Teacher Enrichment Initiative

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives

Principal Investigator – Teresa Evans, Ph.D.
The Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) housed in the Department of Pharmacology at The UT Health San Antonio (UTHSA) involves partnerships between UTHSA researchers, students, health professionals, and San Antonio area K-12 teachers. Utilizing these partnerships TEI develops and offers FREE downloadable health-focused multidisciplinary science curriculum and a variety of downloadable support tools for teacher mentors, grant writing, and science night planning. Also part of TEI is the Teacher Enrichment Leadership Academy (TELA), formerly known as the VBTA, which focuses on the teacher – the primary fulcrum for student success. The TELA seeks to empower Bexar County area school teachers. TELA teachers will find networking opportunities, share best practices, and quality instructional materials while engaging in collegial discussions about emerging strategies and trends that impact education professionals.

Blue Bird Auxiliary

Blue Bird Auxiliary – Labor and Delivery

Jeri Silva – Methodist Hospital – Blue Bird Auxiliary – Labor and Delivery
Methodist Healthcare San Antonio volunteers, whom are affectionately referred to as the “Blue Birds” are a family of dedicated, caring, happy people. The talents and skills that they bring to their goodwill hospital jobs enrich the lives of the patients and visitors. Membership is open to all those who are interested in giving of themselves to help others, regardless of race, religion, color, creed or disability.

Jeri also volunteers at nursing homes with A*Med Healthcare Group where some of her activities include transportation, including medical appointments, emotional support and social activities.

Gifts for Children

Gifts for Children – Nov/Dec Annually

Joel Hager – Gifts for Children – Nov/Dec Annually
This program has been around about 28+ years and it started when the UT Health San Antonio wanted to do something for the community at Christmas time. The idea of helping children in the hospitals, where our residents and students trained during the holiday period, is how this was created. Since then, the GFC program has grown; last year we were able to deliver over 4,200+ items to the hospitals and clinics.

UT Health Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy Logo

Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy

David Morilak, Ph.D. and Jason O’Connor, Ph.D.Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy
The vision of the Max and Minnie Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy is to provide an immersive biomedical research education and college preparatory program for San Antonio high school students. The Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy will partner the very best high school freshman students from the San Antonio and surrounding school districts with outstanding biomedical scientists from the UT Health San Antonio to promote excellence in scholarship and biomedical research training for a 3 year period. Dr. Morilak has been involved in the program since 2010 and has mentored students from Boerne Champion (Boerne ISD) and Brandeis (NISD) High Schools. Dr. O’Connor has been involved in the program since 2011 has mentored a student from the Young Women Leadership Academy (SAISD) and is currently mentoring two students, one from Brennan High School (NISD) and one from the Health Careers High School (NISD).

Health Careers High School Logo

Scientific Research and Design (SRD) Program

Charles France, Ph.D. – Scientific Research and Design (SRD) Program – Health Careers High School (NISD)
The Scientific Research and Design Program is a collaboration with the HSC and Health Careers HS where students work with professionals on a research project for one year and report findings to a panel of scientists as well as other students. These high school students have access to a wealth of basic research and clinical science information through hands-on experiences in the laboratory with cutting-edge scientific techniques. Students are mentored by Dr. France, as well as junior faculty and postdoctoral fellows in his lab. The students conduct experiments, participate in lab meetings and some are even fortunate enough to be listed as authors on published papers. Dr. France has been participating in the program since 2005 and has mentored/co-mentored over a dozen high school students. ‘Some of these students use the projects they worked on from here to participate in science fairs’, he stated, ‘they all go on to terrific places and careers…one recent HCHS student that worked with us is now a sophmore at Harvard!’, Dr. France noted.

SECC Charitable Giving Logo

State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC)


Heather Hunter – State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) – Sept Annually
Each year the UTHSCSA campus takes part in the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) during the month of September. The SECC allows employees of state agencies, junior and community colleges, and universities throughout Texas to give to many of their favorite charities through an annual workplace giving campaign. One of the great benefits of the SECC is the wide variety of charities and causes represented — there’s something for everyone. They range from small local organizations to large and well-known national and international groups. Each year a departmental SECC Coordinator is chosen to represent the department and manage the departmental contribution process.

Jennifer Noy

Junior League of San Antonio

Jennifer Noy – Junior League of San Antonio
The Junior League of San Antonio is the premier women’s volunteer organization, where women work together to build a better community through leadership and community service. Supporting the San Antonio community through volunteer work and grants to partner organizations, The Junior League of San Antonio benefits women, children and families city-wide. This year Jennifer is working at the Clarity Child Guidence Center, a psychiatric hospital for children, where every other week she does crafts, reading, activities and more with the children. They are currently working on building a vegetable garden for the children.