The Word Online The Word Online
The Word Online Home The Word Archives UIW Home

Feature StoriesThe Making of a WinnerDr. Francis BoakariRoger BarnesIt's Just A NameLessons Outside the ClassroomSectionsCampus NewsUniversity CollectiveClass NotesCredits  

Class Notes

Class Notes

1920s and 40s

Laurita Grider Barber, BA ’37, writes that she is pleased her youngest daughter, Vicki, and her family have moved to Dripping Springs and she is happy to have them near her. They had a family gathering in March to celebrate her 88th birthday. She said the last birthday party she celebrated was her 20th in San Antonio and it ended with dancing on the St. Anthony Hotel roof. (She still loves to dance!) Laurita keeps in contact with classmates Elizabeth Brown O’Connor, Frances Wagner Quinones and Frances Brown.

William D. McCabe, Jr., the nephew of Kathryn McCabe Wallace ’39, who passed away recently, wrote that his aunt’s college degree from Incarnate Word helped her begin her teaching career in Uvalde, Texas. Two years later her honeymoon in New Orleans was interrupted by news of the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Eventually she and her husband settled in San Antonio where she taught for many years and took an active part in the civic affairs of the community, notably through the San Antonio Conservation Society. Before his death, they retired at Air Force Village where Kathryn resided until her death. William, the executor of Kathryn’s estate, recently sent UIW a gift of $10,000 for general scholarships. This generous gift, one of several at the end of her life, will help deserving students share with Kathryn the gift of an Incarnate Word education, a gift that will last a life-time.

Actress Paula Prentiss Benjamin, formerly Paula Ragusa of the early IWC Nursery School program, wrote from Beverly Hills that this summer she and her son, Ross, are doing “All My Sons” in summer stock in Ellenville, NY. Her daughter, Prentiss, will be doing A.R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” at the Cape Cod Playhouse. And her husband, actor-writer-director Richard Benjamin, is equally busy with his own projects. Paula is the daughter of the late IWC professor Dr. Thomas Ragusa.


Nine alumnae represented the Class of 1955 at commencement on May 7 and were honored for their Golden Anniversary: Dr. Judith Curran Barnett, BA in English; Margaret Barrera Davis, BA in Business; Maria del Carmen Gomez, BA in French; Maria Ana Murillo, BA in Spanish; Arminda Lopez Reyna, BS in Nursing; Dora Rodriguez Stahl, BS in Nursing; Veronica [Bonnie] Winter Torres, BA in Spanish; Ana A. Perez-Garcia Zuniga, BA in Mathematics. Capt. Bettye G. Nagy, USN [Ret] BSN Nursing was absent due to medical reasons.

Several Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word celebrated their diamond (60th) anniversary on May 28. Sister Ellen Marie Moloney, CCVI, BSN ’50, Sister Mary Brian Sherry, CCVI, BSN ’50 and Sister Lawrence Marie Tobin, CCVI, BSN ’51. Also, Sister Grace O’Meara, CCVI, BS ’58, celebrated her golden anniversary.

Dr. Carole EdlandJoyce Nikolai Wright, BA ’56, had her work of fiction, “The Mysterious Harriet McBride,” published in the January 2005 issue of Liguorian, pp. 28-31.

Dr. Carole Edland, BSN ’59 (right), published her first book last December, “Devyn Has Cancer: A Tale of Two Angels.” To order a copy from Carole, e-mail her at



Several Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word celebrated their golden anniversaries on May 28. Sister Annella Conway, CCVI, BA ’67; Sister Anne Dossmann, CCVI, BM ’65; Sister Mary Dolores Doyle, CCVI, BA ’65; Sister Neomi Hayes, CCVI, BA ’62, Hon. ’94; Sister Mona Smiley, CCVI, BA ’67, MA ’75.

Vincy Ruffo Dunn, BSN ’62, is teaching as a Clinical Instructor at UTHSCSA. She received her master's in Nursing in 1978 and retired as Director of North East ISD Health Services in 2002.

Martha A. Tagle Rodriguez, ’64, attended IWC as a special English student, 1963-1964, and recently celebrated her 29th wedding anniversary with her husband and two grown children in Mexico. She has visited the campus many times, always with her family, and visited with the late Sisters Antoninus Buckley and Adriana Escobar, CCVI.

Dr. Josephine Keenan Chappell, BSN ’66, and 1991 Alumna of Distinction, was recognized by the National Association of School Nurses, which recently named Chappell its national “School Nurse Administrator of the Year.” She will receive the honor at the association’s annual conference this summer. “For Dr. Josephine Jo’ Chappell, it’s as simple as this: students learn and achieve more if they’re not sick or hungry. As program manager for Sweetwater Student Health Services, Chappell has made it her mission to improve student health and wellness. From bringing in a UCSD doctor as district physician consultant to establishing weekly tuberculosis clinics to collaborating an on-site school health clinic, Chappell has guided district health programs with distinction.”

Cynthia Garza Guerra, BS MDT ’66, has been operating for the past 10 years at the School Locker Supply Co. after a career at both Santa Rosa and Wilford Hall Medical Center while the same time earning a MBA at UTSA. Her husband, Fidelio Guerra, Jr., MA ’72, is now retired from teaching at San Antonio College and is writing and publishing bilingual texts for children.

Dr. Teddy Langford Jones, BSN ’66, Founding Dean and Professor Emerita at the Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Nursing, has produced a new biographical novel, “A Stone for Every Journey: Traveling the Life of Elinor Gregg” recently published by Sunstone Press of Santa Fe. The project and unusual co-authorship began when Teddy and the late Dr. Edwina McConnell were working on separate projects. Although Teddy had started a novel when Edwina was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, Teddy promised to finish her book. When Edwina died in 2002, she left her research material and partial manuscript of 10 chapters to her, and the collaboration took another turn. What resulted was a biographical novel.

Sister Therese Ann Ridge, IWBS [Mary Elizabeth Ridge] BM ’66, has received an “Excellence Award” from the South Texas Health System in McAllen, Texas. She has been a hospital chaplain there since 1999 and also works at the McAllen Medical Heart Hospital. She was recently appointed by the Diocese of Brownsville to be the Coordinator of Catholic Chaplains for STHS. She uses her musical talents in the CHF Clinic on occasions of patients' birthdays, etc. She lives in Edinburg, Texas.

Sister Kathleen Coughlin, CCVI, BSN ’67, was named to a term on the Board of Directors of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Sister Kathleen is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at UIW.

Sister Martha Ann Kirk, CCVI, BA ’68, received the Texas Pax Christi Peacemaker of the Year Award in a ceremony at the state conference in San Antonio on April 23. Texas Pax Christi is a part of the international movement whose current president is Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Catholic bishop of Jerusalem. Pax Christi International was started in 1945 as an organization of Catholics in Europe who wanted to promote reconciliation at the end of the Second World War. Pax Christi International is made up of autonomous national sections, local groups and affiliated organizations spread over 30 countries and five continents with over 60,000 members worldwide.

Linda Richardson Perkins, BA ’68, retired on May 31 after 27 years of teaching - 23 of them in the Hondo ISD. She will continue to teach as an adjunct professor for SWTJC and Sul Ross University extension school in Uvalde.


Sister Doreen Marie Skinner, CCVI, MA ’70, celebrated 75 years as a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word on May 28. Also, Sister Imelda Moriarty, CCVI, MA ’72 celebrated 60 years as a CCVI and Sister Corine Walsh, CCVI, BA ’70, celebrated 50 years.

Diane Leal Sosa, BA ’70, MA ’75, won the H-E-B Lifetime Achievement Award for teachers with more than 20 years of service. Diane is at Hawthorne Academy in the SAISD. She was awarded a prize of $25,000.

Reinette King Alecozay, BA ’73, ran for the San Antonio City Council, District 7 seat, in May.

Linda Marie Johnson, BA ’74, published her first novel, “Stalkers,” a 416-page thriller, last fall. You can reach her at

Sister Martha Maguire, BA ’76, celebrated her diamond (60th) anniversary as a Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word on May 28.

Laurie Fitzpatrick Pittman, BA ’76, did it again this year in tying for the top prize for her medal design for 2005 Fiesta San Antonio, which was sponsored by the San Antonio Express-News. Her medal was titled “Esmeralda, of the Excessively Extravagant Order of the Hoochi Coochi Hot Fiesta Mama.”

Col. Laura V. Alvarado, BSN ’78, Alumna of Distinction, is now at USAF Wilford Hall Medical Center.

Maria Angelica Pena Rocha, BSN ’78, had a career change. She is now at Aetna Insurance as an In-patient Care Coordinator (ICC) for the dedicated account unit in San Antonio for participants of ExxonMobil in the Houston/ Conroe area. She is also quite busy with her children. Joel did student-teaching at John Jay High School and Antoinette finished her sophomore year at Holmes High School. They went to Monterrey, Mexico for the week of spring break, and they were in South Padre Island for the July 4th weekend. Both she and her husband, Rene, keep busy with Girl Scouts and band (Antoinette is the Twirler/Flutist) and he is the Grand Knight of Columbus at St. Luke's Catholic Church.

Ronald Weed, Lt. Col [Ret] USAF, MA ’79, retired after 22 years in the USAF and started working as an ESL teacher in Pasco, Wash. He says he owes a great deal of his success to his UIW education, which has served him well.


CDR. George E. Foley, III USPHS (Ret), BA, BS, ’80, was a “Top Producer” with Keller Williams Reality in El Paso. During his first year as a licensed Real Estate Agent, he produced at the multi-million dollar level. He has lived in El Paso since retiring from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. While on active duty, he worked with the Indian Health Service throughout New Mexico for over 20 years.

Patricia Martinez Slight, BBA ’86, writes to say hello to all her friends at IWC/UIW. Patricia and her husband of 15 years, Bernal, live in Laredo with their five children, Sarah, 12, Holey, 10, Lauren, 8, Patrick, 4, and newborn Eric.

Sister Renee Turcotte, O.P., MA ’86, wrote that “here in Lewiston, Maine my parish prepared for a big celebration of the inauguration of our church as a Basilica, on May 22. Lots of activities took place from the 18th to the 22nd: concerts, conferences, and special masses to recognize the work of religious groups in the parish, and a banquet to close the whole thing. The papal nuncio and several bishops and dignitaries were here. Wow, are we ever busy. I just obtained a pictorial postmark of our church, Saints Peter and Paul, for the 22nd, with two stations to post letters.”

Dr. Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, MSN ’88, is an Associate Professor at Georgetown University, holding the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. In her new position, Barbara will work with the facul-ty on integrating values-based approaches to the curriculum, while continuing to teach, conduct research, and pursue her health-care practice with minority women who are HIV infected. While visiting San Antonio last spring, Barbara taped a new TV commercial for UIW in English and Spanish.

Dr. Reginald F. Davis, BA ’88, lives in Williamsburg, Va., as a full-time pastor at First Baptist Church. He’s authored a book on Frederick Douglass, “Frederick Douglass: A Precursor of Liberation Theology,” that was released by Mercer University Press (www.MUPRESS.ORG). You can also get a copy of the book at Barnes & Noble, Borders, and at Incarnate Word is named in the biographical information on the book’s back cover.


Catherine Marie Baisley, BBA ’90, has accepted an evening instructor position with Career Point Business Institute teaching Advanced Computer Programs (MS Office Products). In August 2003, she received a Paralegal Certificate from UTSA.

Rev. Msgr. Thomas L. Meany, P.A., MA ’91, was born in Passaic, N.J. His father was a first cousin to George Meany of the AFL/CIO and he would visit him in his office in Washington, DC. Msgr. Meany met Bishop Garriga, the first president of Incarnate Word College, in New York City. Bishop Garriga invited Msgr. Meany to come to Texas where he attended Assumption/St. John’s Seminary from 1951 to 1955. Bishop Garriga ordained Msgr. Meany in Corpus Christi Cathedral, May 31, 1955.

To help in his many offices and duties, Msgr. Meany earned a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Incarnate Word College and he also completed many canon law courses at seminars at the Oblate College in San Antonio and Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Bishop Gracida followed Msgr. Meany to the tribunal Office and made him a member of the Administrative Council and Consultor of the Diocese. He also served on the Finance Council and the Presbyterial Council for many years. Msgr.

Meany celebrates his Golden Jubilee of Ordination and his 77th year of life with gratitude to God and His Blessed Mother.

He is grateful for all the wonderful years of service to the people of South Texas. He was always happy to serve and received great personal satisfaction from completing any task given to him.

Ray Vandermeer, BSN ’91, wrote the following from Costa Rica to alumna Dr. Kathi Light, BSN ’76 (and Dean of the UIW School of Nursing and Health Professions): “I thought of our conversations in school about nursing caps. Here in Costa Rica the nurses are all in white and wear nursing caps with blue stripes. No stripes are new graduates, one stripe is a junior nurse, two stripes or more, senior... then three stripes... then one wide stripe is the charge nurse. Managing nurses get to wear regular business clothing and a lab coat. The stripes on the nurse’s caps have different colors... each school has their own color. They wear the color of their school for their whole career. By the way, the male nurses wear lab coats with stripes on the collar or they wear a nametag with the stripes.

“The university programs (there are more than one that have nursing programs) last for two years and six months. They go straight through, except for 30 days vacation in December. The programs usually start in August each year. One of my nurse friends told me they went straight through the program in order to put out more nurses due to the shortage. Sound familiar?”

Ray is working with a group that feeds and does health care for street children (he has an MBA in International Development with a concentration in Health Development), like clean water, proper sewage disposal, what to do when there is no doctor.... etc. In addition, he is also working with Cruz Rojas... the emergency medical ambulances. And once a week he helps teach English to some government people in various offices.

Patricia Ann Huff, BSN ’92, is currently working full-time as a rehabilitation nurse at the Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital, where she serves as a charge nurse. She also enjoyed serving UIW nursing students as a mentor for the last three semesters. Last fall, she began courses at UTHSCSA toward a Family or Geriatric Nurse Practitioner graduate degree.

Regina Ciarrocchi BoonRegina Ciarrocchi Boon, BBA’93, MBA ’98, IWHS ’84, [right] her husband, Randy, and children Emily and Claire on Christmas Eve 2004 at their home in Indianapolis.

Steven Schauer, BS ’94, ran for the District 10 seat on the San Antonio City Council in May. He received 31 percent of the vote to incumbent Chip Haass’ 58 percent (Haass retained the seat). Steven earned a master’s from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and now works for a public relations firm. He is a former communications director for former San Antonio mayor Ed Garza and served as an analyst for then Texas Lt. Governor and current Governor Rick Perry.

Nancy Glass West, MA '94, her mystery novel, “Nine Days to Evil,” published in 2004, is the first in a series. In the story, graduate student Meredith Laughlin confronts evil and gets a crash course in courage. According to the Midwest Book Review, “The action is nonstop, and West is careful to peel the layers of evil with a practiced eye.” West, who has taught Writing the Mystery for NEISD, offers author's discussion questions for readers’ groups. Autographed copies of her book are available at Twig Books in San Antonio and can be ordered from any other bookstore on-line.

Jean Carroll Schmidt, BA ’96, and her husband, Kevin, visited the campus from Louisiana in May. They were in for the confirmation of Jean’s godchild, the son of Paul, BA ’84, and Monica Leopold Henson, BA ’86.

Stella Gonzalez-Chavez, BA ’97, and her husband, Ruben, have started a foster agency in San Antonio. They are now verifying couples and single parents who would be interested in doing foster care. They can be contacted at (210) 695-8800 or at

Maria Esperanza Orosco Salazar, BA ’97, earned her M.Ed. from Texas State University in 2003, and is a first grade Bilingual Teacher in the Hays CISD.

Dana Gregory Day, M.Ed. ’99, of M.L. King Academy, and Sharon Link, M.Ed. ’99, of Horace Mann Academy, both in San Antonio, were selected to participate in a Japanese teacher exchange program this summer. They are scheduled to visit the Shotoku Gakuen School in Tokyo. During their six-week stay, they will develop and design projects to be collaboratively implemented by the students in the U.S. and Japan via live Web casting.

Cindi DeMonbren, MAA ’99, is the Director of Prospect Research for Our Lady of the Lake University.

Shellie Eagan, BA ’99, graduated from Texas Tech in May with a master's degree in Museum Science. She has lived in Washington, DC since October 2004 while completing an internship requirement for her master’s. She interned with the U.S. Diplomacy Center, which is planning and developing exhibits for its future museum at the U.S. Department of the State projected to open in 2008. She used her history degree in researching the U.S. Diplomacy history for the timeline exhibit and completed an exhibit on photos of U.S. diplomats with globes explaining in the labels the symbolism of the globe in relation to the diplomat's work around the world.

Melynda Hooper, BA ’99, took some time off from The Salvation Army where she works as a volunteer coordinator and director of Meals on Wheels (she also attends graduate school - four more classes to go!) in order to be home with her baby boy, Parker Todd Moffett, for the first few months.

William Moreno III, BA ’99, received his acceptance letter to the LBJ School of Public Affairs for the fall of 2005. As part of his acceptance, he participated in the Barbara Jordan Forum in Austin in March. “As always, I want to keep you all updated on what’s happening in my life. UIW played a huge role in preparing me for this excellent opportunity.” Bill has worked for several years as a Field Representative in the Office of Congressman Ruben Hinojosa of Texas, D-TX.


Shannon Jarrell, BA ’00, graduated from UC-Irvine in June. From the UC-Irvine showcase, she now has an amazing manager and agent and is currently doing cartoons! Since graduation, she booked a guest spot on a Discovery crime show called, “Guilty or Innocent” and was set to film a small part in a movie called, “American Crude” in May. “All in all, I would have to say that the Lord has been good for being out of school only eight months ago.”

Jan Payne Parr, BA ’01, ADCaP, married Richard Parr on November 1, 2002. She is now an Administrative Associate II for the Department of Economics at UTSA’s College of Business.

Jan was previously employed at UIW, working for Dr. Robert Connelly, the Pastoral Institute, Academic Services and the Registrar’s Office, and then secretary to the principal of St. Anthony Catholic High School.

Matthew Duke, BBA ’02, moved to Tuscaloosa and is enrolled in the JD/MBA program at the University of Alabama.

Paul M. Camardo, BBA ’03 ADCaP, is currently enrolled at Texas A&M University- Kingsville pursing a master’s in special education. At the same time, he is completing the requirements for alternative certification program (ACP) to become a teacher in Texas. He has received funding from Troop-To-Teachers, and a special education scholarship from the TAMU-K department of curriculum and instruction. By this fall he hopes to be hired for a teaching position in EC-12. If all goes well, he’ll complete all requirements and graduate by next spring.

Monica Maria Mireles, BA ’03, is in Dallas and works for McGuyer Homebuilders, Inc. as a take-off analyst.

Velida Svraka, BA ’03, “After graduation in 2003, I decided to go back to Bosnia. I decided since I received my diploma in journalism and philosophy, I would choose journalism as my career path and currently work as an editor-in-chief of a specialized medical magazine called “Doctor.” I live in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. My residing address is: Gradacacka 74 71 000 Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina My phone number is: +011-387-61-399-462. My preferred email address is You can disclose my information to anyone who inquires about it; I am always glad to hear from old schoolmates.”

Xiaolian [Lotus] Chen, MBA ’04, received a job offer from CAL Financial Corporation located in Los Angeles, Calif. She now works for the financial service firm as the CEO's assistant & financial analyst, and has settled in this sunny state. “As an international student from China, my luck depended on UIW's quality education and good reputation. I really appreciate UIW's professors, faculty, and employees who offered me such a comfortable study environment and high-level education. I am very proud to be an alumna of UIW, and will try my best to honor UIW in my career life.”

Monica Marissa Garcia Karam, BA ’04 ADCaP, moved to Summerville, S.C. and will be opening a Mexican Restaurant in the near future. Good news for the East Coast!

Crystal Reyes, BA ’04, recently moved out to Hollywood, Calif. and is working for Identity Talent Agency as an agency assistant in the youth/kids division. She is excited about this entertainment industry opportunity. She is engaged and will be married in San Antonio next June.

Burgundy Rodriguez, BA ’04, was working for EMI Music in California in special markets with mechanical licensing, a job that grew out of her internship. In March she received a promotion and is now the coordinator for film and TV.