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Dr. Shelley Howell

University of Texas at San Antonio

Interim Associate Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning Services

Lecturer, First Year Experience

September 21, 2017

From Serena: To complete the First Year Experience Program connected with AIS 1203 0T1, you must meet with your peer mentor 3 times during the semester (about once per month). Failure to do so will result in a reduction of points from your class grade. Set up your appointment with me as soon as possible!

This is the website to use to create your account and set up meetings: On Blackboard Learn I have step by step instructions on how to create your account. My deadline for the first meeting is September 29. If you are having problems setting up appointments please email me at [email protected] or text me at (469) 332-9447.

September 20, 2017

One more thing…I have attached a sample MLA paper for your convenience. If you follow this format, you will be fine. Good luck!

September 20, 2017

For Thursday, make sure you are caught up on the readings from Foundations for Success: Words of Wisdom (you should be through page 22 by now). We will be doing activities in class that involve these readings. See you Thursday!

September 18, 2017

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great weekend. I have a few items to share.

First, below is an email from a student group you might be interested in joining. If you are a first-gen student, reach out directly to AJ (his email is below). A flyer is also attached.

Second, make sure you mark your calendar (you are keeping a calendar, right???) with the “Fall Into Your Major” event:

·          October 11, 10am-2pm in the UC Ballroom

This is an exploratory event that allows students to meet with faculty, academic advisors, career counselors, and peers to discuss possible majors/minors, conveniently located in one place! The purpose of the event is to educate students regarding UTSA’s academic programs and career options to help lead them to make informed decisions. The event will also connect students to campus resources, academic departments, and peers to gain perspective on their areas of interest. You can find out more here: This event will count as your career event, so if you go make sure you take photos and gather evidence that you were there.

Finally, here is an excellent article about countering misinformation and fake news: from the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Enjoy!

See you Tuesday!


Hey guys and gals,

My name is AJ and I'm a student here at UTSA in my senior year. I'm part of an on-campus organization and I really would love it if any of you guys considered joining. It's a great opportunity for you guys to get involved on campus, make a bunch of new friends, and get yourselves a leadership position even before you all become sophomores!

If any of you aren’t doing anything on Monday's from 7:30 to 8:15, you should join this organization that I'm in called the Society of First Generation Scholars (SFGS).

I really really want to emphasize that you don't have to be a first-generation student to fit in and really help the organization!!!!! The meetings are short and really only last about 30 minutes. There's often guest speakers and other really cool activities that help further your professional development. 

I know hearing the word "organization" is kinda intimidating because it makes it seem like there's a lot of work to do if you join (especially with all the homework you'll have for your core classes alone), but the one I'm in is practically the lowest commitment an organization can have. Honestly, the best time to join an organization is now, just because as you get deeper in your academic careers the workload will just increase!

All you have to do is show up, and really just be yourself. It's an organization I'm really proud to be a part of and who knows, you all might learn something new in the process! There's A LOT of benefits if you join, just because we work with a lot of other organizations. Some of those benefits are:

- Business Cards

- Exclusive Guest Speakers who OFFER JOBS AND INTERNSHIPS!

- Sometimes Food

- Scholarship at the end of the year

- T-Shirt

- Raffles for Engineering Tool Kits, Medical Stethoscopes, and other really cool stuff that apply to a variety of majors!

if it's something any of you all might be interested in, let me know! it's a great way to network, meet new people in different disciplines and it looks pretty freaking amazing on a resume! Let me know guys, we'd love to see any of you at our next meeting!

Oh and did I mention, we'll be having some great candy at our next meeting on Monday if you just want to come and check it out! Down below I'm putting my email and a link to join on RowdyLink so that you guy can get an update on the location of our next meeting! Once again, we'd all love to see you guys show out! Have a great day!

Your future friend,


Email: [email protected]

Link to RowdyLink:

September 1, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I have uploaded the group assignment list to both Blackboard and, and set up discussion groups for you in Blackboard. Next Tuesday, I will give you time to get to know your group and exchange contact information.

Also, the instructions for scheduling a meeting with your peer mentor have been posted to both sites. Serena will go over them in class on Tuesday.

Make sure you read the For All X chapters assigned for next week. We’re behind, but will catch up this week. When doing the practice exercises, save your answers in a Word document and upload that document to the specified location in Blackboard. Since this may be your first time to upload a document to Blackboard, you can find video tutorials here: Don’t stress about this part. We will go over it in class.

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

August 28, 2017

Hi Everyone:

Hope you and your family are safe after this weekend’s storm. UTSA is open and we will have class as usual tomorrow. If you are unable to make it to class because of the storm, please let me know ASAP so that we can talk about your options.

Everyone else, make sure you bring a copy of your syllabus to class, or that you can access a copy on your device, and remember we have a guest speaker from the office of student conduct.

See you tomorrow!

August 23, 2017

Hi everyone:

I hope you’ve had a good first week of classes so far. I realized I have asked you to submit a journal to Blackboard without going over how to do that! To get to Blackboard, go to and choose “Blackboard Learn.” Once you log in with your UTSA ID (abc123) and your passphrase, you should see a list of your courses. This course is AIS-1203-0T1-Fall-2017-Academic Inquiry. You will find the rest of the journal instructions here. Give it a try, but don’t get too stressed if it doesn’t work. We will walk through it in class on Thursday. Make sure you bring a laptop, tablet or your smartphone. (PS-A larger screen will be best for most of things we do in class.) 

I have also posted to the web site the slides from Tuesday. I will try to do this every week so that you can review them at any time. 

Here’s what’s due Thursday:

1. Complete the Student Survey.


2. Journal #1: What do you expect to gain from this course? What will you do to ensure you have the time and tools to be successful in this course?

     Link to instructions:

3. Read the Syllabus and Course Calendar.


4. Read “The Student Experience” and “Practice, Practice, Practice” in Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom.


Finally, I will post announcements on Twitter with the hashtag #UTSAHowell. if you don’t have Twitter, I recommend you set up an account and get started on your new professional and academic social media presence! Feel free to tweet something with the hashtag to get started: Say hello, ask a question, or share something you’ve learned that others might like to know.

See you Thursday!

August 20, 2017

I look forward to meeting you on Tuesday for our first class! I will be your instructor for AIS 1203 Academic Inquiry and Scholarship. Together we will explore all of the great resources for you at UTSA and I will help you learn more about writing, critical thinking and different ways of viewing the world through the lenses of the arts and humanities.

We will meet in the McKinney Humanities Building, Room 3.04.12, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. In preparation for this course, I would like for you to complete a student survey that can be found here: All but four of the questions are optional, but the more you complete, the better I will be able to tailor the course to your needs. The survey is completely confidential. Don’t worry if you don’t get time to complete it before class starts; I’m sending it just so you can have a head start if you’d like to do so.

Also, you can learn more about me and find a link to the course syllabus at

See you Tuesday!