Author Archives: OLLUNewsletter

Welcome Back event set for June 1

On June 1, OLLU will host an event to welcome all staff members back to campus. This ceremony will mark the official return to campus for all staff members following the university’s move to remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This time together will allow employees to reflect, reconnect and receive a special blessing as everyone enters this new era at OLLU.

The event will be livestreamed so that members of the OLLU Houston and La Feria campus can participate. The university encourages everyone not to miss out on this important milestone or on the free tacos!

RSVP at  https://ollu.formstack.com/forms/welcome_back_ollu_june_1st_2021 by May 25.

Welcome Back Event

June 1, 2021

9 a.m.

Main Building Plaza (Outside, in front of Main Building)

Livestream information will be shared soon.

Mother’s Day tribute posted in Sister Annie B’s Cafeteria

In celebration of Mother’s Day, students, faculty and staff from all OLLU campuses submitted photos and stories about their mothers/mother figures. A display of all submissions can be found at Sister Annie B’s Cafeteria. The display can also be viewed here: Picture OLLU – Madre Mia (sharepoint.com)

Thanks to everyone who shared photos and stories. Here’s hoping everyone had a great Mother’s Day!

Celebration of scholarship and achievement

OLLU faculty continues to be recognized for its scholarship and achievement. Below is a listing of professors and their recent accomplishments:

Monte Bobele, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, and Arnie Slive, Visiting Professor of Psychology, co-wrote a chapter in the book, “Single Session Thinking and Practice In Global, Cultural, and Familial Contexts: Expanding Applications.” The book is the newest in a series of books covering the international single-session conference. 

Rosalind Evans, PhD, Assistant Professor Social Work, presented the following at the Social Work Distance Education Conference with colleague Alicia Hawley- Bernardez, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work: An interactive workshop “Strategies for Student Self-Care in an Online Learning Environment.” They also gave an oral presentation, “Mindfulness During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Strategy for Stress Management and Burnout Prevention.” 

Dr. Evans will also present “Effects of Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBTQ Community” at the 2021 National LGBTQ Health Conference: Bridging Research & Practice, May 20–21, 2021. 

Hamid Kahn, EdD, Professor of Management, published a peer reviewed article titled “Satisfaction, Effectiveness, and Extra Effort as Outcomes of Veritable Leadership and Measures of Effectiveness,” in American Society for Competitiveness (ASC) Competition Forum: ASC-CF Vol 18 No (1&2), 2020, 169–191.

Aimee Villarreal, PhD, Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies, gave a guest lecture at the Harvard Divinity School, “Anthropolocura as Homeplace Ethnography” as part of the Ethnographic Methods in Religious Studies Workshop, Weatherhead Research Cluster on Religion in Public Life in Africa and the African Diaspora on April 21, 2021. She also gave a workshop, “Disrupting the Script,” a scriptwriting workshop at Southern Methodist University on March 24. 

Mass Communication student wins big at #FilmSA contest

Amadeo Rivas, a sophomore Mass Communication major, and a former high school classmate shared first prize in the #FilmSA contest for the film, “Maria’s Cafe: A Small Business in a Big World.”

Rivas and Evan Materne, graduates of North East School of the Arts, won first place in the 18-21-year-old category for a documentary film about a family-owned restaurant that supported its community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rivas and Materne, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, will share a $1,000 cash prize. Their film will be entered into the Organization of World Heritage Cities International Video Production Competition.

Sponsored by the San Antonio Film Commission and the city’s World Heritage Office, the #FilmSA contest asked entrants to show how San Antonio celebrated its cultural heritage during COVID-19.

Designed for young filmmakers, the contest awarded prizes in two age groups: 14-17 and 18-21.

Student scholarship and achievement

Ashleigh Cantu, a master’s student in the Worden School of Social Service, was accepted to co-present an interactive workshop, “Strategies for Student Self-Care in an Online Learning Environment,” at the 2021 Social Work Distance Education Conference. Working with Dr. Rosalind Evans, Cantu contributed to research efforts and assisted in developing self-care resources and tools for students to utilize while navigating a virtual online learning environment.

Natasha Glenn, a master’s student in the Worden School of Social Service, recently received the 2021 MSW Outstanding Student Leadership Award. This award recognizes students who have demonstrated dedication and leadership through their involvement in one or more campus activities. The Outstanding Student Leadership Award is given to a Worden Social Work student each academic year to acknowledge the lead they have taken, by recognized title or not, in his or her overall campus involvement.

Shirin Rahimi, LMSW, is a recent graduate from the Worden School of Social Service. She was accepted to co-present an interactive workshop, “Strategies for Student Self-Care in an Online Learning Environment,” at the 2021 Social Work Distance Education Conference. With Dr. Rosalind Evans, Shirin contributed to research efforts and identified virtual opportunities to develop an online curriculum that focuses on self-care in a social work online learning environment.

Mia Sanchez (BA in CMAS and PSYC) presented her capstone research project, “Chicana ThirdSpace Spiritualities: A Homeplace Ethnography” at the McNair Research Symposium. She will co-present her thesis with Dr. Aimee Villarreal at the Latina/o Studies Association meetings in June.

April Viverette, LCSW-S, LISW, MBA, is a PhD student at the Worden School of Social Service. She recently co-presented, “Mindfulness During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Strategy for Stress Management and Burnout Prevention,” with Dr. Rosalind Evans and Dr. Alicia Hawley-Bernardez at the 2021 Social Work Distance Education Conference. Viverette also assisted in co-facilitating a Mindfulness breakout session for conference attendees that included progressive muscle relaxation techniques, mindful breathing exercises and focusing on participants’ personal strengths.

In the news

Recent media coverage that brought attention to Our Lady of the Lake University:

On May 9, a story in the San Antonio Report about spring commencement at OLLU and other local schools:

On May 8, a story in HottyToddy.com about alumna Ashley Glover (MSW 2018) receiving an outstanding alumnus award from the University of Mississippi:

On May 8, a story in the Beaumont Orange Leader about alumna Felicia Kane Nichols (PhD 2018), who was named superintendent of Catholic Schools by the Diocese of Beaumont:

On May 8, a story in ArkLaTx about the OLLU baseball team being eliminated in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament:

On May 7, a story in the Brooklyn Eagle about the inspirational journey of quadriplegic student Eliseo Ilarraza who earned a master’s degree from OLLU on Saturday:

On May 7, a story on KALB.com about the OLLU softball team’s victory over LSUA: 

https://www.kalb.com/2021/05/07/ollus-pitching-too-much-for-short-handed-generals/

On May 6, a story in the San Antonio Express-News about OLLU and other local universities not requiring vaccines for the fall semester:

https://www.expressnews.com/news/education/article/San-Antonio-s-universities-want-students-16160062.php

On May 4, a story in the Laredo Morning Times about former Laredo high school star Devin Benavides leading OLLU to its first Red River Athletic Conference baseball title

https://www.lmtonline.com/sports/article/Former-Panther-Devin-Benavides-helps-OLLU-win-16152205.php

NOTE: Need subscription to read story

On May 3, a story in the Victoria Advocate about the OLLU baseball team sweeping a doubleheader against the University of Houston-Victoria: 

https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/advosports/our-lady-of-the-lake-sweeps-series-from-uhv/article_6cf7b066-ac7c-11eb-81a6-d75a6e38ba51.html

On May 3, a story in the San Antonio Current about OLLU sophomore Amadeo Rivas winning first prize in the #FilmSA contest: 

https://www.sacurrent.com/ArtSlut/archives/2021/05/03/winners-of-annual-filmsa-contest-highlight-san-antonios-culture-and-heritage-during-the-pandemic

On May 3, a story in STL News about alumna Judy Trevino getting reappointed to the Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott: 

Ciera Martinez becomes Saints all-time strikeout leader

OLLU softball team fell to No. 1 seed Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) 1-0 last Friday and the University of Houston-Victoria on Saturday as part of the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament. The team won its first two games, but concluded the season with the two losses. During the tournament, Ciera Martinez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) became the all-time Saints strikeout leader when she surpassed 491 career strikeouts that former player Katrisha Arocha had through 2015 when she was part of the team.

Head Coach Bruce Lenington commented, “This was one of the best college softball games I’ve had the honor of being a part of. I look forward to coaching this team on championship Saturday.”

Martinez finished the 2021 season with 499 strikeouts. Although graduating this May, Martinez plans to return as a graduate student to play one more season.

Six softball members awarded All-Conference honors

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the 2021 softball All-Conference Team and Player of the Year awards. OLLU placed six members in the All-Conference Team, and Madison Nunn was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

OLLU pitcher Ciera Martinez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) was a repeat first-team selection. Others named to the First-Team were Nunn and Joanna Gonzalez.

Nunn was credited with 44 put-outs and committed only three errors to earn her defensive award.

Abigail Elizondo (FR/San Antonio, Texas) and Kaili Luna (FR/Converse, Texas) made Second-Team selections, while Ysa Gonzales (SO/San Marcos, Texas) was selected as a member of the Champions of Character Team.

The Saints finished the regular season 26-16 overall and 12-6 in the RRAC.

Baseball earns multiple All-Conference awards

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the selections for the 2021 Baseball All-Conference Team and player of the year awards. OLLU earned six first-team selections, while Jose Diaz (SR/Pinar del Rio, Cuba) was a repeat first-team selection.

In addition, Diaz was named RRAC Player of the Year after leading the conference with a .403 batting average and 46 hits. As a reliever, he led the conference with seven saves. His senior leadership helped guide the Saints to a 34-15 overall record and bid to the NAIA World Series.

Brett Vasquez (SO/Mont Belvieu, Texas) took RRAC Pitcher of the Year. Vasquez was first in the conference with nine wins and second in ERA at 3.29. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was 3.4:1, and his overall record was 9-1 in 14 appearances. He set the Saints’ all-time single-season win total.

Head Coach Bryan Aughney said, “I’m very excited for our players who took home All-Conference and Gold Glove awards. Diaz has been a special player for OLLU for a long time. He is an outstanding teammate and worker and a great person. I could not be happier for him. Vasquez has put in a lot of work this past summer and fall and you could tell that he was on a mission. I’m very excited for him.”

Diaz, Matthew Klar (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Alec Martinez (JR/Corpus Christi, Texas) and Jacob Mitchell (JR/Harker Heights, Texas ) made the All-Conference First-Team. Robert Lopez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) and Ram Maldonado (JR/McAllen, Texas) were awarded Second-Team honors. Maldonado, Matt Mihalov (SR/Conroe, Texas) and Mitchell were part of the Gold Glove Team. Adrian Gonzalez Jr. (JR/Weslaco, Texas) made the Champions of Character Team.

Aughney commented, “Mitchell being named First Team at first base is outstanding. He’s been a huge part of our success hitting in the middle of our lineup and holding down first base. I’m excited for him as this is his third Gold Glove award. He takes pride in his game and it’s great to see the awards come in. Maldonado and Mihalov also won Gold Glove awards, which is very good. We have always put a premium on defense.”

Aughney continued, “Martinez has jumped into being our Friday game one guy from being a two-way in years past and has excelled. He has continued to develop into an outstanding player for us. Klar also had a great year so far, and he approaches the game with intensity and strives for excellence. Maldonado and Lopez making Second Team are very exciting. Lopez has been our guy behind the plate for the past four years, so I’m excited for him as we have asked him to do so much. Maldonado continues to improve, and I’m pleased to see his work begin to pay off.”

Volleyball’s Ketchens awarded NAIA All-American Honorable Mention

OLLU volleyball player Kalani Ketchens (SR/San Antonio, Texas) was awarded the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention for her play during the 2020 season.

Head Coach Scott Mattera said, “This is a huge honor for Kalani and it reflects the success we had as a team on the court this year. A piece of this should probably go to Anissa Tamez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) as well as their setter-hitter connection was pretty special all year!”

Ketchens led the Saints with 159 kills and tallied 389 total attacks. Her senior leadership helped guide OLLU to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament title and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.

During her playing time at OLLU, she averaged 2.34 kills and 6.26 total attacks per game. During the RRAC Tournament Championship Match against University of the Southwest, Ketchens recorded 15 kills and had a .270 hitting percentage.

Ketchens plans to become a physical therapist after graduating

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