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CARDINAL REPORT Stories of Success Volume I, Issue II Spring 2018

WHAT’S INSIDE Welcome Message from President Dr. Thomas Evans Dr. Karen Weis is Making a Difference in the Medical Field How Family Support was Key to Clarissa Rivera’s Degree Completion Xenia Quevedo is Writing Her Way to Success Highlights from Fall 2017 And much more…

IN THIS ISSUE... 04 05 06 07

Access ORGS & Football Tailgate Presidential Welcome & SEC Opening Academic Workshops Graduate Writing Services


Student & Faculty Spotlight

10 11 12 13 14 15

Ask a Grad Student Advanced Academic Projects Advancing & Growing in the Mission Research Activities Event Calendar Our Team


elcome to the second edition of the Cardinal Report. In this edition, we have decided to go beyond listing the activities and programs that highlighted the Fall 2017 semester. Instead, we want to introduce you directly to faculty and students of UIW’s graduate programs . As you turn the pages of the Cardinal Report, you will see faculty and student stories of success chronicled in words and photographs. The cover page highlights our featured stories. Enjoy reading how Dr. Karen Weis went from milestones in the Air Force to milestones as a UIW nursing faculty. Be motivated by Clarissa Rivera’s educational journey that included overcoming personal hardship to earn her master’s degree in Nutrition. Learn about Xenia Quevedo’s journey as a child from Central America to a Fall 2017 MBA graduate. Witness the impressive list of over 20 theses, dissertations, and doctoral projects completed last semester. From tailgates to dissertations, this edition has it all.


Not only do our students succeed academically, they, alongside our faculty, are making a difference as leaders in the UIW community. Learn more about our graduate students who participated in Meet the Mission and faculty who grew spiritually through Mission Academy. The photo below features two students, Rolando Medina and Sai-Han Yu, who were appointed President and Vice President of the UIW chapter of Golden Key, the largest academic honor society in the world. Rolando is an active duty Marine while earning his Master’s in Education. Sai is completing her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Despite studying in academically rigorous programs and having a minimal amount of free time, both have accepted student leadership roles and are making a difference at UIW. I can’t think of a better picture than this one to kick off the “stories of success” edition. — David Ortiz, PhD   Director, Graduate Support Center

Spring 2018



cross the country, higher education institutions have seen a continued growth in applications to and enrollment in graduate school. While enrollment is important, we also need to focus on the graduate student experience. Graduate education at UIW is not just about numbers. In fact, this edition of the Cardinal Report will be highlighting the individual stories of success involving our faculty and students in graduate school. Graduate, doctoral, and professional students compose 30% of UIW’s enrollment. The Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) has established numerous programs, activities, and initiatives that provide comprehensive services to this population of students ranging from academic writing services to research opportunities and many more. I am thrilled to see the delivery of high-level and professional services that ORGS has created in order to support our students and accentuate the mission of UIW. ­— Thomas Evans, PhD   President, University of the Incarnate Word


he Office of Research and Graduate Studies kicked off this year’s academic tailgate season with excitement! On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, students, faculty, and family alike were able to break free from their hectic daily schedules and enjoy games, prizes, delicious food, and great company. The ORGS tailgate was a great success with plenty in attendance and much fun had by all!


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eing a graduate student is a difficult, sometimes seemingly impossible, task. How are you going to survive the program? The Office of Research and Graduate Studies is here to help! Access ORGS is a mobile office to provide information about the services we offer to graduate and professional students. Signing up for workshops, making appointments with our staff to help you with whatever problems you may be struggling with at the time, and winning some prizes are just some of the reasons Access ORGS is an event you don’t want to miss. However, even if you do, our office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, where you will find us ready and willing to answer any and all questions you may have.



n Monday, Aug. 28, the University of the Incarnate Word unveiled its new Student Engagement Center with a blessing and ribbon cutting. The event, attended by approximately 400 students, faculty and friends, was a rousing success. Everyone was very excited for what the future of UIW holds.

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he Graduate Support Center presents Graduate Institutes on a variety of topics, including writing, literature review, and career development. Three institute workshops, held on Saturdays during the semester and taught by UIW faculty and staff, were designed to boost the academic and professional careers of graduate and professional students at UIW.

What Are Students Saying?


The presenters are so energetic and passionate that the Saturday Series flies by.

Spring 2018

These workshops are absolutely valuable for all graduate students.

These sessions provide great information on some intimidating topics.

These sessions will not only help me in the classroom but help me in everyday life.


or many, graduate school can be challenging and overwhelming. In addition to the rigors of academia, students must manage multiple responsibilities. Xenia Quevedo is no exception. A restaurateur for the past 23 years and single mother of 4 children, Xenia graduated in December 2017 with an MBA in Asset Management. She began taking undergraduate courses at UIW in the mid -1990s, earning a BA in Accounting. According to Xenia, “I have been here for so long that I remember when the library was being built and when it first opened.”

Originally from El Salvador, Xenia traveled as a young child with her mother and three sisters to the US in 1983. She learned to speak English in school, but always felt that she needed to improve her writing skills. So when asked to describe how the graduate writing services helped her, Xenia was entirely keen, stating that “I have gained a lot of self-confidence through using this writing service.”

— Xenia Quevedo

I would highly recommend for everyone to take advantage of the writing resource. I feel better able to communicate my thoughts on a more professional level.

As a UIW Extended Academic Program student, Xenia’s courses were held at two different campuses, not including the main campus. Upon learning of the graduate writing services, she began utilizing the support program four days a week. Xenia traveled between three UIW sites, squeezing writing appointments in whenever possible and expanding her campus treks. So how does a single mother and restaurant owner manage the rigors of school and life? According to Xenia, her strong spiritual faith has helped her through the toughest of times, and student support services such as ORGS writing assistance definitely helped. Moreover, the last writing assistance Xenia requested from the graduate writing services was a recommendation letter for her application to San Antonio’s Culinary Institute of America. Congratulations, Xenia, on graduating with your MBA in December 2017 and starting with the Culinary Institute of America this Spring 2018!

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Dr. Weis’ roles in the USAF:

•Flight Nurse in Germany •Nurse Scientist •Dean of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks City-Base

•Director of Nursing Research, 59th Medical Wing, Joint Base-Lackland, Texas

•Dean of the Medical Education and Training Campus, Joint Base-Fort Sam, Texas

•Consultant to the Surgeon General

and more ...

r. Karen Weis allows her passion for research to fuel her success. She advanced her knowledge in critical care obstetrics during her graduate studies at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. During that time, Weis studied with top researchers in the area of psychosocial adaptation and was ultimately awarded a $350,000 congressionally funded grant to further perinatal research. Findings from this study served as foundational elements for her doctoral work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and for an ongoing program of research. Dr. Weis maintained that focus on perinatal research as a full-time, active duty member of the United States Air Force (USAF), where she served as a military nurse. After a nearly 30 year career in the USAF, Dr. Weis retired, at the rank of Colonel, after receiving an offer to join the nursing faculty at UIW . For more than 15 years, Dr. Weis has studied anxiety in pregnant women and related birth outcomes, and subsequently developed a maternal, psychosocial support intervention. In the fall of 2017, Dr. Weis was awarded a 3-year, multi-site, $1.9M grant, funded by the Joint Program Committee-5: Military, Family, and Community Unit, Psychological Health and Resilience working group, for a project titled Mentors Offering Maternal Support (M-O-M-STM): A Prenatal Program Building Maternal Self-Esteem, Coping, and Resilience, and Decreasing Depression. The M-O-M- STM program is designed to reduce pregnancy-specific anxiety, while addressing maternal depression and self-esteem issues known to negatively impact pregnancy and birth outcomes. The objective of this project is to investigate the impact of participation in M-O-M-STM intervention on (1) psychosocial stress of pregnancy, depression, self-esteem, family adaptability and cohesion, and resilience, and (2) pregnancy complications, birth outcomes, and postpartum measures of maternal role satisfaction and parenting stress. As principal investigator, Dr. Weis hopes to enhance the pregnancy and maternal experience, to improve birth outcomes. Throughout her career, Dr. Weis has received many awards. Notably, in 2010 she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing, and in 2012 she was awarded the USAF’s Air Education and


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CULTY SPOTLIGHT Training Command’s Clinical Researcher of the Year, and recognized as UTBM’s School of Nursing’s Rebecca Sealy Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Weis attributes her success to collaborative relationships, good mentoring, and a passion for nursing science.


By Charita Ray-Blakely, PhD

We talked to UIW alumna, Clarissa Rivera, to gauge her take on key support aspects that helped her succeed. Clarissa, who earned her Master of Science in Nutrition in May 2017, credits her supervisor for initially encouraging her to pursue a graduate degree. She recalls that despite having more than ten years of experience in the field of nutrition, it was difficult to advance in her career without a graduate degree. Shortly after beginning graduate school, she learned that her husband had pancreatic cancer. Clarissa put school on hold and did her best to care for her husband and infant daughter. Her husband died in 2014, when her daughter was only two years old.

positive work-life balance is something we all strive towards. As we’ve often heard, a solid support system is fundamental for some semblance of this elusive balance. Career. Family. Volunteer work. Religious commitments. Graduate school’s rigorous academic expectations. Life’s responsibilities. Is there some archetype or support system template for us to follow? What comprises a good support system?

Key to helping her continue and succeed in this difficult time, Clarissa says, was her family, because her parents and brother moved from Corpus Christi to San Antonio to help her. Another key was the support she received from UIW. The professional consultants at UIW’s graduate writing services helped her immensely after she encountered difficulties in writing her first research paper. Furthermore, she acknowledges her professors who challenged her and taught her so much, noting that Dr. Senne-Duff was instrumental in helping her develop effective research methods and writing skills. The most salient aspect of Clarissa’s support system was her unwavering spirituality and support from her church. Clarissa says that, in times of chaos, her faith helped give her the peace to focus in order to succeed.

Karen Weis:

•PhD, RNC-OB, FAAN •Professor and holder of the Brigadier General Lillian Dunlap Endowed Chair at UIW’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing & Health Professions.

Clarissa is currently pursuing her passions in nutrition, while putting her UIW degree to good use. The recipient of two Department of Nutrition awards, The Academic Excellence in Nutrition Award and The Excellence in Nutrition Mission Truth Award, Clarissa has worked for University Health Systems for over seven years. The registered dietician and certified diabetes educator is often featured on KENS5, where she gives cooking demonstrations and nutritional advice on healthy eating. By Lucille “Sia” Achica, MA

Spring 2018



Question What resource/advice has proven the most useful to you during your graduate studies at UIW?

“I have been advised and encouraged—by Dr. Osman Özturgut, Dr. Vess Johnson, Dr. Trish Driskill, and Dr. April Poe—to engage in research activities during my graduate studies. This encouragement stimulated me to challenge my abilities to grow on the personal and the intellectual level.” –Aleck Nash   MS Accounting

“The [UIW Mabee] library system is the key to research and this rich and powerful resource is a must for every student.” –Vicki Bechard Spaulding   MAA Applied Administration

“The resources that have contributed support throughout my educational journey in my BSNDNP Track (Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)) Concentration program were my instructors, the Graduate Writing Institute workshops, the Office of Research & Graduate Studies and the J.E. and L.E. Mabee library.” –Maria Medina-Calvo   Doctor of Nursing Practice


Spring 2018


his past semester, master’s and doctoral candidates submitted a wide range of advanced academic papers as partial fulfillment of the requirements of their degree programs. Three theses, four dissertations, and nineteen doctoral projects were reviewed by the dissertation coordinator after their papers had been approved by academic committees in their programs. Among those doctoral students was Sr. Eucharia Gomba who defended her dissertation “Child-Headed Households in Rural Zimbabwe: Perceptions of Shona Orphaned Children.”

— Sr. Eucharia Gomba

Good things come to those who wait; great things come to those who really go for it. Finishing my dissertation at UIW put me on my way to awesome things! The process was a daily adventure and every challenge an opportunity making every dream a possibility.

Dissertations “The Impact of Culture on Hispanic Entrepreneurs as Mediated by Motivation, Challenge, and Success” Valerie Ballesteros “The Impact of Lean Startup Theory Upon Local Business Entrepreneurs” Gary Boyd “Spirituality in a Faith-Based Institution: Faculty Experiences of Facilitating the Spiritual Development of Students” Darlene Carbajal “Call Center Experience Optimization: A Case for a Virtual Predictive Queue” William Pugh

Theses “Dopamine Levels in the Brain of Rat Models of Human Rheumatoid Arthritis” Amelia Stinson “An Investigation of the Levels of Pro-Inflammation Cytokines in the Brain of Autoimmune Lewis Rats” Han Yang “Preliminary Analysis of Diversity of Soil Microbes on the Campus of the University of the Incarnate Word” Viridiana Wheeler

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ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROJECTS Doctoral Projects “Initiating HPV Co-testing for Women Aged 30-65 in an Ob/Gyn Practice Setting” Stephen Cavazos “A Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase Hypertension Treatment Adherence Among Hispanic Patients With Limited English Proficiency” Barbara Chavez “Improving HPV Vaccination Series Initiation Rates and Compliance Among Indigent Women in South Texas, Ages 19-26, Through Provider Recommendation and Additional Clinic Funding: a Quality Improvement Project” Lacey Cudd “Increasing the Vaccination Rates of Adolescent Males 11 to 18 Years of Age in an Urban Pediatric Clinic: A Quality Improvement Project” Victoria Fadare “Implementing Evidence-based Opioid Prescription Practices In a Primary Care Setting” Cyril Gaiennie “Improving Vaccination Rates in Adults with Type II Diabetes in a Family Practice Setting: An Evidence-based Quality Improvement Project” Ronda Gottlieb “Individualized Glycemic Targets for the Elderly Residing in Long Term Care Facilities” Abegail Hubberd “Improving Early Child Developmental Screenings in a Primary Care Setting: A Quality Improvement Project” Marlischa Jackson “Increasing The Adherence to Updated Clinical Practice Guidelines for TB Screening Among HIV Patients Entering a Congregate Setting Utilizing a Clinical Reminder” Domingo Lopez “Assessing the Effectiveness of a Quality Improvement Intervention to Decrease Missed Opportunities for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination at a Nurse Managed Health Center” Maria Medina-Calvo “Evidence-Based Discharge Education Guidelines to Improve Adherence to Self-Care and Decrease 30-Day Readmissions for Older Heart Failure Patients” Lisette Melton “Implementation of a Parental Notification System for the Improvement of Well-Child Care Delivery” Frances Narvaiz “A Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase Statin Therapy Adherence Among Patients With Diabetes Aged 65 Years and Older” Kelly Nunemaker “A Quality Improvement Project to Increase Eye Care Screenings and Recommendations for Patients With Type II Diabetes Mellitus” Amber Ojeda “Provider Adherence to Prescribing the Elimination Diet” Seth Osgood “Increasing Provider Awareness of Patient Health Literacy Needs for Dental Screenings Among Patients With Diabetes in a Rural Health Clinic” Diana Solis “Interventions to Increase Diabetes Self-Management Education Referral and Attendance” Genevieve Talamantez “Improving Trauma Activation Guideline Adherence in a Level III Emergency Department” Jesus Valdez “Increasing Depression Screenings in Adults With Advanced Non-Surgical Heart Failure Using 2013 ACCF/AHA Recommendations and Healthy People 2020 Target Goals” Valerie Valencia


Spring 2018


eet the Mission is organized and sponsored by the Office of Mission and Ministry, under the leadership of Sr. Walter Maher, and is held every September. This year, the 12th Annual Meet the Mission, a large number of faculty, staff, and students participated in the planning and staging of the event. This year, members of the UIW Women’s Basketball team and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies went to the Guadalupe Community Center to carry out a day of service activities. By all accounts the mission volunteers—graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and faculty— experienced a great day full of hard work and team bonding while helping make a positive difference in the San Antonio community. The Office of Research and Graduate Studies provides this opportunity by putting together a team every year for Meet the Mission. Through this, the office helps introduce students and other UIW community members to the culture of service at the University of the Incarnate Word.

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ission Academy is an opportunity to explore new ways to integrate the Mission of the University of the Incarnate Word with the work we do and provides a forum for discussing, sharing and learning best practices across disciplines. University Ethics is this year’s Mission Academy focus.

— Dr. Matt Valdes   Rosenberg School of  Optometry


Spring 2018

With such a diverse group, our backgrounds bring unique perspectives to the conversations regarding campus activities. I have enjoyed meeting faculty who share the same values and mission of the University, but are able to serve and communicate the mission in a variety of ways.


he Office of Research Development, located within the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, is the research arm of UIW, responsible for the promotion and support of scholarship and creative activity throughout the institution.


At UIW, we take pride in our research and know that through our search for and communication of truth, we become stronger in educating concerned and enlightened citizens within the global community. Thus, this past summer and fall semester, the Office of Research & Development has been diligently working to promote research funding opportunities, bring light to research engagement activities, and enhance awareness of research compliance policies and updates. We are thrilled to report that nearly $60,000 directly funded a variety of student activities ranging from work positions to research endeavors.


3 GRADUATE ASSISTANTS $10,980 awarded

12 RESEARCH ASSISTANTS $30,000 awarded

32 STUDENT RESEARCHERS $18,765 awarded

Spring 2018


EVENT CALENDAR Student Staff January



January   13 - Orientation   16 - Classes Start   16 - Access ORGS   27 - Workshop: Graduate Writing

Tushna Bhumgar Graduate Assistant MBA in Marketing

Sofia Maragoudakis Graduate Assistant MS in Nutrition

Purva Patel MBA in Finance

Margaret Grayson Graphic Designer BFA in Graphic Design

Patricia Noske Graduate Assistant PhD in Education

Nina Leyva Work Study BS in Meteorology

Denise Krohn Graduate Assistant PhD in Education

Yamilex Salazar Graduate Assistant MBA in Finance

February   10 - Workshop: Academic Papers   15 - Access ORGS   19-23 - Research Week   20 - 3 MT   24 - Workshop: Career Development

Graduate Assistant

March   12 - ARISE Deadline


  12-16 - Spring Break   21 - Access ORGS



  10 - ARISE Award   16 - Access ORGS   16-19 - Peacebuilding Symposium   23 - Triple Helix Career Panel   27 - Mission Academy

May   07-11 - Finals Week   12 - Graduation 16

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OUR TEAM Dean’s Office

Graduate Support Center

Office of Research Development

Osman Özturgut, PhD Dean 210-805-3555

David Ortiz, PhD Director 210-283-6454

Ana Wandless-Hagendorf, PhD Research Officer 210-805-3036

Theses, Doctoral Projects & Dissertations

Graduate Support Center

Office of Research Development

Duncan Hayse, MFA Coordinator 210-829-2758

Çiğdem Koçoğlu, PhD Graduate Student Support Specialist 210-832-5628

Dean’s Office

Graduate Writing Services

Office of Research Development

Gracie Zuniga Administrative Assistant 210-805-3555

Lucille “Sia” Achica, MA Professional Development Specialist in Writing

David Fike, PhD Research Statistician 210-805-3555

Trinidad Macias, PhD Sponsored Projects 210-805-2539

Graduate Writing Services Kristina Lopez Work Study BS in Biology

Charita Ray-Blakely, PhD Professional Development Specialist in Writing

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@UIWorgs @UIWorgs UIW Office of Research and Graduate Studies This publication is available in alternate format by request. To request an alternate format, please call 210-283-6454

UIW Cardinal Report Spring 2018 Edition  
UIW Cardinal Report Spring 2018 Edition