UIW Leadership Forum: Women’s History Month

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The University of the Incarnate Word was founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, three young French women motivated by the love of God and their recognition of God’s presence in each person, came to San Antonio in 1869 to care for the victims of an epidemic of cholera and to establish the city’s first hospital, the Santa Rosa Infirmary. You can read more about the History of the Mission of UIW here. Their spirit of Christian service is perpetuated in the University of the Incarnate Word primarily through teaching and scholarship. Today the University continues to exemplify women’s leadership. At the Rosenberg School of Optometry, the RSO Women’s Faculty Association hosted the Leadership Forum which took place on Friday, April 4, 2014 at the UIWRSO Events room.

Host, Dr. Noah Kasraie, and keynote speaker, Magaly Chocano.

At the Leadership Forum, attendees were able to listen to the stories of women leaders and be inspired by their leadership. Drs. Noah and Narges Kasraie were the hosts of this event. Sr. Walter Maher, CCVI, UIW Vice President for Mission and Ministry, gave the opening prayer and Dr. Buzzelli, UIWRSO Dean, provided the warm welcome note.  The theme was Women’s History Month. Keynote speaker, Magaly Chocano, President/CEO of Sweb Development, told her story to an audience of over 100 people.  Chocano built an award-winning company from scratch. She was a former singer-turned-advertising producer and is the visionary behind Sweb’s growth in the technology community. Our second speaker was Dr. Jessica Kimmel, UIW Education Department, Muslim students at UIW, and the United National Commission on the Status of Women Delegate. It was a great pleasure to hear about her leadership in education and global involvements. Dr. Kimmel’s outstanding work has earned her UIW’s highest honor, the Moody Professorship.

Drs. Ettling and Kimmel
Drs. Ettling and Kimmel

There were many guests in attendance: students and faculty from across the graduate/professional programs, and UIW Chancellor, Dr. Denise Doyle, also made a trip from main campus to the Rosenberg School of Optometry. As the program was drawing near closing, Sr. Dorothy Ettling, Ph. D and Dr. Kimmel, also Chair of Scholarship Review Committee came on the podium to present the “Sr. Dorothy Ettling Future Female Leader Scholarship.”

Dr. Ettling is the co-founder of Women’s Global Connection, an international NGO whose mission is to promote the learning and leadership of women, locally and globally, particularly in least advantaged regions and countries. She currently serves as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees for WGC and is a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio, Texas.

In honor of Dr. Ettling, the Sr. Dorothy Ettling Future Female Leader Scholarship program was created by Drs. Noah and Narges Kasraie to improve women’s access to higher education at the graduate level at the University of the Incarnate Word. The Sr. Dorothy Ettling Future Women Leader Scholarship is available to all UIW female students seeking a graduate degree on main campus or in one of the professional programs including optometry, pharmacy and physical therapy.

Andrea Guajardo, Director at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and Ph.D. candidate in Education (Organizational Leadership) 2018
Andrea Guajardo, Ph.D. candidate in Education 2018 UIW

The awardee for the 2014 Sr. Dorothy Ettling Future Female Leader Scholarship was Andrea Guajardo, Director at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa and Ph.D. candidate in Education (Organizational Leadership) 2018 at UIW. Guajardo has been involved in the CHRISTUS Health system for over a decade and has been helping the San Antonio area as the Regional Director of Community Health.

This year the RSO Women’s Faculty Association decided to include one more awardee. I readied my camera to take a picture of the next winner, and to my complete surprise, my name was called! Tears of happiness flowed down my cheeks. The second awardee of this scholarship was Susan Ly, O.D. Optometry Candidate 2016 at UIWRSO. It was a great honor to receive this scholarship from Dr. Kimmel and Sr. Dorothy Ettling herself. I am very grateful and would also like to express my thanks to the RSO Women’s Faculty Association:

Drs. Nancy Amir, Ferguson, Fortenberry, Fortepiani, Kent, Majcher, Mickles, Racoma, Sanchez-Diaz, Wong-Powell, Odoemenem, Narges and Noah Kasraie.


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