12 Days of UIW's Impact

The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is making an impact and we want you to be a special part of our work. With your support, we can make an even bigger impact in our community, state and around the world.

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Student and Alumni Spotlight

CHASS: Impact through engagement

The College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) provides our community a tremendous opportunity to learn about the world and its meanings while engaging with some of the deeper questions that humans face—questions about the past, present and future. Specifically, the CHASS connects our community to learning opportunities about the cultures and traditions that make our diverse world a rich and fascinating place, to understand the diverse philosophies of the Enlightenment and various faith traditions, to learn how to see and appreciate great art, to hear great music, or to stage a theatrical performance.

Cardinal Singers with professor instructing themMost recently, the UIW Cardinal Singers strengthened relationships with Spanish-speaking leaders across the country and helped expand cultural recognition and diversity through song. When Steve Petrunak, president and CEO of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), heard the Cardinal Singers rehearse during a visit to UIW last year, he extended an invitation to them to perform sacred music in Spanish during the 2019 NPM conference, which took place this past July in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“People who attended were amazed not only at the exquisite, world-class performance, but at the sheer beauty of the music itself,” Petrunak said. “I believe those in attendance gained a new level of respect for the Spanish-speaking culture. I believe they will venture out to embrace sacred music in the Spanish language, and perhaps other languages as well.”

Anthony Graves with UIW StaffIn the Social Sciences and Humanities, UIW hosts lectures and discussions on campus to enlighten students and the community to connect historic policies with current events. This past September students and the community heard about the justice system from exonerated Texas Death Row prisoner Anthony Graves.

We invite you to be part of the immense value CHASS adds to our community. Please support CHASS now at  GIVE NOW and select the “College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences” as the designation for your gift.

For upcoming events, please see the CHASS events page. We would love to host you on campus.

The Dreeben School of Education: Impact through support

DreebenThe Dreeben School of Education created a UIW Induction Program to meet new Texas Education Agency (TEA) accreditation requirements for first-year teachers. Dr. Denise Staudt, Dean of the Dreeben School of Education, created the program for new graduates to provide opportunities for professional growth in a collegial, non-judgmental environment. The program is in place to improve teacher performance and ultimately student outcomes.

Brandi Coleman, the UIW Induction Coordinator, uses her experiences as a former fifth grade teacher and assistant principal to prepare teachers for the challenges and joys that come with being new to education. For the past three years, Coleman has made it a point to visit every newly certified teacher working in a classroom offering advice when asked and helping to ensure that they have the tools needed to adapt to their new, dynamic profession. In addition, the UIW Teacher Network offers professional development opportunities on topics relevant to novice and experienced teachers which expands the professional learning community.

We are so proud of the leadership and support at the Dreeben School of Education. We invite you to be part of this critical work. Please support their work and  give now by selecting the “ Dreeben School of Education” as the designation for your gift.

To read more about the impact of our teachers and this program, please visit The Word Magazine Online feature

The Feik School of Pharmacy: Impact for a lifetime

UIW faculty and students have participated in a medical mission trip at the invitation of Los Quijotes of San Antonio, Ambassadors of Health, for the past eight years. Los Quijotes have been going to Mexico for 30 years and donate medical services. Under the lead of Yesenia Caloca from the UIW Ettling Center for Civic Leadership (ECCL), the UIW team donated services in:

  • Community Health Education
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy

Many UIW programs coordinated and participated in these trips including the Feik School of Pharmacy (FSOP). Four FSOP students and two faculty members participated in the 2019 trip.

The medical teams worked at a clinic every day, with patients waiting in long lines in the heat for hours and days to be seen. Yet, when it was each person's turn, they were happy and grateful. The team worked together professionally, functioning as an efficient cohesive unit and focused on the good of the patient. UIW teaches students collaborative care, and it was truly put into practice here. Teamwork was pivotal in the face of best attempting to address such a volume of needs, with clinic hours starting at 7:00 a.m. and lasting sometimes until midnight. There were many days lasting over 15 hours.

Feik OaxacaA total of 2,883 patients came through the clinic over five days with 25,19 prescriptions provided, and 1,151 patients counseled in the pharmacy. Pharmacy was the last stop for patients who were given medications.

The team’s impact was about more than just numbers of patients served and prescriptions provided. The trip has had a long-lasting impact on the lives of those students who participated. Writing about his participation, P3 FSOP student Alfred DeLeon stated, “What I learned during my trip was that listening to patients is key to knowing whether a patient is affected by health barriers. Being able to put the skills I have developed throughout pharmacy school to help the people of Oaxaca was very rewarding and is something that I will carry with me throughout my career.”

Another P3 FSOP participant, Cassidy Heath, had a powerful realization: simple gestures of service can have a huge impact on a community. She said, “I can change and better others’ lives with a simple kind service. I want service to play a role in my career in a large way.”

The H-E-B School of Business: Start-up for Impact

StartupChallengeIn December 2019, the H-E-B School of Business and Administration announced the winners of the annual Startup Challenge. The Startup Challenge cultivates the entrepreneurial spirit in students at the University of the Incarnate Word. The 13-week competition, held each Fall semester, allows students to develop a business model from idea to actualization. The winning team is awarded $10,000 in seed money through the generous sponsorship of HOLT Ventures.

Noah Silvas, senior biology major, and Yolanda Martinez, B.S. in Nutrition, dual graduate student in Pharmacy and Health Care Administration are the winners of the 2019 Startup Challenge. Their concept is Journey Poles. Journey Poles provides a colorful, unique and fun way of transforming regular hospital IV poles into something that pediatric patients are comfortable with and truly spark a smile.

Congratulations to Noah and Yolanda and to the rest of the finalists. To read about all the concepts and teams at the Startup Challenge website. To support the H-E-B School of Business please GIVE NOW and select "The H-E-B School of Business and Administration" as the designation of your gift.

The Rosenberg School of Optometry: Impact through service

Eye exam being administeredOn day five of our #12DaysofService highlights we’re reflecting on the impact of the Rosenberg School of Optometry.

For almost four years the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) has joined with the Columbia Eye Consultants Optometry at an eye care clinic they established in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. They have returned to the area for numerous visits since 2000 to provide eye care and spectacles to the local population in need. In addition, this practice has funded expenses for University of the Incarnate Word, Rosenberg School of Optometry students and faculty to be a part of this endeavor. Students and faculty have participated in this humanitarian and philanthropic work since 2016.

Of their trip Professor Raelyn said, "As an optometrist, I am trained to help people see and to diagnose and treat diseases of the eyes. As a professor, I educate. I believe God has given me these skills to use them to serve others. Our team focused on our mission, which was to serve the people of Guatemala, to use our refraction skills to bring them sight, as well as our ocular health assessment skills to diagnose and treat any eye conditions.”

Student Melissa Gonzales added, “The people of Guatemala forever made an impact on my heart. Their hearts were full and grateful; our presence and time were enough for them which was heartwarming and humbling.”

To support the UIWRSO in sending even more students on mission trips, click the GIVE NOW button above and select "The Rosenberg School of Optometry" as the designation of your gift.

The Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions: Impact through service

Ila FayeOn day six of our #12DaysofService highlights we’re reflecting on the impact of your school, The Ila Miller Faye School of Nursing and Health Professions. We’re proud of this work because it highlights the work of three of our schools: The School of Osteopathic Medicine, The Feik School of Pharmacy, and The Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions. These three schools came together to help District 3 Council Woman Rebecca Viagran host her D3 Health Fair here at UIW over the summer. This is year two of UIW's participation. 

Local students and their families received backpacks filled with school supplies for the upcoming school year as well as immunizations and health screenings. The event was free and open to the public. Attendees did not need to live in District 3 to attend or receive free school supplies. 

The D3 Health Fair is one of the many service projects available to students who attend the Ila Faye Miller School of nursing. In fact, faculty, students, and alumni carry on service work through countless service projects, regional health fairs and free clinics, service trips abroad, and other mission-driven initiatives.

Approaching healthcare with a heart for others is the way the school brings the Word alive in the world. Service reminds us all of the greater good, and prepares us — mind, body, heart, soul — for a career of caring.

To support the School of Nursing, click Give Now and select "School of Nursing and Health Professions" as the designation of your gift.

The School of Math, Science and Engineering: The Impact of Girl Power

On day seven of our #12DaysofService highlights we’re reflecting on the impact of the School of Math, Science and Engineering (SME) and specifically the mini and megaGEMS programs. At the direction of the dean, Dr. Carlos Garcia, UIW professor Dr. Michael Frye has spearheaded the miniGEMS program for four years. GEMS stands for Girls in Engineering, Math and Science. Over four years it has evolved to focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, too. Grant funding has helped the program expand to include girls in middle and high school and to include the UIW nutrition program. Nutrition students create the menu and cater meals at the camp. They also teach the girls about healthy eating habits.

“We want to encourage girls to stay in STEM,” said Frye. “People have asked how this program is different. This is a truly holistic program. In the end, this is about empowerment.”

While grant funding is helping expand the program in the short-term, we need individuals like you to give so we can sustain it for the long-term. To support the mini and mega GEMS camps, click GIVE NOW and select "School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering" as the designation for your gift.

The School of Media and Design: Building Impact

Media and Design StudentsOn day eight of our #12DaysofService highlights, we’re proud of the School of Media and Design for building impact you can see.

In September, students enrolled in the Construction and Details class applied their skills to a Habitat for Humanity build day. In partnership with Fred Wall, an active volunteer with the First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio and Habitat For Humanity, Professors Judy Ruvuna and Dr. Diana Allison, along with 19 students, put up the walls on a concrete slab in one day.

“It was amazing!” Dr. Allison said of the experience.

To support even more students in building more impact you can see, click GIVE NOW and select "The School of Media and Design" as the designation for your gift.

The School of Osteopathic Medicine: Community Health Impact

On day nine of our #12DaysofService highlights we are reflecting on the community health impact at The School of Osteopathic Medicine.

In partnership with Rebecca Viagran, San Antonio City Councilwoman for District 3, The Food Policy Council of San Antonio, Happi Foodi, the City of San Antonio Metro Health Community Health Workers, River City Produce, the Compost Queens, the San Antonio Food Bank and local corner stores, the UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine is working to increase access to fresh and affordable produce with the Healthy Corner Store Initiative.

School of Osteopathic Medicine Healthy Corner Stores
L to R: San Antonio Food Bank Chef Kelly Daughety and Gas N' Go Owner Shaukat Momin demo a healthy salad recipe, using fresh produce available to District 3 residents. Photo courtesy of The San Antonio Current.

Dr. Anil Mangla, associate professor and director of public health research, and Mia Vento, research assistant, are leading the effort at The School of Osteopathic Medicine. They received grant funding to offset the cost of stocking corner stores in San Antonio’s District 3 with fresh produce. Their ultimate goal: address the long-term health complications from diabetes. Their method: address a root cause which is nutrition.

The short-term success of this project is measured in how many pounds per food are being composted. The program partners with Compost Queens to make sure none of the produce goes to waste. At the start of the program, pounds of food composted was at about six percent. In July, composting was down to almost zero.

While pounds of composted produce is decreasing, pounds of fresh food sold overall at the corner stores is increasing. In April, 612 pounds of produce was sold. By August it had jumped to about 5900 pounds of food. The demand for fresh produce has been sharply increasing since the program began. The average grocery purchase of all six corner stores involved is about $165 per week. Can you imagine how many more families we could feed with your support?

To support the School of Osteopathic Medicine in sustaining this critical community project, click GIVE NOW and select " The School of Osteopathic Medicine" as the designation for your gift.

The School of Physical Therapy: The Impact of Clinical Excellence

On day ten of our #12DaysofService we’re featuring the impact of the School of Physical Therapy.

Physical Therapy student examining a patient

The School of Physical Therapy offers community clinics that serve both students and individuals alike. The clinic offers low-cost physical therapy for individuals age 13 and older who are not eligible for Medicare benefits. It serves the under-and uninsured, as well as those that do not have physical therapy benefits as part of their health insurance coverage or who have exhausted their yearly benefit. Care is provided by students while supervised by faculty members.

The School of Physical Therapy’s Community Clinic allows you to gain confidence and skill from the first semester in the program while providing care to San Antonio residents who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment.

Alumna Katherine Crocker, PT, DPT (UIW Class of 2018) said, “It is one thing being taught by our professors in a classroom, but learning is amplified in clinic alongside the faculty. The professors know our capabilities and push us to our fullest potential every moment during our shift.”

To support the School of Physical Therapy in educating students through practice, click GIVE NOW and select "School of Physical Therapy" as the designation for your gift.

To read more about the clinic experience at the School of Physical Therapy, visit the School of Physical Therapy web page.

The School of Professional Studies: The Power of Personal Impact

UIW Dual Enrollment CenterOn day eleven of our #12DaysofService, we’re in awe of the personal impact of The School of Professional Studies.

The UIW School of Professional Studies (SPS) offers certificates, associates, bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees tailored to busy adults. Benefits for students include free undergraduate textbooks, no academic fees, accelerated courses, and reduced tuition rates. SPS courses are taught by scholar-practitioner faculty with real-world experience.

The SPS provides educational opportunities for adults wanting to earn a college or graduate degree in non-traditional formats. There are three centers in San Antonio and one in Corpus Christi for those students interested in taking classes in a classroom during evenings, nights or weekends. Classes are also available 100% online for students who need extra flexibility. SPS also offers personal development opportunities for professionals needing continuing education and/or who want to earn a certificate to reach their career goals.

I have personally met some of our SPS graduates. Each student is unique in their journey to obtain a degree. Some are parents who could not continue their bachelor’s degree because family and work responsibilities took precedence. Others are servicemen and women seeking to utilize their military education benefits. And others are seeking promotion in their field. All are inspiring. They inspire through their perseverance and determination. They are all proud and we are proud with them.

To support the SPS in providing even more educational opportunities to busy adults, click the GIVE NOW button above and select the "School of Professional Studies" as the designation for your gift.

To read more about the opportunities available at the School of Professional Studies, visit the SPS website.

Supporting Organizations: Maximizing Impact in Service

Athletics students in front of the San Antonio Food BankToday is day twelve of our #12DaysofService highlights. We’re thankful for the support of Athletics, The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership, The Office of Graduate and Research Studies, and The Office of Mission and Ministry. They support the work of our schools and professional programs while creating an impact all their own.

Athletics allows students to celebrate community, competition, and service through collegiate sports. UIW student-athletes achieve excellence in their sports and in service to the community. Last year, student-athletes completed 5,163 service hours, impacting 111 regional organizations.

The Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability works closelyEccl students in the woods with each college and professional school to continue the work of the Sisters of Divine Charity of Christian service, to develop leaders who promote social justice in partnership with diverse local and global communities.

The Center firmly believes that long-term sustainable partnerships between academic units and community partners produce the most successful outcomes for community-based learning, teaching, and scholarship.

The Office of Graduate and Research Studies empowers innovative leaders with Research Week. They take pride in their research and know that through their search for and communication of truth, our community becomes stronger in educating “concerned Community members reviewing a display at Research Weekand enlightened citizens within the global community.” Graduate and Research Studies is seeking to endow a scholarship of $50,000.00 to fund future researchers who require financial assistance to attend UIW. 

Finally, the Office of Mission and Ministry makes visible and tangible the Incarnate Word of God in the University. They do this by engaging university life through prayer, liturgy, outreach, faith development, and pastoral care. While expressing a Catholic identity and the Incarnational spirituality of the founding Sisters, we are enriched by the religious tradition of each individual. Mission and Ministry seeks to empower this community to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ by facilitating initiatives of service, peace, and justice.

Student Peer Ministry interns are an integral part of this ministry and their growth in faith and development of leadership two students holding a stylized frame around their faces that says Mission and Ministryskills is a core aspect of our ministry. Together, the professional staff and student Ministry Interns seek to extend an invitation to all students, faculty, and staff to explore formative issues of faith, values, and purpose.

While it’s the last day of our features, our impact can continue to grow with your support. To support the work of any (or all!) of our Day 12 departments click GIVE NOW and select “Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability,” “Mission and Ministry,” “Office of Research and Graduate Studies,” or “UIW Athletics” as the designation for your gift.