Category Archives: Student News

Save the Date: Third Annual 1st Gen. Student Celebration set for Nov. 8

National First-Generation College Celebration Day is Nov. 8. Each year on or around this day, hundreds of institutions plan activities to raise awareness of the first-generation college student identity.

At OLLU, The First Gen. Student Organization will host a celebration in the Mall Area from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. with other student organizations, campus departments, and members of the local community to celebrate those who are first-generation college students.

A first-generation college student is a student whose parents nor legal guardians have an earned a bachelor’s degree.

For more information or to sign up your organization, email:

Doctoral student named to 40–under-40 Public Health Class

Erika Martinez, a first-year doctoral student in Leadership Studies, has been named to de Beaumont Foundation’s 40-under-40 Public Health Class of 2023.

The de Beaumont Foundation 40-under-40 in Public Health Class is a structured two-year initiative designed to enhance the expertise of industry professionals. Honorees say they have built a network of supportive professionals and peers, which has advanced their careers.

Martinez has spent 13 years with the City of Laredo Health Department, where she serves as an Assistant Director. Martinez oversees the Health Equity and Family Support Divisions assisting children and their families access services and resources for healthcare needs. 

Focusing on several departments such as human resources, workforce development, fiscal management, and operations, Martinez has developed a broad range of expertise in the field. A Mexican Folklorico dancer, she also has performed in Colombia and Panama.

Martinez’s journey in the public health industry fosters community commitment through innovation. Consistently demonstrating dedication, and continuous learning to make impactful contributions, Martinez embodies the values of community service.

Get midterm ready at ‘Level Up, OLLU!’

The Office of Academic and Student Affairs will host ‘Level Up, OLLU!’ on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. in the Sueltenfuss Library. Level Up focuses on strategies for learning more efficiently and effectively through interactive study sessions. A nacho bar, snacks, and drinks will be open to all participants.

Level Up sessions will offer study hacks for notetaking and review, reading dense texts, boosting your memory, writing a timed essay exam, among other learning strategies. First and second year students will also have an opportunity to meet the Peer Mentors during a Q&A panel.

Pre-register using the QR Code below! Check-in will be on the first floor of the Library in front of the ACE on Wednesday from 6 – 8 p.m. You will receive a game card for collecting stamps that make you eligible for prizes. Prizes will be drawn at the close of the event.

For more information:

ITS Department to open Tech Pantry at Worden School

The ITS Department will be opening a Tech Pantry in Worden Room 25 on Thursday and Friday afternoon. 

Students are free to browse through retired computers, monitors, printers and other peripherals that we can no longer use on campus. We are giving these items away

in hopes that it will help students with their classes and learning experience.

All items are tested and working and are taken on an as is basis. We will not accept returns or service any equipment taken. Items will be restocked each day and will vary each day so keep checking in to see what items we have. This is only open to our OLLU students at this time. For questions please contact the ITS helpdesk.

The pantry will be open on Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

SGA President completes USDA internship

Student Government Association President and OLLU women’s soccer captain Rachel Dziuba recently completed a remote internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the TExAS FAST grant.

A Biomathematics and Environmental Science and Sustainability double major, Dziuba worked from San Antonio with a data scientist in Washington, D.C., Dr. Gianna Short, to create a model to use climate change projections to predict loan risk for borrowers. 

“The first step in this was to model climate factors on crop yields,” she said. “We worked with weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and crop yield data from the USDA and created maps, plots, and regression models using RStudio.” 

Dziuba learned coding and immersed herself in the data science field. She received a stipend through a USDA grant awarded to OLLU. 

“Working with Dr. Short was amazing as well,” Dziuba said. “She was a really great person to learn from and work with, and I definitely learned a lot during this summer. This internship was extremely rewarding because I learned so much about coding and got some insight about what I want to do in the future, mainly including incorporating coding and science together.”

Get ready for Welcome Weekend!

OLLU is preparing for the start of the fall semester and Blue Nation Welcome Weekend!

Students in fall sports have already begun returning to the residence halls, as well as those in Living Learning Communities, Flight School and student leadership positions.

To be ready for the fall semester, students must have completed registration, financial aid (if applying for aid) and payment arrangements. These steps with instructions can be found in the Get It Done section at the bottom of the Current Students page of the website.

Blue Nation Welcome Weekend runs Aug. 17-21. It is designed to welcome new students and their families to OLLU, assist with the start of classes and provide new and returning students with some fun and a chance to connect.

Blue Nation Welcome Weekend highlights include:
Aug. 17

  • Freshman and transfer student residence hall move-in
  • All-Access Book Program pick-up – undergraduate students receive free textbooks and materials; this is the time to pick them up.

Aug. 18

  • Returning student residence hall move-in
  • Commuter student Blue Nation check-in
  • All-Access Book Program pick-up – undergraduate students receive free textbooks and materials; this is the time to pick them up.
  • Food Truck Frenzy 
  • State of Blue Nation Convocation – this is the official welcome and blessing of new students; families are strongly encouraged to attend.
  • Providence Path – new students walk the path of tradition while being cheered on by family, faculty, staff and students.

Aug. 19

  • 128th incoming class official photo
  • Blue Nation Block Party – new and returning students invited to enjoy music, dancing, food trucks, lawn games and fun inflatables
  • Weekend students first day of class

Aug. 20

  • First fall liturgy – open to people of all faiths

Aug. 21

  • First day of class for traditional semester students

Blue Nation Welcome Weekend full schedule.

Social Work PhD students share special time with CDPs

Doctoral students in the Social Work program recently shared a special time with Sister Elsa E. Garcia, CDP, and Sister Joyce Detzel, CDP, listening to insights and learning the profound connection between social work and Providence.

Sister Garcia shared powerful insights about addressing the whole person in social work, fueled by faith, hope, and love. Sister Detzel enlightened the students about OLLU’s history and the role of Providence in their journey as future social workers.

The students also delved into the rich heritage of the Sisters of Divine Providence, guided by Sister Charlotte Mary Kitowski, the CDP archivist. To foster a deeper connection, the students shared a heartwarming lunch with the Sisters, engaging in heartfelt conversations and exchanging experiences.

Read the full article here:…/

OLLU represents well at APA Convention

Two graduate students and two faculty members represented OLLU at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 2-5.

PsyD students Olivia Hinojosa Galvan and Alyssa Arredondo and Assistant Professor of Psychology Jacque Coppock presented two sessions titled, “Muxeres standing strong: Decolonial healing through Womanist and Mujerista Psychology and Recognizing wellness: Decolonization of counseling practices for diverse Latinx clients.”

Dr. Coppock also served as the Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35 of APA) program co-chair and Olivia Hinojosa Galvan served as the Division 35 Hospitality Suite program coordinator.

Professor of Psychology Kathryn Anderson, President of Division 35, gave an address titled, “Feminism is the radical notion that…: We can effect change like Judy Heumann,” which included a tribute to Judy Heumann whose advocacy led to passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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