UIW Names Dr. Jakob Rinderknecht as 2024-25 Moody Professor

May 10, 2024

Numerous other Faculty Members Honored During 2024 Faculty Awards

San Antonio – May 10, 2024 – The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is proud to announce that Dr.Dr. Jakob Rinderknecht Jakob Rinderknecht has been named the 2024-25 Moody Professor. The award was announced during the annual Faculty Awards Ceremony held on Monday, May 6, 2024. In addition, more than two dozen faculty members were recognized with awards or promotions.

Established in 1971 by the Moody Foundation, the Moody Professor reflects a high level of scholarship, teaching excellence and community service attained by the recipient. This is the highest faculty honor bestowed by UIW. The Fall Commencement address given by the Moody Professor is traditionally considered to be the students’ “last class.”

Rinderknecht is the Director of the Honors Program and Associate Professor of Religious Studies who describes his role in the classroom as that of a coach for the students. “I can help them to become better at a set of skills including writing, reading well, and thinking and speaking about the role of religion – especially Catholicism – in the contemporary world,” says Rinderknecht. “My classroom is a place where they have the chance to practice those skills before going out from UIW, but I can’t make them learn. I really love seeing how students who are willing to think along with me and who put in the work, grow. And I’m here to help every student learn how to be a better student, which is a big part of what it means to teach in the core.”

As for being named the Moody Professor, Rinderknecht, who started at UIW in 2016, says it is an honor to be recognized by his peers. “I know that I’m joining a cohort of UIW’s excellent teacher-scholars reaching back decades in this role. And I’m excited about the opportunity to speak at graduation this coming December, especially since quite a few of the honors students who started at the university with me during the various COVID pivots, will be graduating.”

Also celebrated during the luncheon was Dr. Doshie Piper who was named the 2024-25 Piper Award Nominee. Begun in 1958, the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor award is given annually by the State of Texas. Ten awards are made to professors for superior teaching at the college level. Selection is made based on nominations submitted by each college or university in the state. Piper is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice who is particularly interested in the intersection of reintegration and the faith community’s capacity to deal with reentry needs. Piper is interested in engaging students outside the classroom. Her courses typically include a service-learning component to expose students to the realities of justice work.

Among the other honorees, the 2024 Presidential Teaching Award was awarded to Dr. Teresa Taylor Partridge, Associate Professor in the UIW Department of Psychology. Partridge has studied and worked in the field of psychology for 3 decades and came to UIW in 2009. Established by the Faculty Senate in 2004, this annual award acknowledges an individual who exemplifies excellence in teaching that leads to student engagement. The award is presented upon the recommendation and support of the University of the Incarnate Word President.

Dr. Tanja Stampfl, professor in the UIW Department of English was awarded the Kathleen Light Outstanding Teacher Award. Stampfl has taught courses in English, Women’s and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Student Success at UIW since 2009. Inaugurated in 2019, this award recognizes outstanding senior faculty whose teaching exemplifies the role of teacher as mentor, providing innovation in the classroom and exhibiting teaching excellence, while showing personal care for the student.

Also, Dr. Elda Martinez, professor in the Dreeben School of Education, was honored with the 2024 Robert J. Connelly Faculty Leadership Award and Dr. Patrick Muehlberger, assistant professor in the School of Osteopathic Medicine received the 2024 Edward Zlotkowski Faculty Service-Learning Award.

There were also four recipients of the Provost Legacy Award which is given to faculty who have demonstrated the degree of dedication to teaching and learning that joins them to the long legacy of teaching excellence that characterizes UIW.

They are:

--Dr. Arunabh Bhattacharya, School of Osteopathic Medicine

--Dr. Delia Meyer, Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions

--Adam Nash, School of Media and Design

--Dr. Joanna Soles, School of Rehabilitation Sciences

In addition to those awards, the University also presented the Mission Continues Faculty Awards. These awards are based on the five core values of UIW which includes Faith, Innovation, Education, Service and Truth. The awards represent the congregational heritage of living the Mission values through teaching, scholarship and community service.

The award recipients are:

--Dr. Sean Vina, The Sr. Margaret Rose Palmer Award for Education

--Dr. Stephanie Schmiedecke Barbieri, The Sr. St. Pierre Cinquin Award for Faith

--Dr. Timothy Griesdorn, The Sr. Maria Goretti Zehr Award for Innovation

--Dr. Yutaka Maki, The Sr. Eleanor Ann Young Award for Truth

--Dr. Matt Walk, The Mother Columkille Colbert Award for Service

Congratulations to all those who were honored and thank you for your service to UIW and its students.

PHOTO CAPTION (L-R): Dr. Dmitri Tamalis, UIW Interim Provost and Dr. Jakob Rinderknecht, 2024 Moody Professor


MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Valdes, Media and Public Relations Manager, Office of Communications & Brand Marketing, (210) 829-6001, (210) 422-4052 or michael.valdes@uiwtx.edu