The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - February 5, 2021


UIW Health Professions Programs Launch Pathways Spring Series

Students in white coats in a lab

(Archive photo)

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, UIW Health Professions programs including the Rosenberg School of Optometry, School of Physical Therapy, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions, and the Feik School of Pharmacy kicked off monthly virtual sessions for students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. The UIW Health Professions Pathways Spring Series began with a session called The Cardinal Culture, featuring current students, faculty and administrators who discussed UIW's deep and historical connection to healthcare. Attendees learned about how our Mission elevates the student experience at each of our Health Professions programs with discussions on opportunities for access to healthcare, community service and mission trips, interprofessional education, our student-centered campus climates and more. Upcoming sessions include:

  • Wednesday, March 3: Academic Success - The purpose of this session is to discuss several aspects of academic success found in each of the professional schools at the University of the Incarnate Word. Panelists will discuss topics that include new student orientation, building and maintaining community, mentoring and advising, professional development, clinical education, and mental and emotional health. 
  • Wednesday, April 7: Student Life - This session is for the curious student who has ever wondered what it is like to be a Health Professions student at UIW. Attendees will talk with current students about their lives in San Antonio, participating in outreach and service to the community, and involvement in extracurricular activities.
  • Wednesday, May 12: Professional Exploration - Participants in this session will have the opportunity to speak candidly with health professionals who are actively working in the medical, optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy, nursing, athletic training or other health professions. Guests are encouraged to come prepared with questions. 
  • Wednesday, June 2: Admissions and Financial Aid - In this final series session, admissions professionals from each of the UIW Health Professions programs will answer questions about admissions requirements, the application process, and steps to help prepare applicants for a successful admission interview. A representative from the UIW Financial Aid Office will also be at this event. 

Register for the UIW Health Professions Pathways Spring Series


Business Faculty Serves as Founding Managing Editor for Journal of Healthcare Management Standards

An image of a book cover and a headshot of Dr. David Vequist

Dr. David Vequist, professor of Business Management and founder/director of the UIW Center for Medical Tourism, can now add founding editor of the  Journal of Healthcare Management Standards (JHMS) to his list of accomplishments.

"The new journal is one of the first outreach activities for a new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited organization, called the  Healthcare Standards Institute (HSI), which will be developing standards for healthcare management practices in the United States," explained Dr. Vequist.

Vequist has worked alongside Dr. Sharon Kleefield, retired faculty of Harvard Medical School, and former director of Healthcare Quality at Harvard Medical International, who now serves as the journal's editor-in-chief. "[Kleefield] is a long-time friend and collaborator with UIW’s Center for Medical Tourism Research (CMTR) in the H-E-B School of Business," said Vequist.

Per the new journal's description, "the  Journal of Healthcare Management Standards features high-quality, original research, commentary and correspondence that advance the field of healthcare organization management (HOM) and standardization. Evidence-based content explores the use of voluntary consensus standards, conformity assessment systems, and how publishing standardized processes influence the integrity and effectiveness of HOM."

Additional managing editors include Eugene Migliaccio of George Washington University and Veronica Edwards of the HSI Foundation.

Learn more about JHMS

Education Faculty Member Interviewed for Harvard University Publication

A headshot of Dr. Guzman FosterDr. Sandra L. Guzman Foster, the Sister Theophane Power Endowed Chair in Education and associate professor in the Dreeben School of Education, recently lent her expertise to Journalist's Resource, a publication of the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.  

The article, called "Covering multicultural education: 7 tips for journalists," takes a deep dive into how journalists can think through issues of multicultural education and "bolster their coverage" on the topic. The tips are informed by Dr. Guzman Foster and Sam Mwangi, an associate professor at Kansas State University’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Read the article here

AVS Labs Presents 4th Quarterly Report to CPS Energy

A screenshot of people in a virtual meeting

On Friday, Jan. 29, the Autonomous Vehicle System Research Laboratories (GNC, CIL, GIS, and GEMS) members Srikanth Vemula, Stephanie Weiss-Lopez, Orion Jones, Jovany Avila, Tristan Brouwer and Daniel Potter, along with Dr. Michael Frye, professor and chair of Engineering, presented its fourth quarterly report for Phase II to CPS Energy. The quarterly report detailed the labs’ impressive advancements over the last year despite substantial limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zoom presentation commenced with the labs’ mastery of autonomous outdoor inspections, which has been honed over the last year to become fully operational.

Indoor inspections have seen great strides in the last quarter with the development of RavenNet, a finite state machine emerging from the AVS Guidance Navigation & Control Department. RavenNet allows for fully autonomous systematic indoor inspections of energy infrastructure systems; the development of this system was the capstone project for several AVS members. The programming department continued to excel by perfecting its visual powerline inspection system, which is a deep-learning algorithm that can detect various parts of power infrastructure and then determine if there are any defects in those parts. To summarize, RavenNet is the automated pilot while the deep-learning algorithm acts as the eyes of the entire system, detecting faults on the powerlines and related equipment.

The Environmental Virtual Intelligence Lab continued to demonstrate command of LIDAR and airspace data, developing a three-dimensional map of the San Antonio area, illustrating the capacity for providing a drone-safe skyway. AVS Labs will continue its close cooperation with CPS Energy by utilizing its training yard for data collection as well as working with linemen on the ground to gather inspection data.  

Cardinal Math Talk

A woman solves an equation on a white boardDuring the Fall 2020 semester, faculty from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics started a virtual departmental colloquium called Cardinal Math Talk, where faculty invite experts from mathematics, statistics, and data science to share their research, as well as their professional experiences, with students and faculty. The faculty also host alumni of these departments to talk about their experiences while at UIW and where their professional lives have taken them post graduation. 

Previous Cardinal Math Talk presenters included Erica Johnson, research computer scientist at Southwest Research Institute; Daniel Carrera Pineyro, associate analyst at Ernst & Young Global Consulting Services; Brandi Coleman, induction coordinator in the Dreeben School of Education; and Ernesto Arias, business analyst 3 at Huntington National Bank Westerville, Ohio. 

The next Cardinal Math Talk will be held Thursday, Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m. and will feature Dr. Angela Peace, assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Texas Tech University. She will deliver a presentation titled, Modeling Frameworks that integrate Disease and Ecosystem Ecology."

If you are interested in attending the colloquium, please email for the Zoom link and more information. 

Mission and Ministry

Sunday Morning Prayer and Cardinal Couples Blessing

The interior of a chapel

University Mission and Ministry invites you to attend our weekly Sunday Morning Prayer via Zoom. 

This week's service is based on the scriptures of the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. The platform will open at 10:45 a.m. for an opportunity to greet one another before prayer. 

In honor of Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, Sunday Morning Prayer will also include a special virtual blessing on our Cardinal Couples during the service. In addition to our blessing, we would like to invite our Cardinal Couples to submit their love story for a chance to be featured on our @UIWAlumni social media pages! Submit your story at

For more information, please contact Lena Gokelman or Carmen Aguilera at or (210) 832-3207. 

RSVP to receive a Zoom link to the Feb. 7 service

RSVP to receive a Zoom link to the Cardinal Couples Blessing

Community News

Black History Month Q&A with Dr. Doshie Piper

A headshot of Dr. Doshie PiperAs we celebrate Black History Month and the Black leaders, change makers and innovators who impacted the course of our nation’s history, we also celebrate the Black voices within our own UIW community – voices like that of Dr. Doshie Piper. Dr. Piper is an associate professor of Criminal Justice in the College of Humanities, Art and Social Sciences and has made it her life’s work to understand gender and delinquency, reentry and community corrections, and to share her findings with her students. Since her arrival at UIW in 2013, she has also served on the University’s Black History Month committee, creating opportunities for students and community members to explore Black history, confront sometimes challenging conversations about race and learn about their role in the ongoing movement for social and racial justice. We asked Dr. Piper about her work, her experiences and her vision of a more just system and society.

Read the full Q&A

2021 Pierre Lecture: A Black History Month Event

An open Bible with a rosary with text Pierre Lecture 2021, A Conversation on Catholicism, Racism and Health Feb 9-6 p.m. via Zoom

The Pierre Fund Speaker Series began in 2001, designed to bring distinguished women scholars of religious studies to the UIW campus to address current issues relating to social justice, ecology, and globalization. The series is funded by the Pierre Fund Committee of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. 

This year's Pierre Lecture is part of the University's Black History Month programming and will be held Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The lecture, titled “A Conversation on Catholicism, Racism, and Health” will be led by Dr. Neomi De Anda and Dr. Vanessa White.

Register for the Pierre Lecture

GEMS Engineers Week Fundraiser

Students work on a project together

(Archive photo)

The UIW GEMS program hosts free Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) and Programming camps for middle school and high school girls from Title I schools in San Antonio. The mission of the GEMS program is to provide the opportunity for female students and their STEM teachers from low-income areas of San Antonio to attend a free high-quality and high-impact STEAM summer camp where they can learn about STEAM study and careers through guest lecturers, group activities, and research. 

The goal of the program is to increase the number of young women interested in STEM fields, especially Engineering and Computer Programming. To achieve this goal, the GEMS program is increasing the number of female students choosing the STEM Endorsement in High School. GEMS measure its outcomes using student attendance, GPA, and High School STEM Endorsements.

Additionally, GEMS support miniGEMS and megaGEMS Clubs at select middle school and high schools throughout the academic year to sustain a continuous relationship with both GEMS teachers and their students. GEMS provides financial and technical support for these Clubs to participate in FIRST Lego League Competitions.

Adjusting operations to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, GEMS launched Virtual Club meetings in February 2021. Prior to social distancing restrictions, GEMS after school clubs were occurring weekly at Barkley-Ruiz and Elolf Elementary, and Tafolla Middle School. The clubs would hone the students' EV3 skills in preparation for FIRST LEGO League competitions and conduct STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) experiments. Since most of the students remained in remote learning, GEMS created a new Virtual Club. The meetings are held on Mondays after school through Zoom, allowing the students to participate in STEAM activities while at home. Lead by junior Education major, Calista Burns and recent UIW graduate, Stephanie Weiss-Lopez, the club has discussion questions, water-themed experiments and lots of laughs. The GEMS Virtual Clubs will continue through the spring bringing new themes, experiments and STEAM-ing fun every week. 

Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS) will host its first fundraiser during Engineers Week (Feb. 21 - 27). Engineers Week is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering. GEMS strives to provide opportunities to celebrate engineers and how they make a difference in the world, all while bringing engineering to life for the students. On Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 4 - 8 p.m., eat at the Chipotle at 3928 Broadway St. and let them know you're supporting UIW GEMS or use our code (XP34HGM) for online orders. Chipotle will donate 33% of proceeds to UIW's GEMS program. Join us in helping GEMS give more young girls educational opportunities in the STEAM fields.

Download the Flyer Here

Day of Giving: Call for Ambassadors

A notebook and the UIW Day of Giving logo 

We are One Word and together we have One Goal.

One Word, One Goal, the University of the Incarnate Word’s annual University-wide Day of Giving, is just around the corner! Every year, alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends come together to make gifts to the programs and places at UIW that mean the most to them. Your support is especially important this year, as our students, faculty, and staff work hard to thrive, adapt and grow during this unprecedented time for the University and for our world.

The easiest way to get involved is by making a gift to the cause that is most important to you during our Day of Giving (Feb. 25 -26). To make an even bigger impact, join us as a One Word Ambassador. Ambassadors help us get the word out about One Word, One Goal and ask their networks to consider making a donation to support the people, places, and programs they care about most. We know that people are most likely to make a gift when asked by a peer or friend. Your participation makes our campaign successful!

Last year, One Word Ambassadors moved the needle in a big way! They generated over half of the total gifts brought in during our Day of Giving. We mean it when we say Ambassadors make all the difference!

Sign me up! 

In the News

KSAT 12: Interest in nursing programs increases during pandemic at San Antonio high school, university

Dr. Holly Cassells, dean of the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions, discusses the increase in interest in nursing programs and UIW's Accelerated Bachelors in Nursing Track.


Ettling Center Receives Grant to Support Immigrant Community along the Texas/Mexico Border

Children sit a table for a snack

(Mission trip archive photo)

The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability received a $20,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. This grant will help support the ARISE Adelante communities through programming in health/wellness, sustainability, financial literacy, and educational activities. In addition, funding will also help establish food pantries and enhance technology access in the ARISE Adelante community centers.  

For more information or service learning opportunities for faculty or student organization collaboration, please contact the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability at or call (210) 283-6423.

Cardinal Corner

Black History Month Student Research Showcase

A stack of books with text Student Research Showcase, February 11, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

The College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) will hold a Black History Month Student Research Showcase on February 11, 2021 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

KaShori Lanier will share research and a scene from The Murder of Molly Smith, a play she wrote about her ancestor who was lynched. Lanier wrote the play for a project she undertook in Margaret Mitchell's Theatre for Social Change class. 

Students from Dr. LuElla D'Amico's American Women's Writing and Popular Culture class will also present original research on Phillis Wheatley Peters and Honorée Fannone Jeffers. The students are participating in the National Society of Early Americanists' (SEA) Common Reading Initiative, where students across the United States read one book for a common experience. The featured text for the initiative is Jeffers' 2020 award-winning book of poetry, The Age of Phillis, which imagines the life and times of Revolutionary era poet Wheatley Peters. Selected projects will be featured at this UIW showcase and at the SEA national conference.

Join the showcase

Alumni and Parent Relations

Herff Jones UIW Class Ring Info Session

ICYMI: The Department of Alumni and Parent Relations and representatives from Herff Jones came together to share all the details on the official University of the Incarnate Word Class Ring for our soon-to-be alumni. Rewatch the session above. 

UIW Alumni Mentor Program

A student sits in a library with text UIW Alumni Mentor Program

The UIW Alumni Mentor Program is seeking mentees for the spring semester! The mentoring program will allow students to learn from industry professionals who align with their career goals. UIW Alumni are eager to help pave the way to our Cardinals' future success. 

Learn more and apply


UIW snaps seven-game skid against Lamar in 67-58 win

Men's basketball players walk side by side

Sophomore Marcus Larsson recorded his third double-double of the season and sixth of his career as fellow sophomore Keaston Willis and freshman Logan Bracamonte scored double-figures as the University of the Incarnate Word men's basketball team snapped a seven-game skid against Lamar with a 67-58 win Wednesday night inside the Montagne Center.  

Willis continues to shine with his seventh 20-point piece, finishing with 22 on 6-for-14 shooting and 4-for-6 from 3-point range on the night. In his return since last playing at New Orleans, Larsson scored 12 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds to help pace the visiting Cardinals.   

Both sides struggled to hit the bucket early, swapping empty possessions over the first six minutes of the game. The San Antonio Cardinals (7-8, 4-4 SLC) found some momentum midway through the half and pulled away after Willis knocked down back-to-back 3s at the nine and seven-minute marks to ignite the UIW offense. Drew Lutz, Bracamonte and Brandon Swaby cashed in from deep to put UIW up 33-18 with just over a minute left in the first half.   

Larsson pitched in with nine points and a team-high six rebounds. UIW shot 45.8% (11-for-24) in the half and 6-for-9 from downtown with Willis leading the way. The sophomore guard was a perfect 3-for-3 from deep and scored 15 points and UIW took a 33-21 advantage to the locker room.  

Lamar (4-12, 2-5 SLC) went on a 10-3 run to open the second half and got within three (34-31) with 15 minutes to play, but UIW found a way to keep Lamar at bay after Des Balentine answered with a driving layup and Bracamonte hit another trey to build a nine-point lead.   

Swaby made it a ten-point game with a jumper at 13:40 as UIW went on a 22-13 run over the next ten minutes and gained its largest lead of the game, 66-58, with three minutes to play getting everyone involved in the offensive attack. 

Lamar's first half shooting struggles carried over to the second half. After shooting just 23.3% (7-for-30) in the first half the Beaumont Cardinals finished the night at 37.5% (21-for-56) and ten turnovers, which doomed a second-half comeback effort.   

Davion Buster led Lamar offensively with 19 points and Quinlan Bennett added ten as the only home Cardinals in double figures.  

Coach Cunningham Said  

"I was really impressed with the moxie the fellas showed. Lamar is a tough, well-coached outfit. They made things tough and scored in bunches. Our fellas kept their composure weathering some runs and kept battling. I am very happy for them. This league is a battle-royale, and we have to take it one game at a time. We will enjoy the bus ride home, then on to the next one." 

Looking Ahead  

UIW takes a trip to Corpus Christi to play the Islanders for the second time in just three weeks on Saturday Feb. 6 at 3:30 p.m.  

The Cardinals are back at the McDermott Center for Wednesday night and Saturday night home games against Northwestern State and New Orleans, respectively.


COVID-19 Resources

A student in a UIW mask looks at a computer

The University of the Incarnate Word continues to monitor the local, regional and state-wide progression of COVID-19 to inform decisions about safe campus operations. Below you will find links to helpful information regarding UIW's COVID-19 warning indicators, case tracking, safety guidelines and resources for the UIW community. These sites will be updated to reflect changes or new information.

Cardinal Daily Health Check

COVID-19 Information Site

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Case Updates

Cardinal Flight Plan 

Schedule a COVID-19 test on the Broadway campus (students and employees ONLY)

Schedule a COVID-19 test at the UIWSOM campus (open to general public)