The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - July 9, 2021


UIW Selects New Dean of School of Physical Therapy

A headshot of Dr. GoffarAfter a national search, the University of the Incarnate Word is pleased to announce that Stephen Goffar, PT, DPT, PhD, has been selected as the next Dean of the UIW School of Physical Therapy (SoPT). Goffar joined UIW in July 2014 as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs after retiring from the U.S. Army, where he served as a combat arms officer and physical therapist for 25 years. While in the Army, he also served as the Director of Clinical Education and faculty in the U.S. Army-Baylor University Doctor of Physical Therapy program. 

“Over the course of his career, including seven years here at UIW, Dr. Goffar has proven himself to be a dedicated teacher, scholar and leader,” says Dr. Caroline Goulet, associate provost of UIW Health Professions. “We are thankful that he has agreed to take on this new role and we look forward to the continued success of the UIW School of Physical Therapy. Our sincere thanks goes out to the search committee co-chaired by Drs Timothy Wingert and Holly Cassels and to all who participated in the interview process.”  

Goffar has a BS in Biology from Ripon College, an MPT and transitional DPT from Baylor University, an MS in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a PhD in Education from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Goffar, a Board-certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedics, has practiced in Hawaii, the Republic of Korea, Germany, Iraq, and the U.S.

As an active researcher, Goffar has published in the  Physical Therapy JournalJournal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical TherapyClinical BiomechanicsArchives of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and the  Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. His research focus is prediction and prevention of musculoskeletal injury as well as foot type and plantar pressure analysis. As a member of a prolific research team, he has received more than $2.8 Million in extramural funding.


BSN Students Participate in Operation Health and Wellness

A nursing student smiles next to U.S. Army medical professionals

In June, five Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) students from the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions participated in Operation Health and Wellness, a 10-day collaborative mission serving primary health care needs in the Colonias areas near Corpus Christi. Texas A&M University Colonias Program, the Nueces County Commissioner, and United States Army Reserve and Army North, with multiple community partners including the South Coastal Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), were all part of this mission. The five BSN students are part of UIW's Health Resources and Services Administration 18-012 grant, Partners in Care: RNs for Tomorrow (PIC).   

A nursing student sits at a table with a member of the U.S. ArmyThis grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the grant is to develop registered nurses ready to work in primary care settings. Dr. Linda Hook, project director, coordinated with the South Coastal AHEC for participation of five Level 5 BSN students—Jasmine Bocanegra, Sherlyn Bolton, Nicole Dib, Lizeth Carmona and Dominque Yount, with UIW clinical instructor, Dr. Yvonne Davila. The students spent 8-10 hours a day discovering RN primary care practices including patient assessments, preventive health screenings, and education for clients and their families. At the end of the mission, more than 2,500 clients were seen and the United States Army Reserve and Army North 176th Medical Brigade ‘Legionnaire Medics’ recognized the nursing students as a vital part of the overall success of this mission. As described by the students, the mission underscored the need for health professionals to practice with humility and kindness to every person.

Education Faculty Member and Doctoral Student Co-publish Chapter in New Book

A headshot of Dr. Guzman-FosterDr. Sandra L. Guzman-Foster, associate professor of Education, and Alyssa S. Cortes-Kennedy, doctoral student in the Dreeben School of Education, co-authored “Engaging Graduate Students During a Pandemic: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration in Emergency Remote Learning,” a chapter in a new book titled "The Handbook of Research on Barriers for Teaching 21st-Century Competencies and the Impact of Digitalization."

“What we hope readers will take away from our chapter is that there are ways to engage students in an online classroom environment that goes beyond discussion boards,” said Dr. Guzman-Foster. “We saw an opportunity to try new tools when we were forced into remote learning. It is not just about integrating technology for the sake of integrating technology, it is about how to use these tools for collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking.”

“With each technology tool, students became empowered because they could A headshot of Alyssa Kennedy reflect and connect the curriculum with authentic activities using the various digital tools via online and video platforms,” she continued. “We found that these various tools support learning if utilized effectively. Furthermore, we came to understand that it is very important to create a promising high quality, and engaging remote learning environment, but it requires a sense of shared purpose, trust, support, and collaboration, very similar to what one expects in a traditional face-to-face environment.” 

The chapter explores the application of multiple technology-driven learning platforms to engage graduate-level students in emergency remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors stress the importance of integrating creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking while teaching and learning at the graduate level. Multiple platforms, technology, and other tools of engagement created a plethora of opportunities for critical thinking, use of various communication styles, various learning styles, and the creative collaboration of students to work together without being together physically in the standard brick and mortar classroom.

AVS Labs Looks to the Future with New Modeling Technology

A doctored 3D aerial image of the UIW Broadway campus

(Pictured above, a "digital twin" of the UIW Broadway campus created by Unreal Engine 4)

UIW Autonomous Vehicle Systems (AVS) Labs has established new paths in meteorological modeling through the utilization of Unreal Engine 4, a game engine used by a wide variety of industries, including digital twinning, where information gained from physical sensors on an object can map that object into a virtual environment. The Environmental Virtual Intelligence (EVI) department of AVS Labs recently gained access to Unreal Engine 4 and will analyze live weather data using this engine, which many consider the world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation tool. This tool will be used in conjunction with state-of-the-art digital twinning techniques to deliver live meteorological recreations.   

Digital twinning allows real world data to be presented entirely through a virtual environment and is used in various city-planning applications such as the construction of new buildings, highways and parks. The meteorological modeling that the department is developing will display current weather conditions inside Unreal Engine 4. Under the direction of Charles Beck, UIW Mechatronics student, the Environmental Virtual Intelligence (EVI) Lab has successfully recorded the sun’s placement in relationship to the San Antonio area using Unreal Engine 4. Beck was also able to produce rain, snow and lightning effects.  

By the end of the month, the captured phenomena will be a direct reflection of current UIW weather conditions in conjunction with a fully digitized model of the UIW Broadway Campus. The lab will achieve this weather modeling by parsing meteorological reports, known as METAR, into machine readable codes. These codes are fed into Unreal Engine 4 to display that weather data with the corresponding weather models.

Mission and Ministry

July Service Updates

A church steeple and trees

Sunday Mass and Registration Links

All are welcome to attend in-person Sunday Mass in Our Lady’s Chapel. Mass is celebrated at 11 a.m. in a hybrid format with our online community worshiping via Zoom with our in-person community. Registration links for Mass can be found at our UMM registration site

A digital worship aid is available to download at the door or through our ministry app (Flocknote, linked below) with prayers, responses, translations, and music for the liturgy. We invite you to bring your phone, iPad, or tablet to access this content during Mass. 

No Mass in Our Lady's Chapel from July 16 - 31

We will be taking a short break during this time to prepare our worship space for the upcoming Fall semester. It’s an opportunity for our facilities and UMM staff to do some much-needed cleaning and upkeep of our chapel space. There will be no weekday or Sunday Masses during this time (in person or live streamed) from July 16-31. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Sunday, August 1.

Need Prayers?

Our UIW family is always in our prayers. If you have a special intention for which you would like us to pray, please feel free to submit it through our prayer link or via email to

Join our flock!

If you consider UIW your worshiping community, or simply want to stay connected to Mission and Ministry to receive information about our events, ministries, and other ministry-related news, we invite you to register as part of our University of the Incarnate Word Flocknote network. Flocknote is the best means we have of keeping connected with our UIW family and sharing information quickly. Registration is free and open to students, faculty, staff, administrators, Incarnate Word Sisters, alumni and friends of UIW. 

Join Flocknote here

Community News

5 Good Questions for Dr. Arturo Chávez

UIW President Dr. Thomas M. Evans invites associate vice president for Mission and Ministry and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to share his journey, perspective and priorities.

“By any measure, Dr. Arturo Chávez has already scaled career and professional peaks that would more than fulfill the average person: 

  • teacher, youth minister and chaplain to San Antonio’s most vulnerable and incarcerated; 
  • founder of a non-profit youth organization (JOVEN) instrumental in addressing the needs of poor and disenfranchised families; 
  • recognized by President Barrack Obama for his efforts to combat racism and poverty and appointed to the White House Council on Faith-based Partnerships to foster collaboration among faith-based organizations; 
  • honored by Catholic Charities USA with the Keep the Dream Alive Award for his work as a national champion of the poor;
  • saluted across San Antonio for transforming a little-known Cultural Center into the Mexican American Catholic College (MACC), one of the nation’s first and only to offer adult Spanish speakers a path to English proficiency and B.A. and M.A. degrees in Pastoral Ministry. 

A headshot of Dr. Arturo ChavezBut in late May 2020, Chávez, like many in America and around the world, found himself taking stock. A global pandemic had already sickened some 60,000 Texans and killed more 1,500 — with those numbers on course to quadruple in the coming year. Into that crisis flashed the murder of George Floyd, late in the evening of May 25 in Minneapolis. In the ensuing days and weeks of protests, voices gathered in more than 2,000 cities and towns in over 60 countries involving some 25 million people.

After several decades on the front lines of pressing issues of social justice and inequity, Chávez faced a difficult question. ‘I just really had to ask myself, you know, has anything that I have done really made a difference?’

In the coming weeks and months, Chávez grappled. “All the uncertainty of the pandemic was somehow secondary to the uncertainty I felt about our notions of being a country where life and liberty, we’re told, is assured of everyone.”

Faced with an uncertain future, Chávez credits his MACC students with re-igniting a fire. “They inspired me with their own commitment and ferocity,” Chávez says. “With their help, I recommitted to the work.”

By last November, Chávez had made a decision to return to his alma mater, the University of the Incarnate Word, and become associate vice president for Mission & Ministry and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Already a longtime UIW faculty member in the Religious Studies department, Chávez will also oversee the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability. 

Over an interview of five good questions, Chávez spoke about his journey, a life-long commitment to protecting diversity, equity and inclusion, and his goals moving forward. 

Read the full piece on the President’s site

Limited UIW Fiesta Medals Still Available

A rendering of UIW Fiesta medalsA limited amount of 2020 and 2021 UIW Fiesta medals remain available for sale! Purchase one for $10 or two for $15. Medals can be picked up on the UIW Broadway campus or mailed directly to you. All proceeds will benefit the UIW Cardinals' Cupboard, helping fight food insecurity within our community. Thank you to all community members who have already purchased a Fiesta medal. Because of you, we have raised over $3,000 to support the Cardinals' Cupboard!

Purchase your UIW Fiesta medals here


UIW Gives Back to Child Advocates of San Antonio

Two women hold donation boxesUIW Cardinals continue to give back throughout the summer, this time donating items to Child Advocates of San Antonio (CASA) to benefit children and youth. Since April 2020, our UIW Cardinals have completed 9,878 hours of community service through donations locally, nationally and regionally.

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

Cardinal Corner

UIW Continues to Welcome Newest Cardinals at Orientation

A collage of images of students and staff members 

Every other Wednesday of the summer, UIW’s newest Cardinals gather on campus for New Student Orientation. The incoming students are welcomed to learn more about student organizations, services available to them as students, meet their classmates, and get acclimated to their new University home! New students also get a chance to hear from representatives from UIW Advising, Campus Life, Title IX, the Business Office, Financial Aid, Technology and Student Success so that come August, they have everything they need to be successful in the first semester of their academic journeys.

Welcome to the Nest, Cardinals!

Alumni and Parent Relations

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Andrew Kim (DPT, '19)

A headshot of Dr. Andrew KimDr. Andrew Kim (DPT, ‘19) is currently stationed at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland and serves as the Physical Therapy Element Chief and Orthotics Department Element Chief where he and his team are developing a Musculoskeletal Integrated Practice Unit (IPU). The team consists of professionals from primary care providers, physical therapists, orthopedics physician assistants, clinical psychologists and nutrition care. They are creating opportunities for physical therapists to integrate more with other inter-professional teams. This team approach to patient care allows physicians to see patients promptly while reducing non-emergent musculoskeletal injuries from emergency departments and family medicine clinics. 

Dr. Kim’s patient care extends beyond physical therapy. To assist with “Operation Warp Speed,” the White House initiative to facilitate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations, Kim is one of Dr. Kim and his family five physical therapy providers at JBSA-Lackland who have credentials to serve as a COVID Vaccine Injector, vaccinating the active duty, dependents, veterans, and retiree communities within the JBSA-Lackland area. Kim also serves as a Special Projects Officer, coordinating the administrative responsibilities through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, the agency for accreditation of physical therapy residency and fellowship education programs, for the inaugural 2021 Cohort, United States Air Force Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency. Dr. Kim is married and the proud father of four beautiful daughters.

Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Meachum '01

A headshot of Jennifer MeachumJennifer Meachum, BS ’01 was recently named Regional Marketing Manager for Physicians PremiER. 

Meachum, a former UIW Alumni Association board member, has an extensive career in healthcare, previously serving at Baptist Health System and the American Heart Association. 

Join us in congratulating Jennifer as she begins her new role! 

July Alumni Birthday Raffle

An image of Red the Cardinal with text that reads, "Alumni Birthday Raffle"

We are celebrating our Cardinal birthdays in a very special way! Your Alumni Association will hold a birthday raffle each month where you will have a chance to win a gift from us.

Enter the raffle here

Happy Birthday to all our July Cardinals! 

Alumni Mentor Program

A group shot of UIW alumni

Calling all Cardinal Parents! Is your student looking for a mentor to guide them throughout their academic journey? The UIW Alumni Association is looking for students to join the Alumni Mentor Program!  

UIW Alumni are eager to help your student pave the way to their future success.

Students may apply here 


Football Season Tickets Now Available!

Football players run onto the field

Season tickets for the Fall 2021 football season are now available. The 2021 season includes five home games at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.

In the Spring 2021 season, UIW achieved its highest-ever rankings in program history at No. 13 on the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and at No. 15 in the AFCA Coaches poll. The Cardinals had one of the top offenses in the nation leading in total offensive yards and averaging 42.0 points per game. UIW placed a total of 16 on the all-conference team.  

UIW is set to host five games this season against Prairie View A&M (Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.), McNeese (Sept. 25 at 11 a.m.), Nicholls (Oct. 16 at 11 a.m.), Houston Baptist (Oct. 30 at 3 p.m.) and Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.). 

Fans interested in buying season tickets can do so now at or by calling 210-805-3012. Season tickets start as low as $115. 

Purchasing season tickets is the best way to experience Cardinals football. Fans can upgrade their game-day experience by adding a Cardinal Club membership. 

The Cardinals enter year four of the Eric Morris era. The team returns 10 offensive starters including Jerry Rice Award winner, Cameron Ward. The freshman set the record for most touchdown passes in a season (24) in just six games. Ward also matched a true freshman record, four passing touchdowns in a single game in his debut and set the record for most passing touchdowns in a single game with six, accomplishing that twice. 

In addition, UIW has also brought in the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the Southland Conference for the upcoming season. 

The Cardinals head into the season with a new Southland Conference realignment that saw the departure of Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas and Lamar.

Tom Rees Selected to Lead Women's Tennis

Coach Rees talks to a team memberUniversity of the Incarnate Word Athletic Director Richard Duran selected Tom Rees as the new women's tennis head coach, UIW Athletics announced on Friday, June 25.  

"Tom has demonstrated proven success on the tennis court," said Duran. "The teams he coaches improve year over year, land national rankings and produce individual standouts. He is a servant leader, a talented recruiter and a great competitor. We are thrilled that Tom is joining the UIW family."  

A 10-year coaching veteran, Rees spent the past two seasons on the Kansas State coaching staff, with other stops at Lenoir-Rhyne, Illinois-Springfield and North Georgia.

"I'd like to thank AD Richard Duran, Deputy AD Ashley Poronsky and the search committee for giving me the opportunity to become head women's tennis coach at UIW," Rees said. "UIW is a special place. We have the unique opportunity to provide a world-class college tennis experience, in a faith-based environment, with the great city of San Antonio on our doorstep. From the moment I stepped foot on campus it felt like home."   

As an assistant for the women's tennis program at Kansas State, Rees helped lead the Wildcats to as high as No. 38 in the college rankings; K-State also turned in the 25th-ranked recruiting class in 2021.  

Prior to Kansas State, Rees was the head coach of both the men's and women's tennis programs at Lenoir-Rhyne from 2016-19, leading both teams to their first national rankings in school history. He guided multiple student-athletes to national rankings and All-South Atlantic Conference (SAC) selections, while also leading the team to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic award and ITA Southeast Region community service awards.   

Rees spent two summers (2017 and 2018) as an ATP Tour coach, leading Rubin Statham to a New Zealand No. 1 ranking and a top-300 ATP Pro ranking. He also guided Marcos Giron to a top-75 ATP Pro ranking.  

At Illinois-Springfield, Rees recruited the eventual 2015 Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Women's Freshman of the Year and guided both the men's and women's teams to program-high win totals.  

From 2012-14, Rees played on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) professional circuit in tournaments across Europe and the U.S.   

He started his coaching career as an assistant coach at North Georgia in 2012. There, he helped the men's program to a No. 23 national ranking and a spot in the NCAA Championships, while also setting a new program high in wins totals on the women's side. Rees coached multiple All-Americans, nationally ranked student-athletes and all-conference selections en route to being named the 2014 ITA Southeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year.  

Rees earned a Bachelor's in French with a minor in management and cum Laude honors at the University of North Carolina-Asheville in 2012. He obtained his Master's in Public Administration in 2014 at North Georgia.   

Rees was a three-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs, leading the team to a second-place finish in the Big South Conference. He was a Big South All-Conference selection and the league's No. 2 doubles champion.  

Prior to UNC-Asheville, Rees played one season at Tusculum University in the No. 1 singles and doubles flights, helping the Pioneers to a No. 28 national ranking and the SAC Tournament finals.  

"I am excited to hit the ground running," added Rees. "With a focus on our people and our process, I look forward to creating a culture of excellence and transforming Cardinal women's tennis into one of the premier teams in the Southland Conference."

Men's Soccer Places Eight on WAC All-Academic Team

A group shot of the UIW men's soccer team

The University of the Incarnate Word men's soccer team placed eight student-athletes on the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) All-Academic team, the league office announced on Thursday.  

Five Cardinals turned in perfect 4.00 marks with seniors Tristan Brouwer, Kevin Gutia, Koen Vos and Lars Willems, and junior Cedric Szymczak.  

Juniors Charles Beck and Bernabe Lopez turned in a 3.86 and 3.78, respectively, as engineering majors as senior Luis Garza finished with a 3.31 to round out the list.  

Overall, the Cardinals had a team GPA of 3.69 in the Spring.  

"It's great to see this portion of our team recognized by the WAC for their work done in the classroom along with their contributions on the field," said head coach Kiki Lara. "This is exactly what we want our program to be known for as we establish our program as WAC championship contenders." 

To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must have completed at least one academic year, have at least a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average and have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's contests.  

Full list of the Academic All-WAC selections (PDF)

WGCA All-American Scholars Announced for 2020-2021

A collage of women's golf players

The WGCA All-American Scholars were announced today with a total of 1,432 women's collegiate golfers recognized with this prestigious honor. University of the Incarnate Word women's golf team had four student-athletes recognized: Charlotte Davis, Iliana Stowers, Estefania Hurtado and Hannah Cash. 

This past season, senior Charlotte Davis competed in four tournaments. Davis' best three-round score was a 243 at the Huntsville Toyota Bearkat Invitational, having a low round of six-over-par-77.  

Junior, Iliana Stowers competed in five tournaments this past season. Stowers' had a low round of four-over-par 76 at the Texas State Invitational and the HBU Husky Invitational. Her best three-round score was a 238 at the HBU Husky Invitational. Stowers' top finish was T-34 at the Huntsville Toyota Bearkat Invitational. 

Estefania Hurtado a sophomore from Medellin, Colombia, competed in six tournaments this past season. Hurtado's best tournament score was at the Texas State Invitational, scoring a 227. She had a low round of 72 at the HBU Husky Invitational. Hurtado tied for seventh place at the Southland Conference Championship. 

Freshman Hannah Cash, competed in five tournaments in her debut with UIW. Cash's best three-round score came at the Texas State Invitational and the HBU Husky Invitational scoring a 226. She has a low round of one-over-par-73 at the Texas State Invitational. Cash's top finish was a T-19 at the HBU Husky Invitational. 

The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50.


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.

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)