The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - May 28, 2021


Acceptance Video Goes Viral on Social Media

A tweet featuring the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (RSO) went viral and racked up mentions in national headlines. Gurjiv Kaur, a recently admitted RSO candidate, decided to surprise her parents with her acceptance to this program and film their reactions. Kaur sat her parents down for what they thought was an extra credit assignment for class. She handed them a piece of paper and told them it was full of tongue twisters for them to read aloud, but it was really a printed copy of her RSO acceptance email. 

Watch her parents' priceless reaction: 

The University's Twitter account retweeted the viral video with a special welcome message to the Kaur family. 

The video touched so many viewers that it made national news on such sites as Now This, and the TODAY Show. 

“When we admit students to our programs, we hope for reactions just like this," Dr. Thomas M. Evans, UIW president, said to TODAY. 

"To see this special moment between Gurjiv and her parents and witness their joy and pride moved us all at the University of the Incarnate Word. We are grateful that Gurjiv gave us the opportunity to share this special moment with her family and hope to welcome her to San Antonio and UIW's exceptional Rosenberg School of Optometry."

Read the full TODAY story

UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine Achieves Major Accreditation Milestone

A doctoral student stands on stage in academic regalia

The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is proud to announce that the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM) has been granted full accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).

“We are exceptionally proud of COCA’s decision to grant full accreditation to UIWSOM, which is dedicated to transforming students into physicians that care for the whole person and make positive impacts on their patients’ lives,” said Dr. Thomas M. Evans, UIW president. “This is yet another recognition of the high standards and outstanding education that students can expect from the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine.”

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 151,000 osteopathic doctors and students across the nation. At its April 2021 meeting, COCA reviewed the self-study and comprehensive site visit report for UIWSOM and the University administrators were interviewed by the COCA commissioners. Upon that review, UIWSOM was granted full accreditation.

“Receiving full accreditation from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation is the culmination of years of determination and commitment to the UIWSOM mission and vision by hundreds of wonderful people,” says Dr. Robyn Phillips-Madson, dean of UIWSOM. “The support from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, the University, faithful donors, our faculty, staff, administrators and learners, our Brooks neighbors and the San Antonio, Laredo and Corpus Christi communities made this possible. By the grace of God, we’ll continue to build our osteopathic medical education program and educate compassionate and competent physicians with a heart for service to the vulnerable and the underserved.”

According to the AOA, the osteopathic profession, which includes pediatricians, OB-GYNs, internists. anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, oncologists, family medicine physicians, emergency medicine physicians, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and more, has grown 63% in the past decade and nearly 300% over the past three decades.

UIWSOM graduated its first class of doctors on May 8, 2021 with 137 learners joining the ever-growing ranks of osteopathic care givers. The mission of UIWSOM is to empower all members of the medical education community to achieve academic, professional and personal success and develop a commitment to lifelong learning through excellence in learner-centered, patient-focused education, justice-based research and meaningful partnerships of osteopathic clinical service.


UIW Online MBA Ranked by National Publication

A student works on a laptop computerThe University of the Incarnate Word is proud to announce that Fortune Education has listed UIW in its first-ever rankings of the top Online Master of Business Administration programs in the country. UIW ranked number 73 on the list that was based on several categories including acceptance requirements and alumni base.

“At UIW, we have been serving our students with online education for more than two decades,” says Jonathan Lovejoy, interim dean for the UIW School of Professional Studies. “This latest accolade, from such a prestigious publication as Fortune, is another sign that we are providing the kind of education that meets the wants and needs of our growing population of students.  It is a credit to the faculty and staff who work tirelessly to ensure the quality of that education and it is a credit to the students who put in the work to make a difference for their families and their communities.”

According to the website, MBA graduates are still in high demand despite the pandemic. In 2020, recruiters reported paying out $115,000 median salaries to top MBA graduates. That is 70% more than they paid bachelor’s degree recipients.

At UIW, the Professional Master of Business Administration (PMBA) program is a 10-course, 30-hour program that gives students the choice to specialize in one of three high demand, high paying fields: data analytics, asset management, or human resource management. The PMBA is an integrative program that was designed for working professionals with a strong emphasis on practical application versus abstract theory.

Faculty Senate Names New President

Dr. Nadeau hands a gavel to Dr. Ambrose

Dr. Julie Nadeau, outgoing UIW Faculty Senate president, passed the gavel to Dr. Glenn Ambrose, incoming UIW Faculty Senate president, at the final Senate meeting of the academic year on Wednesday, May 19.

Dr. Nadeau has served as Senate president since June 1, 2019. Dr. Ambrose will begin his term on June 1, 2021. Dr. Ambrose also serves as chair of Religious Studies. 

Faculty and Students Present at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Faculty members and doctoral students from the Dreeben School of Education and Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions presented at the 17th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI) Conference held virtually from May 19-22. ICQI is the largest annual gathering of qualitative scholars worldwide. Scholars lead presentations and discussions on the development of qualitative research methods across academic disciplines to support qualitative inquiry used to engage in pressing social issues at the local, state, national and global levels.

“The ICQI conference solidified the important attributes that qualitative research provides," said Jeff Neal, a doctoral student and presenter at the event. "In particular, action research coupled with a participatory extension to tell a story. As an emergent scholar, the future of my qualitative research will be to advance this methodology along with others to distill the need for a compassionate university, San Antonio, and world."

A headshot of Dr. Arthur HernandezPresenters are part of the UIW Community Participation for Health and Wellbeing Project, an action research working group, led by Dr. Alfredo Ortiz Aragón and Dr. Arthur Hernández in the Graduate Studies Program of the Dreeben School of Education. The purpose of this group is to design, test and evaluate action research approaches by participating with targeted communities focused on health and wellbeing in San Antonio, Texas.  A headshot of Dr. Ortiz Aragon
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with colleagues at UIW," said Dr. Arthur Hernández, professor of Education. "It has provided an opportunity to develop and participate in a community of learning and service with whom I have learned much about AR, SBPR and community development. The opportunity to share at ICQI was a natural next step and demonstrated the best of all scholarship – that which has potential to make a difference for the good of the community."

Presenters at the conference were as follows: 

Dr. Alfredo Ortiz Aragón, associate professor of Education, and InciYilmazli Trout, doctoral candidate, in the Dreeben School of Education presented “Amplified and Muffled Voices through Digital Media in Times of Pandemic” at the PAR: Action Research in Adult and Higher Education session. Dr. Mary Brydon-Miller, professor of Educational Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville, also presented in this session.

Headshots of Drs. Esparza and Martinez-DelgadoDr. Shandra Esparza, associate professor of Athletic Training/Rehabilitative Science, and Dr. Lucero Martinez-Delgado, assistant professor of Rehabilitative Science, both in the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions, presented “Rewriting the Script with LGBTQ+ Community Members and Pre-Professional Healthcare Students for More Equitable Healthcare” at the PAR: Community Focused Action Research session.

A headshot of Michelle VasquezDr. Arthur E. Hernández, professor of Education, in the Dreeben School of Education presented “A Traditional Public Health Researcher’s Experiences with Action Research: Bridging a Problem and People Focus” at the PAR: Action Research for Equitable Community Health and Wellbeing session.

Michelle C. Vasquez, doctoral student; Kimberly Cox, doctoral candidate; and Jeff Neal, doctoral student,presented “Storytelling for Social Change: Helping Parents of Children with Disabilities Discover Services and Support through Action Research” at the PAR: Action Research for Equitable Community Health and Wellbeing session. 

Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Awarded Grant

A headshot of Dr. SikazweDr. Donald Sikazwe, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recently awarded $389,024 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, for his grant proposal, "Single molecules with multi-mechanistic modes of action as probative anti-Alzheimer's agents."  Sikazwe’s research is funded by competitive research grants from the NIGMS intended to fund researchers at varying stages of their research. Sikazwe’s research interests are associated with the Central Nervous System (CNS) Drug Discovery arena. His research focus is on anti-neurodegenerative agents. Congratulations, Dr. Sikazwe!

AVS Labs Makes Largest Educational Drone Purchase in the Country

A student inspects a droneOn Friday, May 14, UIW's AVS Labs met with Telaydine FLIR representatives showcasing an advanced UAV system called the Aeryon SkyRanger R70. FLIR "designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness."

FLIR’s R70 UAV is a sophisticated surveillance platform equipped with a 20-megapixel high-definition camera and a 13-megapixel EO/IR MK-II sensor array, which is used by various law enforcement and defense departments in areas such as narcotics interdiction to armed militant tracking. UIW is set to be the first university in the country to acquire this drone from FLIR, which will enhance its ability to inspect and map utilities across Bexar County in close cooperation with CPS Energy.

This new platform will also cultivate modern terrain analysis, a chief requirement of the Labs’ recently obtained Department of the Defense grants. Representatives from CPS Energy and Whataburger security were also present for the demonstration of the SkyRanger R70.

Watch the SkyRanger R70 in action

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: 

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.

Sacred Place by Fr. Roger Keeler, OMI

A black and white image of a mountain“Go up to the mountain, joyful bearer of good news; shout with a full voice: our God is near.”
– Monks of the Weston Priory, 1978

The mountain: the place where heaven and earth connect. The place where the human and Divine meet – a sacred place of divine encounter.

"You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands, and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live."

– Robert J. Dufford, SJ, 1978

The desert is a central image in the Christian spiritual imagination. As a locus of encounter with the holy, the desert has figured importantly in the Western spiritual imagination – from the Hebrew peoples’ encounter with Yahweh in the Sinai, to Jesus’ sojourn in the Judean wilderness, to the sudden upwelling of early Christian monastic life in Egypt. As a metaphor for the deep unknowability of God, for the stillness, silence and emptiness in which a meeting with the divine becomes possible, the image of the desert has become one of the central images of the spiritual life in the Christian tradition (“Desert Spirituality,” Douglas E. Christie, Ph.D., Oblate School of Theology, 5 and 6 June 2017).

Mountains and deserts, rivers and forests, seas and broad-sweeping plains, places in nature of Divine encounter: the Ganges River, Mount Sinai, Uluru, and Sedona. Some have become places where human hands have transformed nature with enduring structures to mark the encounter: Stonehenge, Angkor Wat, and Machu Picchu, to name a few. The globe is resplendent with these sites. Think of Mecca, the Western Wall, and Varanasi.

Christians, too, have sacred places renown for Divine encounter:  Ein Karem (the birthplace of John the Baptist), the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the Monastery of St. George in the Wadi Qelt, Meteora, and Iona. Others are associated with the tombs of martyrs or saints: St. Peter’s in Rome, St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Assissi, Santiago de Compostela, the Basilica of Lisieux, or St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montréal. Yet others commemorate the Mother of the Lord: Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe, and Dame de Paris.

Oftentimes these places have been the destination of arduous and taxing pilgrimage, all undertaken in the heartfelt hope of Divine grace. Inspired by “A Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan, how many times have I led faith-filled journeyers to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth, to Ephesus, Corinth, Athens and Rome, in the footsteps of Jesus, Paul and Peter?

None of them bore the labour or hardship of Bunyan’s pilgrims, well, unless one is of the opinion that anything less than a Hilton is a hardship!  No, these were always small groups of eager women and men ensconced in roomy air-conditioned coaches, with competent drivers and carefree passage. Yet like those pilgrims of literature, we were – all of us – yearning and with heartfelt hope of Divine grace. All of them have been memorable, even if the memories are ones of ill-informed guides, like the one in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre who proudly displayed the tombs of Joseph and Mary, or the one who announced when arriving in Athens after a tour of the Aegean islands: “We are now on solid grease!” (I think she meant, mainland Greece), or of inventing a new libation in the early hours of the morning in Delphi where many of us had spent the night recounting stories of what we had seen and experienced before a roaring fireplace when the chef arrived and wrapped on the window signalling he had left his keys at home. Upon admitting him, he dashed to the bar and produced a bottle of Ouzo. We called it the “Delphi Sunrise” – Ouzo, Grenadine and freshly squeezed orange juice. We slept the entire bus journey to Philippi.

And all of them were grace-filled in many, many ways. Were they moments of profound Divine encounter? Were any of them what might be described as “life-changing”? No, frankly, they weren’t.

Now, I’ve hiked to the top of mountains and made retreats in the desert. I’ve visited many of the places just mentioned, have celebrated the Eucharist at the Tomb of St. Peter (typically reserved for Bishops doing their ad limina visit to the Tombs of the Apostles. The sacristan must have thought me more than a simple parish priest!), have been awed by the majesty and beauty of Sante Chapelle, the vista from Tabgha on the shore of Galilee, sat in Ignatius’ cave at Manresa, and have been reduced to utter silence at the dawning sun at Uluru. Yet the simple fact of being in these sacred places has not blessed me with the sort of profound Divine intimacy that my heart has yearned for.

You see, it is not the mere fact that these are all sacred places where the encounter with the Divine was made evident; it is rather something much more interior.

None of us need wend our way to any sacred place in order to meet God. God does not limit God’s self to place, or time, or ritual, rite, story or song.

Listen to the words of the Master when he encountered the Samaritan woman at the well:  “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem … Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4/21 and 23).

And, what is that place?

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6/6).

The “room” will be the subject for the next column.

Community News

UIW Sends Prayers with Fr. Thomas Dymowski

Fr. Tom Dymowski looks up and smiles

Fr. Thomas Dymowski, O.SS.T., University chaplain, will begin a new ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore on July 1, 2021. After 12 years as chaplain at the University of the Incarnate Word, Fr. Tom will be moving to Catonsville, Maryland to reside with his Trinitarian community at St. Mark’s Catholic Church. His last day on the Broadway Campus was May 25, 2021. Fr. Tom has been appointed by Archbishop William Lori as the Archbishop’s Delegate for Religious, the Archbishop’s primary liaison to approximately 700 religious sisters and brothers and nearly 190 religious priests who live and minister in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. We wish him well and our prayers follow him wherever he goes. 

A special reception honoring Fr. Tom for his service at UIW was held Friday, May 21. 

Watch Fr. Tom's Reflections for the Solemnity of Pentecost and a special message to the UIW community: 

Thank You, UIW Donors

As we wind down this academic year and look forward to the next one, we're reflecting and giving thanks for all our blessings, especially our generous UIW community.

Thank you for being part of our legacy. Our Mission continues because of donors like you.

Hear about the impact your gifts make directly from UIW students:

A headshot of Erica Hernandez"I cannot be more thankful for my scholarships. I work hard to get through every semester, balancing my personal life while keeping a good GPA. Getting scholarships lets me know someone has faith in me and someone wants me to accomplish my goals so I can give back to my community teaching young students! 

Going back to school was challenging. I am a single mom starting a new chapter in my life. I am always one of the oldest in the class, and that can be intimidating. The staff at UIW is amazing. They have given me the confidence to know that you can always go back to school and accomplish great things no matter how old you are.

My goal is to become a math teacher and give back to my community by giving students a solid foundation in mathematics. Mathematics is one of the fundamental skills many of our young students struggle with. I want to provide a way of teaching that they understand and then utilize those math skills to be better students and professionals. 

Thank you for supporting the UIW community and me. Without you, the future would not be as bright."

Erica Ramirez
Senior Mathematics Major 
Special Education Minor 

Make a gift by May 31 at

In the News

KSAT 12 - Rocket Man: UIW Great Graduate aspires to be physician in space following career in music

"32-year-old Ste’von Voice is setting his sights on the stars quite literally.

The University of Incarnate Word graduate grew up in rural east Texas where he says he noticed early the disparity in medical care in his community and wanted to help.

But since then, he’s had an incredible journey in the world of medicine and is now working towards becoming a physician for astronauts.

'I couldn’t have this envisioned as a kid, as a young teenager, or even in my early 20s,' Voice said."

Watch the full story

KSAT 12 - 101-year-old receives COVID-19 vaccination at UIW wellness center

"A 101-year-old woman who was given her COVID-19 vaccine at the University of the Incarnate Word Nursing Cardinal Wellness Center is sharing why she decided to get the shot and why others should too."


Cardinals’ Cupboard Food Pantry Receives Donation from Central Market

A group poses with a large check

Red the Cardinal poses with a cart of groceriesThe Cardinals’ Cupboard Food Pantry was presented with a $5,000 check during Central Market Broadway’s inaugural Curbside GO! event on Friday, May 28. The first Curbside GO! order was picked up by Red the Cardinal in the UIW Jeep. Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, vice president for Mission and Ministry, gave opening remarks to kick off the event. This generous donation from Central Market, a favorite among UIW community members, will help continue to support the needs of our UIW and larger community. Special thanks to the Cardinals’ Cupboard Food Pantry Committee, UIW Athletics, UIW Mission & Ministry, and the Society of St. Vincent del Paul of San Antonio.

Donations for the Cardinals' Cupboard Food Pantry are accepted throughout the year and can be dropped off at the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability office in the Administration Building 158. For more information, please contact us at (210) 283-6423 or

Cardinal Corner

Five UIW graduates receive Army Commission

Graduates raise their right hand during commissioning ceremony

The University of the Incarnate Word is proud to announce that five of its 2021 graduates have been commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.  All were commissioned during a special ceremony of the St. Mary’s University Army ROTC Rattler Battalion held on May 14, 2021 at St. Mary’s University. UIW is a partner in the Rattler Battalion.

“What these men and women have been able to accomplish is truly extraordinary,” says Jonathan Lovejoy, UIW senior director for Military and Veterans Affairs and retired Navy Commander. “They have excelled in and out of the classroom and now they stand prepared to serve our great country. That is one more thing we can all be grateful for on this Memorial Day weekend.”

The five UIW graduates who were commissioned include: 2nd Lt. Paul Escamilla – Nursing Active-Duty; 2nd Lt. Michael Floore II – Quartermaster Corps Active-Duty; 2nd Lt. Meagan Kujawa – Nursing Active-Duty; 2nd Lt. Roque Villarreal – Signal Corps Reserves; 2nd Lt. Julian Williamson – Transportation Corps Active-Duty.  Also commissioned that day were 2nd Lt. Patrick Duffy – Military Police Corps Active-Duty and 2nd Lt. Marisa Ibarra – Aviation Corps Active-Duty, both from St. Mary’s University.

Each candidate received a first salute from a non-commissioned person of their choice. That was followed by the pinning of gold officer bars on the shoulder lapels by someone selected by each student.

Twenty-two year-old 2nd Lt. Paul Escamilla chose his aunt and uncle to pin his bars and they were more than happy to make the trip from Wisconsin for the honor. “Both my aunt and uncle served in the Army. My uncle being an Army Ranger in Vietnam,” says Escamilla. “It meant a lot to me that they came all the way down from Wisconsin to see me commission and my uncle had a fair amount of influence on me deciding to be in the Army.” Escamilla says this is a journey that started four years ago and he never expected it to go by so quickly.

For 33 year-old 2nd Lt. Michael Floore, the journey started at UIW in 2019 after returning from a deployment in Kuwait. That’s when Floore got word that he had been accepted in the Army’s Green to Gold program. “Graduating with an MBA from UIW was just an incredible feeling to say the least,” says Floore. “Commissioning as a 2LT was an all-around emotional moment. My mother cried the entire ceremony and for me it was a full-circle moment in my continued military career. I remember just trying to hold my tears back and failing to do so. I know that this moment was meant to be and sharing this moment with all the people that have supported me was a true blessing. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”

The St. Mary’s University Army ROTC Rattler Battalion, in partnership with the University of the Incarnate Word, has now commissioned 1,717 second lieutenants since 1932.

GEMS Partners with Valero to Provide STEAM Kits

Calista Burns poses with STEAM kits in front of an airplane

On Friday May 21, UIW GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science) partnered with Valero to create 200 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) kits for female students in 5th and 6th grades. GEMS is part of the Autonomous Vehicle Systems (AVS) Research Laboratories (GNC, CIL, EVL) in the School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (SMSE) at UIW. Valero invited GEMS to their hangar at the San Antonio Airport where they held their Minority Engineering Summit. At the Summit, the 11 attending freshman engineering college students from across the country assisted in assembling the STEAM kits.

GEMS Head Camp Counselor and Curriculum Coordinator, Calista Burns, and GEMS Project Manager and Coordinator, Stephanie Weiss-Lopez, were in attendance representing the GEMS program. Burns also attended the event as Miss Fiesta San Antonio to share Fiesta’s history and information about what she does in her exciting role. As Miss Fiesta, Calista shares her community service platform, GEMS, around San Antonio, encouraging more young girls to be involved in STEAM initiatives and education.

From the AVS Lab, Srikanth Vemula, Ph.D. candidate and principle researcher for the CIL Lab, and Jovany Avila, lead UAS research engineer for the GNC Lab, attended to share information about the the lab's work. Vemula and Avila worked with the college students to teach them about the BrainCo. Robotic Hand and the EV3 Lego Mindstorm, which are currently a part of the GEMS curriculum.

The GEMS team is excited to deliver these kits in early June and mid-July to provide young students in San Antonio with STEAM fun throughout the summer, along with instructional videos on the GEMS YouTube channel. 

Alumni and Parent Relations

 Alumna Earns Grant from Columbia Journalism School 

A headshot of Madalyn MendozaSan Antonio Express-News reporter and UIW alumna Madalyn Mendoza, BA ‘14 was recently named a grant recipient of the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil Rights at the Columbia Journalism School. The four grants were awarded for proposals centered on the economic impact of segregation on American cities and human rights violations of American colonialism.  

“Their journalistic interests represent a spectrum of topics bound by a common concern with the civil and human rights of vulnerable communities. Clearly, these concerns could not be more timely and we look forward to working with them in the coming year," said Jelani Cobb, director of the center.

Congratulations, Madalyn!

Alumnus Promoted to Executive Director of Development at St. Mary’s University  

A headshot of Steve HemphillUIW alumnus Steve Hemphill, MAA ’13 was recently promoted to executive director of Development at St. Mary’s University.

Hemphill, a graduate of the Organizational Development program, has previously served other educational institutions in the San Antonio area such as Central Catholic High School, UTSA, and UIW. 

Congratulations, Steve! 

Introducing Cardinal Connect

A group participates in a panel discussion

How would you like to give back to current UIW students? Your UIW Alumni Association is in search of enthusiastic alumni to take part in initiatives year-round such as presenting a REDTalk, speaking with a class, mentoring a student, participating in career fairs, recruitment and more! Fill out the form below to be contacted by a member of the Alumni Association or UIW faculty to participate in an upcoming program!

Cardinal Connect Form


Thomas garners SLC first-team honors

A baseball batter takes position

University of the Incarnate Word baseball's Lee Thomas was selected to the Southland Conference first team at the conclusion of the 2021 season, the conference office announced on Monday.

It is the second All-Conference award Thomas received after being selected to the second team after the 2019 season.

In league play this season, Thomas held a .292 batting average with 40 hits and tied for seventh with 11 doubles.

The senior designated hitter ranked seventh in the conference with an overall .559 slugging percentage and led the league in triples. Thomas drove in 35 RBIs and scored 32 times. He finished the season with a .306 batting average, racked up 52 hits, and had a team-high 12 doubles and five triples.

Thomas had 16 multi-hit games this spring and a season-best 3-for-4 day against Central Arkansas on March 27. He hit two triples in the series finale against Texas Southern to help the Cardinals open the season with a three-game sweep of the Tigers. Thomas added a two-home run game in a win against Prairie View A&M on April 6. 

In his five seasons at UIW, Thomas made his mark in the record books as he ranks third in program history with 27 home runs, fourth with 209 games played, 107 walks and 50 doubles, fifth with 730 at-bats and 362 total bases, sixth with 168 RBIs and seventh with 217 career hits.

The Cardinals finished the 2021 season with a 21-28 overall record and a 17-23 mark in the Southland Conference under second-year head coach, Ryan Shotzberger.

The all-conference teams are nominated and voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for oneself or one's own athletes is not permitted.

Cardinals set to compete at NCAA West Regional

A track athlete running on the trackThe University of the Incarnate Word track and field team will have student-athletes compete in five events at the NCAA West Regional Championships in College Station, Texas May 26 - May 29.

UIW is set to take on top track and field student-athletes in the West region from schools like Oregon, Arkansas, and host Texas A&M at the E.B. Cushing Stadium. 

On the women's side, Sullivan Wilke will be the first Cardinal to compete at the regional meet in the high jump event. The sophomore cleared a 1.75-meter height at the Southland Conference Championships earlier this month, earning her a bronze medal and qualifying her for the meet. The 1.75 meters marked a new UIW record that was set by the 2014 conference champion in the program's first year in Division I.

On the men's side, Matheo Bernat will compete in the 110-meter hurdles, Jordan Chopane in the 100-meter dash and Richard Kuykendoll in the 400-meter run, the 200-meter dash and in the 4x100 meter relay race along with Chopane, DeVante Mount and Quadyr Tindal with Kyle Lewis as the alternate. 

This marks the first time the Cardinals have sent someone to regionals in the 110-meter hurdles, the 400-meter run, the 200-meter dash and 4x100 relay squad on the men's side. 

Throughout the season, Bernat set the program record in the event on three separate occasions clocking in his fastest 110-meter hurdle time at the Bobcat Classic on May 2 with a time of 13.89 seconds. Kuykendoll set a record at the same meet in the 400-meter run of 46.37 seconds, smashing the previous one by two seconds. 

The Bobcat Classic was also a favorable meet for the Cardinals in the 4x100 relay as the squad finished first with a time of 40.27 seconds, to qualify for the regional meet. 

Chopane qualified for the meet at the Southland Conference Championships on May 15. He missed finals by just tenths of a second, but his 10.38 seconds in the 100-meter dash was the only wind-legal time of the race.

See below for when the Cardinals are set to compete and when they compete again should they advance in their events.

Wednesday, May 26

Cardinals Competing on Wednesday May 26
Time Event Student-Athlete
6 p.m. 110M Hurdles (first round) Mateo Bernat
7 p.m 100M (first round) Jordan Chopane
7:25 p.m. 400M (first round) Richard Kuykendoll
8:20 p.m. 200M (first round) Richard Kuykendoll

Friday, May 28

Cardinals Competing on Friday, May 28
Time Event Student-Athlete
5:30 p.m. 4x100 Relay (quarterfinals) Kuykendoll, Mount, Chopane,
Tindal (Lewis  alternate)
6:45 p.m. 110M (Quarterfinals)* Mateo Bernat
7:05 p.m. 100M (Quarterfinals)* Jordan Chopane
7:20 p.m. 400M (Quarterfinals)* Richard Kuykendoll
8:10 p.m. 200M (Quarterfinals)* Richard Kuykendoll

* Advancing Round

Saturday, May 29

Cardinals Competing on Saturday, May 29
Time Event Student-Athlete
1 p.m. High Jump Sullivan Wilke

 Streaming will be available on ESPN and live results will be available. For links to each day and live results please see below.


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)