The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - October 2, 2020


UIW Expands Footprint at Brooks

A UIWSOM faculty member delivers a lesson to studentsThe University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) has taken the next step toward the establishment of a major medical campus in the traditionally medically underserved community on the South Side of San Antonio. The University announced it has purchased four buildings on the Brooks Campus that are the current home of the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine. The University also purchased three additional adjacent buildings to facilitate the expansion of the University’s other health professions programs which are currently located in various parts of the city.

“As we look forward to the future, the acquisition of these seven buildings is a major step forward both in our long-term plans for UIW and our service to San Antonio,” said University President Thomas M. Evans, PhD. “This is a move truly inspired by our founders, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, who continually look for ways to serve the underserved and improve the health and well-being of all. We live that mission and we believe the continued economic growth of San Antonio’s South Side is well worth the investment.”

“Just as UIW's Broadway campus is steeped in sacred history, Brooks is as well,” says Dr. Robyn Phillips-Madson, dean, UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine. “To be located at the former US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine which was dedicated by JFK the day before his assassination, and where so many flight surgeons were trained, and space and medical related discoveries took place, is an honor. To partner with the Brooks Development team and all of the people and businesses who work, live, play and learn in this dynamic part of San Antonio is a privilege. And to serve this vibrant and deserving community is a blessing.”

The exterior of the UIW School of Osteopathic MedicineThe expansion means that UIW will now occupy seven buildings covering 23.5 acres at Brooks totaling 265,000 square feet of building space. This acquisition of land and buildings solidifies the importance of the UIW Brooks Campus as a fundamental piece of the University’s long-term Campus Master Plan. Furthermore, it continues to strengthen the UIIW commitment to the underserved South Side of San Antonio, again elevating UIW ministries of education and health care to the next level.

The purchase of the Brooks property comes just over a year since UIW purchased the historic 10-acre landmark building and property at 4119 Broadway which is now known as Founders Hall. Meanwhile, the University continues to move forward with the Campus Master Plan that includes the redevelopment and renovation of buildings on the Broadway Campus starting with the Township Apartments which are set to open this month and the historic Dubuis Residence Hall, which will reopen for students in the Fall of 2021.


UIW Feik School of Pharmacy Receives National Award in Diversity

A patch on a white coat sleeve with the UIW seal

The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) Feik School of Pharmacy (FSOP) received the 2020 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, FSOP will be featured, along with 45 other recipients, in the December 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. 

“I am very proud of the school being selected for the 2020 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award,” says Dr. David Maize, dean of the Feik School of Pharmacy. “Our mission at the Feik School of Pharmacy is to advance healthcare in diverse populations. The first step in meeting that mission is to educate a diverse group of student pharmacists, and this award recognizes our efforts.”

Among its many accomplishments in the area of diversity and inclusion, the Feik School of Pharmacy graduated the largest number of Hispanic pharmacists in the continental US in 2018. For the 2019-2020 academic year, 76% of FSOP students are from a minority population and the school is home to the first student chapter nationwide of the National Hispanic Pharmacists Association.

In addition, FSOP has a two-course Spanish-language sequence built into the curriculum and required of all students. This will result in graduates being able to use basic patient counseling skills in Spanish to better serve patients.

“The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, and best practices for both, continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

The Feik School of Pharmacy was just one of three pharmacy schools in the nation to receive the prestigious HEED Award. 

UIW Professor Publishes "Rate My Professor" Study in Social Psychology of Education

A headshot of Dr. Stefanie BoswellDr. Kevin Vichcales, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, is pleased to announce the recent publication of faculty research from Dr. Stefanie S. Boswell, professor of Psychology. 

Dr. Boswell and co-author, Sara L. Sohr-Preston, published their work "I checked the prof on ratemyprofessors: effect of anonymous, online student evaluations of professors on students’ self-efficacy and expectations," in the Social Psychology of Education. Read the publication's abstract below:

Little is known about the effects of teaching evaluations relative to university-administered teaching evaluations in students. Therefore, this study investigated differences in use and consideration of these evaluation sources. It also investigated the effects of evaluation source, evaluation valence (mostly positive or mostly negative), and their interaction on students’ decision making, self-efficacy for a course, and expectations about academic outcomes. Participants were 223 undergraduates who viewed either mostly positive or mostly negative teaching evaluations about a fictitious professor and were told that were from either university-administered teaching evaluations or Evaluation valence, but not source, affected participants’ decision making, self-efficacy, and expectations about the professor’s course. Implications for student self-efficacy and expectations are discussed. Additionally, recommendations for students who choose to use to inform their course decision making are provided. 

Beyond the Numbers: Finance Course Tackles Life's Big Questions

An instructor holds up signs with finance terms

A finance course at the H-E-B School of Business and Administration is going beyond the numbers and seeking to answer some of life's more meaningful questions. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? 

Unlike most finance courses, Personal Financial Planning (BFIN 3310) is not numbers driven. Instead, students are given the opportunity through writing assignments to identify and explore their inner motivations and personal strengths. With this knowledge in hand, students develop a plan to accomplish their life goals using the tools of personal financial planning. 

Associate Professor of Finance Dr. Tim Griesdorn, who teaches the course, says its value extends beyond just business students. In fact, Personal Financial Planning has no prerequisites and is open to all UIW students. 

"BFIN 3310 has the power to change lives, increase student retention, and set us apart from every other school out there. Nowhere else are students going to learn the financial life skills they need to be successful in any career they choose," Griesdorn said. "COVID-19 has people struggling to make ends meet, but we aren't showing our students how to comparison shop for basic services like cellphones and insurance policies. More than ever we need to help future students understand the power of persisting until they complete their degree program." 

Most of the grades for the course come from writing assignments for which there are no right or wrong answers. The course asks you to think about and answer deep spiritual questions like, "what is my passion, purpose and calling in life?" 

Griesdorn says the course is structured to help students explore the answers to these and other questions through a sequence of unique assignments.

"First, I strive to delegate power and authority to the students. I tell them I don't have any of the answers, but I am a fellow traveler on this path. Together we will all work on the same assignments, but each will have a different experience. A classroom culture of trust and openness is stressed at the very beginning," Griesdorn said.

One of the first assignments is to identify and visit on-campus resources, such as Career Services, the Testing Center, Counseling Services and others. Next is a values assessment which brings to the surface the values that drive each student's decision-making process. A strengths finder test then helps students determine, which personality type they have and the skills associated with each strength.

"This often gives them a great elevator speech when interviewing and can act as a guide when making career decisions," Griesdorn said.

Once students have started to establish who they are, the course shifts to creating a roadmap for the future with assignments on goals, habits, passion, purpose and service to others.

"Then we can start to use the tools of financial planning to help them turn their dreams into concrete action plans," Griesdorn said. "This is where the tools of comprehensive financial planning are used to buy a house, insure the house, get a budget together, research careers, and how much they will earn out of college, and make end-of-life decisions with a living will."

The overall goal of the course is to give students the time and opportunity explore who they are and where they want to go in life, and then teach them the skills needed to get there. 

Personal Financial Planning is offered in the fall and spring. It is a required course for finance majors and is part of the Certified Financial Planner™ certificate curriculum.

Connecting through Music and Zoom

Two computer screens display a web conference call and a marching show drillDr. Brett Richardson, coordinator of Music Education and director of Bands, is teaching the online version of the course, MUEN 1140 Marching Cardinals—Survey of Marching Band Techniques. In this class, music education students learn about different marching styles, how to write marching drills and how to design marching shows. Richardson connected his students with Dr. Jonathan Sweet, assistant director of Bands at Purdue University. Dr. Sweet is a nationally recognized drill-writer and show designer who Richardson has known since his days teaching at Stephen F. Austin University. Utilizing Zoom, Dr. Sweet demonstrated the foremost drill design software, PyWare, and showed UIW students several drills that he had written for the Purdue band. Zoom technology allowed Richardson to help UIW students experience different teaching and marching styles and include Dr. Sweet in his course instruction—without the expense and time of bringing Dr. Sweet to campus.


UIW Moves from “Moderate” to “Minimal to Moderate” COVID-19 Warning Indicator

Two students in masks sit outsideOn Wednesday, Sept. 30, the University made the decision to move the COVID-19 Warning Indicator from Moderate or  Orange to Minimal or Yellow. The  yellow warning indicator is characterized by a lower than 5% positivity rate at UIW, which is reflective of the COVID-19 response team, the community's preventive efforts and regular testing. UIW community members should continue to wear masks on campus, practice social distancing and remain vigilant in our shared responsibility to minimize COVID-19 risks. 

Visit UIW's COVID-19 Information Site

Get Your Thermometers Ready: Cardinal Daily Health Check is Here!

An illustration of Red the Cardinal in a face mask holding out a phone

The Cardinal Daily Health Check, a web-based tool, must be completed by all employees, students, and guests before visiting any UIW location. After a successful daily health check, users will be emailed a ticket to be used to verify completion of the screening. Staffed checkpoints, supervisors, faculty members, athletic staff, and others may ask to see this ticket to help our community minimize COVID-19 transmission risks.

Cardinal Daily Health Check

UIW COVID-19 Case Tracking Site

A student wearing a mask looks at her phone

In an effort to keep the University community informed, UIW has launched a COVID-19 case tracking site. The site currently provides information on positive COVID-19 cases on various UIW campus, as well as information regarding UIW’s new warning indicator system. The site is updated regularly.

View the site

Mission & Ministry

Heritage Day Events

The interior of the Chapel of the Incarnate Word Virtual Day of Remembrance 

University Mission and Ministry cordially invites you to gather in prayer to reflect and recall our CCVI history as we remember those who have gone before us. This event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7 a.m. via Zoom, and is sponsored by UMM and the Community in Mission Committee. 

Register for the Virtual Day of Remembrance

Heritage Day Liturgy of the Word

University Mission and Ministry cordially invites all UIW community members to join the Heritage Day Service on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at noon via Zoom. Heritage Day is an opportunity to remember with gratitude the foundation of the University by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and recommit ourselves to our Mission values. 

Register for the Heritage Day Liturgy

Fear - A Reflection by Rev. Roger Keeler

A snake moves across pavementSo, what are we afraid of?

Many things, I suppose.

I was on my morning run. It was a glorious morning: the sun casting shadows along my path through the trees, its rays warming my skin, the birds singing in welcome of its promise. I marvelled at the way its rays dappled the trail. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a movement. Subtle, yet sure. I stopped short, holding my breath. Was it? It couldn’t be. Could it? A snake. There! Just to my right, off the trail, in the fallen leaves. I’m pretty sure it was a snake. Not five feet in front of me. With my eyes on the movement in the leaves, I backed away. I hate snakes! I loath snakes!

Even though I had a pet boa constrictor when I was a child – the one my mother discovered by accident when she went into my room to put my laundered socks into my drawer (she was sitting on the kitchen table when I got home from school that afternoon with a meat cleaver in one hand and a broom in the other. “Whatever that is in your sock drawer; you have two minutes to get it OUT of this house!”) – that was different. That was Herman. I was babysitting him for Brian while he was on vacation in Barbados. I liked Herman. He was fun! I used to wear him around my neck like a bandana when I went to school until the principal called me into his office to say that I had terrorized enough of the girls in my class. “Take that creature home and never come back here with it – or else!” But this was different.

We don’t have many snakes where I come from. Well, garter snakes, and they are harmless. We had them as pets, too, although we never told Mom about having them. But this is different. This is Texas. And there are all kinds of snakes there that aren’t of our Garter Snake or Boa Constrictor types. These are dangerous! Rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, coral snakes – they’re all deadly!

I ended my run. I went home. No way I’m going to wind up in the ER with a snake bite! I’m pretty sure it was a snake.

Rational fear. “Fight or flight.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fear as: “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” It is a natural, human emotion, something ingrained in our very DNA, intended to safeguard us – to protect us from harm. There is nothing wrong with being afraid!

But there is another side to fear that is problematic. Irrational fear: the kind of fear that, though we know deep down inside there really isn’t any real, plausible danger, produces anxiety, worry, and even phobias in their many manifestations. These can leave us feeling powerless, hopeless, alone, withdrawn, and even paralyzed.

What happened to me on my run is a good example of irrational fear. Why? Because I was running on that paved trail the second week of January. Texas snakes, poisonous or not, really don’t become active until the days warm in late February or early March when they emerge to find love. The chances of this being a real danger were next to nil.

American psychiatrist Karl Menninger (d. 1990), wrote: “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.” A little education is both a good thing and a not so good thing, isn’t it?

I grew up not fearing snakes. When I moved to Texas, I bought the book on poisonous snakes at the H-E-B checkout on one of my first visits to that mainstay of Texas life, and read it from cover to cover. I became convinced that this was a greater danger to me than driving the Hwy 281 during rush hour – and that is not an irrational fear! It didn’t take me too long to carry a flashlight with me on my early morning runs; to have my phone clipped to my belt; to carry a sturdy stick on every outing; never to walk through the grass; to having my patio screened in; to open my front door a crack for a peek before stepping outside; not to walk between parked cars ... Now the enjoyable thing I looked forward to every morning started to look more like a medieval knight readying for a joust than one out for some healthy, mind-clearing, restorative exercise! I joined a gym. That was a good solution until recently. I quit running, and I missed it! I needed to reevaluate my fear and learn what I could about the real danger. I took Menniger’s wisdom to heart and educated myself out of the fear. I quit the gym. I now go for morning runs with considerably more confidence. And I’m happy about it, too!

Saint Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy offering him sage advice: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7, NKJV).

The “spirit of fear” is the irrational sort that dulls the mind, deadens the spirit, and impedes life. It does not come from God. Rather, it comes from those anxious voices we choose to listen to and subscribe to until it becomes embedded in our very consciousness directing our thoughts, opinions, actions, and even our prayers.

The “power” is that of God’s own self: the omnipotent power that has brought creation into being and even now orders the stars in their courses. “He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name” (Amos 5:8). It is the power of God who has made us “little less than a god; with glory and honour you crowned [us], gave [us] power over the works of your hand, put all things under [our] feet. All of them, sheep and cattle, yes, even the savage beasts, birds of the air and fish that make their way through the waters. How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth! (Ps. 8: 5-9).

The “sound mind” is the intelligence that enables us to think critically, analytically, investigating the evidence with an objectivity that is free of feelings, preconceived notions, or the opinions of others. It is to think with the undifferentiated consciousness posited by Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan, one that engages the whole person – intellect, affect, and spirit – rather than one that operates on a single level only.

And love? It is the love of God made visible in the God-man Jesus Christ. It is the love that “rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things ... And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13: 6, 7 & 13).

In his Ninth Homily on the First Epistle of St. John, St. Augustine of Hippo (d. 430), wrote: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment."

Henry Emmerson Fosdick, the American pastor whom Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., deemed one of the “greatest preachers of this century,” wisely asserted: “Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable – and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.”

So, would you like to join me for my run tomorrow morning? I head out at eight!

Sunday Morning Prayer - October 4

The steeple of the Chapel of the Incarnate Word

University Mission and Ministry invites you to attend our weekly Sunday Morning Prayer at 11 a.m. on Oct. 4. The platform will open at 10:45 a.m. for an opportunity to greet one another. This week's service is based on the scriptures of the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time. While we cannot gather in person to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in Our Lady’s Chapel or the Chapel of the Incarnate Word, we can gather virtually and unite our prayers of petition with our extended Incarnate Word family during this celebration of the Liturgy of the Word. The service will be held on Zoom. We hope you’ll be able to join us this Sunday!

RSVP to receive a Zoom link to Sunday Morning Prayer

Community News

Centro Universitario Incarnate Word (CIW) Welcomes New Rector

A headshot of Jorge Huerta BleckIn March 2020, Dr. Matthew Whitehouse finished his term as rector for Centro Universitario Incarnate Word (CIW) in Mexico City. In December 2019, CIW formed a search committee to identify candidates for the position. After months of hard work and dedication, the search concluded in July. Now, CIW is pleased to announce the arrival of their new rector, Mr. Jorge Huerta Bleck who began working in his new post in September.

Mr. Huerta has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Universidad Panamericana and an MBA from the Instituto Panamericano (IPADE) Business School.

Mr. Huerta was the dean of the Accounting and Business Management Program at the Universidad Panamericana where he was later appointed head of Public Relations. Mr. Huerta also taught MBA courses at UNAM and Universidad Iberoamericana.

Mr. Huerta has served as a member of the education and public accounting committees for the Accounting Mexican Institute. He was also a board member at Universidad Panamericana’s economics and entrepreneurship school.

Mr. Huerta also worked as a commercial manager for F360 and Tranzende Capacitacion. He has also consulted and trained staff at such companies as Coca-Cola Femsa, Gates de Mexico, Banobras, Banorte, Comision Nacional Bancaria y de Valores, PWC, E&Y, Deloitte, Servicio de Administracion y Enahenacion de Bienes (SAE), Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA), Grupo Wal-Mart, Laboratorios Roche, just to name a few.

Please help us welcome Mr. Jorge Huerta to the UIW family!

UIW Cardinal Clinic and San Antonio Metro Health District to Launch Drive-Thru Free Flu Vaccination Campaign

A vaccine is administered The University of the Incarnate Word Schools of Osteopathic Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy have partnered with the San Antonio Metro Health District to provide free flu vaccinations during a drive-thru campaign. The effort will kick off Saturday, Oct. 3 at the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine campus. The campaign will continue for several weeks as capacity is limited during each vaccination session. 

As we prepare for the flu season, we need to be proactive and use resources made available to remain as healthy as possible and minimize overlapping COVID-19/Flu cases. Prioritizing safety and public wellness, the drive-thru clinic will be free with no proof of insurance required. Pre-registration is required to ensure safe social distancing measures. While all time slots for Saturday, Oct. 3 are already filled, more will become available for the next several weeks. 

Blessing of the Animals, Prayer for Creation on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi 

A dog receives a blessing of holy waterDo you have a furry friend you're thankful for? Collect photos of your pets or have them sit in your lap as we thank the Creator for them and all of creation at a virtual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. After the blessing, stay for prayers and an opportunity to learn more about earth justice, solidarity with all life and compassionate care of the earth. 

Register for the Blessing of the Animals

In the News

KENS5: UIW Cardinals football prepare for spring season unlike any other



Save the Date - Addressing Food Insecurity in the San Antonio Region

Canned food is placed in boxes

Join us for a virtual panel highlighting organizations working towards supporting the community in San Antonio in key social justice issues and learn more about ways students can volunteer their time and talents in service! We will be hosting a series of panel presentations and discussions throughout the fall 2020 semester and providing a space for community organizations to share how students, faculty and staff can be engaged in supporting their organization during this challenging time. Past recording sessions can be found here

Hosted on GivePulse in collaboration with the Service-Learning Intercollegiate Collaborative (SLIC) of San Antonio. SLIC is a consortium of colleges and universities across the San Antonio region that meet to discuss best practices and challenges in community service, civic engagement, and service-learning, and to collaborate on various programs. For more information, please contact Mayra Levy at

Register for the Panel Here

Cardinal Corner

Light the Way Volunteer Days

Students sit at a table with Christmas lights 

Masked up and socially distanced, our Cardinals got in the holiday spirit this week by volunteering to help Light the Way! Students helped replace broken or damaged bulbs on strings of Christmas lights. While this year's Christmas light spectacular may look different than the previous 33 festivals, the UIW community is still preparing to welcome the Christmas season with a million twinkling lights. 

Alumni and Parent Relations

Homecoming Registration is Now Open

A banner that says "Home Sweet Homecoming"

Registration is now open for UIW Homecoming 2020 events! We invite all of our alumni back to the Nest for a variety of fun and festive events from Oct. 30 - Nov. 8. This year, we're celebrating Homecoming with a week full of activities, new adventures and a whole lot of Cardinal pride just for our alumni and their loved ones! 

See all events and register


Women's Soccer Announces Spring 2021 Schedule

The women's soccer team huddles together

The University of the Incarnate Word women's soccer team announced Tuesday the release of the Spring 2021 conference schedule. The Cardinals are scheduled to play 11 league games over six weeks leading up to a hopeful return to the Southland Conference Tournament (scheduled for April 15-17). Game times are TBD. 

The season kicks off with a three-game home stand at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium, beginning with Houston Baptist on Feb. 12. The Cardinals then take on McNeese (Feb.19) and Lamar (Feb. 21), who is the reigning conference champion and made an appearance in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Women's College Cup. 

UIW also hosts Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls. Last season on the road, the Cardinals defeated the Lady Lions (1-0) and the Colonels (3-0). The Cardinals are 6-1 against Nicholls, currently holding a five-game winning streak. 

Additionally, the Cardinals travel to Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Central Arkansas, Northwestern State and Abilene Christian in hopes of being in the top four at the end of the regular season. 

With conference adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spring 2021 SLC Tournament will feature four teams instead of the normal eight. The location will be determined by the No. 1 seed at the conclusion of the regular season, as opposed to a predetermined host. 

The NCAA indicates that the regular season can start as early as Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. The Cardinals are exploring the possibility of adding additional games prior to conference play. 


Find the full schedule here

Schedule Subject to Change 

The schedule is subject to change. UIW Athletics will continue monitoring the ongoing situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic and will follow the University's Emergency Response Team, Southland Conference, NCAA, and CDC guidelines and recommendations as they develop and change. We will continue to notify our Athletic community as information is updated.     


Admission to all UIW women's soccer home matches is free. Home games are held at Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.