The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - December 18, 2020


A Christmas Message from UIW President, Thomas M. Evans, PhD

Dear UIW Community,

We have come to the end of a difficult and unpredictable year, together. As Christmas approaches and we celebrate the season of light, I look back at 2020 and am filled with gratitude for our extraordinary University community.

Ours is a community of faith and purpose that appreciates we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. Over the past many months, I have seen faculty spare no effort to pave ways for students to continue their academic journeys; staff exceed all expectations to support our University; and students persevere amidst great challenges and still find ways to serve others. Members of our wider community, our friends, alumni and parents, have shared with me account after account of the difference UIW has made in their lives and in the world, and that they believe in our Mission and in what we do, perhaps now more than ever.

For these, and so many reasons more, it is a blessing to belong to a community that brings light to people’s lives. It is in this spirit that I share with you a special message of faith, gratitude and renewed hope for the year to come.

Merry Christmas and Praised be the Incarnate Word!


Thomas M. Evans, PhD

Fall Class of 2020 Honored in New Way

Last weekend, UIW welcomed its Fall Class of 2020 as the newest members of its alumni family. While the ongoing pandemic prevented students from celebrating in a traditional format, graduates were celebrated all weekend long. A virtual Baccalaureate Blessing was held Friday, Dec. 11 where faculty, staff, graduates and their families gathered online for prayer and thanksgiving. Saturday and Sunday were two fun-filled evenings as graduates and families participated in our drive-through celebration on the Broadway campus. Faculty lined the route to cheer on the grads as they took one final drive through campus enjoying the Light the Way Christmas lights before they had the opportunity to exit their vehicle for a special portrait in front of the Administration Building. Graduates were also honored in a virtual commencement ceremony on Sunday.

Congratulations to the UIW Fall Class of 2020!


Dreeben Faculty Invited to Serve Special Olympics Texas

Stephanie Grote-GarciaStephanie Grote-Garcia, Ph.D., professor of Teacher Education at the Dreeben School of Education, has been invited to serve on the Development Committee of the Special Olympics Texas — an organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities that offers sports training, athletic competitions, and inclusive programs.

“By joining the Development Committee for Special Olympics Texas, I hope to contribute to their many programs. Many people know about their athletic program, but the Special Olympics also has programs for overall health and school-based curriculum that addresses wellness, belonging, and teamwork. I hope to contribute to this curriculum and to support K-12 schools as they implement it on their campuses,” said Dr. Grote-Garcia. The curriculum can be found on the Unified Champion Schools website.

In addition, Dr. Grote-Garcia helped create a new student organization called the UIW Special Olympic College Club where members build friendships and support social justice initiatives.

“The Special Olympics and the University of the Incarnate Word both share the core value of inclusion," said Dr. Grote-Garcia. "This is why the UIW Special Olympic College Club was developed this fall semester. The club is an official student organization on campus and offers unified opportunities for Special Olympic athletes and UIW students to collaborate. In the fall, we produced a video to let athletes know that we support them during this time when sporting events have been cancelled. The club created also short videos featuring tips for health and fitness that can be found on the Special Olympics of Texas Facebook page."

Dr. Grote-Garcia is a certified Reading Specialist and Master Reading Teacher. Prior to teaching in higher education, she taught struggling elementary readers in Texas public schools. She has been recognized for exemplary faculty practices by the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Advancement for Teacher Education and has received the Provost’s Legacy Teaching Award.

Graduating Biology Students Earn Recognition

Biology students holding award and wearing masks

The Department of Biology held its inaugural Fall Honors Award Ceremony on Dec. 15, 2020 to honor the hard work and excellence of five seniors in the program. Due to the current pandemic conditions, the number of individuals in attendance was limited as honorees were individually presented with their awards in an outside ceremony adhering to current health directives and social distancing protocols. Faculty not attending in person were able to attend virtually to give their best wishes to the honorees.

Earlier this year, Biology faculty, with the help of Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, and Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI, renamed the three major Excellence in Achievement Awards to honor the contributions of those Sisters who had a profound influence on the curriculum and mission of the Biology department. The first award for excellence in academics is named for Sr. Mary Lucy Corcoran, CCVI, professor of Biology who dedicated her life to the classroom and student success of both majors and non-majors. The Undergraduate Scientific Research Award is named for Sr. Joseph Marie Armer CCVI, professor emerita of Biology, Piper Professor of Texas, and founder of the Alamo Regional Science Fair. Through her work with the Alamo Regional Fair, she extended her pursuit of providing opportunities to all students at every level to pursue experimental research in STEM. The third award for service to the community and leadership is appropriately named for Sr. Dorothy Ettling, CCVI, professor of Organization Leadership and founder of the UIW Ettling Center for Civic Leadership. Honorees were selected by Biology faculty after close consideration of how each student fulfilled the requirements and best embodied the spirit of each award. 

We are proud to announce the Fall 2020 Biology honors award recipients:

The Sister Mary Lucy Corcoran Award for Outstanding Academic Performance in Biology

Sachin Abraham 
Honor’s Program 
B.S. Biology, Fall 2020 graduate 

Noah I. Gonzales 
Biology major, Spring 2020 graduate candidate

Sister Joseph Marie Armer Award for Outstanding Biology Student in Research

Marina Vargas  
Honor’s Program 
B.S. Biology, Minor in Psychology and Religious Studies, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Neuroscience. 
Fall 2020 graduate 
Research Project: Regeneration of Negative Phototactic Response in  Lumbriculus Variegatus (mentor, Dr. Veronica Acosta) 
Bryan Salvador 
UIW Honors Student 
B.S. Biology, Fall 2020 graduate 
Research Project: Characterization of Neoblast Population during Regeneration in  Lumbriculus Variegatus (mentor, Dr. Veronica Acosta) 

Sister Dorothy Ettling Award for Outstanding Biology Student in Service:

Teresa Estefania Baistra 
Honors Program 
B.S. Biology, Fall 2020 graduate 
Service activities: San Antonio Youth Literacy Reading Buddy Program Volunteer; Assists special needs students in physical education; International Student Ambassador; Summer bilingual elementary class volunteer; Campus Community garden volunteer; UIW Biology Club; served as president and vice-president of Pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Association.

We congratulate all our award recipients and their families, friends, and mentors who have supported them in their journey here at UIW and wish them many blessings in their future paths to professional and personal success!

Mission and Ministry

Advent Reflection: A Savior is Born to Us

Steeple during light the way

Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, vice president for Mission and Ministry shares an advent reflection.

Listen here on Soundcloud

A Reflection on Joy by Fr. Roger Keeler

Advent candles

Yesterday, the Third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar is properly known as Gaudete Sunday: the Sunday of Rejoicing – the Sunday of Joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4/4). 

But what was there to rejoice about yesterday? Very little in the New York Times, Washington Post, or San Antonio Express-News would move anyone to rejoice about what was going on in the world. Nothing broadcast on NPR, CNN, Fox, or CNBC helped either.

The Christmas cards, everyone one of them with their cheerful messages of joy and peace, only serve to exacerbate a profound sense of shadow, gloom, unhappiness, and loneliness rather than alleviate any of those feelings. Christmas 2020 is just not a happy, festive time to be looked forward to! No, it is rather like the rest of 2020 – the faster it can be left behind, the better.

It is rather hard to be joyful and happy when things are this bad. Pure and simple! 

Happiness and joy? 

There is a book with an intriguing title: Choose Joy Because Happiness is Not Enough (Revell, 2012) by Kay Warren, author and co-founder, with her husband, Rick, of Saddleback Church, a Baptist Evangelical megachurch in the Saddleback Valley located in Lake Forest, Orange County, CA, in 1980. 

What does she mean when she says that “happiness is not enough”? Does this mean that joy is different than happiness? They are the same thing, are they not?

The Dalai Lama is admired for the smiling, joyful way in which he lives in this tumultuous world. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, despite his years struggling under the reigns of apartheid, is unquestionably a joy-filled man. 

Douglas Abrams, American publisher and author, recorded his time with both of these remarkable men in a book entitled, Lasting Happiness in a Changing World: The Book of Joy (Penguin, New York, 2016). It is as profound a read as it is delightful!

Archbishop Tutu says: “It’s wonderful to discover that what we want is not actually happiness. It is not what I would speak of. I would speak of joy. Joy subsumes happiness. Joy is the far greater thing. Think of a mother who is going to give birth. Almost all of us want to escape pain. And mothers know that they are going to have pain, the great pain of giving birth. But they accept it. And even after the most painful labour, once the baby is out, you can’t measure the mother’s joy (p. 32). The Dalai Lama is quick to point out that “joy is something different from happiness.” 

California psychologist Dr. Cheryl A. MacDonald, in an article entitled, “Is there a Relationship between Happiness and Joy?” writes that: “Happiness is subjective. What matters is someone’s perception of happiness … Happiness is a blurred emotion. It can mean different things to many people … Most of us will agree that happiness is an emotional state of well-being defined by positive feelings ranging from contentment to intense joy.”

Dr. MacDonald notes that joy, on the other hand, “is a state of mind, a combination of emotions, and in the spiritual context, is localized in our heart. Joy contains elements of contentment, confidence and hope.”

But are they related? Well, she observes, “Yes and No.  Joy is something that lasts. Happiness is something that is temporary.  Joy is an inner, conscious belief.  Happiness is external. Something people may feel for a short time, for example, when they buy something that they desire. Joy brings with it a feeling of contentment when someone is in the middle of a life storm. Happiness is not present in a life storm.”

So they are not the same! But, then, how does one achieve joy – genuine joy?

Archbishop Tutu offers this:

"If you think we want to get joy for ourselves, we realize that it’s very short-sighted, short-lived. Joy is the reward, really, of seeking to give joy to others. When you show compassion, when you show caring, when you show love to others, do things for others, in a wonderful way, you have a deep joy that you can get in no other way. You can’t buy it with money. You can be the richest person on Earth, but if you care only about yourself, I can bet my bottom dollar, you will not be happy and joyful. But when you are caring, compassionate, more concerned about the welfare of others than about your own, wonderfully, wonderfully, you suddenly feel a warm glow in your heart, because you have, in fact, wiped the tears from the eyes of another” (p. 293).

Douglas Abrams sums this up beautifully when he writes: “Ultimately, joy is not something to learn, it is something to live. And our greatest joy is lived in deep, loving, and generous relationships with others” (p. 348). 

Pope Francis, the Joyful Pope, has something to say about this “deep, loving, and generous relationship” in his first apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium – the Joy of the Gospel – given to the Church and the world on the 24th of November 2013. In paragraph three, he writes: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord’” (Italics added for emphasis).

To stop in the midst of harried life pulling us off “Madly Off in All Directions” (the name of a popular Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio show that aired in the early 20s), in order to encounter the Lord – or at least to stop long enough for the Lord to find us! – permits us time to savour the sweetness of the moment, to be grateful for gifts given and received, to ponder hope for tomorrow, and to imagine a world where the shadow, gloom, unhappiness, and loneliness of this Gaudete Sunday are replaced by joy promised by the Lord: “These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (Jn. 15/11). 

And there is another wise counsel for attaining joy that Pope Francis mentions: “This is the joy which we experience daily, amid the little things of life, as a response to the loving invitation of God our Father: ‘My child, treat yourself well, according to your means … Do not deprive yourself of the day’s enjoyment’ (Sir. 14/11, 14). What tender paternal love echoes in these words!” (§4. Italics added for emphasis).

Yes, joy! Because happiness is just not enough.

Sunday Morning Prayer: Fourth Sunday of Advent

santuaryUniversity Mission and Ministry invites you to attend our weekly Sunday Morning Prayers. 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 during this celebration of the Liturgy of the Word. The service will be held on Zoom. The platform will open at 10:45 a.m. for an opportunity to greet one another before prayer. We hope you’ll be able to join us! For more information, please contact Lena Gokelman or Carmen Aguilera at or (210) 832-3207.

RSVP to receive a Zoom link to the Dec. 20 Prayer Service

Virtual Sunday liturgies via Zoom from the University will resume on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. It is our hope to begin to transition to livestreaming worship services and Mass from Our Lady’s Chapel once audio/visual installations are complete in this sacred space.

Weekday in-person Mass will resume at noon in Our Lady’s Chapel on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. All in-person worship is subject to the guidelines UIW is observing during the pandemic. As this is a fluid situation, we appreciate your understanding and patience.

Festival of Lessons and Carols

An open BibleThe Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the University of the Incarnate Word invite the entire Incarnate Word family to a Festival of Lessons and Carols to be aired on Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. via Zoom. The Festival of Lessons and Carols is a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century. Scripture lessons which recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News are proclaimed. Each lesson is followed by a carol or choral meditation that reflects the scriptural message of that lesson, concluding with a brief prayer. 

There will be no in-person Christmas Eve (12/24) or Day (12/25) liturgies celebrated this year in Our Lady’s Chapel or in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word due to the ongoing pandemic. However, we are invited to celebrate virtually or in-person with our Brainpower parishes and San Fernando Cathedral, Archdiocese of San Antonio.

RSVP for a Zoom link to the Festival

Community News

Ettling Center Assistant Director Earns Service Award

Yesenia CalocaYesenia Caloca, assistant director of the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability, received the Racial Equity and Interfaith Cooperation Award, part of the We Are Each Other’s campaign, from the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). The IFYC supports efforts that promote the engagement and exploration of racial equity and interfaith cooperation. The project and resulting workshop—Muslims and Christians Together Creating the Beloved Community: Transforming Racism through Understanding and Uniting in Compassionate Service—will presented by the IFYC on the UIW campus Jan. 15, 2021. Registration is required and free to the public.

Learn more about the workshop

Thank You, UIW Donors

When you give to UIW, you invest in the next generation of leaders. You are making dreams, like Imani’s, a reality. Every single gift, no matter the size, makes an impact.

Make a year-end gift

The CARES Act: Year-End Giving

Student working on laptop in the student engagement center while wearing a mask

As we prepare to say farewell to 2020, many of our UIW community members have begun making plans for charitable gifts to organizations and institutions that mean the most to them. For your convenience, the following is a summary of information on the CARES Act that may be helpful to you in your year-end giving.

To help offset the negative effects of COVID-19 on Americans’ financial security, the federal CARES Act was passed in March. The bill offers certain new tax incentives for donors making charitable contributions in 2020.

Here are a few highlights of interest:

  • If you are 70½ or older with an IRA, you may still make tax-free charitable distributions to charity, even though required minimum distributions are suspended through the end of the year.
  • If you are not itemizing, you can claim an additional, “above-the-line” deduction for charitable gifts made in cash up to $300.
  • If you itemize deductions as an individual donor, the limit on how much of your adjusted gross income (AGI) you can claim as a deduction has increased. For cash contributions made in 2020, you can elect to deduct up to 100 percent of your AGI (increased from 60 percent)

This increase can allow individuals ages 59½ to 70½ years old (who are not depending upon the existing retirement funds) to take a cash distribution from their IRA, contribute the cash to charity, and enjoy offsetting tax attributable to the distribution by taking a charitable deduction in an amount up to 100 percent of their AGI for the tax year.

Your generosity and vision helps UIW to sustain and extend our Mission. Please consider making a gift prior to Dec. 31, 2020 to qualify for your deduction. For more information, please contact Alex Castañeda at (210) 829-6071 or

Learn about ways to make a gift

In the News

San Antonio Express-News: UIW welcomes 13 newcomers on first day of early signing period

Coach Eric Morris talking to football player on the field

"During a normal year, the newcomers Incarnate Word coach Eric Morris signs during the early period are months away from stepping into the program, likely joining the Cardinals in the summer for offseason strength and conditioning.

But the 2021 recruiting cycle brings a set of unprecedented circumstances, including a previously impossible fast track to playing time.

Because UIW’s Southland Conference season shifted to spring in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the two junior college players who joined the Cardinals program at the start of the early signing period Wednesday will be eligible to suit up when UIW kicks off against Sam Houston State on Feb. 20."

"UIW also signed 10 high school players Wednesday. Those newcomers will follow a more traditional path, Morris said, entering the program in June or July."

Read the full story


Donations Needed for St. Vincent De Paul

Canned food items

The St. Vincent De Paul’s Conference Center located at St. Ann’s Catholic Church is in dire need of items for the upcoming holidays. Please consider donating the following:

  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Rice
  • Pinto Beans

Donations can be dropped off at 1334 W. Ashby, San Antonio, TX 78201, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 - 11 a.m.

For more information or opportunities for faculty or student organization collaboration, please contact the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability at

Cardinal Corner

Recognizing Our Newest Alumni

As we continue to celebrate the UIW Fall Class of 2020, we have some recent graduates to introduce to you. These students were nominated to be featured in this week's newsletter by UIW community members who recognized their dedication to their studies and the hard work that helped them make it to this moment.

Monizza PerryMonizza Perry

Monizza Perry, a Fall 2020 graduate of the Rehabilitative Sciences program, has "a heart of gold." It was her love for others and her desire to serve them that inspired her to seek a career in health services. She was selected by her Senior Cohort to be on the Rehabilitation Science Student Leadership Committee to assist underclassmen with any issues they had during their time as students.

Still, Monizza doesn't want to stop at helping people in need. She plans to use her knowledge and skills to help educate others on why their health is so important and how they can best take care of themselves. She's also not done with her education just yet - ultimately, Monizza wants to attend graduate school and become a physician assistant.

As she leaves the Nest, Monizza says she'll miss the UIW community most of all. "Everyone at UIW is willing to help you in any way that they can because they truly care for their students," she said. "The love I have felt here is something that I will never forget!"

Her advice to younger UIW Cardinals is to soak it all in and enjoy the experience – focusing on grades and getting to know the people in your corner.

"Most of all, have fun and enjoy your time at UIW," she added. "It flies by much quicker than you think!"

Congratulations, Monizza!

Elijah RodriguezElijah Rodriguez

Elijah Rodriguez graduated this fall after leading a busy life as a Cardinal. Before graduating, Elijah served as the president of Alpha Phi Omega, the vice president of the Pre-Pharmacy Association and the vice president of the UIW Lions Club. During his time with Alpha Phi Omega, he dedicated more than 150 service hours to his community.

A first-generation college graduate, Elijah has no plans of slowing down. Next up for him is the pursuit of becoming a pharmacist.

When asked what his favorite part of his time as a Cardinal was, he answered, "Building new friendships and accomplishing things that I never thought I could. Also becoming a better person, friend and a better leader."

His advice to current students is to take advantage of the time they have as a UIW student because the time goes more quickly than you think it will.

"Seems like yesterday I was walking past the clock tower, now I’m walking under it!"

Two women pose for a photo togetherJulia Robles

Julia Robles is no stranger to hard work. She just graduated with two degrees – Bachelors of Arts in Fashion Management and English. According to Teri Lopez, Fashion Management program director, Julia was driven to make the most of her time as a student, taking 18 hours every semester. As a result of her hard work, Julia was selected as the "2020 Outstanding Fashion Student of the Year." Her technical skills in pattern making landed her an internship with Gerber Inc. this summer. Julia is passionate about the environment and completed an independent study in sustainability, which led to her decision to pursue a master's degree in Supply Chain Management next year. Her long term goal is to complete her PhD in the field of Sustainability.

Julia encourages other students not to be afraid to pursue multiple fields and hobbies of interest saying, "If you are an accounting major who has a love for writing sci-fi fantasy stories, there is a path for you to explore both. Get to know what every department has to offer and I guarantee there will be professors to support whatever you want to do."

As she leaves the Nest, Julia says she is proud of who she has become.

"I am leaving a more complete person than when I started four years ago, and I plan on continuing my growth through the Incarnate Word."

Alumni and Parent Relations

Dr. Joseph Penn, BS ’87 Named Chair of NCCHC Board 

Dr. Joseph Penn, BS '87 recently elected chair of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care

Join us in congratulating Dr. Joseph Penn, BS '87, as he was recently elected chair of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) Governance Board.

Read about Dr. Penns election

UIW Alumnus Battles in Front Lines of Pandemic

A man in a medical maskUIW alumnus, Dr. Dennis Guadarrama (B.S. Biology, '10), was recently interviewed by the Providence Journal, a subscription newspaper service from Providence, RI, about his experiences as an ICU physician treating COVID-19 patients during a surge, both in Rhode Island and subsequently in Texas. While a student at UIW, Guadarrama was accepted into the early admission program at Boston University, where he completed his medical degree. He subsequently completed his rotation, internship and residency in the Roger Williams Medical Center ICU in Providence and was working in the ICU unit as a pulmonary fellow when the first surge of the pandemic began. Guadarrama moved back to Texas in June and now serves as a pulmonology fellow at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center ICU department in Lubbock.

Read the full Providence Journal story


UIW announces DaShena Stevens as assistant AD/business and finance, Senior Staff member

DaShena StevensUniversity of the Incarnate Word Athletic Director Richard Duran has announced the hiring of DaShena Stevens as UIW’s assistant Athletic director/business and finance. Stevens’ hire also rounds out the Cardinal Senior Staff.

In addition to leading the Athletics business office, Stevens will be the sport administrator for UIW’s fencing and spirit programs. She will also be the department’s liaison to the UIW Human Resources Department and Information Technology Department.

“I am fired up to welcome DaShena to the UIW community and to our Senior Staff,” said Duran. “When looking for the next assistant AD of business and finance for our department, I wanted a strong leader with an appreciation for the student-athlete experience, a proven accounting background, and a commitment to the greater good. Most importantly, though, I wanted someone who would live by the UIW Mission and values. I believe we found this person in DaShena. I’m looking forward to having her on campus as she supports our efforts in building champions in the classroom, community and competition.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the University of the Incarnate Word's athletic department,” said Stevens. “I want to thank Richard and the UIW leadership team for giving me the opportunity to serve as assistant Athletic Director/business and finance. Not only is this an unparalleled opportunity to work at the intersection of my passions –business, finance, and athletics – but it also allows me to be part of a University that has a Mission and values that align with my own. I believe in Richard’s vision and I am looking forward to being part of the Cardinal family!”

Stevens comes to UIW following two years at the University of North Carolina where she was the business services coordinator for athletics. In that position, Stevens assisted in the preparation, administration and monitoring of an annual budget of $110 million. She also audited and processed various forms of payment including travel reimbursements, expense reports, and purchasing card charges for the department via the University’s accounting system.

Stevens worked closely with the men’s and women’s basketball programs, the football program and other departments in athletics to ensure journal entries were completed and processed accurately. Additionally, she handled the independent contractors process for volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s basketball and tennis, while also managing the Aramark contract and reconciling revenue commission totaling $1.3 million.

Prior to UNC, Stevens was an assistant women’s basketball coach from 2015-18 at her alma mater, St. John’s. She finished her career as one of the most decorated players in St. John’s history after scoring 1,515 points and grabbing 815 rebounds. Stevens was inducted into the St. John’s University Hall of Fame in 2020. As an assistant coach, Stevens helped guide the Red Storm to a Big East championship.

Before joining the coaching ranks at St. John’s, Stevens was the director of business and finance at Wagner College from 2014-15. While at Wagner, she helped monitor an annual athletics budget of more than $16 million, supported coaches and directors in budget planning and management by providing weekly and monthly financial reporting, and prepared and conducted the EADA and NCAA surveys for the department.

Additionally, Stevens reported all recruiting and operating expenses, guarantees, ticket sales and additional revenue for the annual audit. She also served as the liaison between the college business office, human resources and information technology departments for processing paperwork.

Following her playing days at St. John’s (2008-12), Stevens played professionally for BCF Elfic Fribourg Basket – Ligue Nationale de Basketball (Switzerland-LNA) in Fribourg, Switzerland. She then worked as an accounts payable associate at Glencore LTD (2013) and an assurance associate at McGladrey, LLP (2014).

Stevens was a leadership coach for the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy and was selected as a MOAA Rising Star participant.

Stevens holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John’s, where she graduated cum laude in 2012. She earned a Master of Science in Athletic Administration from North Carolina Central in December 2020. Stevens has a daughter, Aria Burrell.


Walt Hameline

Director of Athletics, Wagner College

"Congratulations to DaShena on her new role at UIW. DaShena was great in her time at Wagner. She brought phenomenal energy to the office and was as reliable as they come. She knows what it takes to be successful and she will step-in right away and build relationships within the campus. It was an advantage to have someone in our department who was such a successful collegiate athlete, and I have no doubts she will be a great fit for the Cardinals."

Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree

Director of Athletics, North Carolina Central University

"All of my interactions with DaShena have proven energizing. She is a dynamic, bright young professional in whom I have the utmost confidence. Her passion for athletic administration shines through in all she does – most notably the initiative and how intentional she is in seeking mentorship to develop herself professionally. I was thrilled to learn that she’s accepted a position at UIW. I look forward to watching her leverage her vast experiences to make a major impact for student-athletes at UIW.”

Kathy Meehan

Senior Deputy Athletics Director/Senior Women's Administrator, St. John’s University

“I am beyond proud of DaShena as she takes the next step in her career as the Assistant AD for Business and Finance at UIW. Dating back to her days as a student-athlete, she has always exemplified the meaning of hard work. It has been such an honor to watch her grow from a player to an assistant coach, and now an administrator. DaShena is not only one of the most decorated players to walk the halls at St. John’s, but she is an outstanding person. She is truly an exceptional mother and role model. I have watched DaShena succeed in every position she has taken on, and I know that will be no different at UIW. Her St. John’s family and I wish her the best of luck!”

Martina Ballen

Senior Associate Athletic Director, Human Resources & Chief Financial Officer, University of North Carolina

“I am so excited for this opportunity for DaShena. Her depth of experience, knowledge and commitment to excellence will be an asset for UIW. She has been a great addition to our Athletics Business Office staff, bringing her accounting knowledge, but also her perspective as a former student-athlete and assistant coach. She was able to provide insight to discussions that few could offer. DaShena is always professional and prepared and is able to adjust quickly to changing issues or a shift in priorities. DaShena is committed to whatever she takes on and has strengthened our team immensely. She is the epitome of a team player and is respected by all. She will truly be missed at North Carolina.”


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 

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)