The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - September 24, 2021


Cardinals secure historic win against Texas State

Football athletes compete in a game

The University of the Incarnate Word football team secured its biggest win in program history on Saturday, Sept. 18, traveling to FBS opponent Texas State and walking away with a 42-34 victory in front of more than 16,000 fans, many of whom were cheering for the Cardinals. 

"This was a big win for our program,” said UIW Head Coach Eric Morris. “I'm so proud of how hard our kids fought. We were locked in and executed at a high level. We stressed all year long ‘finish, finish, finish,’ and you saw it there. We celebrated the win, but we got right back to work and are excited to start conference play.” 

“I was fired up for Coach Morris and the team to get this win,” added Richard Duran, UIW athletic director. “This shows not only our Cardinal fans, but the entire nation, that UIW can compete on a higher level. The team showed grit and heart. They fought until the end, and I couldn’t have been happier to celebrate with them.” 

The Cardinals are in their 13th year of competition and have played at the Division I level for the last nine seasons. Throughout the years, UIW has faced a FBS opponent seven times, with five of those events occurring since Morris took the reins in 2018. In one of the first competitions against a FBS foe, the 2016 Cardinals lost to Texas State (48-17). The most recent matchup had a different feeling. The game featured seven lead changes before the Cardinals took control in the fourth quarter.

UIW’s offensive charge was led by QB Cameron Ward (the reigning National Freshman of the Year), who threw the ball for 376 yards and four touchdowns, and receiver Robert Ferrel, who had 132 yards and caught two touchdown passes. Defensively, Kelechi Anyalebechi had 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. 

After trailing at the start of the game, UIW scored back-to-back touchdowns, one a five-yard rush by running back Kevin Brown and the other a 32-yard pass from Ward to Ferrel, giving the Cardinals a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The game went back and forth from there. 

UIW came out of the half trailing, but immediately opened the game with a huge defensive stop, followed by a quick score off a nine-yard rush by running back Marcus Cooper. In the fourth quarter, Ward found Darion Chafin in the end zone, giving UIW a lead it would not give up.

Trailing by 11, the Bobcats elected to kick a field goal with 58 seconds left, bringing the score to 42-34 in favor of the Cardinals. Texas State then tried an onside kick, but Ferrel recovered the ball and returned it for 13 yards, allowing UIW to line up in victory formation against a FBS program for the first time in program history. 

Cardinal fans celebrated at the game and online, sharing their enthusiasm after the big win. 

UIW opens Southland Conference action on Saturday against McNeese. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. (CT), with gates opening at 10 a.m. Tailgating begins at 6 a.m.  

Get tickets

Read coverage from the San Antonio Express-News


Nursing hosts Sr. Charles Marie Frank Endowed Lecture

A headshot of Dr. SwanThe Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions hosted the Sr. Charles Marie Frank Endowed Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 21, in the McCombs Center Rosenberg Skyroom. Dr. Beth Ann Swan, professor, associate dean, and vice president for Academic Practice Partnerships at Emory University (left), was the featured lecturer. Swan’s focus was on strengthening professional nursing education to effectively lead care in ambulatory settings – an area where nurses are not always present. There will be an increasing need for RNs to assume roles that influence physical and behavioral care in a range of community agencies. This will only increase post-COVID, and as providers seek to transition many former in-patient services to the local areas. Nurses must be educated to promote safe, cost-effective, high-quality, patient-centered care in these settings.

A poster symposium presented by students pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree preceded the lecture. The winners of the poster symposium and their topics were: 

  • Elena Rodrigue (Family Nurse Practitioner concentration) - “Formalizing a High-Risk OB Monitoring Program: Focusing on Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy” 
  • Vanessa Cotton (Leadership concentration) - “Pre-Admission Patient Education for a Prostatectomy Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Pathway” 
  • Teresa L. Woodson (Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration) - “Interprofessional Fall Prevention Program to Reduce Fall Rates on an Older Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit” 

"The Doctoral Nursing students presented award-winning projects that improved the healthcare of patients in a multitude of settings," said Dr. Jean Dols, professor of Nursing. "Their work serves to inspire future nurses and nurse leaders. While awards could only be given to three student posters, each doctoral nursing student developed and A headshot of Sr. Charles Marie Frank implemented a project that positively impacted a practice setting in our community. Several of the nursing faculty also presented their outstanding research projects. The nursing faculty has designed research projects that are improving nursing’s ability to implement evidence-based practice and improve the health of the community. It was our privilege to see some of these research projects at the SCMF Annual Symposium."

Sr. Charles Marie Frank, a member of the founding Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, earned one of the first bachelor’s degrees in Nursing during the late 1930s and was pivotal in establishing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, along with certification as a registered nurse, as the standard for professional nursing. She served as the nursing division director at UIW (then Incarnate Word College) and the nursing building bears her name. 

Recent Dreeben grad earns teaching honor

Yesenia embraces her students

“I wasn’t expecting this. I am just overwhelmed with so many emotions. This year has been stressful as a first-year teacher, but I wouldn’t change anything. It’s all been worth it.”

Visibly stunned and wiping away confetti, it was smiles and tears that came much more easily than words to Yesenia Covarrubias. The first-year teacher at Walzem Elementary in the Northeast Independent School District was greeted with a surprise celebration on the morning of Wednesday, September 22, 2021 after being named the 2020-21 Texas Clinical Teacher of the Year.

Covarrubias, who graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in May of 2021, was celebrated in her classroom by a group of her fellow educators and a contingent from UIW that included Dr. Denise Staudt, dean of the Dreeben School of Education and the UIW Cardinal Mascot, Red. But it was the chance to celebrate with her students that meant the most to Covarrubias.

A group of people stand together for a photo“I love their minds,” says Covarrubias. “[I love] just opening that up and watching them succeed, not only academically, but emotionally, and being with them every step of the way. To me, that is what it is all about: to have a relationship with them.”

“I am more proud of Yesenia than words can articulate,” says Staudt. “Not only did she receive this prestigious award, but her outstanding teaching skills were recognized during unprecedented circumstances where teachers were holding classes online. I am honored to have a UIW clinical teacher win this award, and I know that Ms. Covarrubias is headed for great success in her teaching career.”

According to the Texas Directors of Field Experience, the Texas Clinical Teacher of the Year award recognizes clinical teachers who have demonstrated, during his or her clinical teaching experience, an outstanding ability to plan and develop a repertoire of classroom management skills and instructional strategies that support the needs and curriculum of all students. Also, that they have established effective interpersonal relationships with students, parents, faculty, and staff.

It is those relationships that Covarrubias says she cherishes the most.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me,” says Covarrubias. “All my teachers from the past and all my professors from UIW, my family, my friends. I would not be able to do it without you. Teachers can make a huge impact. I know they made a big impact on my life.” 

Students Attend American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) SCALE National Student Summit

A large group of people gathered together

Adam Nash, assistant professor of Interior Design, along with senior Interior Design students Jennifer Salyer and Madeline Schultz, recently attended the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) SCALE National Student Summit in Washington, D.C.    

Interior Design students from around the United States convened in D.C. for three days and explored potential career options, heard thought leader presentations, toured architecture and interior design offices, and received one-on-one feedback from interior designers at some of the nation’s largest architecture and design firms. At the conclusion of the event, Salyer and Schultz returned home feeling inspired and empowered to take on their futures in interior design.    

With an emphasis on environment and behavior, the design process and the latest technology, the UIW Interior Design program offers rigorous degree programs that prepare students to stand out in a dynamic and competitive field. Whether designing interiors of homes, commercial spaces, healthcare facilities, schools, hotels or restaurants, or managing the business and retail side of the design industry, students find the support and training they need to pursue their career aspirations.

Mission and Ministry

Heritage Week Events

A sculpture of a crossHeritage Day Remembering Ceremony - Cemetery Ritual

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 8 a.m. (Zoom)

Each year, the University of the Incarnate Word celebrates Heritage Week. This is a time to pause and reflect on the communal call of the University flowing from “Our Lord Jesus Christ suffering.” The legacy of the past informs who we are now and invites us to contemplate the future.   

Register for the Zoom link here

Presentation on Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love (Pope Francis, 2016) 

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 4:30 p.m. (SEC 2051 and 2052)  

As part of Heritage Week, Fr. Roger Keeler, professor of Theology at the Oblate School of Theology, will offer an overview of Pope Francis’ exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, its history, and its unique place in the species of pontifical writing.

Heritage Day Mass

Thursday, Oct. 7, Noon (Our Lady's Chapel)

You are cordially invited to participate in our 2021 Heritage Day Mass on Thursday, Oct. 7, at noon in Our Lady’s Chapel. This will be a hybrid presentation with limited in-person seating and livestreamed via Zoom.   

Our Heritage Day Mass is an opportunity to remember with gratitude the foundation of the University by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and to recommit ourselves to our Mission values. Links to register for either in-person attendance or for Zoom can be found at our UMM Registration site.

Drama of Mother St. Pierre

Thursday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m. (Cavendar Westgate)

Born May 22, 1845 in Beaujeu, France, Jeanne Cinquin received the religious habit at the monastery of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament (Lyon, France) in 1868 and was given the name of Sister St. Pierre of the Passion. She left France in October 1868 for a new mission in Galveston, Texas. Just a few months after arriving in Galveston, she was sent to San Antonio to open a new hospital to tend to the victims of the cholera epidemic. At the same time, she was given the responsibility of establishing the new foundation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio. She served the Congregation as a superior and spiritual leader until her death in 1891. This special drama will be presented for the UIW family.

Monthly Memorial Mass and More

A church steeple and trees

September Memorial Mass

As has been our custom for many years, once a month we remember our recently departed alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends, family, Incarnate Word Sisters and benefactors of the Incarnate Word family during our Sunday Eucharist in Our Lady's Chapel. The experience of loss within our own University community – especially in this last year – has made these communal remembrances even more necessary and important. Through our prayers and care for one another, we become a stronger and more united community. 

We welcome you to send in the names of any recently departed loved ones or friends that you wish to be remembered at our next Memorial Mass.

Registration links for in-person (limited seating) or virtual attendance via Zoom for this liturgy may be found on our UMM Event Registration site.

For more information, please contact Brenda Dimas, (210) 829-3128 or email

Faith Formation Opportunities - The Bible in a Year Study Groups, Confirmation Classes, and More

University Mission and Ministry invites students, faculty, and staff to form Bible Study groups using the Ascension Press Bible in a Year Podcast, hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz. A survey was created to identify when individuals are available to meet and who would like to serve as group facilitators. Once your information is gathered, groups will be matched with same days and times. Please complete the survey here. If you would like to facilitate a group, please indicate so in the survey. 

In addition to Bible Study, we are offering other opportunities for faith formation such as confirmation classes. For more information, complete the Faith Formation Interest Form here.

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

UIW Provost Joins World Affairs Council of San Antonio for Big Give Local COVID Hero Panel

A headshot of Dr. Barbara Aranda-NaranjoDr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, UIW chief academic officer and provost, was one of three members on San Antonio’s 2021 Big Give Local COVID Hero panel. She was invited by World Affairs Council of San Antonio CEO Mr. Armen Babajanian to share insight from her role as provost in managing the pandemic with the University community of faculty, staff and students. 

Comprised of Aranda-Naranjo; Jennifer Milton, University of Texas Transplant Institute Chief Administrative Officer and University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio director of transplantation; and Dr. Raquel Cruz Bono, retired Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy, former director of the Defense Health Agency and current Chief Health Officer for Viking Cruises, the panel addressed the COVID-19 pandemic challenges through the eyes of three front-line health administrators. 

When asked to share her thoughts on how the University has evolved throughout the pandemic, Dr. Aranda-Naranjo shared that at a time when the city was in need, UIW was able to rise to the occasion to offer support in navigating the crisis. Unable to immediately meet the rising demand for contact tracing, the city's health department worked with the University to utilize its existing healthcare infrastructure and experts to conduct contact tracing internally and share any data with the department, a practice that continues today. UIW also provided space at its medical school for more city-hired contract tracers to conduct their important work mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Beyond those efforts, she also shared UIW's holistic approach to helping students and employees who struggled to cope with the "mental anguish" brought on by the crisis. 

"What was important to us was not only ensuring that we didn't get a spread on our campus," explained Aranda-Naranjo, "but also the mental health and the spiritual needs of our families, and embracing that culture so that we would be able to support the total person." 

“The program went well and was very informative,” she later shared. “The public needs to hear the challenges, successes and hopes of clinicians and administrators managing and leading their communities through private-public partnerships as they meet the challenges COVID has placed on every sector of our country and world.” 

Chartered in 1982, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio is a non-profit, non-partisan organization which strives "to promote public understanding of world affairs and U.S. foreign policy and to enhance the ability of its citizens and future leaders to participate in a global community."

Service and Volunteerism shine bright at the 2021 Light the Way Volunteer Days

A student works on a strand of Christmas lightsComing into UIW's SEC Ballroom from the sweltering Texas heat in the middle of September, one expects to be greeted with AC and the noisy bustle of students, not Christmas carols and twinkling lights! But this past week, at least in the SEC Ballroom, Christmas came early to the Cardinal Community.  

For four days, the UIW community, students, faculty and staff, volunteered their time and energy to the time-honored tradition of light bulb maintenance in preparation of the Light the Way festivities, coming up on November 20. These dedicated volunteers painstakingly reviewed hundreds of thousands of light bulbs for imperfections, cracks, or fades, replacing those that were found to be broken or missing. The volume of work that was completed was impressive, with every single available strand of lights were collected and processed, but it was the diversity in the volunteers and their spirit that made these volunteer days remarkable. The hands that deftly welded pliers to remove a bulb or that untangled a strand of lights with ease could have belonged to an athlete, a musician, an artist, an honors student, a teacher, an alum, a coach, or a Sister. Saturday, the most well-attended day, buzzed with activity and jovial banter, mostly from student-athletes and their coaches.

"We had alumni here that brought their families, student-athletes that were with us in between practices, commuter students that specifically came to help because its become a tradition for them, and then we had these freshmen volunteers that are blazing through these strands of lights," recalled Meghan Kuentz, event organizer. "Two freshmen in particular inadvertently pitted themselves against the other in a lighthearted competition to see who could complete the most strands. At the end of the day, each young woman had completed 42 strands of lights, and reviewed over 4,200 bulbs."

By the end of the event on Saturday, the volunteers had processed all of the lights from previous years. This pace and fervor were matched by the students who gathered during the week to continue the efforts. During a pause in the activity, Kuentz noted that the volunteers sat idle because they had run out of light strands.

"They are working at a much faster pace than what was expected, so at the moment we are just wait for more supplies," she explained. "It’s a great sign that we are on the right track!"

Ultimately the volunteer days ended early, after the volunteers accomplished a singular goal – processing every single foot of Christmas lights on campus.

Since its inception 35 years ago, Light the Way has grown and become a landmark event on campus and in the community, becoming the "unofficial official" beginning of the Christmas season in San Antonio. From the beginning, it has relied on collaboration and community efforts to be successful, and the showing of service and volunteerism at this week’s volunteer days were not lost on the campus community.

“These events have shown how amazing our community is," marveled Kuentz. "Our University was founded based on a profound dedication to service, and these students and volunteers are continuing this legacy. It might seem lofty to say that about replacing light bulbs, but this feeds into the larger goal of Light the Way, which is to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and to herald a time of joy for everyone. That’s what they did here; they gave their time and effort to ensure the University of the Incarnate Word can continue to light the way for the community.”

Read the Express-News story

Employees Come Together to Support Students

This week, UIW launched the annual Employee Campaign, a month-long initiative that provides employees with the opportunity to support students and the programs that benefit them. The campaign brings the UIW family together as faculty and staff combine their efforts to chart the course for a brighter future for our students through donations. Gifts nurture the philanthropic spirit of UIW and enhance quality to build on UIW's standard of excellence. It is never about the size of the gift, but the power of the combined efforts of faculty, staff and administration together. Every gift makes a difference in shaping the professional and personal lives of our students. 

The campaign officially kicked off on Tuesday, Sept. 21, with celebrations that included “grab-n-go” lunches for employees at various UIW locations, including the Feik School of Pharmacy, the Rosenberg School of Optometry (Datapoint and Bowden), the School of Physical Therapy, the School of Professional Studies and the School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Employees hold their grab-n-go lunch

“The Employee Campaign is one of my favorite initiatives here at UIW," said Ana Bribiesca Hoff, director of Individual Giving. “I just love watching all our employees come together in the spirit of giving to make a difference for our students. Employee teams get really competitive to see which areas can achieve the highest rates of participation. We always stress that every gift matters, no matter what size. The real gift is participating to make a statement that we want to do whatever we can to help our students.”

Learn more about the Employee Campaign


Interior Design Gives Back

Students pose in front of a house under construction

Under the direction of Judy Ruvuna, assistant professor of Interior Design, students from UIW's Construction and Details class, along with the Advanced CADD (computer-aided drafting and design) and Architectural Drawing student volunteers, volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity building project on Saturday, Sept. 18. Bridging the gap between the theoretical and the practical, students in the Construction and Details course are introduced to building construction, building systems and how the specific details of each are formally communicated. Students apply building standards to design work begun in other interior design classes to understand the continual changes necessary in the design process as a project moves from theoretical to practical. The course also requires a service learning element.

The group started the day building the foundation of the house and then worked on raising the walls and painting the trim. The Habitat build was coordinated with the help of Fred Wall, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. 

Cardinal Corner

Hispanic Heritage Month: Love for family, music and UIW

“UIW is a school that feels like home.”

Ambar Valtierra and her familyAmbar Valtierra, a senior in UIW’s Music Therapy program, moved to Houston from San Antonio at age two. After attending two other higher education schools before becoming a Cardinal, she is happy to be back home in the Alamo City and at UIW.

“The beautiful trees surrounding campus, the old buildings and small classrooms are so inviting,” Valtierra said. “I’m happy to be spending the rest of my college career here.”

A soon-to-be first-generation college graduate, Valtierra works hard so she can make her family proud. Outside of her music mentors, her parents, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico, are her biggest role models.

Valtierra was born to a family that has music in their blood. Her father has always been a good singer, and his father played guitar and sang in a mariachi band. Although Valtierra has always enjoyed music, her interest blossomed as she grew up.

“I really took a strong interest in music after joining band in middle school, and then even more at 18 when I started teaching myself guitar,” said Valtierra. “I was always interested in guitar, but I didn’t actually start learning until after high school because I was more focused on school, band and sports.”

Valtierra started college as a pre-med student who loved music. While teaching herself guitar during her freshman year, she realized how much music meant to her outside of participating in the school band. When she learned that she could combine her love of music with health professions through Music Therapy, she knew that was what she wanted to do.

“Marching band was a huge part of my life in high school, but I couldn’t see myself as a band director so I didn’t consider a music-related career at first,” said Valtierra. “However, after reading about music therapy and seeing how it’s basically music working in health care, I knew that was the path for me.”

Valtierra feels fortunate that UIW was one of the few schools in Texas that offered her chosen major. The University also had another thing Valtierra loved – she quickly joined the Marching Cardinals.

Ambar Valtierra plays the cymbals

“Being in the Marching Cardinals enhances my time in college by giving a sense of importance while offering that familiarity of marching band, and immersing me into the school spirit of the band,” commented Valtierra.

Since becoming a Cardinal, Valtierra appreciates how helpful the Music faculty have been. An excellent student who does well in her classes, she acknowledges that the support she has from her teachers and band director, Dr. Brett Richardson, are important for her overall growth.

“The Music faculty is very helpful. Dr. Richardson is always available and ready to answer questions and assist with any issues,” said Valtierra. “Also, my professors in the Music Therapy department are always going above and beyond to help us. Outside of class lectures, they give examples and speak from personal experience of when they were in our shoes.”

Learning from professors who have been there helps Valtierra grow in her knowledge of the field. A talented musician in her own right, she shows great potential in Music Therapy, an area she sees as helping the whole person.

“The power of music, not just holistically, but in the health profession through therapy, is astounding,” said Valtierra. “It helps people recover from brain injuries and physical impairments, aids in mental health, and much more. It’s not just an emotional tool. It can yield tangible results, physically and mentally.”

Valtierra is looking forward to proudly calling herself an alumna of UIW and is excited to see how the Music Therapy program continues to grow. She hopes to be the type of student who professors can use as an example of how much is possible after graduating from the music program, and she is planning to pursue a career as a board-certified music therapist working with people with disabilities.

As she works to achieve these goals, her family remains her biggest inspiration. 

“I look up to my parents who have supported me every step of the way in my college career,” said Valtierra. “They came to the U.S. with very little and worked hard to provide my sisters and I with so much, and I want to make them proud as I give back to others through something that I love.”

Alumni and Parents

Two UIW alumnae named Top C-Suite Executives by the San Antonio Business Journal

A collage of headshots of Dr. Petty and Jim Beechner

Two UIW alumni were named Top C-Suite Executives by the San Antonio Business Journal last month. Kim Beechner ‘10, ’15 (right), and Dr. Keely Petty, ’94 (left), were two of the 20 honorees selected by the journal.

The prestigious award recognizes outstanding CEOs and other C-level executives who demonstrate exceptional leadership in the San Antonio community.

Kim Beechner – CEO of Embark Marketing 

Beechner is the founder and CEO of Embark Marketing, a Texas based, digital marketing agency specializing in the food and beverage industry. An experienced professional in the food and service industry, Beechner started Embark Marketing more than 10 years ago.  

“It was an honor to be selected by the San Antonio Business Journal for their 2021 C-Suite Awards,” said Beechner. “There were so many incredible recipients and I felt proud to stand beside them to represent both our community of business leaders and the University of Incarnate Word.” 

When the agency was in its early stages, Beechner worked with UIW’s MBA Capstone class, exploring ways to grow the business. A group of MBA students was assigned to consult with and develop a strategy for Beechner and Embark Marketing. The team in Dr. David Vequist's Capstone course researched and worked with Beechner, discussing the current business processes as well as future goals. During the final presentation, the consulting group recommended that Beechner focus her business primarily on the food and beverage industry, a strategy that has since paid off. 

Vequist remembers Beechner as student enrolled in his undergraduate Business Capstone class as well. He recalls that she stood out even then, because she was so “engaged, committed, fierce, hard-working and not at all reluctant to develop herself day after day.” 

“Having students like that makes you feel very blessed and fills your heart with joy,” said Vequist. “In addition, it gives you this rush of internal energy to work harder to try and inspire even more young people." 

For the last 10 years, Embark Marketing has continued to grow, and Beechner’s reputation has spread well beyond San Antonio.  

“I am so very proud to have been part of and witness to UIW students helping fellow students to have better lives and create a meaningful impact in their communities,” said Vequist. “Kim is another incredible example of the excellent leaders we produce out of the H-E-B School of Business and Administration.” 

“I feel that attending UIW for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees provided me the foundation that was needed to achieve success in both running my business operational, and providing clients valuable marketing services,” added Beechner.  

Dr. Keeley Petty – CEO of Kick-Start your Life 

Dr. Keeley Petty is the CEO of Kick-Start Your Life where she is a certified life coach, cognitive behavior therapist, temperament counselor, community health worker, certified mental health coach, recovery coach, and a substance abuse prevention training specialist. Petty has a stellar reputation as an empowerment specialist, transformational innovative thinker, and a life strategist. She graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word with her bachelor’s degree in Communications and continued her education by earning a master’s and doctoral degree in Christian Counseling.

Dr. Petty has received numerous awards for her transformative volunteer and community work from The San Antonio Business Journal Women's Leadership Award, and the Unsung Hero Spirit of Giving Award, and C-Suite. The San Antonio Women's Chamber of Commerce, TOP Ladies of Distinction Community Service, Public Relations Society of America, and has received honors from Texas Governor Greg Abbot for her community impact, and has served as Commissioner on San Antonio's Mayors Commission on the Status of Women, a L'Oreal Paris Woman of Worth nominated, and is on the Board of the Global Chamber San Antonio, and the Center For Health Care Foundation Board. She has served as Chair of the San Antonio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission where San Antonio hosts the largest march in the nation with 375,000 marchers.

Her company's "strategy sessions are a positive and energetic approach that help clients solve problems, as well as spark ideas, innovative goal setting, and measurable markers that help you live the life you want."

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments, UIW alumni! 

See all the honorees

REDTalk: Matthew Occhipinti, ’15

A headshot of Matthew OcchipintiJoin us for our next REDTalk on Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 5:30 p.m. as we welcome Matthew Occhipinti, ’15, financial advisor and Growth and Development director at Northwestern Mutual.

His presentation will focus on why the concept of sales is seen as a negative profession coming out of college, shifting from a corporate to an entrepreneurial mindset, and how to keep sales taboo and profitable.   

Occhipinti began his career with Northwestern Mutual as a college intern in 2014 while working on his MBA at UIW. Upon graduating, he continued to build his financial services practice as a full-time financial advisor. He is licensed in life, health, disability, and long-term care insurance, and was named the youngest Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Estate Planner in Texas. 

In addition to growing his practice, Occhipinti plays a key role in the leadership team of the Northwestern Mutual - San Antonio office. He started off in 2015 as a college unit director, leading the San Antonio office to back-to-back top 10 nationwide finishes.  

The presentation will be streamed live on the @UIWAlumni Facebook page and YouTube channel, UIW Alumni Relations.  

Homecoming and Tailgate Reminders

"UIW Homecoming" projected on the Administration BuildingUIW Homecoming: October 28 - 31

Registration for UIW Homecoming is now open! This year, the Department of Alumni and Parent Relations is excited to welcome all of our UIW Alumni back to the Nest for in-person festivities for the first time since 2019. Old and new traditions will be celebrated! All alumni, from from the Incarnate Word College-era to our most recent Cardinal graduates, are welcome to the festivities. This year we also celebrate the Class of 1971 for their 50th Anniversary Class Reunion, which included some of the first gentlemen to graduate from the Incarnate Word family with undergraduate degrees.

Register for homecoming events

Alumni Tailgate

Join your UIW Alumni and Parent Association for a Cardinal-style tailgate on Saturday, Sept. 25, as UIW Football gets ready to take on McNeese State in our first Southland Conference game of the season!

Our tailgate will begin at 9 a.m. near the bronze Cardinal statue and the ticket kiosk (spots 26-28). Admission is only $5 per person and includes food and beverages (while supplies last)!

Purchase your UIW Alumni tailgate tickets here now!

Please note, game tickets are not included and   can be purchased here


Men's Basketball Releases 21-22 Schedule

The men's basketball team in a huddle

The University of the Incarnate Word aims to educate men and women who will become concerned and enlightened citizens within the global community during and beyond their academic career. This can be accomplished via leadership opportunities, service learning experiences and engagement in one’s global community to support and address the needs of those that are poor, sick, voiceless and in need.

The University of the Incarnate Word men's basketball program announced its 2021-22 schedule. The Cardinals will host their season opener at home against Texas State on Nov. 9. 

Following Texas State, UIW will play Baylor (away) and Concordia (at home) before traveling to South Padre Island for the Battle on the Beach against Texas Tech. After Thanksgiving, the Cardinals host a multi-team event against Southeast Missouri State, Montana State and Portland. Compelling matchups continue from that point. 

"We are excited about the mighty tests our 2021-22 slate presents,” said UIW head coach Carson Cunningham. “At home, we open against the 2020-21 Sun Belt champions, the Texas State Bobcats, and host a formidable Thanksgiving weekend round-robin, and much more. Our schedule will take us to the capital of modern farmhouse design to play the recent national champion Baylor Bears and to the beautiful shores of South Padre to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Big Ten's fiercest home floor awaits us just before Christmas and the powerful Longhorns just after. Other challenges abound.” 

The Southland Conference plans to hold its inaugural Pre-Conference Tournament in Katy, Texas, before the league begins conference play.  

During SLC action, the Cardinals are slated to play each of the other seven SLC teams twice. 

"The Southland Conference portion of our schedule should be a dandy. We hope our fans are as pumped up as we are to get after it," said Cunningham. 

See the Cardinals' full schedule

Ward Named Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week

Cam Ward throws a footballFollowing his performance in the game against Texas State, Cameron Ward was named Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Ward completed 66 percent (31-for-47) of his passes for a season-high 376 yards and four touchdowns in the 42-34 win over Texas State. This is his second career Offensive Player of the Week award. 

In the third quarter, Ward led a pair of touchdown drives, completing 11-of-13 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Over his last seven games dating back to the spring season, he is averaging 364 pass yards per game with 27 touchdowns and just three interceptions. 


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. 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)