The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - October 16, 2020


A Q&A with UIW Provost Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo

A headshot of UIW Provost The granddaughter of immigrants, the daughter of migrant workers and a first-generation Hispanic college graduate – these are the makings of UIW Provost, Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo. Dr. Aranda-Naranjo now has more than 30 years experience in education, community-based care and federal service. While she is a beloved member of the UIW community as an alumna and educator, before she came back home to UIW, she served in various public health leadership positions at the local, state and federal levels. She is also widely recognized as a public health leader for her work to better the care and quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS. She served in this capacity for the United States Department of Health.

Throughout her time at UIW, she has made it a priority to position the University as a Hispanic-Serving Institution through collaborations with the National Hispanic Medical Association, Excelencia in Education and others. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked Dr. Aranda-Naranjo to share a little bit about her heritage, the lessons she learned from family that she carries with her today and her vision for a more inclusive world.

1. Can you tell us a little about your heritage and family?

I am second generation Mexican-American from Irapuato, Guanajuato. My paternal grandfather and my grandmother were born in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico. My maternal grandmother and grandfather were from Cadereyta, Nuevo León in Mexico.

My father was born in Cameron, Texas and my mother was born in Mercedes, Texas. I was born in Houston at St. Joseph Hospital. I am one of nine siblings – the eighth in a line of seven brothers and one older sister who served as a missionary in Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil for 10 years.

2. You are the daughter of migrant workers, grew up in Houston and were one of nine children in your family. What influence did your upbringing have on your career path?
When my parents met and fell in love, they were migrant workers traveling from Mercedes up the northern migrant route to Ohio to pick crops. My parents did this work until my father, who had a high school education, accepted a job as a shipping and receiving clerk for A&P Grocery Warehouse in Houston.

Many of the migrant families did not have access to health care and many of the migrant children, like my mother, never finished high school. My mother started picking crops when she was only 5 years old and only attended school through the third grade.

My mother valued education so much because she was unable to go. She instilled in me the love of  learning for the purpose of completing my education and being of service to my community. My mother shared with me the stories of many migrant women and children dying during childbirth and before the age of 6 due to lack of health care.

These stories influenced me not only to become a nurse, but to dedicate my life to the underserved, wherever they may be.

3. What influence do you think it had on the way you approach serving others?

I learned early from my mother, father and aunts from Mexico not only to be of service to others, but also to be gentle with the “stories” of others, since many still carried the painful loss of a loved one.  

As a nurse, I have had the honor of listening to many stories from patients, family members and community workers, and I have treated each one as a “sacred moment” of human-to-human interaction.

4. UIW is a proud Hispanic-Serving Institution. What assets do you think your unique background brings to the University’s commitment to serving Hispanic and diverse students?

As an American of Hispanic descent with roots in Mexico, I bring a deep respect for cultural diversity of every staff member, faculty, student and administrator. I see the world through rich, bi-cultural lenses and approach leadership with this diversity in mind.  

I value the history of both Mexico and the United States, how intertwined the stories of these two great countries have been and how they continue to influence each other.  

I recognize that even though the majority of our Hispanic students are of Mexican descent, there are many Hispanics from other South American countries such as Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Spain, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Nicaragua, just to name a few that have attended UIW.  

I also value the exchange of our students and faculty from our campuses in Mexico City and Irapuato, Guanajuato.

5. You have had an extraordinary career in fields from nursing to public service and, now, to provost. What impacts or contributions would you like to make to UIW throughout your tenure that would help first-generation, Hispanic or otherwise traditionally underserved students have extraordinary careers of their own?

I was blessed to have many people, especially the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, as faculty, mentors and friends early in my educational pathway.

As a first-generation, Hispanic college student, it is very important to have mentors who value your story and are willing to translate the variety of cultures you will encounter in your educational journey and need to self-manage.

The self-management of the cultures you will encounter in your college pathway are part of becoming a full human being and flourishing. You will need to be mentored to manage the culture of college life, the culture of faculty-student interactions, the culture of classroom learning, the culture of advisor-to-student relationships and how to maintain your own culture with your parents and family as you transform from student to professional. 

As provost, I hope to continue to work with administration, faculty, students and support staff to create a strong mentoring program for all students to flourish and fulfill their educational goals and share their gifts with others for the common good. There is no more fulfilling life as a UIW graduate than one of service to others. Everyone should have the opportunity to live their dreams, and as UIW graduates, we are graced by our Mission for every student to become the light for others, especially the vulnerable across the globe.

6. You have also begun spearheading the University’s DEI efforts. What does this initiative mean to you and how could these efforts positively impact the UIW community?

Diversity, equity and inclusion have been embedded in UIW’s Mission and values since its founding, inspired by the three Sisters who arrived from Leon, France to serve the needs of a wounded country after a painful Civil War and cholera epidemic. The Mission continues, and we are called – each and every one of us – to once again answer the needs of our fellow human beings and country. We are in pain as a world and we need to take time to listen to each other’s stories, stories of joy  and pain. We have all been wounded in some way, but it is in our mutual stories that we can heal as a country and world. My hope for the continued UIW DEI reflection meetings and subsequent action interventions is that we each embrace our Mission to hold each life sacred, because we all are a spark of the Divine. Praised be the Incarnate Word. Forever. Amen.


Religious Studies Faculty Earns Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism

A headshot of Dr. Jakob RinderknechtThe College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Jakob K. Rinderknecht, director of the Pastoral Institute and assistant professor of Religious Studies, was selected as one of three recipients of the 2020 Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism.  

The Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism has been awarded to Mennonite theologian Anne Cathy Graber, German Protestant theologian Jan Gross, and Roman Catholic theologian Jakob Karl Rinderknecht. 

Harding Meyer, a leading figure in the ecumenical movement of the past 50 years, passed away in December 2018. He had a decisive influence on the international Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, and many methodological approaches of contemporary ecumenism can be traced back to him. 

The Harding Meyer Prize, sponsored by the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, is awarded every two years. For the 2020 prize, 10 outstanding works were submitted by applicants from various countries Christian traditions. The work of the three theologians constitutes an important contribution to Catholic-Lutheran dialogue as well as to intra-Protestant dialogue, continuing Harding Meyer's methodological approaches.  

The Harding Meyer Prize in Ecumenism is normally awarded during an international summer seminar organized by the Institute for Ecumenical Research each year. Due to COVID-19, the seminar will not take place this summer. The prize will therefore not be awarded until 2021, and the next award ceremony will take place in 2022. 

Rinderknecht was honored for his study, Mapping the Differentiated Consensus of the Joint Declaration. This work uses the insights of cognitive linguistics to argue for the possibility of differentiated consensus between separated churches. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church in 1999, represents the high-water mark of the 20th century ecumenical movement. It declares that the 16th century condemnations related to justification do not condemn the teachings of the partner church. Some critics reject the agreement, arguing that a consensus that is differentiated is not actually a consensus.  

Rinderknecht shows that mapping the "cognitive blends" that structure meaning can reveal underlying agreement within apparent theological contradictions. He traces Lutheran and Catholic positions on sin in the baptized, especially the Lutheran simul iustus et peccator and the Catholic insistence that concupiscence in the baptized is not sin. He demonstrates that the JDDJ reconciles these positions, and therefore that a truly differentiated consensus is possible.

H-E-B School of Business and Administration Joins 2020 Diversitas Symposium

Stacks of coins The H-E-B School of Business and Administration is a partner university for the 2020 Diversitas Symposium, hosted by the University of Akron's College of Business Administration. The event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Diversitas is a financial knowledge symposium discussing diversity and inclusion efforts and career opportunities in the financial services industry. The event brings together financial planning and wealth management industry leaders, as well as undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from across the country. 

The symposium, which is taking place entirely online this year, will include virtual panel discussions and breakout sessions, enabling students and industry professionals to engage and discuss topics and key panel takeaways in smaller groups. 

The event is open to students, faculty and professionals interested in the field of finance and wealth management. Students can learn about a fast-growing, exciting industry and have an opportunity to network with industry professionals about career options and possible mentor relationships. The program is free for all participants.

See the full agenda and register

Cardinal Chemistry Scholars to Attend ABRCMS 2020

Student works in a chemistry labTwenty-four students of the UIW School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering and members of the Cardinal Chemistry Scholars, will attend “ABRCMS 2020: The Virtual Experience” from Nov. 9 - 13. The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) serves one of the largest communities of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  ABRCMS received the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) Excellence in STEM Education Award in 2019.  This year, our scholars will view student presentations of their scientific research across a variety of biomedical-related fields, participate in professional development sessions and engage in social networking activities with peers at other institutions and experts from around the country.    

Accompanying the Cardinal Chemistry Scholars are their faculty mentors Dr. Rachell Booth, professor of Biochemistry; Dr. Julian Davis, associate professor of Organic Chemistry; and Dr. Robert Garner, associate professor of Inorganic Chemistry and chair of the Chemistry department. Dr. Davis will also serve as a judge of the scientific presentation competition. 

UIWSOM Community Members Published in San Antonio Medicine

An image of a San Antonio Medicine's Elder Care issue coverDr. Robyn Phillips-Madson, dean of the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM), reports that Nikoleta Golemi, a second-year student in the osteopathic medicine program, authored an article entitled, The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on the Elderly, which was published in the October 2020 edition of San Antonio Medicine, a publication of the Bexar County Medical Society. Additionally, new UIWSOM faculty member, John LoCurto, JD, assistant professor of Medical Jurisprudence and Health Policy, authored an article entitled, Through the ICU Darkly: Transparency and the Texas Advance Directives Act in the same issue of S an Antonio Medicine

Read Golemi's article

Read LoCurto's article


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

Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate

metal cross at the top of a buildingCatholics have a long tradition of engagement in the public square. Sometimes that engagement requires making difficult moral decisions that impact our own lives and those of others. Our conscience can help guide the decisions we make. The Second Vatican Council guides us: “Always summoning [one] to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience can when necessary speak to [one’s] heart more specifically: do this, shun that” (Gaudium et Spes 16). However, our conscience doesn’t just come to us when we are born. We must work throughout our lives to form it through prayer, learning, and conversation.

Read more about forming your conscience

Sunday Morning Prayer - Oct. 18

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. 18. 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 28th 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

Flu Shots Available for UIW Students and Employees

UIW President gets a flu vaccineFlu shots are now available at the UIW Health Services Clinic for UIW students and employees. To receive a flu shot, patients will need to schedule an appointment with UIW Health Services Clinic at (210) 829-6017 or (210) 829-3175. No walk-ins, please.

Health experts and UIW President Dr. Thomas Evans agree that a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against the flu viruses. Make plans to get vaccinated before flu season begins, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months or older get the flu vaccine by the end of October. 

In the News

KENS5: COMMERCE STREET | New UIW program to help alleviate critical nursing shortage

Nursing students at work

"They’re on the frontlines of coronavirus care. The ones giving support and comfort to patients isolated because of their illness and at times, the ones kept apart from their own families as they work around the clock and put their own health at risk to save the lives of others. And, at times, to make sure the final moments of lives aren’t spent alone.

If we didn’t appreciate it before – we know it now – nurses are healthcare heroes. But, studies show by 2032, Texas won’t have enough nurses to care for everyone who needs them – unless something changes."

Read more about the nursing program


UIW Participates in Compassion Tree Planting

UIW was honored to be part of the Compassion Tree Project SA last weekend at the Headwaters Sanctuary at Incarnate Word. Members of our Incarnate Word community joined Mayor Ron Nirenberg, city leaders, environmental groups and more in the ceremonial planting of a tree, part of a larger effort to plant 20,000 trees in San Antonio in 2020. Watch the ceremony and listen to remarks from UIW President Dr. Thomas Evans:

ARISE Community Workshop: A Balance of Forces

Image of a hand drawn mental health word cloud

The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability in collaboration with community partner, ARISE (A Resource in Serving Equality) Adelante, invite the UIW community to a discussion on “A Balance of Forces: The Pursuit to Positive Mental Health and Well Being” (Un Equilibrio de Fuerzas: La Busqueda de la Salud Mental y un Bienstar Positivo). Dr. Erlinda Lopez-Rodriguez, program director of the Community Health Education (CHED) program, will be presenting Friday, Oct. 23, 3-4 p.m., via ARISE Facebook Live. The session will be in Spanish. 

For more information, please contact Mayra Levy, program specialist for Global Service, at

Learn more about ARISE Adelante

Cardinal Corner

American Pharmacists Month Student Feature: Brianna Maldonado

A headshot of Brianna MaldonadoTrue to the Feik School of Pharmacy's (FSOP) mission, Brianna Maldonado, third year FSOP student, is ready to change the world by caring for and serving patients. When asked why she chose to pursue a career in pharmacy, she said, "'You must be the change you wish to see in the world' is something that has always stuck with me. It’s the reason I chose to pursue pharmacy as my profession. Pharmacy is a diverse career with many great opportunities in patient care. The ability to positively impact my community is essential to me and becoming a pharmacist will allow me to be that change."

Physical Therapy Month Student Feature: Shakir Iga

A headshot of Shakir IgaOctober is also National Physical Therapy Month! Shakir Iga is a second year UIW School of Physical Therapy student. When asked why he chose physical therapy, Shakir said, "Simple - people are my passion. As a former athlete, physical therapy combined my passion for medicine, human performance and most importantly, people. PT offers opportunities for endless discovery and through interactions with various patients we inherently learn more about ourselves. PT allows me to glorify God by using my abilities to heal others."

UIW Pumpkin Patch

Students pose for a photo at a pumpkin patch

The Office of Campus Engagement is working to provide safe and fun opportunities for student to engage in campus life and meet fellow Cardinals. This week, a pumpkin patch was set up for students to enjoy taking photos in. Through the rest of the month, events will be held at the on-campus pumpkin patch for students such as a pumpking painting contest and pumpkin carving. The pumpkin patch will be available for UIW students to enjoy (masks required) through Nov. 2.

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! 

If you have any questions about Homecoming 2020, please contact our Alumni Relations team at or (210) 805-5899. 

See all events and register

Off-Broadway Alumni Talent Show

A sign that says "Off-Broadway Talent Show"As part of UIW's virtual homecoming celebrations, UIW's Alumni Relations team is hosting a special, Off-Broadway Talent Show for UIW alumni. There are two ways to participate!

Submit a Talent Video

Do you have a talent you want to share with the UIW community? Submit a video of your performance and participate in our first-ever UIW Alumni Talent Show! Your fellow Cardinals will be able to live vote for their favorites and winners from each category will win a $50 Cardinal Shoppe gift card.

Submission Guidelines

Submit a Class Reunion Video

Your UIW Alumni Association is calling for Alumni Video Greetings from members of the Class of 1960, 1970, 1995 and 2010 as we celebrate your milestone reunion years! All videos will be shared during the Friday, Nov. 6 Off-Broadway Alumni Talent Show during our commercial breaks! Videos should be submitted to by Sunday, Oct. 25. Be sure to include your name, class year, major and a favorite UIW memory or welcome message. 

Submission Tips


The Best of Texas Women's Basketball

The University of the Incarnate Word, University of Texas at San Antonio and San Antonio Sports will host the Women's Final Four on April 2 and 4, 2021 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The city and arena will be hosting the marquee women's sporting event for the third time after previously hosting in 2002 and 2010. San Antonio and the Alamodome set the all-time NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship attendance record of 29,619 fans who attended the national semifinals and championship games in 2002.

On Oct. 13, UIW Athletics premiered “the best of Texas women’s basketball” to tip-off the road to the 2021 NCAA Women’s Final Four in San Antonio. Watch the video below!