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

Campus Briefs: University gears up with virtual, socially distant programs

Campus Briefs: University gears up with virtual, socially distant programs - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Students at the College of Arts and Sciences networking mixer in the Vista room of the Central Academic Building at Texas A&M University-San Antonio in fall 2018. This event was an opportunity for students in the College of Arts and Sciences program to connect with employers who are hiring within those majors. Courtesy photo from the Mays Center.

Testing Center to host resume-enhancing presentation

By Jose de la Rosa 

If you’ve pondered how to update your resume to thrive in today’s competitive workforce, Texas A&M University-San Antonio offers a solution: get certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist, Intuit Quickbooks Certified User and other credentials to impress employers.

The Testing Center will host “Using Certiport Certifications to Show Expertise” at 10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. Sept. 22 in Room 334 of the Central Academic Building and through Zoom. Students can RSVP for the presentation on Jagsync at

“Although Certiport is not new in general, it’s new to us,” Testing Center coordinator William Clint Kingsbery said. “They are certifications that are pretty widely regarded in the business sector and the job market as a whole.”

Certiport testing was approved the week before spring break, but it halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The center has begun offering certifications this semester.

“Here we are with this new testing, this awesome possibility, but no way to promote it or get people engaged with it,” Kingsbery said. “We’re hoping with the presentation and word of mouth, students understand that these tests aren’t expensive and can make a big difference on their resume.”

Kingsbery said the Microsoft Office Specialist certification is among the most expensive A&M-San Antonio offers, with a price of around $100 plus a $20 administration fee.

Kingsbery highlighted the benefits of certifications and how they add a competitive edge to graduates entering the workforce. 

“When you look at the job market, specifically people who are on hiring teams, they want to see things in resumes that help their applicants stand out,” Kingsbery said. “If you have two applicants who are pretty equal, but one’s got Certiport certifications, that may lead them to get picked over the other candidate.”

Programs at A&M-San Antonio consist of experiential learning material that can apply into the certificates.

“We’re trying the stack-of-a-credential approach,” Kingsbery said. “Wouldn’t a bachelor’s degree with certificates that are within the same field be even more beneficial? Of course it would.”

The presentation will explore Certiport exams and certifications, such as Entrepreneurship and Small Business, and connect them to students’ degree plans.

“I mean, the presentation might not be life changing,” Kingsbery said. “But hey, the certifications could be.”


Students to craft paracord bracelets for vets, military

By Michelle L. Yanez

Students can make paracord bracelets for veterans and military members next week at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.  

They can pick up the supplies 2-4 p.m. Sept. 23 and 9-11 a.m. Sept. 24 in Suite 111 of the Science and Technology Building. Students can RSVP for the event at GivePulse.

A paracord bracelet is also known as a survival bracelet, according to It is woven out of paracord, which is a thick and lightweight nylon rope originally used in the suspension lines of a parachute. 

Students will receive a package with the paracord materials and information along with tutorials online to make the paracord bracelets, said Chloe Martinez, civic engagement coordinator. 

Students are able to earn 1.5 volunteer hours for each bracelet they complete. 

The paracord bracelets will be donated to Soldiers’ Angels, a nonprofit organization for veterans and active military members. 

“It’s a really great organization that works with veterans and current military members as well as with their family members,” Martinez said. “(Paracord bracelets) are really cool tools for survival purposes; you can break them down and pitch tents and make hammocks. … It will be very useful for them.” 

For more information, contact Martinez at   


Mays Center prepares students for future employment

By Asiah Mendoza

The Mays Center will host a virtual event at 2 p.m. Sept. 21 to discuss skills that employers search for in potential employees and interns. 

A career adviser and a graduate assistant will explain National Association of Colleges and Employers competencies, such as leadership, work ethic and career management. 

The event will also teach students how to implement these skills into their everyday lives and academics. 

After the presentation, students can ask questions in a Q&A chat

“Both my partner and I are students…” said Elena Aguinaga, graduate assistant and host, “so we really want to be approachable to other students and make it as simple as possible.” 

The two-hour online event is open to all students, who can RSVP on JagSync.

For more information, email or visit 


Student journalists discuss race, social injustice during workshop

By Gloria Carmona 

The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum partnered with Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s online digital news source, The Mesquite, to host a webinar, “Storytelling through Journalism,” on Sept. 10.  

The webinar focused on Black Lives Matter and real-life stories that have made headlines in national and local news.

Speakers included Cary Clack, editorial writer for the San Antonio Express-News; Dacrie Brooks, director of storytelling for H.E.Butt Foundation; and Amy Shaw, former broadcast journalist. The event was moderated by Brigid Cooley, editor-in-chief of The Mesquite and Sallie Fredrick, SAAACAM secretary and education committee chair.

The webinar was casual and conversational as speakers allowed communication students and faculty to weigh in on topic discussions. The presenters emphasized the important role journalists have in telling accurate stories in their entirety and with integrity.

Brooks underscored the sentiment by sharing the Maya Angelou quote, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 

The common theme throughout the webinar was, “words matter.” Speakers focused on the power of words and how they can change over time, stressing that journalists must use current definitions and terminology when telling a story. Fredrick shared the National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide as a resource for journalists.

Participants discussed whether race needed to be mentioned in a news story at all. Speakers agreed there are specific instances that call for race to play a part in the story, but for the most part, journalists should be very considerate when choosing to include race in a story.

Speakers encouraged student journalists to continue seeking insight and new information when covering social justice issues. 

“It is very important to see views and perspectives that are different from your views,” Shaw said. “Always seek diversity.”

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