UIW School of Professional Studies travels to Washington D.C. with Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

February 23, 2024

Dr. Osman Özturgut, associate provost for Strategic Outreach and Partnerships and dean of the UIW School of Professional Studies, traveled with the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to Washington D.C. for its annual “SA to DC” trip this month. The trip was organized by the chamber to address key issues in San Antonio and advocate for higher education and workforce development. 

Leaders from both San Antonio and D.C. engaged in conversation that covered several important topics. One such topic was the doubling of Pell funding and extending eligibility to short-term/workforce programs. Initiatives like this one will help more students earn a degree, get a good paying job and increase economic mobility. Other topics included strengthening apprenticeship and internship programs and associated funding, which would aid in transitioning students into the workforce more effectively.  

Several leaders from San Antonio attended the trip, including Marilu Reyna, executive vice president of marketing, branding and communications for the First Day Foundation and co-chair of the SA to DC trip.  

“The Greater San Antonio Chamber’s SA to DC event was established to get leaders from San Antonio to the nation’s capital to meet with our elected officials to advocate for key priorities for the San Antonio community including education, manufacturing, small business, aerospace, cybersecurity and more,” said Reyna. “We were thrilled to have Dr. Özturgut join us in this important endeavor, as his participation, support and engagement played a significant role in making this event a huge success. Every individual brings with them their expertise and passion to make a difference, which is critical to our advocacy efforts.” 

Katie Ferrier, vice president of Education and Workforce Development for the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce was also in attendance. “The success of SA to DC is due in large part to the dedicated involvement of a wide range of community members who work together to persuade policymakers to act on issues relevant to our entire region,” she shared. “The UIW School of Professional Studies and the Chamber have been working as champions of education and workforce development.” 

Programs like the SA to DC trip contribute the Triple Helix Executive Leadership for Global Competitiveness Model, which is designed to provide a global perspective on effective leadership practices and emphasizes the importance of collaboration and partnerships. This model was created by Özturgut to highlight how collaboration between academia, government and industry lead to a mutually beneficial leveraging of resources. Özturgut shared, “whether as individuals, organizations or communities, we must seize the opportunity to engage with policymakers, advocate for change, and contribute to the betterment of our society.”