Dr. Louis J. Agnese, University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) president, conferred degrees to over 800 professional, doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students at the fall commencement ceremony held Dec. 7 at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum.
The commencement address was delivered by the Moody Professor, UIW Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies Dr. Lopita Nath. The professorship, established in 1971, by the Moody Foundation reflects the recipient’s level of scholarship, teaching excellence and community service. The Moody Professor is the faculty member chosen to lead the faculty and carry the university mace.
Nath has taught for over 25 years in the fields of South Asian History and Politics, Asian and World History, Migration Studies, Refugee Issues and Human Rights. She earned her Ph.D. from Gauhati University, Guwahati, India and her M.A. and B.A. in history from Cotton College State University, Guwahati, India. A native of India, she first came to UIW as a visiting professor in 2003. Nath returned as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence in 2004 and to UIW as full-time faculty in the history department in 2007. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the ASIA Fellows Award, Fulbright grant and the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies and the Government of India, Ministry of Culture Award for promotion of studies on Northeast India.
The 2014 Alumna of Distinction for Professional Achievement was awarded to Dr. Patricia Torres Lucero, more commonly known as Patsy Torres. Torres earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy all from UIW. Torres, an international recording artist and philanthropist, donates her time to countless non-profit organizations, schools and community groups. She is the first female Tejano artist to have her music scored for an orchestra and perform with symphonies.
Torres has won numerous awards for her music and community work including the LULAC National Presidential Citation Award, Texas War on Drugs Leadership Award and was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame and the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame. She is an active alumna serving as the headliner for UIW’s annual Light the Way celebration and has represented the university internationally.