The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - May 14, 2021


Celebrating the UIW Spring Class of 2021

UIW's Spring Class of 2021 was honored in a Baccalaureate Mass and commencement ceremonies from Thursday, May 6 - Saturday, May 8. With the steady decline of COVID-19 risk in San Antonio and on campuses, the University made the decision to host its 2021 graduates (and members of the Class of 2020 who wished to attend) for modified, in-person ceremonies outdoors on the beautiful Broadway campus. See some of our favorite commencement moments in the video above and photos below.

Click through the gallery below.



MBA Capstone Students Research to Inform Client Operations

A screenshot of a virtual presentationUIW Master of Business Administration students in Dr. David Vequist's Capstone class presented their research to a multi-million dollar nonprofit board this week. 

MBA students have the opportunity to work directly with a business, organization or nonprofit through the Capstone experience. Taken in the final semester of the MBA program, the Capstone course connects students with a business, or client, to work on a challenge or growth opportunity that business is facing.

Working in teams, students evaluate the client’s project to develop solutions and strategies and present their work as recommendations for the business to apply to its operations. Through this process, students gain experience with the professional world and first-hand insights from business leaders. Students’ work in the Capstone course offers critical professional experience and can be a valuable addition to their professional portfolios.

Assigned Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas (BBBS), the group was asked to recreate their Capstone presentation to the BBBS board of directors. BBBS will be utilizing the students' research to further develop and improve their program. In the near future, the group may be presenting to BBBS national based on their leading-edge research/analysis that could improve childhood mentoring programs across the nation. 

Rosenberg School of Optometry Dean Publishes Article

A headshot of Dr. Timothy WingertDr. Timothy A. Wingert, dean of the Rosenberg School of Optometry, coauthored an article published in the May 2021 issue of Optometry and Vision Science. The article, “2017 National Optometry Workforce Survey," is the only peer reviewed workforce study in optometry. The survey was distributed to over 4,000 optometrists to determine patient capacity, differences between male and female practitioners and other demographic shifts within the profession. “The end result was a long time in the making but it does clarify some issues and lays to rest some myths,” Wingert said. “I am very happy to see this in print.”

UIWSOM Student Published

Signage at the UIW School of Osteopathic MedicineHugo Rodriguez, fourth-year UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine learner, recently had several articles published in a variety of sources. His article, “Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Extracellular Vesicles: An Emerging Alternative to Combat COVID-19,” was published in  IntechOpen, an open access online publishing source.  

Rodriguez also co-authored a review of “Immunomodulatory Exosomes: An alternative to cell therapy for COVID-19” in  Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy Journal and provided editorial commentary about “Anterior Shoulder Instability in Adolescent Athletes: ‘Slaying the Hydra’ is a Subtle Art” published in  Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery.

English Faculty Poetry Published

A headshot of Dr. Joshua RobbinsDr. Joshua Robbins, associate professor of English, received notification that four of his poems, from his latest poetry manuscript, were published in Open Plaza, a publication from the Hispanic Theological Institute and Princeton Theological Seminary. Three of these poems were from Robbins published works,  Praise Nothing.

Read Dr. Robbins poems

Mission and Ministry

Mass Schedule

The interior of a chapel

UIW Mission and Ministry is now live-streaming Sunday Mass from Our Lady’s Chapel. We invite your participation in one of the following formats: 

  • In-Person Attendance:  UIW Community members wishing to attend Mass in-person are asked to register for a seat using our new Flocknote app, as well as abide by all safety guidelines put in place for the pandemic, including the health screening via Cardinal Health Check and wearing a mask during the liturgy. Seating is extremely limited due to protocols put in place due to the pandemic. Students receive priority in-person registration at the following links:
  • Virtual Attendance: Those wishing to attend Mass virtually should continue registering through Zoom. The links to RSVP for the livestream Mass are:

Our livestream Mass is a hybrid broadcast, bringing both our in-person assembly in Our Lady’s Chapel and online assembly together. Both groups are able to see and hear one another.

Community News

Swing-In: Thank You, UIW Community

The Swing-In logoOur 44th Annual Swing-In Virtual Auction Party and Golf Tournament was a huge success and we are so grateful! Thank you to everyone who sponsored, bid, donated to the auction and purchased raffle tickets. You helped us raise $50,000 in the auction party, $30,000 in raffle ticket sales, and $2,020 in outright donations to support student scholarships. Through the golf tournament, generous donors brought in over $200,000 in sponsorships, all during a pandemic! You never cease to amaze us, UIW family. All proceeds benefit student scholarships and we are so grateful for your enduring support.

Congratulations to all auction winners! You should have received an email from the Development Office about picking up your auction winnings. If you have any questions or want to get involved in the auction or golf tournament in the future, please email

Visitation House Ministries Final Estate Sale

The exterior of Visitation HouseThe Visitation House Ministries Final Estate Sale is Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15, from 9 a.m. - 3 945 W. Huisache (off Blanco Rd). There are bargains galore in furniture, clothing, and household items. New inventory is added daily. Proceeds support VHM housing and education programs for women and children experiencing homelessness. We look forward to seeing you there. Mask and social distancing required.

In the News

News 4 gets to know Cameron Ward

A headshot of Cameron Ward"We go one-on-one with Jerry Rice Award winner and UIW freshman quarterback Cameron Ward on how he went from lightly recruited to the top freshman in the FCS." - News 4 San Antonio 

Watch the interview

News 4: UIW's accelerated nursing program aims to help reduce nursing shortage

Two nursing students in white coats

The University of the Incarnate Word's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was featured on News 4 San Antonio for a Nurse's Day story about how the program aims to aid in the nationwide shortage of nursing staff. 

Watch the story here

Business Faculty Research Featured in Dallas News

A headshot of Dr. David VequistDr. David Vequist, professor of Management and founder/director of the Center for Medical Tourism Research, was featured in Dallas News for his research on Mexican tourists traveling to border cities for the COVID-19 vaccine.

From the article: 

Vaccination tourism represents a great opportunity for the Texas tourism industry to take advantage of the economic resources that other states can obtain, said David Vequist, director of the Medical Tourism Research Center of the University of the Incarnate Word, based in San Antonio.

"Thousands of people who live in Mexico are getting vaccinated in the border counties of the United States," Vequist said. "This figure will increase exponentially once the land border is opened and the restrictions are removed."

Read the story


UIW Spring Class of 2021: Service By the Numbers

Graduates sit on the football field

The UIW Spring Class of 2021 recently celebrated their commencement, but their time at UIW made an impact throughout the city of San Antonio that continues to be felt. While students, this class completed 67,917 community service hours, providing an economic impact of more than $1,847,342. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented these graduates from completing service hours in more traditional ways, but they put their creativity to work, finding new ways to serve the community.

Thank you, Spring Class of 2021! Our future is in good hands.

Cardinal Corner

Three Communication Arts Students Earn SPJ Awards

A collage of student photos

Three University of the Incarnate Word students will receive scholarships this fall from the San Antonio Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The students—all majoring in Communication Arts with a Multimedia-Journalism concentration—are Zoe Del Rosario, Justin Kraiza and Abigail Velez.  

During the 2020-21 academic year, De Rosario served as program director for UIWtv, Kraiza served as assistant editor of the  Logos, and Velez wrote for the Logos and reported for UIWtv. Velez worked remotely from El Paso except for the station’s final show, April 22 when she was featured live. 

UIW was the only regional school with more than one scholarship winner in the SPJ competition. SPJ awards scholarships in the area with proceeds from its annual “Gridiron,” a musical comedy spoof on the news and newsmakers, staged and performed by San Antonio area journalists and media professionals.

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, and they promote the free practice of journalism, high standards of ethical behavior and the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry. The Society of Professional Journalists also works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development.  

Chapter President, Michael Drudge, stated, “We are pleased to honor these students, who have displayed through hard work and academic discipline that they have the qualities to make a career in the field of journalism. We wish them continued success as they pursue their degrees.” 

Alumni and Parent Relations

Alumna’s Art Inspiration Comes from Texas Wildflowers  

A headshot of Linda JacobsonLinda Calvert Jacobson, BA '90 developed a profound love for art inspired by nature early in her life. Her passion led to the opening of the Wildflower Art Gallery, a gallery she and her husband established in 2015. 

Over the past years, Linda has given back to the University in a special way – by donating her paintings to the annual UIW Swing-In Auction Party, a fundraising event with proceeds benefitting student scholarships. 

Read her story

Update Your Alumni Contact Info Today

A girl in a cap and gown poses for a photo in her front yard

As a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word, your lifelong membership to the UIW Alumni Association is free. Events are hosted year-round and are dedicated to your professional growth, social networking and family fun. We look forward to staying connected with you so that we may share your milestones both personally and professionally.  

In order to stay in touch and receive news on resources and events, please update your contact information.

Update your contact information


UIW synchro treads its way through challenging season, making a splash at Nationals

Two synchronized swimmers perform

The Ann Barshop Natatorium was silent and the water was still in late August 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued. Members of the University of the Incarnate Word synchronized swimming team were back on campus, but not in the pool. 

Typically, the team was in the water at 5 a.m. as classes began in August, but with the ongoing pandemic, teams were not allowed in the pool until a month into the semester. 

To prevent the spread of COVID, teams were forced to split practices up, limiting the number of people in one place at a time. UIW synchro did the same as they were split up into two groups, but most difficult of all, they were also split up into lanes. 

Having to swim separated by the lanes proved to be a challenge because that meant that there would be no practicing group, duo or trio routines the way they were used to, definitely taking lifts out of the mix, in addition to the occasional mandated quarantines. 

The team practiced its way through the challenges of the fall, missing its annual fall show and usual tryouts. Still, the Cardinals were hungry for competition. 

With COVID-19 restrictions different in each state, teams decided that they would compete virtually by recording routines and then having them judged.   

"I was very disappointed with how we got scored in the virtual meets," said Natalia Vega. 

The results were not what the team was expecting for the virtual meets. With synchro being one of the most subjective sports to judge, they felt that the in-person aspect was a competitive edge that they were missing. 

"I want to say it's really hard to judge when you can't really see everything because synchro is such a subjective sport that you need to see all the details," Nour Shamala added. 

"It was challenging for us to deliver really good routines when it's just being recorded. We get scored on artistic impression, but it was difficult because you don't know if they can see that through the camera." 

In addition to the struggles of disappointing scores, the new season was a difficult one to adjust mentally. 

"Not being able to be there and have that competition environment was so different," said Juliana Damico. "It felt like just a practice. It was good because we had our team there with us competing but at the same time, it didn't feel like it was a competition, so it was very hard to get into that mindset." 

The Cardinals had their first in-person meet late in the season when they hosted Stanford, drastically improving their scores, but it was a bittersweet moment for the two graduating seniors.   

When the team made it out to Stanford, California for nationals, they were excited to compete, especially the freshmen and sophomores on the team that were doing it for the first time. 

"We practiced, we went through a lot of stuff because of COVID, now we're finally here and we can do what we are supposed to," Vega said regarding how the team felt when arriving at the hotel. "I was excited to see [the freshmen and sophomores] so excited it was really special." 

In addition to the excitement of nationals, there was the added surprise of fans in the stands that made for a great experience. 

"We didn't know if we would have any stands, but the county had changed it a week before," said head coach Elizabeth Gerdin. "It was a pleasant surprise, but it was bittersweet." 

"The Stanford side [of the stands] was packed and you would think they were only going to cheer for them but they would cheer for everyone," Vega reflected. "It made it into a nice competition, we could swim for everyone that was watching, we could pour out our hearts and just swim. It was nice to know that other people were cheering us on even if they were not from our team." 

After a season of virtual meets and the challenging practices, the work paid off as the red squad claimed third in the group routine, Shamala was the Tech B champion and Vega was named Collegiate Athlete of the Year at the meet. 

"[The team] handled the season with maturity, although there were situations that were difficult to deal with they kept a positive mindset and knew what their end goal was and continued to work towards it," Gerdin beamed. "Everything didn't go perfectly, but they didn't let that affect their next swim, it continued to show a competitive focus and mental toughness from everybody." 

At her first nationals, Shamala surprised even herself when she won the Tech B, after having doubts about her abilities going into the meet. 

"My realization was that I can do it, let's go back and work harder," said Shamala. "It gives me the motivation that I did it once and I can do it again. 

Vega reflected humbly that despite her hard work, it was something she shared with others. 

"Getting [Collegiate Athlete of the Year] felt like all the hard work paid off," said Vega. "I didn't win solo or duet, but we did get third in team, which was our goal and what synchro is about at the end of the day." 

"I wish I could share [the award] with the whole team and everyone at the meet because after this year, we all deserved it." 

Boisseau, Fulgenzi Jr. selected to All-Academic team

Men's tennis players on the court

Seniors, Dennis Boisseau and Warren Fulgenzi Jr. of the University of the Incarnate Word men's tennis team were selected to the Southland Conference All-Academic first and second teams, the league announced on Wednesday, May 12.   

Boisseau earned his second All-Academic honor and earned first-team accolades after posting a perfect 4.00 GPA as an accounting major. The Cognac, France native went 2-3 at No. 1 doubles with Marwin Kralemann. Boisseau and Kralemann also garnered All-Conference second-team honors at the No. 1 doubles position.  

Fulgenzi Jr. was an All-Academic second-team selection with a 3.65 GPA while studying for his master's degree in Sport Management. Fulgenzi Jr. led the Cardinals with a 7-4 singles record and 7-5 doubles record. The Las Vegas, New Mexico native teamed up with Joao Sasso at the No. 2 doubles position, where they also earned Second Team All-Conference accolades.  

The average GPA of the honorees is 3.80 and eight individuals boast a mark of 3.80 or higher, including three with a perfect 4.00. 

The All-Academic teams are voted on by the head coach, sports information director and an academic/compliance staff member from each institution. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA and have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution to qualify for All-Academic selection.  

Clapp named to first team Academic All-Conference

A volleyball player celebrates on the court

Bethany Clapp of the University of the Incarnate Word volleyball team was named first team Southland Academic All-Conference, announced the league on Tuesday.   

Clapp, who was named First Team All-Conference after the Spring 2021 season, received an automatic First Team All-Academic nod as she met the criteria for her GPA and participation this season.  

The outside hitter is a rehabilitative science major with a 3.83 overall GPA, one of the top GPAs of the squad. She serves as president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at UIW and has completed 19.5 hours of community service hours.   

She started all 29 matches for the Cardinals this season helping UIW clinch a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time in program history. The junior led the team with 197 kills, averaging 4.02 kills per set, which ranked third best in the league this season.   

The all-academic teams are voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic advisors from each Southland Conference institution. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team's competition to qualify for the all-academic squad.

Brown named 2020-21 Stats Perform FCS All-American

A football player runs on the football field

Kevin Brown of the University of the Incarnate Word football team was named to the Stats Perform FCS All-American second team all-purpose player, announced the association Monday. 

"Not enough can be said about what Kevin Brown brings to the table on and off the field," said head coach Eric Morris. "He is a phenomenal person, player and teammate." 

"He is a threat to take the ball to the house anytime he touches the ball, whether it is a handoff or a catch. I'm so proud of the way Kevin comes to work every day and with his added year of eligibility, I'm excited to see what he can accomplish this fall." 

The Mount Pleasant, S.C. native, has racked up multiple accolades this season as he was one of three Cardinals named first team all-conference offensive team. 

Brown copped Southland Conference Player of the Week on March 8 following a 196-yard rushing performance against Lamar, also earning a Stats Perform FCS National Offensive Player of the Week honorable mention nod that same week. 

The senior running back led the nation this season averaging 10.5 yards per carry. He finished the season with 192.2 rushing yards per game totaling 775 yards in six games and notched over 100 yards in four of them. Brown scored seven touchdowns this season, five rushing and two receiving. 

Brown also led the conference in all-purpose yards averaging 163.3 per contest. The senior scored three rushing touchdowns against Northwestern State, which is tied for third-most total touchdowns scored in a game and tied for fourth for most rushing touchdowns in a game at UIW. 

Brown joins Jon Copeland and Ra'Quanne Dickens as the third All-American under coach Morris' tenure.


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)