Six Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Cardinal You Love

Breathe it in, everyone – it’s the first day of February, and love is definitely in the air! If your heart stopped for a second because you suddenly realized that means you only have 13 days left to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Take a look at some amazing gifts that are sure to show the Cardinal in your life how much you appreciate them.

  1. A UIW Pride T-shirt
    Anyone who loves a UIW student, alumni, or employee, knows that they love comfortable shirts that also show off their UIW pride!

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    This t-shirt is the perfect one to help you celebrate your love this year. A cupid-struck heart on UIW red? Count us in!

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  1. A UIW-framed portrait
    Our campus is a beautiful one, meaning there are plenty of great photo opportunities around. Ask your Valentine to pause for a photo with you! Print it out, and place it in this UIW frame for a thoughtful gift that is sure to make him/her swoon.

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    Pro Tip: Include a heartfelt letter that details why you chose this special gift, including the reason behind choosing your specific photo location and the role UIW has played in bringing you together!


  1. This special snuggle buddy
    Okay, we know this one is pretty cliché, but it’s also adorable.


    Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a teddy bear. Add a bouquet of roses, a card, and perhaps dinner for two, and you’ve got date night covered!


  1. A UIW Wine Glass
    Picture this – dinner you made yourself, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a glass of wine in your sweetheart’s new favorite glass. Sounds like a great date to us!

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    Pro Tip: Add a personal touch by adding your own message or artwork to the other side of the wine glass. Acrylic enamel paint is best for painting on glass!


  1. This cozy blanket
    Spring may be near, but there are still some chilly days ahead this year. Keep your Valentine warm and cozy with this incredibly soft blanket.

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    As a bonus, you’ll get to use it for movie nights and picnics for years to come!


  1. Something punny
    Who doesn’t love a good pun? The possibilities are endless with this UIW tie!

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    May we recommend:

    1. Tied to you
    2. Never too tied up for you
    3. There’s no tie when it comes to you.

The best part about these gifts is that they’re all available now at the Cardinal Shoppe in the Student Engagement Center. No matter who you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with this year, remember to share the love this and every month.


An Interview with the Dean of UIW’s Feik School of Pharmacy on National Pharmacist Day

To most people, it may come as a surprise that today, January 12, is National Pharmacist Day. To commemorate the occasion, we sat down with UIW’s very own Dr. David Maize R.Ph., Ph. D., Dean of the Feik School of Pharmacy (FSOP) and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Learn more about him and the University of the Incarnate Word’s Feik School of Pharmacy below!

UIW: Did you know that there was such a thing as Pharmacist Day?

Dr. Maize: I was quite surprised that there was a Pharmacist Day. Someone from our main campus called and said “Friday is Pharmacist Day,” and it caught me by surprise. I actually went to all the classrooms and I said, “Do you know what Friday is?”, and everyone replied, “It’s Friday, we have tests!” I said, “Well, it’s National Pharmacist Day, and I’m sorry we’re not celebrating it, but next year I’ll have it on my calendar and we will celebrate National Pharmacist Day!” However, there is a National Pharmacist Month, which we do know about, in October. We always have activities during that time, where we go out into the community to showcase the the things that pharmacists can do.

UIW: Great! Well we’ll have to come back in October then! To start things off, help us learn a little bit about you. Why did you first decide to go to pharmacy school?

Dr. Maize: Well, interesting story…I loved chemistry. I wanted to be a high school chemistry teacher. My family has a history of teachers; my father was a teacher, my sister’s a teacher, my aunts and uncles are teachers. However, when I said I wanted to be a high school chemistry teacher, my parents said no. They said they didn’t think it was a good career for me. So I looked around at what I could do. I didn’t know if I wanted to be stuck in a laboratory, because I like to talk to people, and it just happened to be at the time that chemistry and talking to people were perfectly combined in the field of pharmacy. So that’s why I chose to go into pharmacy!

Students of the FSOP work on a class project.

UIW: Since then, how have the profession and industry changed? What’s different about the climate of the industry when you entered it versus what the students who are graduating from here will be entering?

Dr. Maize: When I went into pharmacy, and that was a very long time ago, we did use computers. Pharmacy first started out using typewriters, and then we moved to computers, but at that time, health insurance wasn’t a really big deal, and people paid out of pocket for their prescriptions. Now, 95% of all prescriptions are paid by insurances, so we use computers to contact the insurance company to make sure that things are paid. Back when I started, it was very much counting the pills, putting them into a bottle, and handing them to the patient. We don’t count and pour anymore, technicians do that. Our job as pharmacists is more about counseling the patient and making sure that of course, the prescriptions are paid for and the patients get them in a timely manner. That is progressing to the period, very rapidly, that you may not even see a pharmacist behind the counter anymore; the pharmacist may be in your doctor’s clinic managing your medications. Or they’ll be the one that is testing your blood sugar, or they’ll be giving your vaccinations. Pharmacists now give more vaccinations than any of the other health professions that we have. So, we’re changing – we started with product, with the pill, and we’re moving to the service where the pharmacist is going to be a very integral part of the health care team.

UIW: How are students here being prepared for that shift to being more front facing and service oriented with the patient?

Dr. Maize: It’s in the coursework. Back when I was in pharmacy school, we used to have two classes on dispensing medications. We now have six weeks on dispensing medications. The rest of the time is spent teaching communications skills, the skills needed to provide services. We have an immunization class, we have a class that is called MTM, which is Medication Therapy Management, where we look at patient’s profiles and make sure they are taking the right medications, at the right dose, that there’s no duplication, and that they’re safe, and if any of those are not met we will contact the doctor to have therapy changed. Ten years from now, the pharmacist will probably be able to change that therapy without the doctor’s approval. So that’s how pharmacy is growing.

A UIW FSOP student takes notes during a class lecture

UIW: What can first year students coming into this program, expect?

Dr. Maize: Well, first year students have to realize that pharmacy is a two to six year program. That means you complete a minimum of two years of undergraduate school and then you apply to pharmacy school, and you go to pharmacy school for four years. There is a big transition from undergraduate school, thinking that on your third year, you’re a junior in college, but you’re actually now in a doctorate program, and at the end, you’re going to be called “Doctor.” The rigor and the pace moves dramatically quickly, so a student has to be prepared to shift gears away from the undergraduate way they studied, to “I am now in graduate school and I have to study like a graduate student.”

UIW: What would you recommend are some things that they can start doing now to prepare for that?

Dr. Maize:  They really need to look at their study skills and see that they are appropriate for graduate level. One of the biggest things is time management. They have to start to learn how to time manage. And you can ask any one of our pharmacy students here in the school, they have a calendar with every single thing written on that calendar, and they almost have their complete day planned. We believe in a school-home life balance, so you have school work but we also want you to build into your daily schedule time for your family, time to exercise, time to meditate, time to go to religious services, whatever you want to do, because you can’t just study pharmacy, you have to be a whole person. But the studying is important and it is sometimes seven days a week.

Dr. Maize joins FSOP students in class, offering some words of wisdom

UIW: What would you say sets the FSOP apart from ther schools?

Dr. Maize: There are two things that set this school apart from the other Texas schools, and some of the schools in the nation. The number one thing that sets us apart, is that we are faith-based and mission-driven. There is no other faith-based pharmacy school in Texas. Now, we are Catholic, but that doesn’t mean you have to be Catholic to come to the Feik School of Pharmacy. The Sisters have instilled in us that the important thing is as long as you grow in your own faith, no matter what it is—Christian, Muslim, Judaism—as long as you grow in your own faith, that is their goal. So, we’re very proud of that. And we have a mission that has five tenets – education, truth, faith, service and innovation. All of our students know that and we practice that in the preparation of the pharmacists, but we also take that out to our lives, and try to live those five tenets. So, we have a very strong, mission-driven graduate, that will go out and be a great pharmacist and a great citizen.

UIW: Well, thank you very much for your time, Dr. Maize. Before we wrap things up, though, we did read a fun fact about you – that you love the performing arts. How did that come to be? When did you first get the performing arts bug?

Dr. Maize: Well, the performance arts bug came from my mother. I lived in an incredibly small town in Pennsylvania and we were about two hours outside of Pittsburgh with very little chance of seeing performing art. We had this little playhouse and she would take us to plays there. Sometimes we would go into the city and see the great performances of the orchestras and operas and things they had in the city, so I’ve always loved that. And then I went to school in Pittsburgh, so I took advantage of the performing arts. My favorite of the performing arts is opera, so when I came down here, during the first few weeks, I was driving and I saw a banner that there was an opera being presented and I said “AH! This is fantastic!” I went to the opera, and immediately asked how I could assist in the opera. Within a year, I was a board member of the San Antonio Opera. So that was really a highlight of something that I did. I also then went and joined the Art Fund which was an organization that tried to raise money for all of the performing arts, so I have a big interest in the arts. I am a scientist, and science thrills me, but so do the arts. I think you should have a balance of both, in science and in art.

We couldn’t agree more, Dr. Maize!

The Feik School of Pharmacy will be accepting applications now through February 1, 2018. For more information on UIW’s Feik School of Pharmacy, visit

A Q&A about Cyber Security at UIW

UIW’s School of Media & Design offers a specialization in Cyber Security Systems through the Computer Information Systems program. We sat down with the coordinator, Phil Youngblood, to talk more about this area of study at UIW.

UIW: Why is cyber security an important field right now?

Youngblood: Cyber security has always been an important field, however, it’s been more in the news lately because we’re more connected. October was Cyber Security Awareness Month, and there was a national campaign to “Stop.Think.Connect.” Items connected to a network that you can reach with a device, whether it’s a closed circuit television, a baby monitor, refrigerator, a car, whatever, it goes out over the network. We don’t control the network. With the internet, everything you do could be going who knows where, literally one little part could be going to San Francisco or to London, because it all goes pretty much at the speed of light, and it all goes out, little pieces of it and then comes back together, so there’s no control over where it goes. Those devices are not as secure. In the future, with all the wireless technology and such, we need to have people who understand networks, hardware, software, websites and all of the vulnerabilities there are because one tiny percent, like a percentage of a percent, are people who don’t play by the rules and can cause harm.

UIW: Can you explain the cyber security systems specialization of the CIS program here at UIW?

Youngblood: There are two degrees available in the program: a B.S. in Cyber Security Systems and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems (CIS). When we created this program, I looked at all the stuff the NSA said, what Homeland Security said, all the bigger programs around the United States, and what I found was that there were a couple of ways of looking at it.

What universities generally do is look at it from a business standpoint, protecting business data, customer information, supplier information, employee information, etc. Businesses are looking for education, policies and controls. So CIS is about understanding the hardware, software, networks, how it all connects and works. The students need to know how to secure networks. On top of that, cyber security is that extra layer. You take a lot of the stuff that you already need to know for the CIS degree, and you learn how to secure networks, and systems, you learn how to build a secure design with encryption. Building layers of defense to control access. The bottom line of cyber security is controlled access, who you want to have access to the equipment and the data.

This has been an interest in San Antonio for quite some time. San Antonio has the highest concentration of cyber security experts outside of Washington, D.C. because of the confluence of military, business, high tech and all of the universities coming together.  Our CIS and Cyber Security Systems degrees are overlapping and supplementary programs. We take the tech approach with a little bit of business on the side. We want to provide our students with information that makes them as smart as the people that are hacking into places. And not just hacking in, but if our students go to work in a company, they can suggest what password to use, help make the place more secure, help to guard against vulnerability.

UIW: What kind of individual is well suited for this program?

Youngblood: It is a science degree, so it needs to be someone who is analytical, likes details, is trustworthy and cares about the company they’re in. That’s why they go to UIW. We have certain values, integrity, trustworthiness and responsibility.

UIW: Why should someone choose this program over similar programs at other universities?

Youngblood: There are some fine programs out there, but if you look, we are the only main campus, dedicated B.S. in cyber security systems in San Antonio. Other programs may have online programs but not a dedicated main campus program. We are also trying to help and support students left hanging by the closure of ITT Tech integrate into our program and be able to complete their studies. We have a proven successful program, we have the facilities, we have the experts and we have the only main campus program. The other programs are all concentrations of degrees. We worked with and talked with the NSA and Homeland Security to really understand what they were looking for and what needs to be done.

UIW: What types of courses can one expect?

Youngblood: In addition to the courses in a very robust IT degree, you also have courses that deal in three areas: 1) secure design, what can you do to make systems more impervious to unauthorized access in addition to understanding how to secure a network, 2) cryptography, understanding where data resides on the cloud, and 3) risk management, securing the organization itself, understanding the risk and vulnerabilities and applying the resources to one or the other.

UIW: What types of careers can one obtain with this degree?

Youngblood: You can get any kind of IT job. Everything from medical centers, military, to anybody that does anything with networking like Rackspace, oil companies, H-E-B, etc. But the cyber security degree has added value because safeguarding your computers, data and equipment is an integral and routine part of IT because we are so connected.

We have to understand where our data is going and where we are vulnerable. You can replace equipment, but you can’t replace information. From a business standpoint, if you lose the data, you could inadvertently give access and information to someone you don’t want to have it and suddenly the business and its reputation are damaged.