The University of Texas-San Antonio professor John Phillip Santos presented “A (Different Kind Of) Scholar’s Journey” as part of the Galveston College 2022-2023 “My Dream Speaker” Lecture Series on March 28 at the college’s Abe & Annie Seibel Wing.


Santos, a native of San Antonio, was the first Latino selected as a Rhodes Scholar and is also an author, journalist and documentary filmmaker. As part of his presentation, he talked about his journey, where it has taken him over the years and shared some of his documentary work with the audience.


“This presentation is focused on reflections of undertaking a scholar’s journey and not restricting it by carrying forward scholarly inquiry, no matter the profession pursued,” said Santos during his presentation. “This is a different kind of scholar’s journey that deals with my journey.”


Santos went on to explain how he deviated from the traditional path and returned to San Antonio.


“I was on a very time-tested path to the same old scholar’s journey. I went to Oxford, I went to Notre Dame, I got to Yale,” said Santos. “At Yale, I had a director of graduate’s study who told me, ‘You don’t belong here.’ And, at the time, I was in agreement with him. I wasn’t planning on becoming a professor. I wanted to make documentaries. I grew up a poet, but it became an elite, aesthetic practice. I returned to San Antonio, a place with a lot of history, a secret Mexican city in Texas.”


Over the course of his journey, Santos has written two memoirs, a book of poems and produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries and news programs for CBS and PBS, as well as written articles for several notable publications.



Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.