UIW Recognizes CCVI Spirit Award and Student CCVI Spirit Award Honorees

March 31, 2023

Elizabeth McDougle and Dr. Doshie Piper

For the past 30 years, the UIW community has celebrated the CCVI Spirit Award, an honor that recognizes a member of the faculty, administration or staff who has demonstrated in service to the University and/or to the broader civic community, the spirit of the founders, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. In the same way, the Student CCVI Spirit Award, which was introduced in 1994, honors a student who is living the mission of the sisters. The awards are presented during Incarnate Word Week, a special week of celebrations of the mission.

On Monday, March 27, Dr. Doshie Piper, associate professor of Criminal Justice, was named the 2023 CCVI Spirit Award winner, while was announced as the Student CCVI Spirit Award honoree. Fr. Don Nesti, CSSp offered a special reflection on the Charism of the CCVIs to open the award ceremony before Dr. Georgen Guerrero, professor and chair of the Criminal Justice Department at UIW, introduced Piper.

“From the moment Dr. Doshie Piper arrived on campus, she showed a passionate commitment to making the Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word both visible and tangible,” said Guerrero. “Dr. Piper has consistently brought forth truth, faith, service, innovation, and generosity by inspiring students and helping build cordial relationships among the Incarnate Word community.”

Guerrero shared how Piper’s service to UIW is “life-changing,” but noted that it does not stop there. She is a gift to the San Antonio community, particularly the most vulnerable. She has served as co-chair for the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dream Week events in San Antonio. She has also been the chair of the Board of the SoL Center at the University Presbyterian Church, a major adult interfaith education center.

Piper is currently leading an interfaith coalition in the city that unites and builds community. She has collaborated with Inner City Development to aid those in need of food and clothing; she has also worked with the Nehemiah Community Reentry project, an outreach program that examines the problems formerly incarcerated people face.

According to Guerrero, Piper’s specialty of reformative justice is not just a study of the theory; rather, she turns that theory into practice, and she teaches her students and other faculty members to do the same.

“Working side-by-side with Dr. Piper is always a delight, especially when I get to see how she builds community by inviting students, faculty, and people from the wider community to take part in new and creative ways,” added Guerrero. “She sees a need, focuses on finding the best way to meet it, and then acts in a smart and decisive way. In a phrase, Dr. Piper gets things done.”

Beth Villareal, director of Campus Ministry, then introduced McDougle as the Student CCVI Spirit Award honoree, while her mother, Dr. Lisa McDougle (UIW School of Physical Therapy assistant dean of Academic Success and Student Affairs) watched proudly.

Elizabeth and Lisa McDougle

“The students who receive this award are the cream of the crop,” said Villareal. “They exemplify what it means to be a student at the University of the Incarnate Word – not only living the values of the University but living the legacy of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word … Elizabeth’s nomination was an intricate compilation of the values of our Mission, beautifully entwined with one another.”

“I was really surprised that out of all the students at UIW, I was the one that was chosen,” shared McDougle. “I feel very proud and very grateful that UIW awards students for their service and that they recognized me in particular.”

The younger McDougle has interned at the San Antonio Holocaust Museum and is an active member of her church community where she is an ordained elder. She helps teach Sunday school and started a knitting club that knits items for organizations from the local to international level. McDougle also works with Be My Eyes, an organization that connects visually impaired individuals with sighted individuals who assist with a variety of tasks.

“Elizabeth, it is so evident that the life you lead is one guided by a love and respect for others,” concluded Villareal. “You have intertwined the values of the University of the Incarnate Word – Faith, Innovation, Education, Service, and Truth, as well as the guiding call the founding Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word received from Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis … On behalf of the University and the Sisters, thank you, Elizabeth for responding to God’s call to serve God’s people.”