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San Antonio TX, 78212
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News & Events

META Scholarships Now Available

Math, Engineering and Technology Awards (META) Scholarships are now available for SAC Engineering majors. Read More >

CAC Featured

META Scholarships Now Available

Math, Engineering and Technology Awards (META) Scholarships are now available for SAC Engineering majors. Read More >

Campus2_Featured

SAC and OLLU Awarded $3.1 Million Grant

San Antonio College and Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) have been awarded a $3.1 million Title V cooperative grant from the Department of Education. Read More >

EMS Featured

Paramedic Program Earns National Accreditation

The San Antonio College Paramedic program has been awarded a five-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Program (CAAHEP). Read More >

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Dr. Vela Takes the Reigns

San Antonio College administration, faculty and staff came together in the McAllister Auditorium on Monday afternoon for the College’s annual Convocation. Read More >

Childcare Feature

Early Childhood Center Open Enrollment

The San Antonio College Early Childhood Center is accepting new students for the 2014-15 academic year. Read More >

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Bike Safety at SAC

Important reminders regarding bike safety from campus police. Read More >

Faculty spotlight: Welcome new chair, Dr. Lisa K. Zottarelli

 

Dr. Lisa K. Zottarelli is the new woman on campus and she is just now settling into her job as chair of Social Sciences & Humanities.   Prior to joining San Antonio College in early September, Dr. Zottarelli was an associate professor of Sociology at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

That’s quite the commute because Dr. Zottarelli makes her home in San Antonio with her husband, Dr. T.S. Sunil, director of the Institute for Health Disparities Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio; and their 5-year-old daughter, Amara.

A native of San Antonio, Dr. Zottarelli’s family lived on the West Side near Woodlawn Lake.  They moved to Austin when she was about 10. Her father is a lobbyist and her mother is a cook. She adds that her mother attended SAC and was on the tennis team.

When she was 16, Dr. Zottarelli was a high school dropout and a single mom to twin boys.  She later attended Austin Community College, and received her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Texas State University with a minor in sociology. Her Ph.D. is in Sociology.

“It took me nine years to get my bachelor’s degree,” she said.  Her master’s and doctorates came from the University of North Texas where she also met her husband when they were both graduate students.

“This is all I ever wanted to do – be a professor,” she said.  Science was her first love, but as a single mom she says she could not put in the lab time necessary.  Today her boys Michael and Alexander are 27. One is a probationary firefighter in Austin and the other is studying environmental science at A&M Corpus Christi and he teaches surfing.

At TWU Dr. Zottarelli was teaching a combination of hybrid/online graduate courses where she met once a month with her students. Dr. Zottarelli said she was ready for “something different.”  She is the Chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences which consists of history, anthropology, economics,  political science and humanities.   Dr. Zottarelli talked about her long- and short-term goals as chair.  One goal is to “unify us as a department” and another is to create a faculty handbook for the department.

In 2011 Dr. Zottarelli was a Fulbright/Nehru Scholar and spent five months in India   with her daughter, who attended pre-school there. Her research projects and papers have been extensive and she has a 17-page curriculum vitae.
 

“I study a number of things in the U.S. … I study disasters and their hidden vulnerabilities,” she said. “After Katrina I studied pet ownership. People who have pet loss are more likely to be separated from their families.”

Dr. Zottarelli says once she gets to know her job and the faculty, she would like to find a role with students.   It has been four years since she was a regular classroom instructor.

“Students have to believe in themselves,” she said. “Education is not easy but it is a path worth taking.”   

We wrapped up the interview with questions to Dr. Zottarelli like those posed by Vanity Fair magazine (which are, in turn, taken from the Proust questionnaire):

Where are you the happiest?
At home.

What is your favorite place to be?
Sweden – I love Sweden. I went there for a conference a number of years ago, had no expectations whatsoever…during the summertime it is green and beautiful, there is water everywhere, the people are friendly. There is all this space, even though you are in the middle of a city.  

Favorite character from literature?
Professor Pnin from the novel “Pnin” by Vladimir Nabokov. “It struck me when I read the book the first time and has always been a character that really fascinated me.”  

Favorite movie?
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
 

Who is the person you most admire?
Carl Sagan.   

 

Characteristic you most admire in others?
Honesty.  

Characteristic you most deplore in others?
Hostility. 

  

If you could have a superhero power, what would it be?
Flight. 

 
                                                                        --SAC--

  

 

 

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