Category Archives: News

Updated protocols for COVID-19

Curative testing kiosk

In recent weeks OLLU has heard from science faculty, faculty assembly leadership, academic department chairs and staff members advocating for additional cautions in the wake of rising COVID-19 infections. As promised from the beginning of the pandemic, OLLU will remain flexible, follow the advice of national and local health officials, and make decisions based on the university’s core values. Therefore, in response to the recent rise in cases due to the Delta variant and new guidance from the CDC, the following updates to university safety protocols are being announced:

  • Beginning now, vaccinated individuals should return to wearing masks indoors (when unable to isolate) as recommended by the CDC. While this is not mandated, this recommendation is designed to help protect the OLLU community from the current surge.
  • There is no change to guidance for unvaccinated individuals – they are required to wear masks indoors (except when isolated).

At the start of the academic year, the university will begin requiring regular COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff who are attending classes, living or working on campus. The following are the testing requirements:

  • Individuals who have not received the COVID-19 vaccination or those who do not wish to share their vaccine status will need to submit results from a COVID-19 test weekly or more frequently if needed. Free testing is currently available from the Curative kiosk in Parking Lot K. Home tests will not be accepted. The online system for uploading test results will be available at the start of the semester.
  • Individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccination and who share their status by uploading their vaccination records will not be required to submit weekly test results but may be asked to take part in random COVID-19 testing periodically. An announcement will be sent out when the online system for uploading vaccination records is available.

The university will reassess the need for weekly testing and face coverings on a regular basis and communicate updates to the community. When the systems for uploading test and vaccine records are ready to launch, additional details will be provided including information on waivers for health or religious reasons.

Rare issues of Chicano Times available digitally on Portal to Texas History

OLLU holds several issues of the rare newspaper Chicano Times in the Special Collections room on the third floor of the Sueltenfuss Library. The Chicano Times was a newspaper published in San Antonio from 1970 to 1977 and is a rich resource for documenting the history and social concerns of Mexican American people in the San Antonio area during the turbulent 1970s.   

Recently, the library sent its copies of this newspaper for digitization through the Texas Digital Newspaper Program. The digitized images are available to view for free at the Portal to Texas History: https://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/CHTMS/browse/?fq=untl_institution:OLLU

Inquiries about this item or any other Special Collections items held by the Sueltenfuss Library should be directed to Jason Paul Bourgeois, PhD, Cataloging and Special Collections Librarian, at jpbourgeois@ollusa.edu or 210-528-7138.

New notecards available through Watermark online ordering portal

New notecards are available for ordering on the Watermark online ordering portal. Departments and offices that have an admin who orders their letterhead and business cards have access to order the notecards.

The new designs offer an aerial view of Main Building, a blue design that says “Thank you” on the front, two Christmas cards, one with a graphic and the other of a photo of Main Building covered in snow and a corresponding Christmas message.

Each notecard design has a  corresponding envelope that will need to be ordered separately. You will also see the exact cost upon choosing the quantity desired.

Along with these new options, there is now a capability of ordering double-sided custom notecards. The designs to be uploaded can only be those created by the Marketing and Communications office. If a custom design is needed, submit a project request with the office here.

Professor Villarreal presented ‘Sanctuaryscapes’ as Visiting Scholar at UNM

Aimee Villarreal, PhD, Associate Professor of Mexican American Studies, presented, “Sanctuaryescapes in the New Mexico Borderlands,” on July 29 as a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico (UNM).

A Santa Fe, N.M. native, Dr. Villarreal introduced a time-traveling concept, Sanctuaryscapes, to illuminate distinct mobilizations of sanctuary in the New Mexico borderlands from church asylum and indigenous regions of refuge during the Spanish colonial period, to the radical 1980s faith-based sanctuary movements that inspired the establishment of sanctuary cities and states, to immigrant-led social justice and religious revitalization movements today.

Twelve McNair Scholars presented at UCLA conference

Twelve OLLU McNair Scholars delivered Summer Research Institute research presentations, virtually, at the UCLA McNair Conference last week.

Presentations were broadcast live from Room 222 in OLLU’s Main Building. Victoria Lambert (Chemical Biology), Kaitlyn Salazar (Kinesiology), Laura Miguel (Multimedia Journalism and Spanish Interpretation and Translation) and Miguel Barrera (Psychology) presented on Wednesday. Elegy Garcia (Criminal Justice), Samantha Martinez (Psychology), Geslyn Rios (Communication Sciences and Disorders), Melanie Padron (Marketing) and Kelly Salinas (Chemical Biology) presented on Friday. Sheccid Rosales (Psychology/Social Work), Adriana Valdez (History) and Marissa Antu (English) presented on Friday.

In The News

On July 29, a story in the Huntsville Item about a memorial scholarship fund to honor an alumna who served as a school teacher, director of gifted and talented students and as an assistant superintendent:

https://www.itemonline.com/news/local_news/giving-a-hand-to-future-educators/article_e953ff58-7a13-5aef-b751-f16389a86e61.html

On July 21, a story on MySA.com (and reposted in the Laredo Morning Times) about two alumni who own the oldest quilt shop in San Antonio — and written by an alumnus, Steven Santana:

https://www.mysanantonio.com/business/local/article/San-Antonio-oldest-quilt-shop-las-colchas-downtown-16319525.php

On July 14, a story in the San Antonio Report about incoming freshman Annabelle Reyna and other high school graduates who received scholarships for dorm essentials from the San Antonio ISD Foundation: 

Baseball earns second consecutive ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award

The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) has announced that OLLU has been awarded the 2020-2021 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. Teams were honored with this year’s award, which highlights programs coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. The Saints baseball team earned a 3.10 GPA, marking the second consecutive year the men have won this award.

Head Coach Bryan Aughney commented, “I’m very proud of our players taking care of business in the classroom, as it is our top priority. Our job is to prepare these athletes for life after baseball and assist them in their college education. The players got it done on the field despite the COVID-19 challenges during the season. More importantly, the team excelled in academics by producing a combined GPA of over 3.0. We preach the importance of being a successful student-athlete and earning a degree.”

Coaches were able to nominate their teams for the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award following the conclusion of their spring semesters prior to the nomination deadline of July 12. To be honored, teams had to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a high school or college team
  • Head coach must be a current ABCA member
  • Team must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2020-21 academic year

The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation’s oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA’s awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-America Awards, the ABCA/ATEC Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and the Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award.

174 scholar-athletes highlight OLLU’s virtual tenth annual Big Blue All-Sports Athletic Banquet

Watch banquet video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/3sKSqcPcfbU?enablejsapi=1&origin=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ollusaintsathletics.comWatch the virtual banquet video.

OLLU honored athletes and teams from the 2020-2021 season during the virtual 10th Annual Big Blue All-Sports Athletics Banquet on June 13.

The event kicked off with a special message from Athletic Director Shane Hurley. He recognized the programs that won and finished runner-ups in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). Volleyball, baseball and golf’s Kane Ybarra made NAIA National appearances. Hurley also addressed the facilities updates, which include multiple improvements to the soccer field, softball field and the University Wellness and Activities Center (UWAC). Fifteen out of 17 programs earned GPAs of 3.0 above, and more than 170 student-athletes reached GPAs of 3.0 and better.

OLLU University Ministry Director Creighton Chandler and Assistant Director of University Ministry Sister Christine Chavez led viewers in prayer prior to the awards being announced for each sport.

Women’s team and individual awards in alphabetical order

BASKETBALL, 12TH year: 2-4/0-0; NAIA Scholar Team; G. Guzman: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Lewis: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; T. Lopez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Sanchez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; Z. Shatri: RRAC Character Athlete of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Trevino: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Villegas: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. White: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

COMPETITIVE CHEER AND DANCE, 1ST year: NAIA Scholar Team (Competitive Dance); M. Padron: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Baldazo: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Garcia: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Gloria: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Ruiz: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Siebert: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Soto: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

CROSS-COUNTRY, 12TH year: RRAC Championships; NAIA Scholar Team; L. Broussard: All-Conference, RRAC Runner of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Espericueta: All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; P. Lammons: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Sifuentes: All-Conference; K. Watson: All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; V. Zuniga: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

GOLF, 3RD year (played in 2009 and 2010, then returned to competition this year): NAIA Scholar Team; C. Lattuada: A.I.I. Golfer of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Miller: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Trujillo: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

SOCCER, 13TH year: 11-1/7-0; NAIA Scholar Team; RRAC Tournament Runners-Up; RRAC Regular Season Champions; First undefeated regular season in program history; S. Benne: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Brinkley: CoSIDA Academic All-American/All-District, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; L. Briseno: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Carnahan: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; I. Criswell: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Dziuba: Champions of Character, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; O. Eagleson: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Gilbert: CoSIDA Academic All-District, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Hernandez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Herrera: All-Conference First Team, Two-time RRAC Defensive Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Infante: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Miles: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Mora: All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; V. Morales: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; E. Morin: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Nava: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Payne: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Perez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; T. Pitcher: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; B. Polansky: Big Blue Top Saint Female Athlete of the Year, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, CoSIDA Academic All-District, RRAC Offensive Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Rheinberger: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Seto: All-Conference First Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; H. Smith: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Spree-Kolos: All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Tarango: NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, RRAC Defensive Player of the Year, RRAC Newcomer of the Year, All-Conference First Team, RRAC Defensive Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Valles: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; Y. Vazquez: All-Conference First Team, RRAC Offensive Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; B. Yanez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; E. Zapata: All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Zapata: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

SOFTBALL: 12TH year: 26-18/12-6; NAIA Scholar Team; RRAC Tournament Semifinalists; M. Bradley: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Campos: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Dreese: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Elizondo: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Esparza: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; E. Garza: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; Y. Gonzales: RRAC Champions of Character, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Gonzalez: All-Conference First Team, RRAC Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Kennedy: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Luna: All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Martinez: All-Conference First Team, All-Tournament, Two-time RRAC Pitcher of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Miller: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Montgomery: All-Tournament, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Moreno: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Norris: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Nunn: RRAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team, Two-time RRAC Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J.O.-St. Romain: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Ramirez: RRAC Pitcher of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Salazar: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Valdez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Vera: RRAC Scholar-Athlete  

TENNIS, 8TH year (Played from 2009-2015, then returned to competition this year): NAIA Scholar Team; B. Gonzalez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Rodriguez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

TRACK AND FIELD, 7TH year: NAIA Scholar Team; RRAC Championship Meet Runner-Ups; L. Broussard: All-Conference in 5k, 4x800mR and 3k, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; V. De La Cruz: All-Conference in 4x100mR, 400m, 200m and 4x400mR; R. Espericueta: All-Conference in 4x800mR, 1500m and 800m, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Joseph: All-Conference in 4x100mR, 100m and 4x400mR, RRAC Track Athlete of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; P. Lammons: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; B. Pantoja: All-Conference in 4x100mR, 400m, 200m and 4x400mR, RRAC Track Athlete of the Week; M. Parker: All-Conference in 4x100mR, 100m, 200m and 4x400mR; L. Perry: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Pineda: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Sifuentes: All-Conference in 4x800mR, 1500m and 800m, RRAC Track Athlete of the Week; A. Toledo: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Watson: All-Conference in 4x800m and 1500m, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; V. Zuniga: All-Conference in 4x800mR, 1500m and 800m, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

VOLLEYBALL, 14TH year: 11-4/6-0; NAIA Scholar Team; NAIA National Tournament First Round; RRAC Tournament Champions; RRAC Regular Season Champions; S. Ballesteros: All-Tournament, RRAC Attacker of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; V. Bolanos: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Cantwell: RRAC Freshman of the Year, All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Cassiano: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Esparza: All-Conference Honorable Mention, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Gallardo: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Gonzalez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Haller: All-Conference Second Team; A. Hernandez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Ketchens: NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, RRAC Front-Row Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team, Three-time RRAC Attacker of the Week; T. Kruta: All-Tournament, All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Maldonado: RRAC Defender of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Marquez: All-Tournament, All-Conference First Team, Four-time RRAC Defender of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Montalvo: All-Conference Honorable Mention, RRAC Champions of Character, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Ramirez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Rosser: RRAC Attacker of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Soto: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. St. Clair: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Strzelcyk: RRAC Setter of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Tamez: All-Tournament MVP, RRAC Player of the Year, RRAC Setter of the Year, All-Conference First Team, Four-time RRAC Setter of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; L. Woitena: All-Conference Second Team

Men’s team and individual awards in alphabetical order

BASKETBALL, 12TH year: 1-4/0-0; L. Jones Jr.: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Monzon: RRAC Basketball Player of the Week; E. Tedesjo: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; E. White: RRAC Basketball Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

CROSS-COUNTRY, 12TH year: NAIA Scholar Team; A. Bustamante: All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Davila: All-Conference; I. Martinez: All-Conference, RRAC Runner of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Rodriguez: All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Zarate: Top medalist, All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

SOCCER, 14TH year: 5-4-1/2-3-1; NAIA Scholar Team; RRAC Tournament Semifinalists; B. Alvarenga: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Bagley: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Baker: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; L. Balestieri: All-Conference Honorable Mention, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Barrera: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Beltran: Champions of Character, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; G. Borba: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J.M. Chica: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Delgado: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Lira: All-Conference First Team, All-Tournament, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; O. Medina: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Medrano: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Parker: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Pena: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; P. Pye: CoSIDA Academic All-District, All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Defensive Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Rios: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Sanchez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Shappa: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; O. Talabi: All-Conference Second Team, All-Tournament, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Villegas: RRAC Scholar-Athlete

TENNIS, 13TH  year: NAIA Scholar Team; RRAC Tournament Semifinalists; A. Arrezola: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Canales: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Etzberger: Two-time RRAC Tennis Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Farley: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Ravagnani: RRAC Tennis Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; S. Rodriguez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Salviato: All-Tournament, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; V. Silva: All-Tournament, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

TRACK AND FIELD, 7TH year: NAIA Scholar Team; RRAC Championship Meet Champions; A. Bustamante: All-Conference in 5k, 1500m, and 3k, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Dada: All-Conference in long jump and 4x400mR, RRAC Field Athlete of the Week; C. Davila: All-Conference in 4x800mR, 800m and 4x400mR; J.M. Davila: All-Conference in 5k, 1500m and 4x800mR; T. Gordon: Two-time RRAC Field Athlete of the Week, All-Conference in long jump and 4x400mR; I. Martinez: All-Conference in 5k, 1500m and 3k, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Rodriguez: All-Conference in 4x800mR and 1500m, Two-time RRAC Track Athlete of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Townsend: All-Conference in 400m and 4x400mR; J. Zarate: All-Conference in 4x800mR, 800m and 3k, Two-time RRAC Track Athlete of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

BASEBALL, 7TH year: 34-19/20-4; NAIA Scholar Team; NAIA World Series Opening Round; RRAC Regular Season Champions; J. Baker: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Chapa: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Dayton: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. De Alejandro: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Diaz: NAIA Preseason All-American, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, Two-time Big Blue Top Saint Male Athlete of the Year, RRAC Player of the Year, All-Conference First Team, RRAC Player of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; B. Flores: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Gonzalez Jr.: RRAC Champions of Character, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; G. Hernandez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Klar: All-Conference First Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; L. Klostermann: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Lopez: All-Conference Second Team; R. Maldonado: All-Conference Second Team, RRAC Pitcher of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Martinez: All-Conference First Team, RRAC Pitcher of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. Martinez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; F. Martinez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Mihalov: RRAC Gold Glove Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Mitchell: All-Conference First Team, RRAC Gold Glove Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Montejano: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; A. Nunez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Ortega: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Ramirez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; N. Rodriguez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; X. Solis: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; B. Vasquez: NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, RRAC Pitcher of the Year, All-Conference First Team, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

GOLF, 13TH year: NAIA Scholar Team; M. Cantu: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; H. Davaley: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Garcia: A.I.I. All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; M. Garcia: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Gonzalez: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; R. Gutierrez: Champions of Character, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; D. Jones: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; J. Sturt: CoSIDA Academic All-District, RRAC Scholar-Athlete; C. White: RRAC Scholar-Athlete; K. Ybarra: NAIA National Championship 10th place finish, NAIA nationally ranked individually at sixth, NAIA All-American Second Team, CoSIDA Academic All-American, CoSIDA Academic All-District, A.I.I. All-Conference, RRAC Scholar-Athlete

Top Team GPA Award

Women’s soccer earned the Top GPA Team Award with a 3.57 GPA.

Big Blue Top Saints

The Top Saints male nominees consisted of soccer’s Bernard Alvarenga, baseball’s Jose Diaz, track and field’s Tamaj Gordon (JR/San Antonio, Texas), basketball’s Ruben Monzon (SR/San Diego, Calif.), tennis’ Vinicius Silva (SR/Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil), golf’s Kane Ybarra and cross-country’s Jose Zarate (SR/San Antonio, Texas) (JR/Mentone Beach, Calif.).

The Top Saints female nominees included cross-country’s Lindsey Broussard (JR/Kingwood, Texas), volleyball’s Amanda Esparza (SR/San Antonio, Texas), competitive cheer’s Sarah Hart (SO/San Antonio, Texas), track and field’s Destiny Joseph, softball’s Ciera Martinez (SR/San Antonio, Texas), soccer’s Baye Polanski, competitive dance’s Jewel Ruiz (SR/San Antonio, Texas) and basketball’s Angeline Sanchez (JR/Cibolo, Texas).

Diaz earned the Big Blue Top Saints award for the male category. Diaz’s athletic honors at OLLU include being an NAIA National Championships Opening Round participant, combining for a no-hitter with Alec Martinez (SR/Corpus Christi, Texas) during the 2021 season and being named RRAC Player of the Year. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/H4mwu3Kugto

Polansky was honored with the award for the female category. She was named an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, RRAC Offensive Player of the Year and All-Conference First Team. Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/qwujoPF-uI4

The virtual ceremony concluded after a benediction from OLLU University Chaplain Father Kevin Fausz.

Zerina Shatri selected as RRAC Etier Character Athlete of the Year

The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) has announced OLLU women’s basketball player Zerina Shatri as the Etier Character Athlete of the Year. 

In its fifth year, the award is given annually to one male and one female RRAC student-athlete who best represent the tenets of the NAIA Champions of Character program (respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and servant leadership). To be eligible, student-athletes must have been recognized as an RRAC Character Athlete of the Week during the previous academic year.

Shatri, a senior basketball player from Istog, Kosovo, earned a 3.75 GPA in kinesiology. She donated time back home and in San Antonio to assist others in the community. Shatri volunteered for the local food bank and a partnership that served ethnic minorities. She gave time to help clean her church, and she assisted a physical therapist in treating children. Shatri also participated with her teammates in visiting local hospice care and helping with the school’s basketball camp. She even cooked for families at the Ronald McDonald House. Shatri plans to become a physical therapist.

“Zerina is a very intelligent, funny and hard-working young woman,” says former OLLU women’s basketball coach Stacy Stephens. “She graduated in May. She has been on the Dean’s List almost every semester here and is the starting center for the 2020-2021 women’s basketball team. Ze loves to sightsee and embrace different cultures. She is always willing to help others and watching her grow and mature into the amazing young woman she is has been a highlight in my coaching career.”

The Saints have been honored with this award two years in a row. OLLU softball’s Kaitlyn Salazar was named RRAC Etier Character Athlete of the Year for the 2020-2021 season.

Shatri was named RRAC Character Athlete of the Week on May 25, which can be found here

Soccer’s Jaylin Seto balances academics, athletics and internships

The life of a student-athlete is often hectic. Balancing academics by itself can be difficult for many college students, but when one adds sports and a job, that is a challenge not many can juggle. College students need to be determined and diligent to have a successful and rewarding outcome. At OLLU, Jaylin Seto (SR/Houston, Texas) is one of the most successful student-athletes the university has ever seen.

Seto is entering her senior year as a member of the women’s soccer program. The 5’6″ midfielder has tallied eight goals and 17 assists in her collegiate career. Seto also has three game-winning goals as a Saint. She helped lead the Saints to their first undefeated regular season as the assists leader during a challenging 2021 spring season that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She guided the Saints to its first-ever undefeated regular season. The team’s only loss was at the conference tournament, where they lost 1-0 to end the season. Prior to that, Seto was a member of the 2019 team that captured the regular season and tournament titles. She’s hoping this year will give them the opportunity to make it to nationals.

Seto is currently interning as a physical therapist at the University Health Pavillion near the University of Texas at San Antonio campus. She had to wait over a year to secure the internship due to COVID-19. Seto’s internship includes observing how physical therapists deal with patients and nursing injuries. She plans to stay in Texas and look for a job in physical therapy at a university following graduation. Seto is pursuing a degree in kinesiology.

While most athletes leave campus for the summer to be with family and friends, Seto stayed at OLLU to work with the campus recreation program. Her main duties are keeping the gym clean and working in the workout room while also taking part in her summer courses online. She also works at Walmart. Her typical day consists of completing homework from 7 a.m. to midnight or later, interning, training for the upcoming soccer season in August and working at Walmart.

Seto played with the San Antonio Athenians semi-pro team in the United Women’s Soccer League to start the summer. Although she gained valuable experience, she could not continue playing for the team due to time constraints.

Seto holds her OLLU teammates accountable and said, “I keep up with my teammates on social media and see that they are practicing. I also try and work out in the weight room a few times a week.” She trains with teammate Liliana Briseno (SR/San Antonio, Texas) on a weekly basis.

Academics are a top priority in Seto’s life. She has made the Dean’s List three times. She contributed to her team being ranked first among OLLU teams with a 3.57 overall GPA for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Seto prefers an in-person curriculum compared to online, which made learning during COVID-19 especially difficult. When the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced that fall sports would be moved to the spring of 2021, the women’s soccer players had already scheduled their classes for that term. Athletes specifically choose classes based on when their sport is in season, so balancing tougher courses with an unpredictable season presented challenges.

Seto excels away from the classroom as well. She is a two-time First-Team All-Conference winner and is the fifth-place record holder in assists. She also is a three-time All-Conference Scholar-Athlete. During her senior year at Gregory Portland High School in Portland, Texas, she was the team MVP and was awarded Second-Team All-State honors.

With only a year left at OLLU, Seto is determined to lead the Saints to another successful season. She looks forward to graduation and continuing her career in physical therapy.  “I am thankful for all my family and supporters, as well as God. Without them, I would not be able to do what I do,” Seto said.

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