Message from the President

I'm regularly asked why we have invested so much of our energies in the past decade and a half on developing the international component of our educational ministry. My answer today is the same as it was in the early 1990s: The only way we truly can meet our Mission is by continuing to look beyond our borders for new opportunities. I feel our efforts have been Dr. Agnesepaying off.

We've established two academic sites outside the United States since 2000. We currently have students from more than 55 countries on the campus. And of the 40 private universities in Texas, only two have more international students than UIW.

You can read about our latest international initiative in this issue of The Word, which dovetails nicely with the magazine's theme: Continuing the Mission.

Historically, Mexico has always been a key country for us because of its proximity to UIW, a factor that has allowed us to cultivate a close relationship with our southern neighbor.

For instance, our first graduate was from Durango, Mexico. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word operate about a dozen schools and healthcare facilities in Mexico, including several sites in Monterrey. In 2003, we opened Centro Internacional Universitario, now known as Centro Universitario Incarnate Word, our campus in Mexico City. And we have sister school agreements for reciprocal education with more than 10 universities throughout Mexico.

In keeping with our initiatives in Mexico, we have long wanted to partner with the University of Monterrey (UDEM) on an academic program because of our shared heritage; the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word are one of three congregations that founded UDEM.

We found the right fit in 2006 with a Master of Science in nursing program that was finally launched in January with a cohort of 20 students. One of the goals of the MSN program, which lasts 18 months, is to raise awareness in Mexico that, unlike the common public perception, nursing is in reality a complex, academically based profession rather than simply a vocation requiring technical training.

The creation of this new MSN program was made possible because of the hard work of many individuals, both at UIW and UDEM. Let me take this opportunity to single out a few people from UIW for their tireless efforts on our behalf: Dr. Pat Watkins, vice president of international programs; Dr. Kathi Light, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions; and Raul Rodriguez, holder of the Benson Professorial Chair of Banking and Finance in the H-E-B School of Business and Administration.

I encourage you to read the rest of The Word for more news on the latest happenings at UIW. These include the groundbreaking for the Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium and also Dr. David Campos' timely new book, Expanding Waistlines: An Educator's Guide to Childhood Obesity.

Please remember it's your commitment to the University of the Incarnate Word that allows us to continue the Sisters' Mission of offering students the best possible educational opportunities within a context of faith. On behalf of the faculty, staff, administration, students and Board of Trustees of UIW, special blessings on you and your loved ones for 2008.

Best Wishes,

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Louis J. Agnese Jr., Ph.D.