Class Notes

Class Notes


Taking Time to Stop and “Sell” the Flowers

Linda Jacobson ’90  and husband David
Linda Jacobson ’90 and husband David

'90 BA Linda Jacobson loves flowers. She observes them, smells them, paints them, and sells them - well, as paintings. She has created a wide variety of life-size, colorful wildflower art and recently decided it had a bigger future than to just hang in tact on buyers' walls.

When you combine creativity with a business mind such as Jacobson's, you could end up on a plane to New York City to meet with companies from around the world about turning art into … puzzles. That's exactly what happened this summer when she and her husband David arranged for a vendor's booth at a three-day international licensing show so they could market the idea to global manufacturers.

Jacobson's entrepreneurial spirit prevailed and inspired puzzle companies in England, New Zealand, and U.S. to consider converting her paintings to products. She was delighted to spark interest from companies that made rugs, embroidery products and wall coverings as well. The show attracted 23,000 visitors, and Jacobson's booth stood among major brands -- Thomas Kincaid, Hallmark, Disney, to name a few.

“The show was a wonderful experience, and we made several promising contacts with businesses and agents,” said Jacobson. As the show ended on the last night of their stay, Jacobson and her husband stopped to gaze at the city: “Looking out at New York was an amazing experience. While here, we met so many people, and who knows what's next.” No matter what happens, Jacobson has no regrets.


Catch another UIW Rising Star

   Cathy Starnes ‘97, ‘04
Cathy Starnes ‘97, ‘04

'97 MBA, '04 PhD Cathy Starnes is in good company. She joins ranks with other up-and-comers acknowledged as San Antonio's brightest and best. She's a 2006 “Rising Star,” named by San Antonio Business Journal in its “40 Under 40” list of honorees. The Journal annually selects 40 men and women under the age of 40 who have been involved in their community in ways that improve education, health care, technology and job opportunities.

In August, Starnes joined the Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC) leadership team as vice president of the Employee Benefits Division. In this role, she is responsible for developing new health insurance platforms and finding innovative solutions to assist SWBC clients. She has over 12 years of experience in the health care insurance industry and brings extensive sales, business development, operations, and management experience to the table. She is active with the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and serves on several boards and committees to help promote the future success and growth of her community.

Following her BBA in finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1992, Starnes received master's and doctoral degrees from UIW in organizational leadership, focusing on patients' perceptions of health care provider accessibility and utilization in Bexar County. Starnes joins fellow UIW graduate, Dr. Ricardo Carrion, on the Journal's list. Carrion was featured in the Summer issue of The Word.


At the Top of His Game

Bryan Smith, '04, '06
Bryan Smith, '04, '06

'04 BA, '06 MBA Bryan Smith, an ADCaP graduate of the Corpus Christi campus, is a 25-year police veteran who started as a patrolman in 1981 and worked his way up the ranks to police commander. While pursuing his career goals, Smith also pursued an MBA with the adult degree completion program (ADCaP).

This has been a year of great accomplishment for Smith. He finished his capstone and was appointed to the top position within the Corpus Christi Police Department. The latter was an important goal for Smith. "To say it's a life-long dream of mine wouldn't completely encompass what I'm feeling right now," Smith said. He said the selection process for chief of police was stressful, but well worth it. I'm very proud to serve in my new role.” As chief, Smith will be responsible for managing a staff of over 600 personnel and administering a budget of more than $55 million.

In his new role, Smith will evaluate the department's organizational structure and focus on issues related to technology, police staffing and the city's growing traffic problems. He reflects on his time at UIW's remote facility in southeast Texas and credits its convenient curriculum with allowing him the chance to complete his master's degree and improve his chances of promotion.

“I was competing with 39 applicants from around the country, but being able to walk into my final interview with an MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word was a huge advantage.


First CCVI in 10 years

Sr. Mary Cecilia Henry '75
Sr. Mary Cecilia Henry '75

'75 BM Sr. Mary Cecilia Henry, CCVI, became the first woman in 10 years to make final vows as a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word. After taking her vows on Aug. 15, she received a wedding band symbolizing her union with Christ. The ring belonged to the late Sr. Maria Goretti Zehr who was a music professor at the university for 31 years and was Henry's piano teacher beginning at age six at Incarnate Word College.

Henry is pastoral associate in St. Pius V Parish in St. Louis, MO, an inner-city parish of immigrants from all over Latin America, Africa and other parts of the world. Her permanent commitment to religious life is a gift to the church. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word was founded in 1869 and has 450 members.


Martha Villasana Baker ‘66
Martha Villasana Baker ‘66

'66 MA Martha Villasana Baker, UIW volunteer for 15 years, was recognized as an outstanding teacher and presented with a medal at a recent ceremony in Mexico held in honor of her late uncle, a well-known educator in that country.


'72 BM Mary Lou Russell is an assistant professor in the Music Department of San Antonio College where she has worked full time since 1971. Since 2000, she has also been organist at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church. Russell's daughter, an artist, is age 26 and her son, an editor, is age 23.


'81 BSN Louanne Elizabeth Lamb Torres Hausmann was named “Employee of the Month” at her place of work. Also, her daughter, Lisa Michelle Hausmann, recently graduated high school in Spokane, WA, and received a scholarship from Sylvan Learning Centers. She plans to major in elementary education in college and focus on special-needs children.

'86 IWHS, '91 BA Rosie Garcia-Pompa was recently named UIW director of development.


'92 BA Tony and '98 BA Asia Ciaravino appeared together as actors in a stage version of “Macbeth” in June. Tony was set to direct the play for this year's Shakespeare in the Park series in San Antonio. At the last minute, the lead actor backed out, so Tony took on the role alongside Asia as Lady Macbeth. Asia recently joined the Magik Theatre and started her own public relations and marketing company.

'98 BAAS LisaMarie (Gonzales) Bennett was named quality assurance programs manager for ProDoc, Inc., in April.

'99 BA Susan G. Gonzales completed her first year in the doctoral leadership program at Our Lady of the Lake University and is preparing for her first milestone test. She has also been named principal of St. Benedict Catholic School. She credits UIW with providing the educational foundation that helped her achieve her new role. Gonzalez expresses thanks for the many friendships and positive experiences she enjoyed while attending UIW.

Allison Hybner ‘02
Allison Hybner ‘02

'99 BBA, '02 MEd Allison Hybner was recently named UIW development officer.


'01 BA Arnie Maldonado created the set and clothes for “Jam and Spice: the Music of Kurt Weill,” which premiered in Westport, CT, and may show in other locations soon.

'01 BA Leon Bedolla is senior marketing coordinator of Metro PCS in the Los Angeles, CA, area. He coordinates and supports the company's marketing, special events, advertising and public relations efforts.

'02 BA Marcos Correa is currently in Abuja, Nigeria, for six weeks working at the U.S. Embassy. He recently completed his master's degree in management from the University of Phoenix.

'02 BBA Matthew Duke was profiled in the Wall Street Journal Online as a summer law associate, an opportunity that gained him valuable experience working in a law firm.

'02 MA Kevin Prescott is a partner in a new San Antonio human resources firm, Nextaff. The firm specializes in providing consulting and talent management
services to a variety of companies.

'02 BA Diana Meneses has been traveling around the world and attending conferences in places such as Finland and Germany. She also went to the Amazon to study as part of a fellowship program.

'03 BA, '05 MA Nina Duran's book “Elijah on My Mind: A Little Boy Who Loves Me More Than Any Man Ever Could” came out in September. More information can be found at her website:

'05 BAAS Lupe Salazar, wife of '05 BAAS Salvador Salazar, has been promoted to policy service manager at United Services Automobile Association in San Antonio.

'05 HON Lionel Sosa and wife Kathy have opened Sosa Galleries on Lavaca Street in San Antonio. The opening exhibit featured art on chairs and ottomans and works by Kathy Sosa, Cristina Sosa Noriega, Veronica Prida and Carolyn Dublin.

'06 BBA Lauren Auray Guido earned the first Sr. Theresa Daly, CCVI Fellowship awarded by the Incarnate Word Foundation. Guido is featured in the section, “Building Character and Community,” in this issue of The Word.

'06 BBA Patrick Miller, Jr., departed from Houston, TX, for Japan on July 29 to participate in the 2006 Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Miller will be working as an assistant language teacher in public school in Nara Prefecture.



If you would like help searching for a job, locating former students or just distributing information and if you have computer capability, you can register for UIW's Online Alumni Directory.

Once the Alumni Office verifies your status, you can enter and update your own information using a secured ID and password you create to safeguard your entries. Hundreds of alumni have already signed up!

To join the Directory, visit and click on Alumni and Friends to find the Directory. Then just follow the easy instructions. Please remember that registration is complete once your status has been verified and you receive an approval by e-mail.

Alumni Networks

UIW is looking to you to help build Alumni Networks in various locations so fellow classmates can meet, network, and just have fun. We're now forming networks in a few key Texas cities. If you would like to help develop one in your city or state, contact Lisa Schultz, director of alumni relations, at

Be a Class Agent

You can make a difference. Become a “class agent” for your graduating class. You're invited to represent your class in support of your school. As class agent, you'll contact alumni in your area to organize activities in support of UIW and encourage alumni to volunteer, donate, network, and stay involved! You'll spread the word about Incarnate Word by encouraging potential students to consider UIW as their choice for higher education. It's a great opportunity if you want a way to give back to others for the opportunities you have enjoyed. Contact Lisa Schultz, director of alumni relations, at

Recruit a Student

The Cardinal Alumni Admissions Program (CAAP) is composed of alumni volunteers working together with the Office of Admissions at UIW. Alumni volunteers serve as official representatives of the university and are vital in the recruitment process. They promote “the UIW Experience” in their communities and inform prospective students and their families about opportunities at the university. If you are interested in joining CAAP, visit and go to the Alumni pages to find an Alumni Volunteer Application.

Credit Card $

Thanks to all who regularly use their MBNA UIW affinity credit card. UIW receives a quarterly percentage on all credit card use and it doesn't cost alumni or the university anything extra. We now receive annual revenue of $4,000 from MBNA, which goes directly to the Faculty Development Endowment to continue improving the quality of classroom teaching. And, we can use the revenue for matching Federal dollars, so it's a win-win.

McCracken Alumni Referral Scholarship

The Executive Council of the university, in conjunction with the offices of admissions, public relations, alumni, and financial assistance, established the McCracken Alumni Referral Scholarship (MARS) program. MARS recognizes UIW alumni as effective participants in recruiting new students. Alumni are uniquely qualified to assist in passing the "legacy" and helping strengthen the connection between our graduates and the university.

MARS was named in honor of Dick McCracken, long-time Dean of Alumni, in recognition of his many years of service and loyalty to UIW and its graduates. The program asks alumni to identify prospective students who might benefit from a UIW education and uphold the mission of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Students receiving this award must meet the guidelines outlined below.

University of the Incarnate Word
Alumni Office
4301 Broadway. CPO #298
San Antonio, TX 78209

Students selected to receive the MARS award will be notified by mail. You can download a nomination form at, or you we can mail one at your request: Alumni Office (800) 584-5322.

Book your trip with Alamo and support UIW

Alamo Travel Group, the travel agency that works with UIW, has kindly offered an incentive to all our alumni and friends. Alamo Travel offers a wide variety of cruises and other travel arrangements. If you book your trip through Alamo Travel, the university will receive a commission toward the annual fund.

For more information, visit or contact Carlos J. De Uriarte, director of business development. For the unique UIW booking code, contact the Alumni Office at (210) 829-6014 or (800) 584-5322.

In Memoriam

'29 IWHS, '33, '58 MEd Aurora Saenz Copp Fierros

'26 BA Sr. Joseph Rappapold, CCVI

'42 BA Zelime Lytle Amen Braun

'47 (Santa Rosa School of Nursing) Beatrice Esparza Diego

'55 BSN Diana Winifred Smith

'61 BSN Dr. Angela Leal Choate

Patricia O'Connor, wife of former IWC Academic Vice President, Dr. Peter D. O'Connor

'68 E BA Eileen Kain Yaeger

'98 BA Rebecca Cross

Wedding Belles and Beaux / Future Alumni

The Plofchan family
The Plofchan family

'88 IWHS, (attended IWC) Jennifer Noel Plofchan and Lance Tyler renewed their wedding vows on July 29 at Our Lady's Chapel with Margaret Mary Plofchan '88 BS, '90 MS, and Peter Plofchan as witnesses. That same day, they celebrated the baptism of daughter Madison Claire Plofchan-Tyler.

'95 BSN Angela Colwell and Dr. Carl Berkowitz on April 22 in San Antonio.

'98 MA Deborah Ann Hynes and Anthony Charles Murphy on Oct. 6 in San Antonio. The couple held a marriage blessing celebration for family and friends on Nov. 22 in Ontario, Canada, where they now live.

'98 BAAS LisaMarie (Gonzales) Bennett and Scott Bennett in April.

'99 BA Kristi Jo Thomas and Herbert John Zimmerman on June 3.

'00 BA Christopher E. De La Rosa and Kelly Dawn Gustafson engaged with plans to wed in spring 2008.

'02 BS Edward Ryan and Erin Cassidy on July 17 in the Motherhouse Chapel on campus.

'03 BA John Michael Spana and Amanda Dawn Flippen on June 10.

'05 BBA Rachel Cox and Christopher Daniels on Aug.12. Christopher is currently working on his BBA at UIW.

'06 BBA April Nicole Stanbridge and Christopher John Jimenez became engaged and planned to wed in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word in summer 2006

Future Alumni

Emma Rose
Emma Rose

'97 BS Amali Mahoney-Martin and husband Mathew, a daughter, Emma Rose, born March 10.