Moment for Reflection

By Dr. Glenn James, dean of the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering

There’s a notable Catholic school in Indiana that motivates its football players with a well-known sign that everyone touches on the way to the field: “Play like a champion today.”  Here in UIW’s science buildings, I’m surrounded by similar motivating signs near almost every doorway, honoring friends and faculty from our math-science heritage.

Many memorable personalities are recalled including UIW legends such as Sr. Antonietta Fitzpatrick, CCVI, Ph.D. who led UIW’s early nuclear medicine program and taught physics of music among other engineering favorites. Another is Dr. Reg Traylor, who brought Texas-style leadership as dean for our school as well as the school of graduate studies.

These signs, found in buildings throughout the campus, are much more than tributes to the honorees and their generous families and friends.  They’re landmarks of UIW heroes whose stories form the foundation of our community.

One of my favorite plaques graces the lobby of the AT&T Science Center: “Sr. Mary Daniel Healy, CCVI, ’47”, who just turned 90 this year. She’s my UIW science hero, and not only because she began her academic career by teaching chemistry here for 30 years. Deciding that wasn’t quite enough fun, she went on to complete a Master of Science in nutrition and continued teaching nutrition and chemistry – and serving as a dietitian – for nearly 20 more years!  Likely holding the longest tenure of any person on the Incarnate Word faculty, she was awarded the 50-year service medal in 1997. She is a model of service and life-long learning who I remember warmly every time I see her name in our lobby.

When visiting UIW, stop and take a moment to read an honorary sign and contemplate that person’s legacy.  Let that refection continue to inspire you to serve your part of the UIW community – “like a champion” of our Mission and heritage.

What story will you leave behind to inspire those who follow you?