The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - August 20, 2021


Welcome Home, Cardinals!

A student stands with her parents on either side of her

UIW began welcoming students back to the Nest on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at UIW Move-In Days. After more than a year of largely virtual instruction, Cardinals were safely greeted on campus for the start of the upcoming semester.

New students arrived first, getting their official student IDs and keys for their new home away from home. Returning students were welcomed back to residence halls beginning Friday, Aug. 20.

A student sits to have her photo taken

Faculty and staff from across UIW's various departments and schools were on campus to welcome students, including the UIW Alumni Association, who hosted a Freshman Move-In BBQ, handing out food and water to students and parents. 

UIW President Dr. Thomas Evans got in on the fun too, greeting new students and families, and even accompanying one new UIW family to pick up a special move-in gift from Campus Engagement. 

A collage of photos of Dr. Evans interacting with students

Move-In days kicked off UIW's annual Welcome Week, a series of activities for students to help them ring in the new academic year. This year's Welcome Week activities include movie nights, karaoke parties and of course, the annual Pinning Ceremony. 

UIW's Pinning Ceremony, held Thursday, Aug. 19 and Friday, Aug. 20, marks the start of new students' collegiate journeys as they receive a special pin with the University seal, the same seal that will decorate their class ring towards the end of their time as UIW Cardinals. Students and loved ones at Pinning Ceremony heard welcome messages from Dr. Evans and UIW Provost Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo before their special guests officially secured their new pins. 

A collage of photos of people participating in Pinning Ceremony

From everyone at the University of the Incarnate Word, welcome home, Cardinals!


Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor Awarded Grant

A headshot of Dr. SikazweDr. Donald Sikazwe, professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was recently awarded a grant from the National Institute of Health for his proposal, "Single molecules with multi-mechanistic modes of action as probative anti-Alzheimer's agents." Sikazwe’s research is funded by competitive grants intended to fund scholars at varying stages of their research. Sikazwe’s research interests are associated with the Central Nervous System (CNS) Drug Discovery arena. His focus is on anti-neurodegenerative agents. The $389,400 grant will assist in Sikazwe's research going further.

Business Faculty Published in A-level Journal

A headshot of Dr. LiuDr. Yi “Jack” Liu, assistant professor of Management Information Systems, received notification that his manuscript “The Impacts of Effectiveness of App Evolution on User’s Perceptions and App Continuance Intentions: An Empirical Study on U.S. App Market” was accepted for publication in Communications of the Association for Information Systems, an A-level journal in the field of information management. 

The manuscript's abstract reads, "App evolution has been shown to continuously lead to app success from the developer perspective. However, few studies have explored app success from the user perspective, which limits our understanding of the role of app evolution in app success. Building on app evolution literature and the technology acceptance model (TAM), the authors investigate the influence of the effectiveness of app evolution on users’ perceived app usefulness and ease of use and their app continuance intention, which is a proxy of app success from the user perspective. Survey data were collected from 299 app users on both the Google Play and AppStore platforms in the U.S. The findings indicate that the effectiveness of strategic evolution and effectiveness of evolution speed directly affect a user’s perceived app usefulness, while effectiveness of operational evolution and effectiveness of evolution speed directly affect a user’s perceived app ease of use. In addition, perceived app usefulness and perceived app ease of use are two keys that lead to users’ app continuance intention. A user’s perceived app ease of use affects app continuance intention both directly and indirectly through perceived app usefulness. This study enhances our understanding of the relationship between effectiveness of app evolution and app continuance intention. This is especially important in helping app developers that are small firms or startups with limited resources understand how to retain app users. Limitations and directions for future research are also discussed."

UIW Libraries Staff Member Published by Cochrane Oral Health

A headshot of Dell DavisDell Davis, UIW Libraries director of Public Services, recently served as a co-author on a team that revised the oral health publication, #0089, published by Cochrane Oral Health. The publication is titled “Direct composite resin fillings versus amalgam fillings for permanent posterior teeth.” 

Per the publication's abstract, "Traditionally, amalgam has been used for filling cavities in posterior teeth, and it continues to be the restorative material of choice in some low‐ and middle‐income countries due to its effectiveness and relatively low cost. However, there are concerns over the use of amalgam restorations (fillings) with regard to mercury release in the body and the environmental impact of mercury disposal. Dental composite resin materials are an aesthetic alternative to amalgam, and their mechanical properties have developed sufficiently to make them suitable for restoring posterior teeth. Nevertheless, composite resin materials may have potential for toxicity to human health and the environment ...

... Our review synthesises the results of studies that evaluate the long‐term effectiveness and safety of amalgam versus composite resin restorations, and evaluates the level of certainty we can have in that evidence."

Learn more about the publication here

Mission and Ministry

Welcome Mass

Two people sit in a church pewTraditionally held the Sunday before classes begin, our Welcome Mass is a beautiful celebration welcoming our newest Cardinals and their loved ones to the University of the Incarnate Word family. This year, we extend the invitation to every Cardinal, new or returning, as we return to campus after a long time apart. Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. in Our Lady's Chapel (Administration Building), as well as live-streamed virtually via Zoom. 

Additional seating will be provided in the Diane Bennack Concert Hall where Mass will be live-streamed. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so no registration is required. Masks are required for in-person attendance, both in Our Lady's Chapel and the Diane Bennack Concert Hall. 

In-Person Registration for Students and Families (limited seats)

Zoom Registration 

Stream on YouTube

August Service Updates

A church steeple and trees

Worship and Event Registration

Registration links for online and in-person worship services and events – including Sunday Mass – for University Mission and Ministry can be found at our UMM registration site.

See updated safety protocols for Our Lady's Chapel.

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

Vaxambassadors Make a Difference in Natalia

Headshots of Drs. Barton-Weston, Felix-Ortiz and Nile BarnesDr. Heather Barton-Weston, assistant professor and public health coordinator in the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions; Dr. Nile Barnes, assistant professor of Pharmacy; and Dr. Maria Felix-Ortiz, professor and chair of Psychology, obtained $32,000 of stipends from Interfaith Youth Core’s (IFYC) Faith in the Vaccine grant for UIW students to serve as “vaxambassadors” who promote vaccination against COVID-19. Funding was provided for 17 students to be trained in conducting learning conversations in relational meetings for health promotion, and to conduct outreach events and organize a clinic.

Over the course of the 14-week period, the team met weekly and collaborated to develop a website, social media sites, and a brochure in English and Spanish. The group also conducted approximately 20 outreach events for a variety of venues in addition to faith communities. Students assisted CommuniCare Health Centers with two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Southwest San Antonio and North Central San Antonio, helping with tasks at the clinic and knocking on doors in the neighborhood to inform residents of the clinic. Finally, they formed a partnership with the town of Natalia and its independent school district that culminated in a UIW-led vaccination clinic at Natalia High School. 

The UIW-Natalia vaccination clinic involved student volunteers from the UIW schools of Osteopathic Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as the vaxambassadors who represent UIW Psychology, Community Health Education, Biology, Philosophy, and the International Education and Entrepreneurship graduate program. The team worked diligently on promoting the clinic, visiting businesses to distribute or leave behind the English/Spanish flyers they created, making announcements at local churches, using the school district’s social media account, knocking on residents’ doors, and working with the local newspaper, the Devine News.

Vaxambassadors do administrative workThe vaxambassadors and their coordinators provided supplies from their own funds and obtained donations from various UIW departments, including the UIW Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability, for the rural community and provided incentives for obtaining COVID-19 and school vaccines. These included free school supplies in a UIW-branded backpack, and a raffle for a bicycle and laptop. The vaxambassadors team and its collaborators donated refreshments, signage, sanitizing supplies, vaccinations, and time for their administration. Vaxambassadors also provided a “fun zone” of various games and coloring pages for children while their parents were vaccinated. The team called people who registered on the website to remind them of the clinic, followed up with calls to check on people on the day after their vaccinations, and called to remind people about their second doses. 

The outcomes were notable. The UIW-Natalia clinic served mostly Latinx residents in rural Natalia. Some adults who brought in their children for the COVID-19 Two vaxambassadors stand together for a photo vaccine decided to get the vaccine themselves. Vaxambassadors developed skills in health promotion through conversations with people, using both new and traditional mass media and through social networking. Additionally, vaxambassadors obtained training in research ethics, researched news reports and academic studies, and participated in developing a research proposal. Students documented their experiences and growth through blogs and video, many reflecting on how it was not so difficult to speak to people about the vaccination issue. The most important outcome for vaxambassadors and the communities they served was the experience of being change agents, promoting social change one conversation at a time, and one vaccination at a time. 

As a result of these successes, Natalia ISD is partnering with UIW and welcoming interns for a new Interprofessional Health Professions Internship that is being developed. IFYC has offered stipends for another year, as well as funding for supplies.

Education Faculty Featured in Military Families Magazine

A headshot of Dr. Ashley LoveDr. Ashley S. Love, associate professor of Education, was interviewed by the  Military Families Magazine for their article “The New Look of Learning: Virtual, In-Person, or Hybrid – How to Decide What is Best for Your Child This Fall,” a story on pandemic parenting and back-to-school plans for learning. “As a public health professional for over 20 years who is married to a military physician (DO), I wanted to let the military parents know that even the health professionals are faced with a dilemma – how to balance the mental and physical well-being of our children while keeping them safe and healthy during the pandemic. Uncertainty and the new variants of the COVID-19 virus are keeping us anxious and fatigued, wondering when life will come back to normal,” said Love.

According to Love, “We saw a brief ray of hope as we entered the summer; the COVID-19 vaccines became readily available, and the cases decreased. That moment dissipated with a lack of enough people vaccinating in the U.S. and the new variants emerging stronger and more contagious than the previous strains. We are now faced with another surge. Masks, social distancing and vaccinations help to protect our children (under 12 years old) who are presently ineligible to get vaccinated and who want to experience life. We need to protect our families’ and communities’ health. It will be another challenging, anxious time for the parents, students, teachers and school administrators as we start the new academic year during the ongoing pandemic.”

Love is a multi-disciplinary public health professional with extensive experience in health education, program design, management, and evaluation across public, governmental and academic sectors. She is certified in public health through the National Board of Public Health Examiners in the United States. She served as the State Epidemiologist of Delaware and managed the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Additionally, she was a National Institute Aging Summer Fellow, was elected to serve on the Nomination Committee of the American Public Health Association (APHA), and was appointed to the Editorial Advisory Board of Nation’s Health. She is also the chairperson of the APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion’s Communication Committee. She is active in national professional and academic organizations. Love is also an active-duty Air Force military spouse.

Military Families Magazine is distributed monthly to approximately 1,350 military facilities worldwide, reaching 1.3 million active-duty service members and their families, including those serving in all seven branches of the Reserves and National Guard.

Read "The new look of learning"

In the News

UIW Football: Media Day

A UIW football helmetOn Monday, Aug. 16, UIW Athletics hosted its annual media day ahead of the upcoming football season. Head Coach Eric Morris, Offensive Coordinator Cody Crill and Defensive Coordinator Justin Deason, along with several Cardinal football student-athletes, answered questions and offered insight into their preparations before taking the field on Sept. 2 at Youngstown State. See some of UIW football's media coverage below. 

San Antonio Express-News: UIW football focused on finishing during march toward 2021 season

"Reflecting on the past two seasons of Incarnate Word football, coach Eric Morris flags one missing element above all others. As Morris works toward the start of his fourth season, he said the Cardinals have “no excuses,” boasting the most depth and experience of any roster during his tenure. Looking to return to the heights the program reached with a Southland Conference title during Morris’ first season, UIW is focused on a one-word mantra: 'Finish.'"

Read the full story from the San Antonio Express-News

News 4 San Antonio: UIW football hosts media day

"It was media day on Monday at Incarnate Word. The Cardinals just wrapped up a shortened spring season a couple of months ago. After a hot 3-0 start, they ended up losing their last three games. They've decided to adopt the term 'finish' as the motto for their fall camp."



Project Uplift: My Motivation

Participants of Project Uplift stand side by side for a photo

Young women from San Antonio and virtual participants from Kenya and Uganda participated in the inaugural Project Uplift: My Motivation on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the UIW Broadway campus. The focus this year was finding personal motivation for returning to school. Participants completed a community service activity and engaged in meaningful dialogue about gratitude, the importance of civic engagement, and the significance of family culture and history that lives through our names.

Participants were also invited to apply for the 2021-2022 Young Women’s Global Leadership Program for the opportunity to be mentored by female leaders from diverse fields and backgrounds. For more information on applying, please contact Dr. Joan Labay-Marquez at or (210) 283-6429, or the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability at

Cardinal Corner

Cardinal Textbook Assistance Program Names First Recipient

Three people stand together for a photoThe Student Alumni & Philanthropy Association and the UIW Bookstore named undergraduate student Chloe Chavez (right), the inaugural recipient of the Cardinal Textbook Assistance Program. Chavez is currently majoring in Marketing and Management and is expected to graduate in Fall 2022. 

The Cardinal Textbook Assistance Program covers a full semester of books for one deserving full-time student. The program will be accepting applications from main campus undergraduate students each semester. 

Congratulations, Chloe! 

Alumni and Parent Relations

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Eloisa Tamez '68

A headshot of Dr. Eloisa TamezDr. Eloisa Tamez, BSN '68, professor of Nursing at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is a newly appointed member of a national advisory board to aid veterans. 

Tamez, who is a veteran and a former chief nurse executive at various Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, will serve on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation. This committee is intended to provide advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on establishing and supervising a schedule to conduct periodic reviews of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. 

Congratulations, Dr. Tamez!

Welcome Message from UIW Alumni Association President

UIW Alumni Association President Dr. Chris Alvarado welcomes our newest Cardinals to the Nest during Freshman Move-In Day! Watch his message below. 


UIW football home game theme nights announced

The UIW football team runs onto the field

The University of the Incarnate Word football team has set its home game theme schedule for the 2021 season. Fans can purchase season tickets for as low as $115 at The Cardinals Ticket Center or by calling the UIW ticketing office at (210) 805-3000.

Sept. 11 vs Prairie View A&M – First Responder Appreciation Night – 7 p.m.

The Cardinals' first home game pays homage to an American day of remembrance. This game will recognize and thank our first responders for their heroic contributions and sacrifices for our communities. Wear black to the game and match the team's all-black uniform during the only home night game on the schedule.

Sept. 25 vs McNeese – Community Appreciation Day – 11 a.m.

UIW is proud to be an integral part of our surrounding neighborhoods. Join us for family-friendly activities, community recognitions and great giveaways.

Oct. 16 vs Nicholls – Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Day – 11 a.m.

In celebration of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month (mid-September through mid-October), the Cardinals will recognize the diversity, contributions and influence of Latinx and Hispanic cultures.

Oct. 30 vs Houston Baptist – Homecoming – 3 p.m.

UIW welcomes alumni back to campus for a day of spirit, nostalgia and camaraderie. UIW Athletics will recognize the UIW Alumni Association, our athletic alumni, the homecoming court, and will highlight successes from across the decades.

Nov. 6. vs Southeastern Louisiana – Military Appreciation Game – 2 p.m.

The Cardinals are proud to be in the heart of Military City U.S.A. During this game, UIW Athletics will recognize and honor our military members in San Antonio and on our campus. The Cardinals will also celebrate the Senior Day and the student-athletes who are preparing to graduate.

Purchasing season tickets is the best way to experience these themed festivities. Fans can upgrade their game day experience by adding a Cardinals Club membership.

Women's soccer picked to finish 2nd in Southland Conference Preseason Poll

The women's soccer team gathers in a team huddle

The University of the Incarnate Word women's soccer team was selected to finish second in the 2021 Southland Conference Preseason Poll, announced the league office. The Cardinals tied with Northwestern State for the second spot in that preseason ranking.

The Cardinals had a SLC record of 5-3-3 (6-5-3 overall) in the shortened Spring 2021 season, earning a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament for the second consecutive season.

Since Head Coach Emma Wright-Cates took over the program in 2018, the Cardinals have jumped up in the Southland Conference standings. The team posted the program's best record (7-4) in 2019, putting UIW in fourth place.

The Cardinals have their home opener against Texas State on Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. Admission for all home games is free.

2021 volleyball preseason all-conference team

Headshots Jacqueline Arrington and Bethany ClappTwo University of the Incarnate Word volleyball student-athletes were named to the preseason all-conference soccer team, announced the Southland Conference.

Senior Bethany Clapp was named to the first team. During the 2021 Spring season, Clapp recorded six double-doubles. She had a season-high 29 kills and 27 digs against Abilene Christian. Clapp led the team in kills (197), digs (134) and service aces (11).

Sophomore Jacqueline Arrington was named to the second team. In her first year playing collegiate volleyball, Arrington racked up 77 kills over in 12 matches. She had double-digit kills twice, against Abilene Christian (11 on Feb. 4) and Texas A&M- Corpus Christi (10 on Feb. 25). Arrington also led UIW in blocks with 35 on the season.

The Cardinals open their season on Aug. 27 when they travel to Abilene, Texas, for the Abilene Christian Invitational. The Cardinals face UT Arlington twice (Aug. 27 and Aug. 28) and Abilene Christian once (Aug. 28) in the tournament.

Fans can now buy single game and group tickets for all home games this season. Tickets can be purchased at The Cardinal Ticket Center or by calling the UIW Ticket Office at (210) 805-3000.


COVID-19 On-Campus Testing

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. Updated COVID-19 guidance will continue to be shared in the coming weeks. Below you will find links to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test on one of UIW's campuses. 

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)