Nell Mueller Kothmann ’48 BSN was recently named Volunteer of the Year by the Uvalde Chamber of Commerce for her many diverse volunteer efforts there.
Celeste Barron ’64 BS retired as assistant to her CPA husband Robert, to help care for six grandchildren. They are active members of St. Pius X Parish. Barron serves as president of St. Margaret Mary Guild, past president of St. Monica’s Guild of San Antonio and also historian with Alamo Mission Chapter Daughters of the Republic of Texas. She and her husband renewed their marriage vows on their 50th anniversary in Lourdes, France this May.
Elizabeth Espinoza ’66 BSN retired from CHRISTUS Santa Rosa in 2003. She has been performing with the Extended Run Players/Cadenza Singers since 1997. Espinoza also sings with the St. Peter Prince of Apostles choir.
Carrying the Torch
A mural, “Carrying the Torch,” by artist Dr. Arnold Gonzales, pays tribute to ten women who have helped to mold and develop the heritage of nursing education in South Texas. The mural features alumnae Sr. Kathleen Coughlin, CCVI ’67 BSN, UIW vice president for institutional advancement and former president of Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi, Texas; Sr. Christiana Bolle, CCVI ’45 BSN, former director of the James R. Dougherty School of Nursing at Spohn Hospital; and Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Sefcik ’68 BSN ’76 MS, nurse educator at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and gerontology nurse practitioner; along with other women who have made major contributions to nursing education in the Coastal Bend. The 7.5’ x 12’ acrylic on canvas work of art also depicts images from nursing history as well as A&M-Corpus Christi nursing students. Commissioned by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the mural is housed in the university’s Island Hall building.
Melanie DeMore’s ’76 BM Oakland Children’s Community Choir recently sang at “In the Name of Love,” the 13th Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” in Oakland, Calif. For more than 30 years, she has taught, lectured, mentored, conducted, directed and inspired children and adults about the power of music as a force for social and political change. A Music Educators National Conference awardee, she has performed with Sweet Honey and The Rock, Odetta, Laura Nuro, Pete Seeger and John Prine, and was a founding member of Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir.
Rita Duggan ’76 BA retired from the Federal Civil Service career after nearly 31 years. She is currently involved with various United Way volunteer committees and several ministries at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. Whenever possible, she enjoys performing in local community theatre productions. Her most recent show will be at The Playhouse, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”
Theresa Leal ’79 BS is currently a program coordinator for the After School Program at SAISD.
Fernando G. Cortez ’81 BA is married to Gloria Gonzales Cortez ’81 BA and is currently working as the museum director/curator for the USAF Airman Heritage Museum at the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Dr. Allison Baez ’90 BA ’00 MA ’14 PhD is now coordinator for the Office of Christian Initiation for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Laurie DeGarmo ’92 MA and Jim DeGarmo are moving from Derby, Kan. back to the Las Vegas valley to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Both are retired from the U.S. Air Force and the aerospace industry.
Veronica Edwards ’92 MBA, president and CEO of InGenesis, was recently recognized as one of eight women-business owners from Texas to be named to the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies — an annual report by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express Global Corporate Payments. Medical staffing provider InGenesis held the No. 31 spot on the list — which was compiled according to its sales growth from 2010 to 2014. Over that period of time, InGenesis’ reported revenues grew from $51 million to nearly $118 million. InGenesis also reported that over the four-year period, it had added more than 1,500 jobs.
Lucy Betz ’93 BBA is currently serving as the director of the Arts in Motion Foundation.
Brigid Kleber ’94 MA chaired the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation Gratitude Benefit in Dallas to raise funds to fight PKD. It honors those who have made a considerable impact on local PKD Foundation chapters, as well as significantly advanced the work of the PKD Foundation through fundraising and philanthropy. The support of those being honored has allowed the foundation to make significant strides in the fight to end PKD, a life-threatening disease with no treatment or cure.
Connie Murphy ’95 BA is currently serving as a communication specialist at Parent/Child Incorporated.
Lea Lopez-Fagin ’96 MSN and Kathryn Norton ’10 MSN are both currently working at the Medical Center Weight Loss Clinic and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. Alumni are welcome to visit and ask for Lea or Kathryn. The magic phrase is “Cardinals’ Nest.”
Elizabeth Blanco ’00 BA is in her first year of teaching science at Southwest Preparatory School-Northwest Elementary in San Antonio, Texas, and is one of a handful of people nominated for the E3 Effective Educator Award in her district.
Gabe Ramirez ’01 BBA is working as the senior international workforce solutions manager for Healthways and serves as the subject matter expert for workforce management, capacity planning, risk mitigation, and increasing overall productivity performance for International Well-Being Improvement Centers in France, Brazil, and Australia.
Sonia Martinez Freeman ’04 BA opened her own photography and video production business, Aria Productions, which produces video for small businesses, nonprofits and corporate events. She also offers full-service wedding photography and cinematography in addition to family, pregnancy and newborn photography.
Erika Arredondo Haskins ’05 BBA ’10 MA was recently appointed executive director for the Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas and is surrounded by wonderful Incarnate Word alumni working and volunteering with her including: Andrea Ozuna ’09 IWHS, development director; Dr. Rose Zambrano ’04 PhD, board of directors; and Mary Vera Ramirez ’63 BS, vice chair-board of directors.
Paulina Aguilar Gutierrez ’06 BA recently released her new novel, “El Quinto Dragon (The Fifth Dragon),” which won the Premio Nacional de Literature para jovenes sponsored by Editorial Norma and La Feria Nacional Del Libro in 2009.
Joanna Lynn Hernandez ’07 BA currently works for Goodwill Industries of San Antonio as their talent acquisition and development director and is working on obtaining her second master’s degree, a Master of Arts Administration in Organizational Development at UIW. Hernandez helps others achieve their goals and works with business leaders to plan for future human capital and talent needs.
Norma Valdez ’07 MA is back in San Antonio serving as regional manager for Catholic Relief Services for six states, including Texas.
Martha Danielle Gunter ’07 MSN completed her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler in December 2014. Her dissertation was titled, “Social Support to Reduce Uncertainty in Childhood Cancer in South Texas: A Case Study.” She currently serves as an assistant professor in the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions at UIW.
Marshall Friday ’07 BS has just joined Experis IT as a business development manager. In his new role, he will be working with the IT leaders of San Antonio and the surrounding area with professional resources along with IT solutions strategies.
Diana Istre ’08 BAAS ’13 MAA officially retired from the United States Army. She completed 21-plus years of service as a health care specialist (medic) and has recently accepted a position as a recruiting manager, talent acquisition for Zachry Group, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. She is extremely excited to begin her second career with an organization that values hard work, innovation, loyalty, character, safety, and commitment to the community, not to mention, that allows her to continue to serve as her faith requires.
Becky Stinemetze ’08 BA recently started working for Beltone Audiology and Hearing Aids in San Antonio as the director of marketing and business development.
Mo Shideed ’08 MS currently owns Paciugo Gelato and Caffé in Lincoln Heights.
Karina Gil ’09 BS, former president of the Chemistry Club and a presenter for The American Chemical Society, now utilizes her knowledge and skills that she acquired at UIW as a chemist in the petrochemical business at Intertek which sets trends in the global petrochemical testing business. Her responsibilities in the petrochemical business have earned her the ability to become an active voting member for American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International which sets testing regulations that affect all petrochemical compounds, materials, petroleum, biodiesels and fuels in our everyday lives. It is because of her commitment and dedication to being a leader that she became the first analytical chemist at the San Antonio location and has since been promoted to the title of chemist II.
Ernesto Lozano ’09 BA is going back to school and pursuing an M.B.A. at the University of Phoenix.
Corey Cooper ’10 PharmD was recently promoted to corporate director of pharmacy at Warm Springs Rehabilitation.
Mitra Kermani ’10 PhD is the founder of Exchangesuite.com, a breakthrough concept in student to student book exchange through social networking via the Internet. It creates an opportunity for members to donate or exchange items directly to other members in need of books and supplies they no longer need, services (tutoring, mechanic work, and legal assistance) or other products (bus tickets, ride sharing, concert tickets and gift cards, and cleaning services, etc.).
Martha Jasso ’11 BA ’14 MAA recently was hired at Sawtelle Financial Management as a marketing associate.
Jeff Reininger ’11 BAAS joined H-E-B as a design project manager and his job responsibilities include corporate merchant coordination, design standards alignment, and design input for all H-E-B locations, both new stores and remodels.
Miranda Gonzaba ’12 BA ’14 MAT was offered a theatre teaching and assistant director position at Warren High School.
Frank Hernandez ’12 MA recently was hired as a credit recovery teacher and tennis coach at Lytle High School.
Daniel Martinez ’12 BA will begin his new job with St. Gregory the Great Catholic School as the principal.
Jennifer Medrano ’12 BA is now operations manager at Arise Photography, which specializes in photography for youth sports, annual school pictures, events and portraits.
Carla Sorbel ’12 BS ’15 PharmD completed her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the Feik School of Pharmacy in May.
Martin Padron ’12 BBA recently started working on the trade floor at Tesoro Corporation as a risk control analyst.
William Goodloe ’13 BA is currently teaching special education, English and coaching defensive ends at Creekview High School in Carrollton, Texas.
Gregory Knight ’13 MHA was recently recognized in the San Antonio Express-News for knocking on neighbors’ doors to wake them from a late night fire that broke out at the Blanco Crossing Townhomes complex that caused over $100,000 in damage. He currently serves as a contract specialist for U.S. Army Medical Command at Fort Sam Houston.
Sandy Arroyo ’14 BA is serving as the corporate events coordinator for Granberry Hills Event Center.
Stephani Flores ’14 BS is now working for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in San Antonio, Texas.
Angel Marie Garcia ’14 BS recently was hired at McCombs Enterprises IT Department as an IT support analyst.
Martha Gonzales ’14 BA is currently working at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) as a research associate in rheumatology.
Martha Ramos ’14 BA was chosen as 2015 First Teacher of the Year at Clark High School where she teaches Spanish.
Anna-Alizette Ruiz ’14 BA MA is currently the communications coordinator at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, Md.
Michelle Lorentzen ’15 BFA is now working as a graphic arts designer producing graphic arts signage and drawings for produce at H-E-B Central Market.
Weddings and Anniversaries
Arturo Mejia ’04 BBA and Carol Mejia ’02 BS ’05 MS celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary on March 19, 2015.
Lauren Michelle DeLeon ’06 BA ’14 MAA and Joseph Belden Gamez were married on March 7, 2015.
Francisco Ramon Hernandez ’09 BS ’11 MS married Roxy Duenas.
Rebecca S. Ohnemus ’10 BA ’12 MAA married C. Anthony Penaloza at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on May 2, 2015.
Brad Robinson, clinical coordinator of the athletic training education program, passed away on March 15, 2015, at the age of 42. UIW community members gathered in Our Lady’s Chapel on March 16 to remember Robinson and celebrate his legacy at the university. A tribute was also held on April 19 by the river on the east side of the Barshop Natatorium that included a balloon release. Robinson joined the faculty in 2004 and was instrumental in developing the Athletic Training Program, helping the program to achieve accreditation in 2009. He chaired the Undergraduate Curriculum Council for a number of years, was a member of the University Planning Committee, worked with the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions in organizing the school’s honors convocation as well as developing and maintaining the school’s website, among many other contributions to the university.
A Life Remarkable
Elizabeth Browne O’Connor ’37 BA, “Bama” as she was affectionately known by her family, was a brilliant student with a photographic memory who graduated from high school at the early age of 16. The daughter of a prominent businessman and lawyer in Brownsville, Texas, her grandfather migrated from Ireland to Texas in 1829. During the Depression, she worked her way through what was then Incarnate Word College as a work study employee with administration. She graduated magna cum laude at age 21 with a major in Spanish and French.
While a bilingual school teacher in Brownsville, she was recruited by the State Department in Washington D.C. and worked as an intern in the Executive Office Building adjacent to the West Wing of the White House. During this time, she had the opportunity on two occasions to brief Franklin D. Roosevelt, including passing on a personal greeting from a Texas congressman. The interns would often compete for the night watch in order to deliver cables from Europe to Roosevelt. During WWII, she was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, where she learned Portuguese and met her husband, John O’Connor, a lawyer and undercover FBI agent.
Settling in Indianapolis, she raised eight children and worked committedly with charitable, education and religious causes including serving as one of the organizing couples of St. Mary’s Child Center, a non-profit agency offering early childhood programs, in 1961. O’Connor carried a deep love for the university and, in fact, maintained a lifelong friendship with her former Incarnate Word roommate Laurita Grider Barber ’37 BA. “She was so grateful to Incarnate Word. She said it saved her life to have a college degree during a time when it wasn’t common for women to have them. She got to live a rich, full life,” said Carolyn O’Connor Ferry, O’Connor’s daughter. O’Connor passed away November 30, 2014, surrounded by loved ones. Her legacy is carried on through her family, which includes 15 grandchildren.
Alice M. Bomba Gottfried ’42 RN
Doris Bissett Myers ’44 BS
Mattie Brangan Cook ’47 BS
Joyce Mainz Stewart ’47 BA
Sr. Marietta Hardiman, CCVI ’49 BA
Margaret Wagner McCloskey ’50 BSN
Janet Alvord Ryan ’53 BSN
Annette Stamper Pessin ’53 BS
Mary Helen “Mitzie” Neri ’55 BA ’60 MA
Mary Yarborough Walsh ’58 BSN
Mary Theresa White ’59 BS
Kathleen Shelton Gorkowski ’65 BS
Stella Muckenthaler ’66 BSN
Sr. Mary Madeline Cannon, SHG ’66 BS
Bernice Stasny Purcell ’67 HON, former trustee
Helen Edith Rayson Eiserloh ’67 BA MA
Teresita K. Jacinto-Oliva ’68 BA
Charles E. Dasher ’71 MA
Donna Coleman ’75 BSN
Hilda Salazar Castro ’77 BA
Kathy Ladd ’73 BA ’79 MA
Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh ’80 HON
Ernesto R. Rodriguez ’83 BA
Doris Grace Allen McDonald ’84 BA
Julianne Wallace Kuk ’85 BM
Susan Kay Thornton ’91 MSN
Mary Esther Rodriguez ’97 BSN
Thomas Molloy, benefactor