Category Archives: Top Stories

CMASR acquires new collection from late Chicana poet, activist

The Center for Mexican American Studies and Research has acquired a collection of papers from Angela de Hoyos, the late Chicana poet, artist, songwriter and activist. 

Her body of work featured feminism, gender and Chicana philosophy as prominent themes. De Hoyos wrote Spanish language song lyrics in the 1950s and poetry and essays in the 1960s and 1970s when she emerged as a prominent voice in the Chicano movement.

She also produced drawings and other artistic motifs that included flowers and nature, buildings in the Spanish architectural style, sculptures and family portraits. De Hoyos enjoyed an international reach, as several of her works were translated and published in South America and Europe. The poet and author Raúl R. Salinas referred to her as the “spiritual den mother of Chicano letters.” 

In 2021, her husband Moises Sandoval donated materials related to her career to the CMASR Special Collections at OLLU. The Angela de Hoyos papers consist of approximately five linear feet of printed and digitally scanned documents, audio and video saved to CD and DVD, spanning her career from the 1940s through the 2000s.

Included in the collection are original poetry, books, instructional pamphlets, royalty statements and various publications in which she was featured. The digital files contain photos of her paintings, sculptures and block prints, dresses and pottery. 

The finding aid to the Angela de Hoyos papers is published under the Our Lady of the Lake University Library webpage for the Center for Mexican American Studies and Research. 

The papers are accessible in person by appointment at the Special Collections for the CMASR, located in the Our Lady of the Lake Convent, room 112. Through the summer, the archive is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Contact archivist Joseph De León at jdeleon6315@ollusa.edu.

Dr. Montoya and former student create business app

Jared Montoya, PhD, Professor of Leadership Studies, and former student David Hill (MS 2013, PhD 2019) have created an app to help businesses – “WeGood?” – which is available in the Apple Store.

“The overall goal of the app is to help organizations to engage and retain their employees,” said Dr. Montoya, Leadership Studies Program Chair. “The initial testing will be for food service, healthcare, retail and manufacturing, but I imagine that educational institutions will also be considered in the future.”

Dr. Montoya served as the dissertation chair for Dr. Hill in the Leadership Studies program. As a student, Dr. Hill developed a leadership theory and an assessment tool. After earning his PhD, Dr. Hill reached out to Dr. Montoya to explore how his research could be applied to organizations. From that outreach, the two men formed a partnership and launched a company, “High Quality Leadership,” in 2020, 

“The more we researched, the more we realized that employee engagement, especially frontline employees, is a major challenge for most organizations,” Dr. Montoya said. “This led to the initial ideas and development of the app, which is based on David’s leadership theory.”

Dr. Montoya and the former student designed the app while meeting at a local coffee shop. 

“This experience,” Dr. Montoya said, “is evidence of the tremendous opportunities that exist for graduates from OLLU’s School of Business and Leadership.” 

OLLU honors President Melby with retirement celebration

Our Lady of the Lake University honored President Diane Melby, EdD, with a festive retirement celebration on Thursday at the Whitley Theological Center. The event drew more than 100 guests for an evening of food, toasts, laughter, tears and memories.

Since Dr. Melby arrived in 2015, OLLU has flourished, advancing the Mission of the Sisters of Divine Providence and expanding its impact and reach across the U.S. and beyond.

New facilities for campuses in Houston and the Rio Grande Valley have opened. The Slater Apartments stand as the newest residence hall on the San Antonio campus. And a $55 million comprehensive campaign – the largest in OLLU history – is nearly complete.

“It has been an honor to serve OLLU for the past seven years,” said Dr. Melby, who will retire next month. “I look forward to watching the university’s continued growth and emergence as a national leader in higher education. We are moving into a new era, and Dr. Abél Chavez is the right person to lead OLLU forward.”  

Abél Chavez, PhD, will succeed Dr. Melby as OLLU’s 10th president on July 18. He attended the celebration, along with such distinguished guests as philanthropists Rubén Escobedo and Verónica Salazar-Escobedo (BA 1965). 

Led by Mistress of Ceremonies and OLLU Trustee Lorena G. Gonzalez, PhD, an alumna (BA 1989, PhD 2005), the celebration featured music from Mariachis and a poignant tribute video.  

Sister Pearl Ceasar, CDP, Superior General of the Congregation of Divine Providence, Gloria Urrabazo, Vice President of Mission and Ministry, and trustee George Person, shared warm reflections. 

Hurley named Red River Athletic Conference Athletic Director of Year

As the leader of the most active and the most successful athletic department in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), Shane Hurley has plenty on his plate. That was never more true than this year when OLLU athletics grew to 17 intercollegiate sports, seven Saints teams made national tournament appearances, and the school won its eighth RRAC All-Sports Award. 

Hurley’s efforts were recognized by his peers, who selected him as the 2021-2022 RRAC Athletic Director of the Year. 

The RRAC Athletic Director of the Year award recognizes the leader who had the best year in overall program performance, facility development, game administration, NAIA Champions of Character commitment, ability to hire and keep quality coaches, program growth in sports and revenue opportunities, contributions at the conference and national levels and student-athlete development. The award is decided through a vote by all RRAC athletic directors. 

In addition to the normal day-to-day challenges of managing the athletic program, Hurley and his staff hosted RRAC championships in men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s and women’s track and field and softball during the last year. They also were faced with the loss of a close friend and longtime Saints broadcaster, Michael Thompson, near the end of the basketball season.  

Through it all, Hurley was the capable leader of all things OLLU.

“Shane has done a great job keeping OLLU at the top of the conference,” says LSU Shreveport Athletic Director Lucas Morgan. “They are competitive in every sport while also doing things the right way. He is a committed leader and very deserving of this recognition.” 

Hurley is a true blue Saint. He has been at OLLU since the school joined the NAIA in 2007, first serving as the men’s soccer coach and then doubling up as the women’s soccer coach from 2008-to 2012. In 2018, he was called on to serve as the interim athletic director, stepping into the official role in 2019 and shedding his soccer duties to focus solely on the athletic director role in 2020. 

“I’m proud to extend congratulations to Shane Hurley,” says RRAC Commissioner Tony Stigliano. “This award recognizes his hard work and commitment to OLLU, the RRAC, and our other athletic directors. We’re fortunate to have leaders like Shane in our conference.”

Taking over a program that was already a perennial conference power, Hurley has added to that excellence. In addition to the All-Sports Awards, OLLU also was recognized as last year’s RRAC GPA Award winner with the best academic results in the conference. He also spearheaded four new sports, thoroughly researching the feasibility of adding women’s golf, women’s tennis, competitive cheer and competitive dance by consulting with local, state and national universities with similar programs. He put together a comprehensive report to include demographics, geographical competition, interest from recruiting areas, plus a practicable budget that would allow the university to approve the plan.

After much deliberation, the university’s Board of Trustees approved Hurley’s plan to increase the intercollegiate program from 13 to 17 teams, adding competitive cheer, competitive dance, women’s golf and women’s tennis.

With the establishment of the four teams, Hurley aggressively pursued hiring head and assistant coaches for all four teams. The new coaches were able to search for viable student-athletes – academically and athletically qualified – to recruit for their programs. All coaches have been able to put together teams that would be competitive immediately.

His projections rang true. After just one season, the women’s golf team excelled beyond expectations, winning two tournaments and successfully competing throughout the year. The dance team also excelled and made history with a second-place finish at nationals, and the women’s tennis team qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2014. OLLU now boasts more than 400 student-athletes. 

OLLU attends Seventh Annual Archbishop’s Prayer Breakfast 

Representatives from Our Lady of the Lake University, Providence High School and the Sisters of Divine Providence attended the Seventh Annual Archbishop’s Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, May 26. 

Dr. Jacob Friesenhahn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, and Elizabeth (Maria) Tobin, Adjunct Instructor of Theology and Spiritual Action, were in attendance. Professors Friesenhahn and Tobin were hosted by the local chapter of Pax Christi, an international peace organization. Many community leaders, including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, were present for the annual event. 

The Archbishop’s Prayer Breakfast is a fundraiser for Catholic Charities. This year the proceeds from the event went to the Uvalde, Texas, community. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller spoke of his trip to Uvalde and his ministry to the community after the school shooting of May 24, in which 19 students and two teachers were killed.

The archbishop’s remarks were deeply moving and reminded all in the San Antonio Archdiocese to minister in every way possible to our neighbors in Uvalde. Michael Belz served as the master of ceremonies.

Dr. Isaiah “Ike” McKinnon was the keynote speaker. Dr. McKinnon spoke of his life, his experiences in law enforcement and his time as Chief of Police for the city of Detroit.

Professor Garcia earns award from Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Assistant Professor of Marketing and District 4 City Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia, PhD, has received the “Gerencia Con Corazón – Management with a Heart” award from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Presented at a welcome reception last week for the Chamber’s 2022 Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program (ABLDP), the award was given to Garcia for her contributions to the San Antonio community.

“As an alumna of the ABLDP program, I know how it really makes a difference in helping prepare our future leaders to be able to address the needs of our community,” Garcia said. “It is an honor to receive this award.” 

The award is named for the philosophy of Briseño, a former City Manager who spent 24 years in public service. As a city leader, Briseño encouraged colleagues to serve with compassion, to practice “Management with a Heart.” 

Lake View Apartments renamed in honor of Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, PhD

The Lake View Apartments have been renamed the Slater Apartments in honor of President Emeritus Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, PhD. The new name was announced May 26 during the OLLU Board of Trustees meeting as a surprised Sister Jane Ann looked on.

A sign bearing Sister Jane Ann’s image and the following text was part of the unveiling:

President Emeritus Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, PhD, served as OLLU president from 2013-2015. She was the first female chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, a role she held from 2015-2021. Sister Slater also served as superior general of the Congregation of Divine Providence during two terms. In addition, she served as an OLLU chemistry professor from 1970-1981. For her service and dedication to the university and community, this hall was dedicated in her name on May 26, 2022.

OLLU to welcome incoming students to the first Lake Day on Friday

A group of incoming students will be on campus Friday for the first Lake Day Orientation. More than 95 students and their guests are expected to attend.

Check-in will be in the Renaissance Parlors followed by breakfast in the cafeteria. The Lake Day Welcome Session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Chapel Auditorium.

The full-day schedule is below. All are encouraged to keep the schedule handy in case students or family members need assistance.

Student Leadership and Development Office changing name to Center for Student Involvement

The Student Leadership and Development Office is undergoing a name change to the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).

In 2020, the International Folk Culture Center, Campus Recreation Office and the Lake Day Orientation duties became part of Student Leadership and Development. With the added areas, a new name was sought. Through a variety of meetings, student focus groups and surveys, the office was able to finalize a proposal that was approved by the President’s Council.

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