The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - October 23, 2020


Home Sweet Homecoming

It's almost time for Home Sweet Homecoming! This year, we're introducing all new events to help you celebrate UIW Homecoming with your old classmates and friends in a safe way. The registration deadline for our alumni and friends has been extended to Sunday, Nov. 1! Ann Islas, chair of the UIW Homecoming committee and vice president of the UIW Alumni Association has a special message for her fellow UIW alumni about all the fun in store at Home Sweet Homecoming! Take a look!

Learn more and register


AVS Lab Finalizing Powerline Inspection System with CPS Energy

The AVS Lab is finalizing the integration of its Powerline Inspection System with its new Draganfly Commander Unmanned Air System Platform with CPS Energy. The Air Operations Team has been practicing inspecting powerlines at the CPS Energy training yard. The training yard allows the team to practice flying over deenergized powerlines and other various obstacles designed to mimic real world operations for inspecting powerlines. During this training, the team has fully developed and deployed an application that is able to identify various components of interest on the powerlines, designed to fully streamline the inspection process. In the next week, the AVS Lab plans to integrate this program into a fully autonomous flight plan. Development in other areas such as mapping and programming have also been steady and continue to see improvements, such as a fully electronic and independently created logbook and mapping of the 3D airspace around San Antonio. 

UIW GEMS Camp to Continue Virtually

As social distancing continues to be of the utmost importance, Calista Burns, a UIW Education student and GEMS head camp counselor and research coordinator, alongside Stephanie Weiss-Lopez, a Meteorology student and GEMS project manager and coordinator, worked passionately to continue to find ways to reach out to their campers. GEMS is now launching virtual experiments and mini lessons with the new GEMS YouTube channel! This channel will have safe experiments designed to continue to inspire and expose young girls to the STEAM fields at home with basic household items. The videos will also connect the GEMS clubs at multiple elementary schools to keep their skills sharp with Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots. GEMS of UIW remain focused on connecting to the community in any capacity possible. GEMS hope to resume camps in 2021 adding two camp sessions for miniGEMS and one camp session to megaGEMS, as well as continue their Research Camp in the Summer. Watch one of the first video presentations by Calista Burns. 

Physical Therapy Counselor Publishes Book Chapter

A headshot of Dr. Lisa ValenzuelaDr. Lisa Valenzuela, academic success counselor for the School of Physical Therapy, recently published a chapter in the book Adaptation in Your Adult Novel, published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. Drawing from Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, “Unpacking the new perspectives and critiques of gender, sexuality, and the cultural values of adolescents inherent to each adaptation, the essays in this volume make the case that literary adaptations are just as valuable as original works and demonstrate how the texts studied empower young readers to become more culturally, historically, and socially aware through the lens of literary diversity." 

The citation for the book is:

Valenzuela, L. M. (2020). Rewriting The Great Gatsby: Questioning Identity and Morality in Sara Benincasa's Great. In D. E. Lawrence and A. L. Montz (Eds.), Adaptation in Young Adult Novels: Critically Engaging in Past and Present (pp. 49–61). Bloomsbury. 

News from UIW Libraries

An image of library bookshelvesDr. Dede Rios, director of Optometric and Clinical Library Services, and Richard Kaye, library assistant for public services for the Rosenberg School of Optometry, will present two posters, The Hybrid Student Workers in a VUCA World and C-4: Exploding Systemic Barriers and Cultivating Culturally Competent Clinicians for the South Central chapter of the Medical Library Association Conference next week. In addition, Dr. Rios is presenting a paper with Lindsay Blake, clinical services librarian at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, called Maintaining Long-Distance Relationships: Inter-Institutional Collaborations Between Librarians and Clinicians. 

Mission & Ministry

Conscience: A Reflection by Rev. Roger Keeler, Associate Professor of Theology

The interior of a chapelOn the 3rd of October of this year, on the eve of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, his Jesuit “spiritual son,” Jorge Bergolio, Pope Francis, gave the Church his latest encyclical (literally a letter to be circulated and read by all, that lays out the Church’s stance on a subject of import), that is entitled Fratelli Tutti – All Brothers [and Sisters]!

This is a “social encyclical,” one that addresses issues faced by everyone in the world we occupy today. It is intended for Roman Catholics and for all others, regardless of nationality, race, religious ascription, gender or political identity, that is written in an approachable, readable language. Grounded in the “Admonitions” of St. Francis of Assisi, “who used these words to ‘address his brothers and sisters [to propose] to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel. The encyclical aims to promote a universal aspiration toward fraternity and social friendship.”

It is not a light read! At 43,000 words spanning eight chapters and 287 paragraphs, Pope Francis sets out his vision for an ideal world in which all peoples and nations can be part of, and contribute to, the entire “human family.”

Read the full reflection

Sunday Morning Prayer - Oct. 25

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. 25. 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 30th 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

United in Our Creed, United in Faith

Headshots of event speakersUniversity Mission and Ministry invites you to this virtual day of reflection with internationally known presenters, ValLimar Jansen and Santiago Fernández, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Our presenters will reflect on how the principles and foundations of our faith as Catholics connect with our baptismal call to be compassionate, welcoming, hospitable, reverent and respectful toward people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. When our parish communities are truly united in prayer and worship, we discover each other's giftedness and grow in faith and spirituality. Come to this exciting and vibrant session ready to pray, sing and celebrate our unity as members of the Body of Christ. 

A portion of the morning will be presented in English (ValLimar) and in Spanish (Santiago). There will be a noontime concert. The afternoon session will be facilitated by both presenters. For information, or to receive a link to register, please email Lena Gokelman or Carmen Aguilera at

Community News

A Tribute to James "Jim" Gorman

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of beloved UIW community member, James "Jim" Gorman who passed away peacefully on Oct. 3 at the age of 90. UIW's Gorman Business and Education Center was named in honor of Mr. Gorman and his wife, Tena. UIW Chairman of the Board of Trustees Jack Lewis III (7:17) and Sr. Kathleen Coughlin, CCVI (24:39) share words for Mr. Gorman and his family in a tribute video made by Mission Park Funeral Chapels.

UIW Behavioral Health Services Resources

A headshot of Dr. Kevin MilliganThis year has been challenging, but UIW Behavioral Health Services is available to help students take care of their mental health. We'll be sharing some tips and resources with students and community members from UIW Behavioral Health Services over the next few weeks. Today, we focus on prioritizing yourself and your needs! 

Dr. Kevin Milligan, assistant director of counseling, encourages everyone to prioritize their mental health. 

"I think the biggest thing you can do to prioritize your mental health is to make YOU a priority in your life," he explained. "What I mean by that is make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Take time for self-care activities, such as exercise, mindfulness experiences, creative activities, music, sports and anything that you enjoy doing." 

Learn more about UIW Behavioral Health Services


A masked student holds a music binderThe Cardinal Chorale and University Music and Ministry are working together on a joint project called Undivided. The project will consist of a video featuring the choral work,  Undivided by American composer Karen Marrolli. As a member of our UIW community, you’re invited to be part of this video! Submit a 10 to 20 second video (mp4) or photo (landscape, jpg or png) of yourself smiling, waving or working. These videos and images will be incorporated into the video to help provide a visual representation of our community’s support of one another. Videos may be submitted to by Wednesday, Oct. 28. Please note this video will be shared via social media. 

In the News

KSAT 12: UIW expands South Side campus

MySA: UIW's Light the Way is happening but will look different this year

A banner that says "Light the Way Holiday Drive" over an image of Christmas lights

The tradition of visiting the University of the Incarnate Word campus for its 1 million Christmas lights under the stars will go on as planned, but it will be a little different this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full story

Learn more about Light the Way 2020


UIW Prepares to Celebrate Peace Day 2020

A group of people sit on the floor together

(Archive photo)

Concepts of peace and justice are central in the Bible. From their very first days, the founders of the University, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, have promoted the human dignity of all people.

In 1986, Incarnate Word began hosting annual Peace Fairs with educational content and planted a first "peace pole" monument to mark the beginning of its new Master of Arts degree in Peace and Justice. This degree was based on the words of Pope Paul VI: “If you want peace, work for justice.”

UIW will celebrate the annual Peace Day on Wednesday, Oct. 28. 

View the full list of Peace Day events

Cardinal Corner

American Pharmacists Month Student Feature: Christina Lozano

A headshot of Christina LozanoAs we continue to celebrate American Pharmacists Month, we spoke with third year Feik School of Pharmacy student Christina Lozano, about what she wants to do once she graduates. For her, returning to serve her hometown is what she most wants to do. "After I graduate pharmacy school, I hope to go back to my hometown in Eagle Pass, TX and start my own practice," she explained. 

Physical Therapy Month Student Feature: Jazmine Shaw

A headshot of Jazmine ShawIn honor of National Physical Therapy Month, we're catching up with UIW's School of Physical Therapy students about why they chose physical therapy. Jazmine Shaw, third year School of Physical Therapy student, was asked what she wants to do after graduating. She answered, "I want to work with the military population providing physical therapy to service members and their families. I also want to further my education by attending a residency for orthopedic manual therapy to better serve those I have an opportunity to treat."

Alumni and Parent Relations

REDTalk: Dr. Lopita Nath

A headshot of Dr. Lopita NathOur next REDTalk presenter is UIW Professor & Department Chair of History Asian Studies, Dr. Lopita Nath. Join us next Tuesday, Oct. 27 for a presentation on refugee resettlement, service, learning and career opportunities. 

This presentation will focus on the global refugee crisis and the refugee resettlement in the United States and its implications for both the refugees and American society. Students and faculty at the University of the Incarnate Word, for the last several years have worked with refugees through service-learning projects, helping refugees transition to life in America. Many students have built on those experiences and have moved on to careers that have made an impact on bigger and greater needs of the society, both in the U.S. and abroad. This presentation will provide examples of these projects and experiences, and how they have tried to build a more compassionate world. 

Sign up to attend the REDTalk

Veteran's Day Car Parade

The U.S. flag over an image of a standing soldierJoin us in honoring our U.S. military veterans on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. for a Veterans Day Car Parade through the Broadway campus. Together, we will honor our nation's veterans, their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their loved ones in a special drive through campus. All are welcome to participate in appreciation of our U.S. veterans. 

Enter your vehicle


Student-Athletes Celebrate 100th Anniversary of Ratification of 19th Amendment


COVID-19 Resources

A student in a UIW mask looks at a computer

The University of the Incarnate Word continues to monitor the local, regional and state-wide progression of COVID-19 to inform decisions about safe campus operations. Below you will find links to helpful information regarding UIW's COVID-19 warning indicators, case tracking, safety guidelines and resources for the UIW community. These sites will be updated to reflect changes or new information.

Cardinal Daily Health Check

COVID-19 Information Site

COVID-19 Case Updates

Cardinal Flight Plan 

A Message from Health Services to Students, Employees and Vendors

Since your return to campus in August, many of you have participated in COVID-19 mass testing as part of UIW’s shared responsibility. UIW’s COVID-19 testing program has been very successful. To date, 4,036 COVID-19 tests have been administered with only 47 positives on the Broadway campus. UIW's health professions schools similarly have a low number of cases. While we all would prefer the number be zero, we know the reality of the contagion is that there will in fact be positives. However, identifying COVID-19 positive cases early allows us to mitigate potential risk to others. Your commitment to safety and protecting each other is seen daily when you wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, maintain 6 feet of physical distancing and participate in COVID-19 testing. We recognize that you are living the Mission of UIW in your respectful interactions with others that promote the common good.

This month, we transitioned to random surveillance testing for students, employees and vendors who are living, working, studying or attending co-curricular activities on campus. Surveillance testing focuses on testing students, employees and vendors who are asymptomatic, meaning they are not showing symptoms of disease. This helps UIW monitor COVID-19 trends within our community and allows us to make timely decisions to prevent outbreaks from occurring.

A high level of participation in the surveillance testing program is important to protect the health of the UIW community and the University’s neighbors within the larger community. If you are selected to participate in surveillance testing, you will receive an email which includes details and a sign-up link that allows you to pick a date and time that works best for you. 

Surveillance testing on the Broadway campus will occur under the Agnese/Sosa parking garage with signage direction those being tested to a check-in table. 

Cardinals, it has been inspiring to see your care and compassion for others this year. We realize this is not the year you expected but you are taking a difficult situation and turning it into something unique and special. I am encouraged to learn about the many ways you are maintaining social connections while physically distancing. University sponsored events, residence hall art projects, outside gatherings at the bench with Red, Zoom study groups, and outdoor running groups are some of the many ways you can continue to stay connected while promoting safety.

As we transition to the holidays and the city begins a larger scale opening, keep in mind your safety commitment to yourself and others. You are doing a great job, and it is important that you remain vigilant and remember the important role you play in keeping our campus, our friends and families and our community safe. 

Dr. Ronda Gottlieb
Director of Clinical Health