Submitting Your Best College Application

Every prospective student will likely fill out dozens of college applications during their high school careers, and each application will ask the same kinds of questions.

What’s your address?

What’s your preferred major?

Where did you go to high school?

Why do you want to attend this school?

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So how do universities set students apart from one another? Items like transcripts, board scores and personal essays are a large portion of the application review process because they are numerical tools to prove your academic strength. That’s why it’s important to remember these tips when applying to college.

Why Official Transcripts?
Official transcripts are final reflections of your academics, and will likely include an institutional seal or signature. These are essential in determining your application decision, but they are also helpful in cases which academic scholarships are automatically distributed to students with certain GPAs like UIW. Our highest academic scholarship reaches $20,000 a year! *spittake* Yes, that’s $80,000 over four years.

What about Board Scores?
You took either the SAT or the ACT. If you haven’t taken either exam, shut Netflix off and visit act.org or sat.org to register for an exam. You can take each test more than once, but make sure to begin taking these exams as early as possible to allow for improvement. UIW superscores results, so send us all the scores and we will look at your highest ones!

Do I have to write an essay?
Essay requirements depend on the university you’re applying to, but did you know that it takes 15 minutes to complete the UIW application online with no essay and no application fee? It’s simple and easy, so you might as well, right? Click here to apply now: www.uiw.edu/apply.

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If you don’t have strong transcripts, totally bombed the ACT ten different times, or have never written an essay about yourself (of course you have, you’re Generation Z) then don’t worry just yet. While these items are required of almost all institutions, another way to show universities your true ambition and ability to succeed is to show your face. Make them learn your name.

For example, instead of applying to a university and waiting for months to hear a “yes” or “no” response, apply to a university and then, if possible, show up. Take a tour of campus, make an appointment with a professor or an admissions counselor, have conversations with the people who are looking at your application and get to know your future school. No, you will not be able to bribe these people, but you will be allowed a chance to make your application noticeable and receive additional help with improving your application all because you simply reached out to the university.

Long story short, you’ve got this – be confident and always put in the work. The entire world of academia is here to help you!

If you have any questions about the UIW admissions process, send us an email at admission@uiwtx.edu.

10 Things You Need to Know About Living on Campus

So, you’re moving in! Living in a residence hall is a little different than living at your parents’ house. That’s why the Department of Residence Life and Housing Operations is here to help. Let’s review our top 10 tips and reminders for helping you get the most out of your home away from home.

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1. Sharing is caring
We aren’t talking about your shampoo or favorite sweater.  Living on campus means you’re sharing space with roommates and suitemates. Make sure you’re being considerate of their needs by keeping your area tidy, cleaning up after yourself, and being respectful of common areas.

2. Keys to succeed
Living on campus means you are close to so many resources. Take advantage of your proximity to the library, study rooms, tutoring and more. You’re also part of a community that is here to learn…your floormates!  Find out who is in your classes and set up study groups together!

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3. Be seen being green
Sometimes you are in a rush and need to grab your lunch to go.  Ask for a green container at the cafeteria! You’ll be able to take your food to go then bring your used container back to have it switched out for a clean one!

4. Snug as a bug
Let’s face it.  We live in South Texas. While that provides some beautiful scenery, those gorgeous views are also home to plenty of critters. While the halls and rooms are sprayed for pest control, it can’t hurt to be mindful of not leaving food out that may attract bugs.  Pest control sprays rooms that have reported an issue on Fridays.

5. Sheets!
Make sure you bring two sets of sheets. While our mattresses are comfortable, they really are better when you have some nice, cozy sheets on them. Having an extra set will come in handy when it’s time to wash your first set. Speaking of laundry…

6. So fresh, so clean
Laundry is free at UIW. Most floors have a washer and dryer for the residents on that floor.  Ask your Resident Assistant (RA) for a quick tutorial on how to do laundry if you’ve never done it before (separate colors from whites, colors go in cold water, etc.)

7. Who you gonna call?
The RAs on your floor are there to help you out!  Trying to find a study group?  Ask an RA! Toilet won’t stop running?  Talk to your RA!  Miss momma’s cooking?  Talk to your RA (they may not be able to make your mom’s best dish, but they can help you through feeling a bit homesick)!

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8. Explore SA
Did you know all UIW students get a free VIA bus pass?  It’s easy to get to Downtown San Antonio and around town from the bus stops right by UIW. Take advantage of this free transportation to explore our beautiful city!

9. With a little help from my…roommates!
Sometimes you get along great with your roommate.  Sometimes, you don’t!  We suggest being as up front and honest with each other from the beginning.  Take your roommate agreement seriously so you can come up with mutual expectations to ensure that even if you’re not best friends, you’re both great roommates.

10. Be a Cardinal!
During your time here, you’ll have so many opportunities to learn, attend games, get to know people from all walks of life, give back to the community and more. Most importantly, this is where you’ll find your wings to take flight! We’re all here to help you along the way.

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Have any questions about living on campus? The Department of Residence Life and Housing Operations can be reached at (210) 829-6034 or housing@uiwtx.edu.

J.R. Chiodo-Benmuvhar, MS.Ed
Assistant Director of Residence Life

Bible Verses for the Busy College Student

57133827_10156517482784671_1363537831695220736_oCollege brings some of the best times in a person’s life – unfortunately, it can also bring some of the most stressful times. Between classes, student organizations, homework, exams, internships and more, it can all feel overwhelming sometimes. For the moments when it feels like just too much, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite bible verses to help get you through, whether you need comfort, motivation or just a little bit of faith.

  1. For moments of uncertainty:
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
  2. For when you’re tired:
    “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29
  3. For motivation:
    “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
  4. For moments of stress: 
    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” – John 14:27
  5. For confidence:
    “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

For even more encouraging words, we invite all students of the University of the Incarnate Word to join us for noon mass Monday through Friday in Our Lady’s Chapel.

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Love at UIW – A Faculty Interview

We have heard of many different love stories that began at UIW, but what about couples who made the choice to come to UIW together not as students but as working adults? In the HEB School of Business and Administration, you will find a married couple who did just that Dr. Alberto Rubio, marketing coordinator and Dr. Alicia Rubio, BBA director. You may not have taken a class with either of these faculty members, but many of you may remember watching Alberto wait for Alicia outside of her classroom every morning.

Over the years, we’ve learned many students admire their relationship, so we thought that Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to ask them some questions about love at UIW!

  1. How did you two meet?

Alberto: We met at graduate school in Mexico. We were both working at the same place and were going to the same school at the same time…we had a class together.

  1. How long have you been married?

Alicia: This year will make 20 years. We are going to Greece and Israel to celebrate our 20thanniversary.

  1. Why did you both decide to come work at UIW?

Alberto: We were living in Rhode Island, but it was very far away from our families in Mexico, so we looked for jobs that were closer. UIW offered to take us both as a package, so we decided to come and work here! We always try to look for jobs that will accept us together.

  1. How does it feel to work with your spouse?

Alicia: Good! We like it; we have always worked together, so we’re used to it.

Alberto: When you make the right choice for a spouse, you want to be with that person all the time. We are lucky enough that we “kind of” like each other and we are always, always together.

  1. Were there any challenges when you started working together?

Alicia: I think maybe when we started sharing an office, the challenge was just to get used to the fact that we were in the same space and maybe Alberto had work to do and I liked to talk.

Albert: Sometimes I just like to focus, and I don’t want to talk, but she wants to talk. We sometimes forget that we are not together on a date – we are working, and we have stuff to do. So, that can be a little bit of a challenge.

  1. What do you love about working together here at UIW?

Alicia: We get to spend more time together, we are not necessarily doing the same thing every day, but we know the other is always around.

Albert: Our kids say, “How come you never go on dates?” Well we are always together, all day…it’s just one big date!

New Year’s Resolutions for the Busy Student

People usually feel one of two ways about New Year’s resolutions. They either love them and consider January 1 a fresh start or think they’re ridiculous and feel the beginning of a new year brings no more opportunity for change than any other day. If you’re the latter, bear with us. We understand that sometimes the best resolutions aren’t those that immediately bring about drastic changes, but those that are realistic and attainable enough to become habits. Here are our top five picks for resolutions that we think even the busiest students will be able to stick with.

  1. Do more of what you love. Spend a moment thinking about what truly brings value and joy to your life. Do you feel most at peace when you’re strumming a guitar? Are you happy to just sit and read a good book? We’re not suggesting you take up something entirely new and time-consuming. Just find what brings you happiness and make an effort to do a little bit more of it every day.
  2. Talk to God. How simple is that? Everyone has a commute, whether you take a bus, drive a car, or walk from your dorm to class. What better time to spend a couple of minutes every day talking to God, letting Him know what’s on your mind and heart, and thanking Him? This resolution takes just a little bit of effort, but the pay-off will be amazing.
  3. Get some rest! Hopping into bed after a long day is no chore, but between class, homework, extracurriculars, jobs and a social life, getting enough sleep is sometimes harder than it looks. Figure out how much sleep you need to function at your best and try to get that much every night.
  4. Finish your work the day before it’s due. Murphy’s law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. We’ve all been there – you finish that paper in the nick of time, but your printer is out of ink. You rush to the library to print your paper, only to find that the printer is undergoing repairs. Save your future self the stress by giving yourself deadlines the day before assignments are actually due.
  5. Find the good in all that you do. It’s easy to start feeling the burn out halfway through the year, and when you’re tired of being tired, it becomes more appealing to convince yourself that what you do every day isn’t making a huge difference – but it is. Perhaps your professor was filled with pride and joy upon writing a big A+ on your paper. Maybe the person you held the door open for really needed to be shown an act of kindness on that day. What you do matters – don’t forget that.

May the New Year bring you love, joy, peace and success, Cardinals!

 

Keeping Christ in Christmas

As Christmas Day fast approaches, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Shopping malls are flooded with last-minute gift seekers, commercial after commercial encourages us to buy the next big thing, and travelers fill roads and airports. It also seems that every year, stores begin putting up Christmas decorations just a little bit earlier. As soon as Halloween is over, battery-operated dancing Santas pop up at every corner.

Between the stress of holiday shopping and the distractions we face every day, keeping Christ in Christmas sometimes becomes an afterthought. This year, make a conscious effort to reflect on the birth of Christ. As you bake Christmas cookies and purchase that last-minute gift, take a moment to give thanks for the true reason we celebrate.

As Christians, let us focus our hearts and minds on Christ. What better way to celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ, than by striving to live as He lived – to be an example of goodness, kindness, justice and love to those around us. The teachings of Christ are meant to be incorporated in our daily lives, and Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to recommit ourselves to this most important task. Christmas is a celebration of the deep love God has for us, His children.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
– Luke 2:11

Our heavenly Father loves us so much that he sent Jesus to be born for us as one of us and change the world through people just like us. What a beautiful act of love. A tiny baby born in a manger would radically change everything forever – that little baby saved us all.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year! Praised be the Incarnate Word!

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“Realities of a Ride-Along,” and Mental Health in Medicine

UIWSOM students take steps to mentally prepare for traumatic experiences in the medical profession

By: Kaitlyn Hennessey

“Put your notes away and double glove,” she was told. Uncertain of the circumstances, she followed the paramedic’s orders. The ambulance arrived at the scene with police officers all around, body bags laying on the ground, helicopters flying off…she stops. The sinking reality sets in, as she thinks to herself, “I am the least qualified person here.”

Kaylyn Snook, now a second-year student at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine (UIWSOM), found herself in the aftermath of a mass casualty shooting. She wasn’t a certified EMT at the time. Like all of her classmates, Snook was completing her EMT ride-along, a required training for first-year students at UIWSOM in the EMT certification process.

The EMS unit she rode in was called to transport a victim of the shooting to a nearby hospital. It was an older female, she had four bullet wounds, two to her leg, one on each arm. Snook was told to check her vitals, pulses, and wounds. She performed these tasks in the routine way she’d learned, but this time it was different. This was not a case study, this was a real person in Snook’s care, someone who may not make it through the rest of the day.

Snook stopped to take a deep breath while sharing this story. She spoke from a student-led panel discussion at the UIWSOM campus. The event, “Realities of a Ride-Along,” took place on Thursday, September 20. On one side of a conference table sat Snook and three other second-year medical students – Shelby Valero, Michael Walston, and Rami Alattar. Each of these individuals shared a traumatic experience during their routine EMT ride-alongs.

Across the table from Snook and her colleagues, were first-year medical students about to embark on their own EMT ride-alongs. This discussion is the first annual event meant to prepare the first-years for what they might see during their first emergency medical experience.

Behind the four students on stage was a projected image of a buttercup plant, surrounded by a red circle with a backslash, universally symbolizing the word, “No.”

The old saying “Suck it up, buttercup,” was not welcome here. Dr. Hans Bruntmyer, a professor at UIWSOM, opened the event with a familiar quote to his students – “It’s okay not to be a buttercup.” He uses these words to remind his students the importance of personal mental health in dealing with traumatic situations in their patient’s lives.

It took time for Snook to feel the sorrow associated with her EMT experience. The perceived expectation to be tough, guided her response to this event.

“Vulnerability in the medical field is difficult but necessary,” Snook encouraged the first-years. She and the other students on stage shared ways in which they coped with the shocking events, and how first-years can mentally prepare.

Shelby Valero helped treat a patient that was ejected 150 feet from his vehicle – it was the first deceased body outside of the cadaver lab that she had witnessed, and it was a gruesome scene. She advised the first-years preparing for their ride-alongs with three suggestions. One, “Do whatever you need to do to quietly center yourself before entering a traumatic situation.” Secondly, “Always remind yourself that it is [the patient’s] emergency, not yours.” As medical professionals, staying efficient during the emergency means staying focused, but to deal with the trauma later, Valero finally suggested, “find a form of release.”

Release came for Valero when she decided to mourn the death of her patient. For others participating in the panel discussion, sharing their experience with close community opened the pathway towards healing.

“There is a culture that healers cannot be wounded,” Dr. Stacy Waterman, a counselor serving the UIWSOM campus, said. “We need to remove the stigma that healers don’t need help.”

As emergency physicians, and former military combat doctors and professors, Dr. Robert Allen and Dr. Bruntmyer have seen their fair share of trauma. Their goal is to prioritize mental health awareness at the medical student level by teaching them to share their experiences. The hope is that students will enter their practice knowing healthy ways to cope with difficult experiences. “Realities of a Ride-Along,” is the first in a three-part series focusing on mental health preparedness for challenging experiences that come with becoming a doctor.

The next event in the series will help prepare second-year students before they enter their rotations, focusing on the transition from the classroom to the real world. The final mental preparedness event will be right before the medical students graduate and will discuss what it is like to be responsible for their patient’s treatment.

“Know that you are human,” Dr. Bruntmyer said in his closing statements, reminding the students that he once forgot this, telling himself he was okay with the trauma he saw until apathy almost drove him out of practicing medicine. Bruntmyer stepped out of cultural pressures in the medical field, offering students permission to express their experiences and remember that “It’s okay to not be okay.”

 

5 Dorm Hacks That Will Make You Never Want to Leave Your Room

It may still be hot out there, but summer is quickly coming to an end. While we’ve enjoyed the sunshine, time off, summer travel and days by the pool, nothing beats the start of a new school year. Interesting classes, new friends, football games and more are giving us so much to look forward to as we head into another fall semester, but if you’re an incoming freshman (or transfer student) you’re probably experiencing some nerves too, especially when it comes to dorm life. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite tips for making the most of on-campus living!

 

  1. All about that space, ‘bout that space.
    Let’s face it – dorm living can get cramped pretty quickly if you’re not careful. Thankfully, there are some great space-saving hacks to help your room stay free of clutter. Most dorm rooms come with height adjustable beds. Raise your bed enough to open up storage space underneath– you can fit an entire dresser under there if you want! When shopping for dorm essentials, be sure to look into multi-functional furniture as well. Looking for extra seating? An ottoman with hidden storage is the perfect chair substitute and provides extra storage space.
  2. Command hooks and strips will have you hooked.
    Pardon the pun; we couldn’t help it. All jokes aside, command hooks and strips are life changers in a dorm room. Obviously, it’s against dorm rules to hammer nails into the walls, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang decorations with these handy adhesives! Pro tip: Make your bed a private oasis with a homemade bed canopy. Simply run a string through some curtains and hang them by Command hooks placed on the ceiling around your bed.
  3. Don’t forget the snacks!
    You’re going to be busy between classes, exams, student organizations and more. Make sure to keep a supply of your favorite snacks to get you through those times. On days when you’re running too late to class to stop for breakfast, you’ll be glad you brought along that pack of granola bars! Pro tip: Use a door-hanging shoe organizer to store your snack items without taking up space!
  4. Skip the frames.
    You’ll probably want to print photos of your family, pets, high school friends and more, but in a dorm, there just isn’t enough space for all those frames. We say skip the photo frames and go for something a little more creative! Some of our favorite photo display ideas include hanging photos on a string of yarn with clothespins or pinning them to a decorative cork board.
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  5. Make a small space feel bigger.
    We all know dorm rooms aren’t huge, but sometimes it’s more about how big it looks and feels than how big it actually is. Skip the overhead lights and bring in a few lamps instead to draw the eye around the room. Bringing in a full-length mirror? Place it across from the window to reflect light and make the room feel more spacious. Use rugs to create the illusion of different areas in the room – one rug for the study area under your desk, one for the resting area by your bed, etc. It’s all about being creative!

Move-in day is just around the corner (August 23 and 24) and we can’t wait to see you – we’ll be there to help you with all your move-in needs!

For more information on residence life and move-in day, give the Office of Campus Engagement and Residence Life a call at (210) 829-6034!

 

10 Things to Do the Summer Before College

You did it! High school is now officially behind you, and it’s time to start looking ahead…but where do you  begin? Here’s a list to help you make the most of your time during the summer between high school and college.

  1. Take inventory of your closet. College has so much to offer – tailgating, job fairs, volunteer opportunities and more! Make sure you have something for every occasion. Donate clothes you don’t wear anymoreand make room in your closet for new items that show off your school pride!
  2. Spend time with your family. Even if you’re not moving away for school, things won’t be the same. College is the time when you begin building your own life, so be sure to make time for extra conversations with mom and dad, and fun afternoons with your siblings.RCJ_4698
  3. Get to know the area surrounding campus. Whether or not you’re moving to a new city for college, chances are you won’t be spending as much time in the area you’re used to. Take some time to explore the best coffee shops, restaurants, and fun things to do near your new school (even if you have to do so online)!
  4. Keep a journal. It may not always feel like it, but this summer is a huge turning point in your life. You’ve graduated high school and you’re moving on to bigger things. Keeping a journal during this time will not only help you work through your feelings about all of this change, but one day, it will be nice to look back on who you were and see how far you’ve come!
  5. Hit the gym! If the gym isn’t for you, start implementing some kind of fitness routine in your daily schedule. Something as simple as a daily walk can make a world of difference in how you feel. When the hustle and bustle of college life hits you, you’ll be glad that exercise is already something that’s part of your routine, not just another thing you need to add on.
  6. Hang out with your high school crew one last time. Everyone is going their separate ways come August, so have one final get together where you reminisce, take lots of photos, and get a little too weepy.
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  7. Thank your teachers. Everyone has at least one teacher who has made an enormous impact on their life. Reach out to that teacher and let them know they inspired you and made a difference!
  8. Get organized! Between classes, student organizations, and campus events, you’re going to be busy! Figure out a system of keeping track of things that works best for you now – don’t wait until you’re overloaded.
  9. Reach out to new classmates and roommates! Don’t be shy – summer is a great time to start building these relationships so that come August, you’ll already have a support system and a few good friends on campus.
  10. Relax! Watch your favorite movies, get a haircut, go for a swim, sleep in and do whatever helps you feel your best. You’ve earned a little bit of down time before the rest of your life begins!
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UIW Participates in SA300 Tree-Centennial Program

By Teofilo Reyes, Ettling Center for Civic Leadership & Sustainability Community Outreach Coordinator, and Phillip Lopes, Assistant Facilities Director and Energy and the Environment Subcommittee Member

The University of the Incarnate Word took part in San Antonio’s Tree-Centennial program on Tuesday, May 2. The Tree-Centennial initiative, led and managed by the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, honors San Antonio’s Tricentennial (SA300) celebration to enhance the city’s tree canopy and green spaces by planting 300 trees over the course of 2018.

IMG_0774The program was launched with tree plantings at various higher education institutions across the city. The University of the Incarnate Word is a prominent institution for higher learning, not just in San Antonio or across the Texas region, but globally – serving students and communities throughout the world. UIW is participating in the Tree-Centennial program because it embodies the spirit of “citizenship and commitment to community” by bettering the places where we live, learn, labor and enjoy leisure in our city.

We chose to plant this beautiful Sierra Oak tree at the University of Incarnate Word’s new School of Osteopathic Medicine because this young oak tree will symbolize the budding growth and grandeur these medical students will achieve through serving the health needs of patients around the globe. We worked with our friends at Mortellaro’s Nursery in Schertz, Texas to find a fresh tree that is strong and beautiful, but also one that is native to the south, tolerant of heat and requires little watering once established. The Sierra Oak was the perfect fit.

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Tree-Centennial is another great opportunity for UIW to expand its sustainability efforts across the San Antonio community. Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ demonstrates the responsibility not only as a single organization, but as habitants of this wonderful planet to take care of one another through compassion and action.  Tree-Centennial is another step forward for UIW students, staff, and faculty to engage and educate the community on the various social, economic, and health benefits of being environmentally conscious.

Sustainability balances human development and growth with the welfare of the natural world, both in the present and for the future. The emphasis placed on social justice by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the establishment of care for creation as a tenet of Catholic social teaching inspiring sustainability as a part of the university’s legacy. The University is committed to meeting people’s cultural, educational, economic, and ecological needs in ways that protect and restore the natural environment.

SA300 has beautifully celebrated the many facets that make San Antonio unique, and Tree-Centennial is another great example of what sustainability means to the citizens of San Antonio and the city’s legacy.

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