The Word: UIW Community Newsletter - October 8, 2021


UIW Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion

A group of students cheer

The San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ) has named the University of the Incarnate Word as one of its first recipients of the publications’ inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Awards. SABJ chose 10 honorees who, they say, have gone above and beyond to bolster diversity and inclusion efforts.

“We are thankful to the San Antonio Business Journal for this recognition,” says Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, UIW provost. “This is really a credit to the students, faculty and staff who humbly work every day to treat each other and others with dignity and respect. Achieving diversity, equity and inclusion is a practice that we should all aspire to on a daily basis and the true accolades belong to those who quietly go about this practice to make our campus, community and the world a better place.”

UIW is a diverse institution rooted in inclusion and service. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution that is top-ranked nationally among faith-based institutions graduating Hispanic students with bachelor’s degrees. Fifty two percent of students are Hispanic and 23 percent of students are international, representing 60 countries. In addition, the Spring 2021 graduating class completed a total of 67,917 hours of service in the community providing an economic impact totaling $1,847,342 in volunteer service hours.

Students, faculty and staff across the University work to address inequities in the community. For example, students and faculty of UIW’s five health professions schools (Feik School of Pharmacy, Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Rosenberg School of Optometry and School of Physical Therapy) regularly work to provide care and services to communities in Texas and internationally, often focusing on underserved, housing insecure and at-risk communities.

Additionally, in the past year, the student organization “As One We Will” held an inaugural Juneteenth event, commemorating the historic day. The Office of Mission and Ministry launched a new initiative called “DEI Circles” for community building in person and via zoom. The goal of “DEI Circles” is for people to support one another and learn together about the important issues that are central to the Mission at UIW, in our nation and our global community.

This work continues as members of the University community work in ways large and small to make deep and positive impacts.

“I am grateful for the recognition given to UIW by the San Antonio Business Journal for its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts,” says Dr. Arturo Chávez, associate vice president of Mission and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UIW. “Certainly, UIW has a rich history and track record of fostering a diverse environment and it is important to celebrate our accomplishments. At the same time, it is important to remember that overcoming barriers to respectful and equitable inclusion is ongoing and it is not easy. Individuals and groups across campus have made important progress, but we are now strengthening these efforts to reach more members of our community and to make important systemic changes.”

UIW works hard to provide access to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Thirty percent of students are first generation and ninety-eight percent of freshmen receive grant or scholarship aid. UIW has been ranked No. 27 in the nation for universities providing social mobility by U.S. News and World Report. In addition, UIW has entered into historic agreements with Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities and others to provide a clear pathway for students looking for a career in the healthcare field.

According to its website, the inaugural SABJ Diversity and Inclusion awards seeks to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to bolster equality across all areas of diversity, including age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion and socio-economic status.


New Pharmacy Technician Program now accepting applications

A woman in a white coat and a woman in red scrubs

Registration for UIW’s Pharmacy Technician Program is now open for 2022, with cohorts starting on Jan. 4, 2022, and June 1, 2022. Classes will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 - 9 p.m. each week at the Feik School of Pharmacy.

The Pharmacy Technician Program is a new certificate program that provides hands-on training, innovative education and a learner-centered community dedicated to advancing the quality of pharmacy practice in a variety of practice settings. The program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and passion to successfully pass the national pharmacy technician certification exam and directly enter the exciting field of pharmacy.

“As the role of the pharmacist advances to more direct patient care, the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacy technician are also advancing,” said Glynis Sims-Bonds, director of the Pharmacy Technician Program. “Our program is designed to follow the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) standards, which will prepare our students to perform at optimal levels in many different areas of pharmacy, including retail, hospital, home-health care and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).”

Learners have the option of completing the Certified Entry Level Pharmacy Technician program, which is a 45-week program that consists of eight courses in Pharmacy and 27 college credit hours, or the Certified Entry and Advanced Level Pharmacy Technician program, which lasts for 65 weeks, adding three courses and 14 college credit hours once the Entry Level Program is complete.

The certificate credit hours qualify for transfer to an Associate of Science degree in UIW’s Health Sciences.

The Pharmacy Technician Program curriculum includes a global perspective with emphasis on social justice and co-curricular activities. Learners are eligible to work in a pharmacy, under supervision, while attending school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 12% growth rate for pharmacy technicians. The 2018 median hourly pay was $15.72. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP) requires passing a national certification exam and registration with the TSBP in order to work as a pharmacy technician.

Learn more about the new program

IEEE participates in 40th annual Digital Avionics Systems Conference

Students stand in front of a displayed screen presentationUIW’s newest club, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), took part in the 40th Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC) from Oct. 4-7 in San Antonio. DASC seeks to synergize market leaders and policymakers, through in-person conferences and dialogue, about how to continue to push the boundaries of Avionic Systems in every arena of our lives.

"In my opinion, competitions play a role in motivating students to perform and excel, and they offer a lot more rewards than just the winning prize,” said Srikanth Vemula, CIS instructor, principal investigator (PI) for the Computational Intelligence Lab (CIL) of the AVS Research Laboratories, Ph.D. candidate and IEEE Lonestar chapter member. “Through competitions, students get a chance to gain substantial experience, showcase skills, analyze and evaluate outcomes and uncover personal aptitude, which will encourage students to adopt innovative techniques and develop their ideas and skills outside their classroom experience."

Jovany Avila, AVS lab staff engineer who earned a bachelor’s in Engineering with a focus on Mechatronics from UIW and is currently working towards his master’s in Electrical Engineering at UTSA, and Tristan Brouwer, IEEE student branch vice chair who obtained his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at UIW and is working toward his master’s in Finance, presented a poster with continued work from their UIW Engineering undergraduate Capstone project, Indoor Autonomous Powerline Inspection Model.

"The club has given us the opportunity to network with professional organizations within our field and bring new speakers in to speak to the IEEE members,” said Brouwer. “These speakers help to bridge the gap between the studies students do at the University and professional work done after graduation. The conference gave us insight into the tremendous amount of research that is being done worldwide and some of the groundbreaking topics that are being researched in the scope of avionics and their systems.”

Additionally, Vemula hosted a discussion about his research titled “Multi-Head Attention Based Transformers for Vegetation Encroachment Over Powerline Corridors Using UAV.” He also chaired a panel on Autonomy, High Performance Computing, and 4DT in UAM. Both teams exemplified the groundbreaking research done at the Autonomous Vehicle Systems (AVS) Laboratories at UIW.

The IEEE club also took part in DASC’s inaugural drone competition. This competition was a set of obstacles designed to be navigated autonomously by undergraduate and graduate students. Among the drone team were lead programmers Charles Beck, IEEE student branch chair and senior Engineering major with a CIS minor, and Brouwer, as well as other undergraduates and graduates: Chris Miloro (senior Cyber Security Systems major), Avila, Orion Jones (senior Meteorology major) and Jason Simpson (senior Engineering major). The team placed second overall and was honored on Oct. 6, 2021.

“The competition was great as it gave us an opportunity to showcase the hard work we have been doing in our lab here at UIW and compare it to other universities throughout the nation,” added Brouwer. “After the event, we even had a chance to collaborate with the other universities and learn about the strategies they employed to help further our own development. Overall, we had an amazing time and are very grateful for the chance to attend the DASC sponsored by IEEE."

Funding and faculty guidance for the drone competition was provided by the AVS Research Labs, the Office of Naval Research, and the Army Research Office.

UIW Dreeben School of Education to Hold Professional Development Workshops

A student writes with markersUIW is proud to host the Dreeben School of Education’s UIW Teacher Network: Professional Development Workshop Series.

The UIW Teacher Network announced the 2021-2022 Professional Development Workshop Series titled Social Justice in Action: Amplifying their Voices. The series is grounded in Learning for Justice’s Social Justice Standards of identity, diversity, justice and action. Participants will learn strategies and techniques to facilitate critical conversations on race, equity, and social justice.

This professional development series is open to the public and to all members of the community. Visit the UIW Teacher Network website for more information and to register for events. You may also contact Brandi Coleman at (210) 829-2763 or email

  • Sat., Nov. 13: Planting Seeds and Empowering Communities
    • Amplified Voices: Food Insecurity
    • Presented by: Gardopia
  • Sat., Feb. 5: Healing Minds Through Mindfulness
    • Amplified Voices: Youth with Incarcerated Parents and Mental Health
    • Presented by: CR Bloom Project/Black Outside Inc.
  • Sat., March 26: Creating Equitable Communities for Homeless Youth
    • Amplified Voices: LGBTQIA+ and Youth Homelessness
    • Presented by: THRIVE Youth Center and SARAH Alliance to House Everyone
  • Sat., April 23 Youth Advocacy: Speaking Up and Speaking Out
    • Amplified Voices: Youth Advocacy
    • Presented by: Our Tomorrow

Mission and Ministry

Upcoming Services and Celebrations

A church steeple and trees

The months of October and November have always been special times of “remembering” at the University of the Incarnate Word. Heritage Week reminds us of our Mission and those who came before us who paved the way for the institution we are today. We remember our deceased Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and alumni in prayerful gatherings during our Homecoming Alumni Memorial Mass and our monthly Memorial Mass – which is also an opportunity to remember deceased members of our UIW family. These celebrations lead us to the feasts of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, and to the celebrations of Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead, which honors the memory of deceased family members with food, treats and other remembrances that were special to them in life). For many years, we have commemorated Día de los Muertos with a beautiful ofrenda near Our Lady's Chapel, decorated with symbols and signs of the season, skulls and skeletons (reminding us that death is just part of life), and most importantly, with pictures of those whom we wish to remember. These altarcitos or “little altars,” are created to help us remember, learn about and celebrate the lives of our loved ones.

An ofrenda will be set up on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the hallway leading to Our Lady’s Chapel. It will remain set up until Nov. 18. Here are ways you can participate: 

  • Place photographs of your deceased loved ones and friends on the ofrenda outside Our Lady’s Chapel (Please include your name, cell phone and email on the back of each photo if you wish them to be returned).
  • Sign our Book of Remembrance in the hallway near the Our Lady’s Chapel.
  • If you are remote, send in pictures of your loved ones to with “Ofrenda pictures from (your name)” in the subject line no later than Sunday, Oct. 24. We will include them in our All Souls’ Day ofrenda video to be shown before Mass on Nov. 2.
  • If your department or school will be setting up an ofrenda, take some pictures and let us know – especially if yours is a “public” ofrenda that others can visit! We will try to compile a pictorial directory of these places of remembrance from our UIW campuses and Brainpower schools. All pictures should be sent to with “Ofrenda pictures from (your name)” in the subject line no later than Sunday, Oct. 24.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend Mass on Nov. 1 and 2. There is no better way to honor the memory of a loved one than with your prayers, joined with the prayers of your UIW family. Mass will be held in person in Our Lady’s Chapel and Zoom on both days. Links to register may be found on our UMM Event Registration Site.

If you are interested in building your own ofrenda but don’t know where to begin, here are a few helpful websites:

For more information, please contact Lena Gokelman at

Homecoming Alumni Memorial Mass | Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. (Our Lady’s Chapel and Zoom)

University Mission and Ministry and the UIW Department of Alumni and Parent Relations invite you to attend our Homecoming Alumni Memorial Mass on Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. CT. This Mass will also celebrate the close of Homecoming weekend. It is an honored tradition recognizing the 50th reunion class and remembering those who have died. There were wonderful bonds created during these years and these memories are what make "coming home" such a special part of how our University family celebrates together - alumni, future alumni, faculty, staff, Sisters, parents and friends of UIW.

We welcome you to send in the names of any recently departed loved ones or friends that you wish to be remembered. Please submit your names by the end of the day, Thursday, Oct. 28. Names received by this date will appear in the digital worship bulletin for that Sunday.

This will be a hybrid celebration with limited seating available in Our Lady’s Chapel and livestreaming via Zoom. All links to register may be found on our UMM Event Registration site.

For more information, please contact


Community News

Hispanic Heritage Month: Role Models and Research

A headshot of Dr. Reyes Garcia“I’ll have to say that the women in my family are my role models both personally and professionally.”

Dr. Zazil Reyes Garcia, associate professor and director of Communication Arts ABM Programs at the University of the Incarnate Word, points back to her mother, grandmother, and many other women in her family for her drive and ambition in life.

“My maternal grandmother graduated from medical school in Monterrey, Mexico in the 1940s, when not many women were pursuing a career,” said Reyes Garcia. “Her sisters started working at 15 to support her and their other siblings who had gone to college. My paternal grandmother was a homemaker until her youngest son left for college. She then enrolled into an education program and taught at underserved middle schools in Mexico City for decades.”

Reyes Garcia was born in Yucatán, Mexico, before coming to the U.S. as a teenager while her parents attended graduate school in North Carolina. She then returned to the U.S. in 2009 to pursue a Ph.D. at UT Austin and has been in Texas since then. Growing up, her mother was an activist scholar who, with a group of friends, wrote a weekly feminist column for a newspaper in Yucatán. Reyes Garcia and the women in her family

Reyes Garcia credits her dad with being a feminist, too, but she attributes the women in her family for her love of research, and her interest in the topics make the work enjoyable.

“I am obsessed with media and pop culture, so that’s the easiest part of my research,” said Reyes Garcia. “It’s hard to express in a few words what I’ve learned through my research. Most importantly, that Latinas/os/x have been vastly underrepresented and misrepresented in the media. That underrepresentation – both as producers of content and as subjects of portrayals – continues to be a problem, and that we have much work to do.”

Reyes Garcia uses her classes to help continue that work, allowing her teaching and research to inform each other. She brings questions and information from research into her classes and allows her students’ experiences and questions to help shape her interests and future explorations.

Prior to joining the UIW family, Reyes Garcia had only visited San Antonio once, but she fell in love with the city and the community. Every person she met, she says, was very kind, and it was easy to see herself here.

“The first thing that attracted me to the school was the position,” said Reyes Garcia. “My department was looking for a professor in bilingual communication. when I met with the representative from human resources and they beautifully and seamlessly switched between Spanish and English during our conversation, I knew this is where I wanted to be.”

Reyes Garcia’s love for teaching has continued at UIW. Deciding which class is her favorite to teach is not an easy task. She says she tells each class “This one is my favorite!” and she means it, acknowledging that she teaches what she considers “all the cool classes.”

Reyes Garcia hopes her love of research and learning will influence her students, especially minority students. She wants them to understand the contributions that their communities have made and continue to make.

Reyes Garcia takes a selfie with her familyReyes Garcia has worked with bicultural programs before, teaching courses in both English and Spanish in the U.S. and Mexico. She discovered a lot teaching in Mexico, but she has learned to appreciate diversity more since arriving at UIW.

“In the U.S., and especially at UIW, I have had the privilege of working with truly diverse student populations. It is more challenging and also much more rewarding.”

Through her love of research and teaching, and her desire to help her students contribute to the world, Reyes Garcia continues to point back to her role models as her guiding light.

“I owe the women in my family my interests,” said Reyes Garcia. “All of these women opened doors for others in their different professions. Those who are gone left a strong mark on the people around them and taught the next generations to strive for the same.”

Heritage Week at UIW

People attend Mass

UIW celebrated Heritage Week from Oct. 4 - 8, 2021. The annual observance serves as a time to remember the University's founding and heritage, and be reminded of the work of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word that the community strives to continue.

"UIW’s origin story is one that many know by heart," said UIW President Dr. Thomas Evans in a message to the community. "In 1869, three young French Sisters answered the call of Bishop Dubuis to care for and minister to the people of San Antonio during a cholera outbreak. Their compassionate response to this great need, and the many great needs that followed, would lead the courageous Sisters to establish a hospital, children’s homes, schools and what would become the University of the Incarnate Word."

A collage of photos of people receiving awards

In celebration of Heritage Week, UIW Human Resources honored approximately 300 employees who have reached milestone years of service with the University. While the COVID-19 pandemic kept the community from gathering in the traditional celebratory format, honorees were visited and handed certificates in recognition of their selfless service over many years.

With the University's heritage always in mind, the community now looks ahead to continuing the Mission into the future.

A collage of photos of people receiving awards

"With the collaboration of everyone in our community, we continue building on the foundation laid by our founders long ago," Evans continued. "As we expand physically with Founders Hall and the Brooks Campus, virtually with Global Online, and academically with a new Master of Science in Applied Pharmaceutical Science and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in the making, to name a very few, we further our Mission and employ the charism shared with us by the Sisters."

Their legacy, our stories. Learn about various Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word here.

UIW to Host REST Conference

Hands form a circle around text that reads, "Rest Conference. 10.29.2021"The Resilience and Empowerment for Stressful Times Conference (REST), an online conference, will emphasize positive ways in which professionals in academic and medical fields can respond to current challenges. The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 29. While sharing a practical approach, three sessions will address today's traumas from different starting points.

“The REST Conference is sponsored by the Provost’s Office through the Center for Teaching and Learning,” said Dr. Alicia Rubio, professor of Finance and BBA director at UIW. “It is a response to the challenges that we have faced since the COVID pandemic started about 18 months ago.”

Lisa Gunderson of OneLove Consulting will help participants respond to the differential impacts of COVID, racialized violence, and other traumas. Gunderson is an award-winning educator, community speaker, organizer, leader, and equity consultant and trainer for various institutions in Canada and the United States, focusing on issues that impact BIPOC populations, especially on racial identity and mental wellness. She is known for her ability to connect with and engage the audience while discussing anti-racism and equity issues in person and through various media outlets.

Todd Zakrajsek, associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill and president of the International Teaching Learning Cooperative, will consider what we have learned from the shift to emergency online teaching and ways to build upon these situations. Zakrajsek was a tenured associate professor of psychology and built faculty development efforts at three universities before joining UNC. At UNC, he provides resources for faculty on various topics related to teaching and learning, leadership and scholarly activity.

Ben Wortham and Father Ragan Schriver, from Catholic Charities USA, will describe the neurobiology of trauma and explore practical approaches to self-care. Wortham and Fr. Schriver work with Catholic Charities USA to live out the ministry statement: “As Catholic Charities, we labor in the streets inviting and serving those who have been left out to know and experience the tremendous and abundant love of God through Jesus Christ. We commit ourselves to break down walls of division that keep sisters and brothers separated from one another, excluded, or rendered disposable by our society. With joy, we resolve to build bridges of hope, mercy and justice toward the creation of a culture of communal care responsive to the cries of those who are poor.”

“The conference is an opportunity to learn about tools to help our students navigate this unprecedent times as well as to learn how to take care of ourselves,” said Rubio. “I am part of the organizing committee because I want to learn how to help my students be academically successful while being mindful of the stress and potential loss they have experienced in the past year and a half. Life is hard at times, and we need to learn how to survive and thrive and how to help those around us.”

The online conference will also include many breakout sessions, allowing participants to create a day that suits their interests. The conference is free for UIW staff and students, and it is open to the public for a fee of $100 per person. Group discounts are available for organizations with more than four people attending.

Register for the REST Conference

LIVE Cardinal's Radio Show

Coach Morris takes notes during a football game

Don’t miss the first ever LIVE Cardinal’s Radio show at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14 at Broadway 5050. The inaugural show will feature UIW Head Football Coach Eric Morris and will be streamed live and on demand for listeners on our UIW Athletics page. Cardinals in attendance at Broadway 5050 will be able to participate in a Live Q&A with Coach Morris and enjoy drink specials and prize giveaways. So, gather your fellow Cardinals after work next Thursday, and #RepRed at Broadway 5050!


Service Spotlight: Madison Tulaba

A group of volunteersMadison Tulaba, a senior Theatre Arts major with a minor in Education, is a work study student (student employee) with the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability. She assists with the Cardinals’ Cupboard Food Pantry, the UIW Blood Drive and other events hosted by the Ettling Center. Tulaba says the Ettling Center has great volunteer opportunities available and encourages the UIW community to take advantage. With a heart for service, Tulaba is looking forward to several upcoming opportunities to give back.

“As the holiday season is coming up, I’m excited to go deliver meals to the elderly with Meals on Wheels San Antonio, donate canned goods, donate toys, possibly volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank – there’s a lot of opportunities there: organize and sort, work in the kitchen, work in the garden, etc. – and volunteer at Elf Louise as a Santa’s Helper, where I get to pack presents for families in need,” said Tulaba.

Taluba was introduced to service at a young age, because both parents emphasized giving back to the community. She has always loved learning and helping others, and her time volunteering has introduced her to different needs and organizations in the community.

“I feel like community service allows you to see a world you don’t usually see,” said Taluba. “Sometimes that can be scary, but it can also be exhilarating. You never know where service can take you. I have always said that if I had a job helping others, I would be happy.”

Though she has volunteered for many projects across various organizations, her favorite experience was the Arise Summer Immersion Experience. During the Summer 2019, Tulaba and a group from the Ettling Center traveled to San Juan, Texas, to promote STEAM activities and spend time with children from the Colonias.

“This trip was special,” said Taluba. “I met a lot of different people and heard so many stories that I will carry with me forever. Those kids have a special place in my heart. I made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Taluba plans to continue her acts of service, even after her time as a UIW student has ended.

“I have a lot of aspirations when it comes to service,” added Taluba. “I want to continue to give back to my community in any way I can, and I want to go on more mission trips. One of my big goals has always been to join the Peace Corps. I have always wanted to travel the world, and to be able to help others while doing so would be a dream come true.”

Cardinal Corner

Cardinal Spotlight: Evalinda Davila

A headshot of Evalinda DavilaUIW's Student Government Association (SGA) is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for student participation in campus affairs that promote the Mission of the University. With this goal at the heart of SGA's activities, service plays a major role in the work that the group does every academic week. This week, we caught up with Evalinda Davila, a Political Science (American Politics) Criminal Justice major and the Student Government Association president, to talk to her about why service is important to her as SGA president.

Q: What service opportunities have you participated in this semester ?

A: I have participated in helping with underprivileged children who need clothing and ensuring food security. The parish we attend does a donation drive, but sometimes that is not enough. I continue to get information on families and work with other partners in the parish community. I try my best to make sure families do not go without. I also have been establishing partnerships within the community for Golden Harvest. Almost every university or community college has a food pantry for its student body. However, St. Mary’s University does not have one. The food collected from universities and campuses will take a percentage and assist St Mary’s with their food pantry.

Q: Why is service important to you?

A: Although I did not come from a family of financial means, I was still rich with love from my family and faith in the Lord by my mother. My siblings and I were taught to be thankful for all we have and to give back to others. We were fortunate to have all that we did. I have been able to build great relationships with individuals who have the same passion for service. There are many resources available to those who are in need. Unfortunately, many are unaware. It is a disservice not to share or offer that information that would improve or make life a little less stressful. 

Q: UIW places a heavy emphasis on service. Was that a contributing factor in your selection of the University?

A: I have been tied to the University for many years. I was married at the Mother House Chapel, and my husband and daughter are both graduates. The most crucial factor that has kept me tied to UIW is the same passion for helping others that I have seen in the most unlikely individuals.  

Q: What are your future plans for service, both short term and long term?

A: I will continue to serve my community during my academic year and beyond. My life has always been about service and the needs of others. I will continue to help my community and those who ask. I would like to ensure that children in underdeveloped communities who walk to and from school have safe routes outlined with colored curbs. I would also like to establish cooking classes for those schools that have a community garden. With healthy eating encouraged at a young age, we can help lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.  

Q: What has been your favorite service project that you've participated in and why?

A: I participated in a two-week service project in Detroit, Michigan. I had been to Detroit as a child and through my teen years. We would sometimes visit my father’s brothers. I remember how pretty it used to be. The people were happy, and the community was thriving. However, with the economy and the danger of violence, many businesses had shut down or retired. With the help of a mortgage company, the community wanted to revitalize the neighborhoods.

Alongside 150 people, we restored a park, created community gardens, built an outdoor theater, and built outdoor classrooms. This is one of the most fantastic service projects I have done. My favorite project was an outdoor movie theater. It was amazing. 

Alumni and Parents

Register for Homecoming TODAY!

A percussionist plays the tenor drumsUIW Homecoming: October 28 - 31

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

Register for homecoming events

Hispanic Heritage Month REDTalk: Jaime Gonzalez

A headshot of Jaime GonzalezIn collaboration with Universidad Incarnate Word, the Department of Alumni and Parent Relations will host its first REDTalk in Spanish. 

Jaime Gonzalez ‘11, a senior business relationship manager at PROMOLIFE Mexico, will join the talk to discuss welcoming change in career paths and learning how to adapt to new work environments.


The presentation will serve as an opportunity for UIW’s San Antonio alumni to learn, engage and interact with alumni from UIW’s Mexico campuses. This REDTalk will be livestreamed on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. on the UIW Alumni Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

Alumni October Birthday Raffle

A woman is cheered on my cheerleaders and the UIW mascot

(Archive photo)

UIW Alumni and Parent Relations is celebrating our Cardinal birthdays in a special way! It's time for the October Alumni Birthday Raffle. Are you a #UIWAlumni who was born in October? Enter the raffle for a chance to win a special gift from the UIW Alumni Association!

Happy Birthday to all our October Cardinals!

Enter the raffle here


Basketball Season Tickets On Sale Now!

A collage of images of student-athletes playing basketball

Season tickets for the University of the Incarnate Word men’s and women’s basketball teams are on sale now, with prices starting as low as $60 for women’s basketball, $80 for men’s basketball or $100 for both. Season ticket holders will receive exclusive gifts and experiences, and have priority access for future ticket upgrades and renewals.

"We are excited about the mighty tests our 2021-22 slate presents,” said Men's Basketball Head Coach Carson Cunningham. “At home, we open against the 2020-21 Sun Belt champions, the Texas State Bobcats, and host a formidable Thanksgiving weekend round-robin with Portland, a fellow Catholic school, Montana State and Southeast Missouri. It'll be hotly contested and a whole lotta fun.”

“We’re excited about the home schedule that we’ll have for this upcoming season,” added Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jeff Dow. “It will be nice to welcome back our fans into the Convo to cheer us on. Our team has been working hard this preseason to prepare themselves for what figures to be a very challenging schedule. Getting tremendous support from our home crowd will go a long way in making the Convo a tough place to play for our opponents. We encourage Cardinal fans to get their season tickets now!”

Pricing for Men’s Basketball

Reserved Seating: $120

General Admission: $80

Pricing for Women’s Basketball

Reserved Seating: $100

General Admission: $60

Pricing for Combo

Reserved Seating: $150

General Admission: $100

Season ticket holders for each team will have the opportunity to see the Cardinals in action against numerous non-conference opponents and seven Southland Conference foes.

“The Southland Conference portion of our schedule should be a dandy,” said Cunningham. “We hope our fans are as pumped up as we are to get after it. The guys are working hard to represent in fine form our storied Incarnate Word."

For more information or to purchase season tickets, please visit, call (210) 805-3000, or email Ticket Sales and Operations Coordinator Johnny Zapata at

Nicholas earns individual title, Cardinals win team title at New Mexico State Aggies Invitational

A group shot of women's golf student-athletesUIW women’s golf student-athlete Ellen Nicholas won her second consecutive tournament with an eight-under-par 54-hole finish (208) at the New Mexico State Aggie Invitational on Wednesday. This tied the 54-hole program record she set during the Huntsville Toyota Bearkat Invitational.

During the three-day tournament in Las Cruces, New Mexico, student-athletes played 18 holes per day. Nicholas recorded a 70 in round one with scores of 69 in rounds two and three. Her efforts helped the Cardinals break the team low 54-hole record with a score of 863 as they brought home the overall title.

“We take it one day and one tournament at a time,” said interim head coach Aimme Ponte. “We’ve got a really good thing going now, and this gave us the confidence we’ve been waiting for.”

On Sept. 27-28, Nicholas took first place in the Huntsville Toyota Bearkat Invitational with a score of 208. Averaging a round score of 69.3, Nicholas logged scores of 69 in the first and third rounds to help the Cardinals to a fifth-place finish, edging out league foes Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and HBU. Nicholas was named Southland Conference Women’s Golfer of the Month in September for her efforts.

UIW Defeats Northwestern State University

UIW football student-athletes play a game against Northwestern

The University of the Incarnate Word football team defeated Northwestern State, 38-27, on Saturday night to stay undefeated (2-0) in conference play. The Cardinals improved their overall record to 4-1 for the 2021 fall season. This is the best start in program history.

Cameron Ward passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Kevin Brown led the team in rushing yards with 81 and hauled in a 54-yard touchdown reception, while Marcus Cooper had a team-high two rushing touchdowns, including a 60-yard score. CJ Hardy had a team-best 120 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The Cardinals came out strong with a quick, two-play scoring drive that lasted 32 seconds. Ward found Hardy for a 47-yard completion before Hardy’s two-yard rushing touchdown gave the Cardinals an early advantage. The defense battled hard from the beginning, using a six-play turnaround to give the ball back to the Cardinals. On the ensuing drive, Cooper rushed for 60-yards and scored the second touchdown of the night, giving UIW a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Northwestern State kicked a field goal to start the back-and-forth second frame. Ward and Hardy connected again, this time for a 17-yard UIW touchdown. Northwestern State scored on a 53-yard pass before Brown caught a 54-yard throw from Ward for a UIW touchdown. The defense then held the Demons to a field goal, preserving the UIW (28-13) lead heading into halftime.

Northwestern State came out of the break ready for a fight, scoring a quick touchdown to cut the score to 28-20. However, Ward turned the energy around when he found Trevor Begue for a 50-yard completion that set up Marcus Cooper for a four-yard score.

The Cardinals ended the night with a 23-yard field goal from Carson Mohr, giving UIW a 38-27 victory, its first win against the Demons under head coach Eric Morris.

Up Next

The Cardinals take a week off before hosting Nicholls at home on Oct. 16 in an 11 a.m. kickoff. The best way to experience the Cardinals in action is by purchasing season or single game tickets at Cardinal Ticket Central or by calling the UIW ticket office at (210) 805-3000.


COVID-19 On-Campus Testing

A student in a UIW mask looks at a computer

The University of the Incarnate Word continues to monitor the local, regional and state-wide progression of COVID-19 to inform decisions about safe campus operations. Below you will find links to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test on one of UIW's campuses.

Schedule a COVID-19 test on the Broadway campus (students and employees ONLY)

Schedule a COVID-19 test at the UIWSOM campus (open to general public)