Category Archives: Employee News

Professor Benavides hosts a new podcast on Texas Public Radio

Yvette Benavides, Professor of English and award-winning broadcast journalist, is hosting a new podcast on Texas Public Radio (TPR) called “Book Public.” The podcast features author interviews and book reviews. Those interested may subscribe to “Book Public” on Apple or Spotify or listen online:

Professor Benavides was the recipient of a grant from the Knight Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange for an intensive training on “Podcasting for Journalists” last February. This month she will participate in additional workshops through the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at the City University of New York (CUNY).  

Changes made to employee retirement plan

To comply with IRS and Department of Labor provisions, the Retirement Plan Committee has adopted changes to the OLLU employee retirement plan, effective June 2020. Most participants will not experience any changes in their retirement plan. However, all participants will receive a formal document, informing them of the changes made to meet federal regulations. Here is the information:

This notice is to inform Plan Participants about some changes to OLLU’s retirement plan.

Dear Employees:

To ensure that the best interests of OLLU retirement plan participants are met and to safeguard compliance with IRS and Department of Labor provisions, the Retirement Plan Committee completed a lengthy process, as part of our due diligence, on the retirement plan over the past 12 months.  This review included having legal counsel examine the plan for compliance.  In light of this review, the following changes were made over the summer to the Plan. 

  • A new Plan Document was adopted effective June 30, 2020.  While the current plan document was adequate, adopting this plan allowed for some operational efficiencies that will make Plan administration easier. 
  • Elective Deferrals are the additional funds you have elected to contribute to the retirement plan over the mandatory 3%.
    • Effective Aug. 1, 2020, elective deferrals will be open to ANY employee who is at least 21 years of age. 

To enroll in an elective deferral, employees need to set up an account with Transamerica. 

The majority of participants will not experience any changes in your retirement plan experience as a result of these changes.  This communication as well as others you may receive on this matter are important in order to keep you informed of the plan’s terms and operations.  Participants will also receive a more formal document, either a Summary Plan Description or a Summary of Material Modifications, describing the changes to the plan which are necessary to meet regulatory requirements.   If you have any questions, contact Diana Ramos, OLLU Employee Benefits and Wellness Programs Manager at or by phone at 210-434-6711 ext. 3970.


Phillip J. Vargas, Plan Administrator
on behalf of OLLU Retirement Plan Committee


OLLU staff and faculty invited to submit social media post requests

The Marketing and Communications Office is inviting staff and faculty to submit requests for social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Post can range from department news, welcome of new staff, awards garnered or to feature individuals. The information will be posted on the university’s official social media accounts. Requests will be approved by Anne Pedrotti Gomez, Chief Communications Officer.

Submit your requests to Patty Constantin, Assistant Director for News and Sports Information, at

Professor Pena steps down as director of Mexican American Civil Rights Institute

Ezequiel Pena, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, has stepped down as Interim Executive Director of the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI) to join MACRI as a founding board member.

MACRI is the new operating name for the National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights which launched in January 2019 with funding from the City of San Antonio. The institute is an independent organization housed on the OLLU campus.

Taking Dr. Pena’s place, Sarah Gould, PhD, has assumed the role of Interim Executive Director of MACRI. A native Texan, Dr. Gould served as an adjunct professor in OLLU’s history department in fall 2015 and fall 2016. She has worked closely with Sister Margit Nagy, CDP, and the late Sister Maria Eva Flores, CDP. Last December, Dr. Gould joined the OLLU College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. 

Dr. Gould has more than a decade of museum experience. She most recently served as founding Director of the Museo del Westside, a community participatory museum launched by the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center.  

MACRI is a long-awaited and the first-of-its kind institute. MACRI will acknowledge and honor the civil rights history of Mexican Americans locally and nationally, from the 1800’s to the present. MACRI will do this by presenting the many Mexican American civil rights struggles, including transformational leaders and organizations and their accomplishments of national and regional significance in the areas of education, voting rights, labor rights, human rights and more. 

Employee benefits enrollment begins

Annual benefits enrollment provides benefit-eligible employees the opportunity to start, change or end benefits, which become effective Oct. 1, 2020. The exception is medical and dependent care reimbursement plans, which begin Sept. 1, 2020.

All eligible employees making changes must enroll online to change benefits. Current benefits will carry over. The exception is the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), which require enrollment each year.

All full-time employees will be able to complete enrollment through Web Advisor under Benefits Enrollment. Employees wishing to make change will need to adhere to the following deadlines.

* Staff employee enrollment period (includes deans and administration) begins Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Deadline to enroll is Aug.12 by 11:59 p.m.

* Faculty enrollment period begins Aug. 26, 2020. Deadline to enroll is Sept 10 by 11:59.

To access the Benefits Enrollment online:

1. Log into My OLLU portal

2. Click on Web Advisor for Staff (or Faculty if it applies)

3. Click on Employee Profile

4. Click on Review Current Benefits

5. Click on Benefit Enrollment

6. If you aren’t sure of your additional current benefits, check the Pay Advice for your last pay period.

Due to benefits representative’s company travel restrictions, annual Benefit Fairs have been canceled this year.

Employee comings and goings, July 20

The following employees recently joined the OLLU community:

  • Kimberly Cabello — Police Officer
  • Ashley Fazio — Field Education Coordination Specialist
  • Francisco Soto — Police Officer
  • Younne Reid — Head Cross-Country and Track and Field Coach (pictured above)

Thank you to the following for their service at OLLU:

  • Kayla Padilla — Senior Accounts Receivable Specialist
  • Juan Hernandez — Police Sergeant
  • Julie Stuckey — Director of Health Services
  • Dickie Ortiz — Air Conditioning and Heating Helper
  • Caralynn Garcia — Student Acct. Specialist — Receivable Cashier

Fire alarm testing today

Repairs on the fire alarm systems in Main, UWAC and Walter Center will begin today. As a result, alarm horns will be sounding throughout the day. Alarm horns in Walter Center may sound for an extended period of time. The alarm horn testing in Main and UWAC should be brief.

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