or events. 

Students connect with religious side 

By Veronica Valdes

Students at Texas A&M University-San Antonio can unplug and tune in to their relationship with God at the Catholic Student Association’s first retreat, “Alive,” Oct. 25-27 at Well Spring Retreat Center in Blanco.

A maximum of 25 students can sign up, and there are only six spots left for men. Women’s registration is on hold.

There is no deadline to sign up.

The association describes the retreat on Instagram as a “weekend of rediscovery and faith empowerment.”

Students will hand over their digital devices to reduce distractions and be more present.

“Right now it’s God’s time,” said CSA president Ariana Agundiz.

Students can expect activities in the Texas Hill Country surrounded by fellowship, music and worship. An individual $35 fee covers transportation, food and lodging; according to Agundiz, similar retreats cost approximately $175 per person. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. Students will sleep in on-site cabins. 

Outdoor activities will take place throughout the retreat; students should pack comfortable shoes and clothing along with travel essentials.  

Well Spring is among several places that hold retreats for Catholic groups in surrounding counties. The Alive retreat was partly funded by a donation from the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

CSA hopes to host the retreat each spring and fall semester or at least annually.

To RSVP for Alive, visit JagSync at

Students, employees develop their brands

By Caitlin Taylor

The HIRED program at Texas A&M University-San Antonio will host an event to help students develop a brand and professional online presence. 

“Your Digital Legacy,” at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Mays Community Room 111, will teach them about branding themselves on social media platforms. They also will learn to create exceptional LinkedIn accounts, said Dr. Yasir Kurt, career adviser.

The HIRED program (Student Employee Professional Development Program)  is only for student employees on campus but any student can attend the event. They should bring their current resume.

Kurt said that it would be amazing if students could bring professionally done headshot to the event. 

Students can not only improve their social media skills, but they will also learn how to brand themselves online by building a professional career identity, said Kurt. They will also learn about the dos and don’ts of social media professionalism along with an effective LinkedIn profile.

HIRED program is a part of A&M-San Antonio’s strategic plan. Career Services at the Mays Center designed the HIRED program based on extensive research conducted among employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). 

“Thanks to this comprehensive study, NACE Identified eight competencies associated with career readiness of students that reported by employers,” Kurt said, expressing his appreciation. 

The ultimate goal of this program is assisting students to become more career-ready throughout the year. All the student employees on campus are eligible and encouraged to join the HIRED Program.

Interested students can call 210-784-1356 or go to for more information.

About the Authors

Veronica Valdes
Veronica Valdes
Veronica Valdes is a junior communication major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Veronica received her associate of arts from Northwest Vista College in 2018. She works as a receptionist in addition to being a full-time student. In her spare time, she enjoys running, concerts and scoping out new restaurants. Upon graduating, Veronica hopes to pursue a career in journalism.
Caitlin Taylor
Caitlin Taylor
Caitlin Taylor is a communication junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. With her love of sports, Caitlin plans to use her degree in the future to become a sportscaster or become a sideline sports reporter.

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