(San Antonio) The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) conferred degrees to graduates at a commencement ceremony held Sunday, Dec. 16 at 1:30 p.m., in the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum. The commencement honored the over 900 students who completed their degree either in August or at the end of the fall semester. Seven hundred fifty students participated in Sunday’s ceremony. Sixty-eight were veterans who were awarded the UIW Veterans Tribute Stole.
Also at Sunday’s commencement UIW’s 200th Ph.D. was award to Natasha Schmittou. UIW attained accreditation to award the interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy in the Dreeben School of Education in 1998 and produced the first graduate in 2001. Graduates have come from 15 countries with 190 students currently enrolled in the program. In addition, the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions conferred the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to inaugural graduates Elizabeth Martinez Leal and Skyler Salmasi.
The Commencement speaker was Dr. Sally Said, UIW’s Moody Professor. The Moody Professor traditionally delivers the Commencement address to the December graduates and this address is often considered the students’ “last class.” Dr. Said began teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received all three of her degrees, a B.A. in Spanish and French, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics, and a doctorate in Comparative Romance Linguistics, in 1976. She joined Incarnate Word in 1988, where she served as chair or co-chair of the Modern Languages department for 15 of the last 24 years and as an officer or senator of the Faculty Association for 16 years. At UIW, Said serves on the Bilingual Committee of the CCVI, which provides opportunities for Sisters in Latin America and the U.S. to study English or Spanish as a second language. She has been active with the UIW Earth Month Committee since 2000, receiving the Mulcahy Award for Ecological Stewardship in 2010, in part for work helping to found the Headwaters Coalition. She received the Mother Columkille Colbert Award for Service in 2006 and the CCVI Spirit Award in 2011 in recognition of her service to the university and wider community.
The 2012 Alumna of Distinction for Professional Achievement – Gloria Berumen Kelly, BA ’76 was also presented at the ceremony. Kelly joined Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, Inc. (RMYA) as Business Manager and found her passion – helping children in crisis. She became RMYA’s Executive Director in 1994 and has served as CEO since 1998. In her 30-year tenure, Kelly has helped build RMYA into the well-respected, multi-program children’s agency it is today, with a comprehensive spectrum of services – providing emergency shelter, counseling, long-term residential treatment, and educational services to children ages 5-21. RMYA has maintained a well-deserved reputation for helping the most difficult-to-place children with severe emotional and behavioral issues due to abuse and neglect.
In addition, Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa, professor of history, received Emeritus recognition. Hinojosa joined UIW in 1993, serving as Dean of College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Later, as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, he worked with faculty from the School of Education to restructure the doctoral program. Hinojosa received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a Fulbright Fellowship to the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico. Currently, Hinojosa is curator of the Francisco Yturria Archives and is preparing an oral history on the Catholic Church and the Chicano Movement in Texas. Hinojosa teaches courses on U.S., Southwest and Texas History, on Mexican History, and on Latinos in the United States. He plans to continue teaching at UIW part-time, pursuing his research interests, and serving the university community.
A Baccalaureate Mass was held for the graduates on Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Alice P. McDermott Convocation Center on the UIW Campus.
Processional and recessional music for commencement was performed by the San Antonio Pipes and Drums.
Contact: Margaret Garcia, UIW associate director of public relations, (210) 829-6001, (210) 422-4052 or firstname.lastname@example.org