Through a unique partnership between the University of the Incarnate Word, the Presa Community Center and the community development corporation Presa Real, a much-needed project came to fruition last fall.
In November, the Presa Community Education and Technology Center hosted an open house to showcase its new facility and services available to the San Antonio community. The open house event featured a blessing by Archbishop Patrick Flores.
The center will combine the business assistance programs offered by Presa Real, the youth and senior services of the Presa Community Center and the educational services provided by UIW.
In October 2001, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of University Partnerships awarded funding to UIW to create a project that offered services including parent training, tutoring, mentoring, micro-business development and computer literacy to the community. The grant, awarded to Hispanic Serving Institutions to assist local communities, totaled $389,000. The funds were instrumental, not only for the construction of the new building, but also to establish a service-learning partnership between the South Presa community and the university.
“The fundamental feature of the grant is to develop a partnership,” said John M. Velasquez, UIW associate professor of psychology.
As the vision of the partnership materializes, the importance of the services to be offered becomes more apparent. The Presa Community Center, a social service outreach agency, provides services to more than 16,000 community members in an area of San Antonio that is historically economically depressed.
“We are proud to be a part of such an important project,” Velasquez says.” This partnership has provided a training ground to assist the people of the South Presa community. The vital work of this grant is just beginning.”
Gary Henry joined the Board of Trustees of the University of the Incarnate Word in the fall of 2004. He is the owner of the Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resorts.
Henry, who is a certified public accountant, received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. He also serves on a number of other organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. Henry is married an has three children.
Please join us in welcoming him to the Incarante Word community.
The 2003-2004 UIW Theatre Arts Season was honored in October with nine Globe Awards from the Alamo Theatre Arts Council.
The 14th Annual Globe Awards Gala featured awards of excellence in 25 categories, including production, direction, choreography, musical direction, design and acting. A total of 53 individuals and productions were honored from 11 local theaters.
UIW walked away from the gala with more Globe Awards than any other single theater. Winners included:
Best Production of a Comedy – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Lead Actor in a Comedy – Mark Stringham, “Oberon/Thesus” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Lead Actor in a Comedy – Joshua Wittge, “Bottom” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Lead Actress in a Comedy – Amiya Brown, “Titania/Hippolyta” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy – Dina Zavala, “Puck/Philostrate” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Lead Actor in a Musical – Mark Stringham, “Little Shop of Horrors”
Best Costume Design – Margaret Mitchell, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Scene Design - George Burnette, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Best Direction of a Comedy – Robert Ball, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
The Lourdes Grotto, a treasure located in the heart of the UIW campus, celebrated its 100th anniversary in early December.
Designed as a replica of the shrine at the Basilica of Lourdes in France, the grotto was built to celebrate the jubilee of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. The grotto was planned by Rev. J.G. Bednarek, a Chicago priest who taught theology at UIW in the early 1900’s. He is thought to have actually helped to quarry the stones and wire them together to create the structure.
The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the entire community came together for this historical celebration. A candlelight procession began at the Motherhouse Chapel, and continued to the grotto.
In early November, UIW student Eric Alva was featured on the CBS Early Morning Show.
The appearance was part of a segment entitled “American Heroes” which spotlighted student and Marine staff sergeant Alva, 33, of San Antonio. He became one of the first casualties of the war in Iraq, when on March 21 of 2003, he stepped on a land mine and nearly died. The incident cost him his right leg, above the knee, and part of his right arm, but despite the experience his positive spirit remains intact.
For his unwavering strength and determination, he was awarded the 2003 Heroes and Heritage Award from the United States Marine Corps.
CBS producers say Alva was chosen for the segment because of his inspirational story. He just completed his first semester at UIW.
At the December commencement ceremony, a very special student crossed the stage just two short years after crossing the globe.
Luo Wen Yin, known around campus as Jenny Law, began her affiliation with UIW in the fall of 2000, a world away in Guangzhou, China. She was one of the first students to attend classes at the new China Incarnate Word (CIW) campus, a collaboration between UIW in San Antonio and one of China’s most prestigious universities, South China Normal University.
Law, chose to pursue her degree at CIW because of the connections between the China campus and the American university. She appreciated the opportunity that the sister campuses could provide. She excelled at the CIW campus and in 2002 ventured to the United States to continue her studies and pursue her bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“She is an amazing student, one of the best representatives CIW could ever have sent here,” stated Dr. Pat Watkins, vice-president of international programs. “She is one of the first two students to come here (from CIW). She set the bar and she set it high.”
Law would like to work in the United States for a time to gain experience she can take back with her to China after she earns a master of Business Administration degree.
“I am the only child, so I will go back home and take care of my family” said Law. “My father would like me to take over the family business.”
Law’s father runs a successful import/export business in China, but ultimately, she would like to work for a large accounting firm contributing to her country all the knowledge she has gained through her experience with the University of the Incarnate Word.
In December, Incarnate Word hosted the annual associates holiday dinner in the Sky Room.
This black-tie event honored contributors who have generously supported the Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word within the past year. These individuals gave their time and financial resources to graciously support the programs at UIW.
The list of guests included members of the Board of Trustees, the Development Board and numerous friends of UIW.
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