Campus News

Students get hands dirty and make a difference

Students are hard at work at a service project in the garden of the Village of
Students are hard at work at a service project in the garden of the Village of Incarnate Word, the retirement home adjacent to the university.

About 30 students gathered for a day of hard work, community service and fellowship at the 2nd annual Mulch Madness on March 28. Student Government Association president
Denise Hernandez, vice president Andrew Deegear and several other SGA officers were among those who came out for a day of gardening at the Village at Incarnate Word, the retirement community adjacent to the university.

Started last year by then-SGA president Sam Sanders, Mulch Madness is the Student Government Association’s spring community service event. The idea formed between Sanders and Deegear when they were playing music at the retirement community for the residents. Although it’s not as big as SGA’s fall community service event, the Golden Harvest, it’s still growing.

Milberger’s Nursery was landscaping the Village and were kind enough to donate plants and equipment to help the students complete the project. Additionally, they donated their time and experience to ensure the planting and spreading of mulch was done correctly.

Audrey Ramsbacher, an administrator at the Village at Incarnate Word, was pleased at the turnout of students for the project. “Having volunteers help us is priceless in completing the Mission,” she said.

Incarnate Word Day brings fun with a message

Incarnate Word Day
Residence Life won the Cardinal Carnival Golf Cart Parade competition for best theme with its Curious George golf cart.

With the theme “The Word around the World,” UIW celebrated Incarnate Word Day on March 25 to remember the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, God. Among the activities was a panel discussion on the UIW service abroad program featuring students Tere Dresner and Brandi Cross who discussed their work with women and children during their travels to Zambia and Tanzania as well as Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, whose students recently traveled to Juarez, Mexico. Food and fun also highlighted the day when the Cardinal Carnival Golf Cart Parade made its way through campus. The winners were Residence Life for best theme with its Curious George golf cart, Campus Ministry in the category of Mission and the Student Government Association for best UIW spirit. Shortly after the parade, a panel discussed Social Justice and the Curriculum and the Incarnate Word Day liturgy was celebrated. During the liturgy, the CCVI Spirit Award was presented to Dr. Denise Doyle, who was recently appointed provost from her previous position as vice president for academic and student affairs. The CCVI Spirit Award is given annually on Incarnate Word Day to a person whose life embodies the spirit of service of the founding Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Rounding out the day was the Religious Studiessponsored Pierre Lecture featuring Dr. Jeannine Hill-Fletcher speaking on “The Cosmopolitan Catholic: Constructing Religious Identity in a Globalized World.”

Student wins Iron Chef event with fishy dish

Student wins Iron Chef event with fishy dish
Melissa Baker won the Iron Chef competition, based on the popular Food Network program, with an almond-crusted redfish with a tomato basil cream sauce.

The opposition was hot as UIW students and staff cooked up some competition at the 2nd annual Iron Chef contest April 9. The event in Marian Hall dining room, based on the popular Food Network competition, challenged participants to create a dish in true Iron Chef style. They had one hour to cook, but the main ingredient wasn’t revealed until the competition was officially under way. It turned out to be a choice between beef tenderloin and redfish. The winning dish was almond-crusted redfish with a tomato basil cream sauce created by graduating communication arts major Melissa Baker, who won a
$150 Visa gift card. The three other participants were faculty members Dr. Dianna Tison of the school of nursing, Dr. Shawn Daly dean of the H-E-B School of Business and Administration and T.J. Williams, assistant to the dean of the Feik School of Pharmacy. Each of the other participants earned a $75 Sodexho commuter dining card. The Iron Chef competition was sponsored by Sodexho.

Cutting Edge Fiesta Fashion Show bigger than ever

The Cutting Edge 2008Professional models showed off students’ hard work at the Cutting Edge Fiesta Fashion Show.

More than 800 fashion aficionados joined UIW student designers at the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel on April 21 to watch a New York-style runway show. The 28th annual event moved downtown this year to accommodate its growing popularity and an increased demand for tickets. Sixteen rising stars in the fashion industry showcased couture collections they illustrated, designed and constructed this semester in a capstone course. Students’ collections centered on an individual theme they selected such as a season, a color or a market segment. The garments were showcased on professional models that students contracted. In fact, the fashion event was produced entirely by the students. Everything, including sound, lighting and staging, was handled by UIW students so they could experience every aspect of planning a professional runway show. The event included the style show, luncheon and a silent auction. Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction fund student scholarships.

Dr. Bill Carleton accepts Presidential Teaching Award

Dr. Bill Carleton

Dr. Bill Carleton, professor of human performance and kinesiology, was awarded the 2008 Presidential Teaching Award.

Dr. Bill Carleton, professor of human performance and kinesiology, was presented with the Presidential Teaching Award at the faculty appreciation luncheon on April 11. Alumni, students, faculty members and administration make nominations for the award, of which several are chosen as finalists by a committee and are passed on to university president Dr. Louis J. Agnese, who makes the final selection. Nominations are based on how a professor motivates others and has made an impact on learning and on life at UIW.

Carlton credits the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the Mission for teaching him how to treat people with dignity and focus on individual successes and challenges, instead of simply focusing on the group. He tries to implement what he has learned from the Sisters by modeling what he teaches through faith and service, and he stresses that caring is a huge part of being a good teacher.

He says that while in college, he was always looking for motivation. Today, Carleton tries to be that motivation for his students. He finds some of his own inspiration from the campus at UIW.

“It’s a beautiful place. When you step on campus, you can feel the wonderful energy,” he said. By seeing all the success at the university, he said, it is easier to work on the challenges.

Carleton emphasized that his foundation of success consisted of many different people. His fellow faculty members, the UIW students, the administration, staff and the Sisters all formed his base of support, he said. There was one person outside UIW that he wanted to thank for her support: his wife, who also is a teacher.

Kemper Scholar ready to get to work

Gaby Canavati

Bilingual communication arts major Gaby Canavati was awarded the Kemper Scholarship this year. The scholarship, which requires freshman students to have at least a 3.5 grade point average and two letters of recommendation to apply, will provide her with ongoing financial help toward her education.

Kemper Scholars receive financial assistance for three years of $3,000-$8,000 per year depending on demonstrated need, and they receive $2,000-$6,000 in summer project stipends for two years.

Despite the financial advantage, she said, “I’m most excited about the internships.” She will begin her second year at UIW in the fall, and as part of the requirements of the scholarship, she will be spending the summer after her sophomore year in Chicago working as an intern for a nonprofit organization. After her junior year, she will have another internship somewhere abroad, and she’s considering either Europe or South America.

The program intends to prepare students for leadership and service.

“It will expose me to the real-world scenarios,” said Canavati, who hopes to work in public relations when she graduates.

UIW’s first Kemper Scholar, Saska Richards, graduated from UIW in May.

Spring Class of 2008

Spring Commencement

UIW faculty members lead the way through campus during spring Commencement.

The University of the Incarnate Word conferred nearly 500 degrees to graduates during its spring Commencement ceremonies on May 10. A Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated before each ceremony.

The morning ceremony honored graduates of the Dreeben School of Education, the School of Interactive Media and Design, the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering and the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Alonso Ancira, who was recognized with an honorary doctorate of humane letters, served as the Commencement speaker. Ancira serves as chairman of the board of Altos Hornos de Mexico, the largest steel manufacturing company in Mexico and also one of the largest in the world. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors for Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together (, a nonprofit, online think tank based in San Antonio.

The afternoon ceremony honored the graduates of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and the H-E-B School of Business and Administration. The keynote speaker was Dr. Arturo Chávez, a 1989 graduate of UIW, and the 2008 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission. He was named the president of the Mexican American
Cultural Center (MACC) in August. His career spans more than 20 years and he has spent much of that time serving in a variety of ministries. As a community organizer and
activist, he founded JOVEN, a nonprofit organization for youth and families in San Antonio.

Golden Graduates Celebrate 50 Years


Golden Graduates

Sixteen golden graduates, part of the class of 1958, celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

The class of 1958 celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation at the spring Commencement ceremonies. Sixteen golden graduates were honored at the celebration.

Christine Ann Crosby Berchelmann BSN
Mary Kay Halwe Brogan, BSN
Dorothy Maxine Cadena, BSN
Sr. Teresa Grabber, CCVI, BA
Carol Lynn Crozier Keller, BS/MEd
Irene Mechler Kissling, BM
Peggy A. Kowalik, BSN
Frances Notzon Kuntz, BS
Minerva Estrada Martinez, BA
Maria Del Socorro Kypuros-Ortiz, BS
Josephine Annabell Peters, BS/MEd
Mary Guadalupe Valdez Roy, BSN
Mary Louise Yarborough Walsh, BSN
Cathy S. Trostmann, BSN
Mary Carmel Ulcak, BSN
Teresa P. Varuolo, BA

UIW says farewell to Dr. Donna Aronson

Dr. Donna Aronson

Dr. Donna Aronson said goodbye to UIW after 19 years of service at a farewell reception on April 21. Aronson first came to the university in 1989 as an assistant professor and director of theatre. In 1999, she was named dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. In addition to her work as a professor and dean, Aronson also served in many leadership positions on university committees. She will join Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., as the vice president for academic affairs.