About UTSA Teaching and Learning Services
We know teaching is a profoundly personal experience. You put yourself into each lesson and take deep satisfaction from your students’ successes. That’s why we work to find a wide variety of best practices, time saving strategies, and assessment methods that meet faculty goals and student needs. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran looking to update a course or a freshly hired faculty member just starting your career, UTSA Teaching and Learning Services supports you in every stage of your teaching career.
We love students. Each student comes to UTSA with a different dream and a distinct journey, and faculty play an enormous role in their lives. Whether it’s opening doors or minds, your time with students will have a lasting impact. From using technology and gamification to engage learners to providing resources on student mental health, TLS has resources and workshops to help.
Every member of our team is actively engaged in the college classroom, so we know the challenges faculty face. That’s why we encourage faculty to get in the conversation and learn from and support one another. Whether you’re attending a workshop, sharing a resource or teaching tip, or becoming a workshop presenter, we want all UTSA faculty to share their expertise and experience.
Meet the TLS Team
Mary Dixson, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Services
As associate vice provost for Teaching and Learning Services, Mary Dixson leads faculty development efforts to promote teaching excellence across the university. She has more than 15 years of higher education administration experience.
She has been an author, manager, and Principal Investigator on a variety of grants. She has twenty years of experience teaching communication courses at various colleges and universities. She is published in the Journal of Communication, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Political Communication, and has presented at numerous conferences.
In addition to her academic experience, Mary has been employed in sales, recruiting, public relations, project management, and executive leadership in educational, private and non-profit sectors. She has been a writer and editor for San Antonio City Pages Magazine. She holds a certification in nonprofit management from the University of Texas at Austin. She consults with organizations and individuals on communication skills and team building.
Mary has a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, an MA in Speech Communication from Texas A & M, College Station, and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
She is also a lucky wife, a devoted, if sometimes frazzled mother, an avid gardener, and a slow runner.
Shelley Howell, Teaching and Learning Consultant
As teaching and learning consultant for Teaching and Learning Services, Shelley provides expert consultation related to pedagogy, classroom management, learning paradigms, and course assessment to UTSA faculty. She has more than 25 years of experience working with faculty from a variety of academic disciplines and settings. Her experience includes developing faculty orientation, redesigning courses, exploring diversity and inclusion, creating engaging classrooms, and implementing academic policy. Her teaching experience includes everything from welcoming traditional freshman in college success courses to mentoring doctoral students through the dissertation process.
Shelley has firsthand experience juggling the challenges of school and family life and learning the ropes as a transfer student. She is also proud to be First Gen! Shelley has an Associate of Arts from State Fair Community College in Missouri, a BS degree from Southern Illinois University, a Master of Education in adult education from University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Oklahoma State University.
Rocio Chavez, Instructional Designer
As instructional designer for Teaching and Learning Services, Rocio Chavez provides expertise on the design and development of online modules in support of faculty training and development programs. Additionally, she works with and maintains relationships with subject matter experts (SMEs) and staff to coordinate online module development and delivery. She has more than 10 years of higher education experience as an adjunct faculty member, project manager, and now, as an instructional designer.
In addition to her higher education experience, Rocio has worked in employee relations, recruitment and retention, corporate training, marketing, and management in the medical, educational, and non-profit sectors.
Rocio earned her BA and MSHP in Human Resources from Texas State University.
Paul Rodriguez, TLS Faculty Fellow
As a faculty fellow with UTSA Teaching and Learning Services, Paul has a faculty appointment in the First-Year Experience program where he teaches Academic Inquiry and Scholarship (AIS) in the Social Sciences and Public Service/Policy Studies academic pathways. He has more than 13 years of experience teaching in K-12 and in Higher Education. His research primarily deals with college-going structures in urban high schools, in particular those that serve low-income, minority students.
Paul has a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a master’s degree in Education, both from the University of Notre Dame. He also has a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UTSA.