(San Antonio) – The San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame has selected UTSA Associate Dean and Associate Professor Francine Romero to join the 2019 class of inductees in the higher education category.
“I was very surprised and grateful both the nomination and the selection, and honored to be included in this group of really amazing and inspiring women,” said Romero.
Romero has been instrumental in raising awareness of key policy issues and their impact on the community. During her tenure, she has promoted a greater understanding of civic engagement and civic participation among faculty, staff, and students at UTSA. One such example is her level of participation serving as moderator for town hall forums at the University’s Downtown Campus. She has raised the profile of the College of Public Policy as a platform for civic dialogue, leading panel discussions on the impact of gentrification, transportation and planning, sexual harassment, the opioid crisis, crime and safety, and many more. She has also collaborated with the League of Women Voters to hold candidate debates, educating the public on local issues and candidates’ background to help voters make informed decisions during elections.
Various nonprofit organizations and local governments have sought her out for her leadership and community building skills to serve on boards or chair committees, and media outlets often rely on her expertise regarding the Edwards Aquifer and water policies affecting San Antonio.
She has just completed a 2-yr term as Chair of the City of San Antonio Zoning Commission, where she continues as District 8 Zoning Commissioner. She also serves as Vice-President of the Hill Country Alliance Board of Directors.
“One of the most impressive thing about the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame is the focus on inspiring and mentoring young women,” Romero stated.
Romero has inspired high school students to attend college through her Countdown to College Program. This outreach initiative aims to present high school students a taste of college life by introducing them to the relevance of public policy and criminal justice. Students attend real college classes with UTSA students, tour the Downtown Campus, and get to interact with our students on questions they may have about college life. These high school students, many of whom will be first generation in their family to attend college, provide very positive feedback on the value of these visits.
Romero has won numerous awards for her contributions to higher education and beyond such as the DOCUmation award for teaching excellence. She became the recipient of the UTSA VP for Research INTRA grant award for her work on “Political and Policy Dynamics of Municipal Annexation in Texas.” She was a nominee for the 2017 San Antonio Clean Technology Forum, Water for Life Award and won the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Community Service in 2013.
She contributed a chapter on President William H. Taft for the book The Presidents and the Constitution, which made Bloomberg’s Must Read List of 2017. Recent publications have appears in Town Planning Review, Texas Water Journal, Journal of Political Science, and Journal of Social Science History.
In reflection on the distinction of being part of the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, Romero gives advice to young women who are making their mark in this world.
“We were all asked to provide a video of reflection on our careers and accomplishments, to share with students at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, and in mine I emphasized the importance of not letting anyone put you in a box as far as expectations. I hope to share the idea that young women need to push themselves beyond self-doubt and anxiety to take a chance at succeeding at something about which they are passionate.”
Romero’s research focuses on institutional determinants of public policy, local land use policies, federal and states civil rights policies, and policies of the Progressive Era.
She will be honored at the 2019 Induction Gala, Saturday, March 23 at The Omni Colonnade in San Antonio, Texas. Reception begins at 6 p.m., and the induction dinner begins at 7 p.m.