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John Shaffer

Associate Director, Student Success and Professional Development with the Graduate School


I grew up in Southern California and migrated to San Antonio in 1999.  I grew up as an active water skier and boater.  Additionally, I was a competitive swimmer, swim coach, and swim teacher and was a lifeguard through much of high school and college.  I love to travel and have been all over the United States.  I have also traveled to Canada, Mexico, Honduras, and most recently, Spain.  I am a two-time alumnus of UTSA with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Public Relations and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration.  I have worked at UTSA for over 15 years. I sit on steering committees for the UTSA President’s Wellbeing Initiative and the UTSA Pride Faculty and Staff Association.  I am also a founding member of the Pride Faculty and Staff Association.  I am on planning committees for Pride Month, National Coming Out Day, and Lavender Graduation.  I also played key roles in the redesign of UTSA’s Ally Training and the development of the Pride Rowdy branding.  In July of 2020, I completed my one-year term as the Chair of UTSA’s Staff Senate shared-governance body and began a three-year term as a member of the University of Texas System Employee Advisory Council.  I was recognized for my contributions to UTSA, receiving the University of Texas System Regents' Outstanding Employee Award in 2018, and the UTSA Order of the Roadrunner in 2020.  Professionally, I am an SME (subject matter expert) in leadership, public speaking, communication, and professional development.   

Mentoring Interests  

  • Career/Professional Development 

  • Coming Out 

  • Leadership 

  • Networking and Making Connections 

  • Applying to Graduate School 

  • Public Speaking and Presentation Skills 

  • Mental Health and Wellness 

  • Travel 

  • Navigating the Workplace as an LGBTQ+ person 

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