UIW Blog Lent is a Journey

Lent is a Journey

By Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa, professor emeritus

Lent is a journey to Holy Week.

It is a season of anticipation of the celebration of the central mystery of our faith: Christ’s death and resurrection. In some way, Lent is like the Gospels, all of which are, according to some scholars, long introductions to the core story of the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord.

So, Lent is a season of traveling along a long road. In our time, it may appear too long.

Dr. Gilberto Hinojosa reflects on the importance of the long Lenten wait.

We go quickly from one sports season to another, from one popular celebration to another, and indeed from one news cycle to another. In the past, Lent always seemed very long to me. Nowadays it seems even longer.

Yet, we are told, the ending – Holy Week – is worth waiting for.

Jesus’s journey of his death and resurrection entailed working his way through his ministry of teaching and healing. And he began that stretch of the journey by going into the desert.

In the desert he prayed and fasted – and he waited, something we have trouble doing today.  Lent seems long precisely because for us – or at least, for me – waiting is burdensome.

Waiting in Lent is difficult, in part, because we already know the ending. But this waiting is not about twiddling our thumbs in anticipation of something to happen. This waiting is about reflection and prayer.

Lent is, of course, also about doing something: changing life habits and helping others, particularly those in need. But even that involves reflection and prayer. We cannot change our lives and our relationships with others unless we change our relationship to our true, inner self and to God.

And reflection and prayer means taking some moments away from the hustle and bustle of everyday obligations and distractions. This entails listening to the Spirit of God.

One homilist at the beginning of Lent called attention to why Jesus went into the desert. One of the gospels, he reminded us, says the Spirit drove Jesus into the desert. Another says the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. And a third says Jesus, filled with the Spirit, went into the desert.

We have received the Spirit of God at baptism and that same Spirit drives us, leads us, and inspires us to take some time each day in the desert of silence and reflection. Without time to ponder on our relationship with God, the celebration of Good Friday and Easter Sunday will surely fly right past us.


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 uiw.edu/pharmacy

Season of Giving: Four Opportunities to Give at UIW

Season of Service: Four Opportunities to Give at UIW

Christmas is a time of happiness, togetherness and cheer, but for many, the holiday season isn’t joyous or magical. Throughout the San Antonio area, needy and underserved children and families often go without basic necessities, much less holiday’s special tokens, treats and gifts. However, caring people are hard at work to help make their Christmases a bit brighter.

Right here at UIW, dedicated organizations offer several opportunities to embrace the spirit of the season and bring light and hope to local children and families. Remember: Every small contribution can make a big impact. Here’s how you can contribute:

Make the Holidays Happier for a Needy Child with Angel Tree

Once again, University Mission and Ministry has trimmed an Angel Tree in the foyer in front of Our Lady’s Chapel. You won’t see shiny holiday ornaments on this tree. In their place, Angel Trees are decorated with Angel Tags, or special tags featuring the Christmas wish or need of a child and/or a family with children. Mission and Ministry invites members of our UIW community to take a tag from the tree and purchase the item requested, then bring the item in a holiday bag with the original Angel Tag to the organization’s office in AD 147.

Items will be accepted through Friday, December 15, 2017. Distribution of the items will take place December 18 through 20. For more information, please contact Brenda Dimas or (210) 829-3128.

Bring Joy to Displaced Children with Project Santa Mom

The holidays can be hard for children separated from their parents and loved ones. The School of Professional Studies (SPS) Criminal Justice Society has organized a special toy drive with them in mind. Now, through late December, the organization is collecting toys for children whose mothers are incarcerated and who are living in homeless shelters.  Members of the Criminal Justice Society, with the support of volunteers, will wrap and deliver the gifts to the Bexar County Detention Center and homeless shelters for distribution.
Non-violent, unopened toys for children ages 3 through 13 can be donated through Friday, December 22 and dropped off in the designated boxes on main campus, or at the School of Professional Studies Northwest Center, located at 9729 Data Point Drive, Room 135. For more information, please contact Claudia Moreno or Tamara Thompson

Provide Comfort to Critically Ill Children though the Pull-Tab Collection Campaign for the Ronald McDonald House

Join the Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International as they work to make days brighter for critically ill children and their families at the Ronald McDonald House. Simply pop the tabs from the top of your soda cans and drop them off in the designated bins or at reception in the Feik School of Pharmacy. Soda tabs are made from higher quality aluminum than the rest of the beverage can, and can be more easily recycled. The funds generated from the recycling campaign will contribute to the cost of day-to-day operations at the Ronald McDonald House, which becomes a second home for families of children undergoing medical treatment and care.

This campaign continues through the holiday season into the spring. Pop tabs will be accepted through Saturday, June 2, 2018. Participants are asked to drop off their tabs at the front desk of the Feik School of Pharmacy. For more information about the organization, visit CPFI.org.

Make Christmas Morning more Cheerful with Toys for Tots

The UIW Lions Club offers yet another way to bring Christmas cheer to underserved children. The club is hosting a campus-wide toy drive for the Toys for Tots organization. Toys for Tots, a program created by the U.S. Marine Corps, gathers new, unused and unwrapped toys to needy children in our local community.

Donations will be accepted from Monday, November 27 through Thursday, December 14 in designation donation stations in select buildings on main campus, including the Student Engagement Center, Mabee Library, Administration Building, Gorman Business and Education Center and more. For more information, contact the UIW Lions Club.


Mark Your Calendars: Light the Way 2017 is Nov. 18!

We are counting down the weeks until Nov. 18! Light the Way is UIW’s annual holiday event where the San Antonio community is invited to enjoy music, Santa, a spectacular firework show and the famous flip of the switch that turns on the gorgeous twinkling lights around campus!

This year’s format is going to be different than before. The theme is “Holiday Festival,” which will allow for a fun and interactive experience. A ceremony will kick-off the event at 6:30 p.m. followed immediately by the turning on of the lights. This will allow guests time to enjoy performances and activities under the lights. The festival will include:

  • The Holiday Shoppe: Get a jumpstart on your Christmas shopping list by visiting various vendors
  • Kid’s Corner: Take selfies with Santa! This area will also feature exciting activities from our friends at the DoSeum and free cookies and cocoa.
  • Food Truck Yard: Hungry? Visit food trucks from the San Antonio Food Truck Association for great bites!

Remember to get to UIW early as parking can fill up fast! The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, in front of the Kelso Art Center located in the front of campus at the corner of Broadway and Hildebrand. The lights will remain lit and campus will be open for self-guided tours beginning at dusk every night after Nov. 18 through Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. For more info, visit http://lightthewaysa.com/. We can’t wait to see you there!

UIW Gears Up for Homecoming 2017

UIW’s Homecoming 2017 is Oct. 26-29. A variety of fun events for students, alumni and the community are scheduled. You can’t forget the Homecoming Football Game vs. Nicholls on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Benson Stadium.

This is a great moment for UIW alumni to come back to the nest and check out how much the campus has changed! If you haven’t toured the new Student Engagement Center, this is also a great time to join your fellow Cardinals on a guided tour.


A full list of Homecoming 2017 events can be found at this link. Make sure you register! For info on all events, contact Gaby Alvarado at (210) 805-5899 or parents@uiwtx.edu.

H-E-B School of Business and Administration Develops Brown Bag Research Series

The H-E-B School of Business and Administration introduced the Brown Bag Research Presentation Series this semester to promote business research and draw attention to the ongoing academic exploration occurring within the school. The first session was held Wednesday, Sept. 20. Dr. Roberto Saldivar, assistant professor of marketing, presented Developing a Typology of Native Advertising.

Dr. Roberto Saldivar in the Mabee Library Special Collections Room on Sept. 20.

These sessions offer faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the business community an opportunity to present their work and engage in scholarly dialogue.

The next session is at 12 p.m., Monday, Oct. 16, in the Mabee Library Special Collections Room. Dr. Alicia Rubio, associate profess of finance, will present Pension Systems and Saving for Old Age in African Countries.

The final session for the fall semester is at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Mabee Library Special Collections Room. Dr. Esmeralda de los Santos, professor of marketing, will present a section of a paper titled A SWOT Analysis for Online vs Face-to-Face Teaching at UIW. This paper was co-authored by Dr. de los Santos, Dr. Nursen Zanca, professor of economics, and Ana Gonzalez, director of academic technology and support for the School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Refreshments will be served during each presentation. For info on any of these sessions, you can contact Dr. de los Santos at (210) 829-3179 or esmdls@uiwtx.edu.

UIW Department of Art Hosts 43rd Annual FASA Fiber Art Exhibit

Fiber Artists of San Antonio (FASA) has partnered with the UIW Department of Art to host the FASA 43rd Juried Fiber Art Exhibit in the Semmes Gallery of the Kelso Art Center. An opening reception will be held from 6 – 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 13, in the Kelso Art Center.

Fiber artwork typically consists of artwork constructed with linear, pliable elements as a major material. Fiber art may be constructed by methods traditionally associated with textile fibers such as stitching, wearing and dyeing.

Local artists submitted fiber art pieces to FASA to be showcased in the upcoming exhibition at UIW. Doshi, a costume designer from Encinitas, CA, juried the entries to pick the top three selections to be featured. The winners are:

  • First Place: Janis Hooker, Boro Quilt
  • Second Place: Rebecca Segura, Abby
  • Third Place: Kim Paxon, Secret Life of Things

The FASA 43rd Annual Juried Fiber Art Exhibit will run through Friday, Nov. 17, in the Semmes Gallery of the Kelso Art Center. For more info on the gallery hours of operation, visit this link. For more info on FASA, follow this link.

UIW to Host Light the Way Display Board Contest

The University of the Incarnate Word is gearing up for its annual Light the Way holiday event in November. Part of this holiday tradition is the Light the Way Display Board Contest. This year’s contest is Saturday, Oct. 7, located on the seventh floor of the Ancira Parking Garage.

Student organizations come together to paint boards that will be displayed across campus during the holiday season through the Epiphany. Each board is representative of both the group and the theme. This year’s theme is “holiday festival.” The top three winners will receive cash prizes. Awards for Most Mission Friendly Design, Best Interpretation of Light the Way and People’s Choice will also be given out.


Student organizations and groups are invited to sign up and participate in this fun event by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3.

For questions, contact Ashley Davis at (210) 829-6001 or anlara@uiwtx.edu.

First Impressions: Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at the Marine Biology Laboratories in Woods Hole, Mass.

Dr. Veronica Martinez-Acosta, UIW associate professor of biology, is the the co-director of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (REU). The program is currently meeting over the summer for 10 weeks at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass. UIW student Shannon O’Bryant and Dr. Martinez-Acosta share their first impressions below. IMG_8906

UIW Student Shannon O’Bryant (’17) Shares First Impressions
The REU program at the MBL in Woods Hole, Mass. is one of the best opportunities I have ever been offered. I have always had a mind for science and yearned to explore life and careers in biological laboratories. After a failed internship, I sought other opportunities to fulfill my interest in research and laboratory science. Dr. Veronica Martinez-Acosta offered me an internship position in the REU program. Without hesitation, I accepted, and I have not been disappointed. The atmosphere at Woods Hole is unlike I have ever encountered before. There is such a passion for science and discovery that is so contagious. After spending only a few days here, I feel accepted, empowered, enlightened and driven so much so that I could hardly imagine a life outside of this scientific community. Under Dr. Martinez-Acosta’s mentorship, I feel compelled to accept my drive for discovery and use every second I have here to my advantage. I have access to many resources such as state of the art equipment, like-minded students and seasoned PhD’s to immerse myself in throughout the duration of the summer. Woods Hole is not just a beautiful town, it is also a wide-open opportunity just waiting to be explored.

IMG_8913Dr. Martinez-Acosta Reports on First Two Weeks of the Program
We have just completed our first two weeks of the program.  It has been an honor to be asked to serve as the co-director of one of the most successful REU programs in the country.  We reviewed over 455 applicants and selected 10 top students. 60 percent of our cohort represents an underrepresented minority group, 83 percent of our cohort is female and 60 percent are students at schools with few research opportunities. The MBL is buzzing with activity with faculty and graduate students studying in the famous summer courses offered here.  Currently, the Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics and Success (SPINES); Neurophysiology, Neural Systems and Behavior, Neurobiology and the Parasitology courses are running. Our students have had an opportunity to interact with and work through a team building activity with the SPINES graduate students.  I am a proud SPINES course alumna (2002). SPINES is a course that supports the recruitment and retainment of URM graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Interactions with the SPINES students have served as a truly mentoring experience for our undergrads to talk to individuals who are at the next level of their academic training. Students have also attended special lectures of the individual courses as well as the MBL’s Friday Evening Lecture Series. These lectures bring some of the most celebrated people in science to offer talks to the community. After each lecture, the students have the opportunity to meet the speakers and ask further questions about their work.

Aside from the interactions students have with the summer courses and lectures, the REU students are spending the bulk of their time in the labs of the MBL with principle investigators who have extensive training in their fields of interest.  Students will present an oral presentation to the MBL community at the end of their 10 weeks of training. These presentations will be live streamed so that everyone can see it.  Each student will also prepare a research poster that will be displayed near the cafeteria so that the entire community can view their work and so that the student can bring their poster back with them to their home institution. Students are highly encouraged to apply for travel awards to attend scientific meetings during the academic year.

Dr. Martinez-Acosta Reflects on Experiences at MBL
Perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences I have had thus far as the co-director has been the mentoring and professional development I have been able to offer both our undergraduates and graduate students here at the MBL. I have organized the ‘What to Expect Series’ for the MBL undergraduate programs on campus where invited speakers 
IMG_8869come to share their professional career advice regarding different topics such as how to pick your graduate program; when it might be helpful to do a master’s degree; what job opportunities would you have with a master’s or PhD; how to communicate as a scientist; what types of funding opportunities are available for pre-doctoral students; time management; and work/life balance. Most recently, I was invited to participate in the campus wide “SUCCESS” lunch seminar to discuss my career path and offer insight on the obstacles I faced and provide support for how to overcome the challenges one might face in their career.  Overall, the experiences I am gaining as the co-director culminate much of the work I have built upon during my career especially regarding my efforts to provide mentoring opportunities for underrepresented groups that would prepare them for a career in science.