Category Archives: Top Stories

National Science Foundation awards S-STEM grant to OLLU

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $650,000 Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant to OLLU, which will directly benefit students throughout the next five years.

The project, titled Growing a Network for Aspiring Scholars (GANAS), will support two cohorts of 10 STEM undergraduates majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Math, Biomathematics and/or Computer Information Systems and Security. Students will receive $5,000 each year for four years. 

The first cohort starts this year. The second cohort begins in the 2022-2023 academic year. The NSF S-STEM grant provides $450,000 for student scholarships and $200,000 for support activities, which include travel for GANAS Scholars to present research at professional society meetings and conferences.

“I am really excited,” said Teresita Munguia, PhD, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Principal Investigator for this project. “This has been the culmination of several years of work on this grant. With scholarship money and support activities, such as family integration, mentoring and STEM learning communities, the GANAS Scholarship program will impact students by improving retention in STEM fields and enhancing STEM career readiness.” 


Vanessa Clark, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator for the project, echoed her colleague’s excitement. “I am thrilled to be a part of this project and work hand-in-hand with other STEM departments across campus,” said Clark, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems and Security. “This project is proof of the exciting benefits that interdisciplinary collaboration within our institution can bring to our students.” 

Students will be recruited primarily from local high schools with concentrated poverty. GANAS scholars will be selected based on academic merit, a personal essay, an interview and community/extracurricular involvement.

The goal of the GANAS project is to increase STEM degree completion and increase career readiness of low-income, academically talented undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Through scholarly research, GANAS seeks to help students bridge the divide between home/community and academia through early and ongoing inclusion of families, which has not been rigorously evaluated for Latin students in the current literature.

This is the first grant OLLU has received directly from NSF in 16 years. 

Economics graduate accepted into globally-ranked university

Gustavo Borba

Gustavo Lemos Borba (BA 2021) will attend Sweden’s Lund University, ranked No. 87 in QS World University Rankings for 22, to study Data Analytics and Business Economics.

“I am really happy to be accepted into such a prestigious university,” said Borba, who majored in economics at OLLU and was on the Saints men’s soccer team. “My studies in Sweden will start at the end of August and beginning of September. It is a one-year master’s program.”

Borba enrolled at OLLU in 2019 as a transfer from Dodge City Community College in Kansas. He said he owes a debt of gratitude to Michelle Avila, Associate Professor of Accounting, and Gultekin Gollu, Assistant Professor of Economics, for their support.

“I was lucky to have them as my professors,” he said. “They helped me a lot beyond the classroom with tips and recommendations for my master’s applications.

“The economics courses at OLLU helped me discover and understand the different tools economists use to analyze and predict the market’s behavior. They also opened my mind to the different pathways I could take with this degree.”

OLLU Wings Up Employee Giving Campaign a success

Through the generous support of faculty and staff, the 2020-2021 OLLU Wings Up Employee Giving Campaign ended on a high note with an increased participation rate of nearly 20 percent.

The Inaugural OLLU Wings Up Employee Giving Society welcomed 119 participants as the campaign’s participation rate rose to new heights. 

On behalf of President Diane Melby, EDd, and the Institutional Advancement team, the campaign co-chairs would like to extend their gratitude to those who supported the campaign and served the OLLU community. 

Students appreciate the support. As Danielle Ojeda, a 2021 Mass Communication graduate, put it, “The OLLU community inspires me to achieve my dreams. My hope is to be a spark in the world for others, too.”

For more information on the Employee Giving Society or to make a gift for the 2021-2022 fiscal year and commit to the Wings Up Giving Society, visit the Giving Societies page at http://giving.ollusa.edu/s/888/mc21/project.aspx?sid=888&gid=1&pgid=1648.

The campaign co-chairs were: 

Phyllis Duncan, Professor of Leadership Studies

Anne Gomez, Chief Communications Officer

Ruby Tovar, Administrative Secretary, Facilities Management

Sister Nagy presents invocation at San Antonio City Council Inauguration

Sister Margit Nagy, CDP, PhD, served as the Official Invocator on June 15 for the 2021-2023 Mayor and San Antonio City Council inauguration at City Hall. 

The ceremony included the swearing-in of Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the city council including newly elected council members Mario Bravo in District 1, Jalen McKee-Rodriguez in District 2, Phyllis Viagran in District 3 and Teri Castillo in District 5. District 9 Councilman John Courage was the only incumbent to be re-elected in the run-off.

Councilmember Adriana Rocha Garcia was re-elected in District 4. She is an Assistant Marketing Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University, where she teaches marketing in the School of Business and Leadership. Others re-elected were Melissa Havrda in District 6, Ana Sandoval in District 7, Manny Pelaez in District 8 and Clayton Perry in District 10. OLLU is located in District 7.

Andres Jaime to co-chair Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Andres Jaime, Director of the Center of Career Development and Testing (CCDT), has been named co-chair of the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. 

The DEI committee raises awareness and support across higher education of the NACE core value of inclusion. NACE believes in a world that is inclusive in approach and where equal opportunities and equitable outcomes exist for all.

“I am honored and thrilled about the opportunity to serve and contribute to equitable positive change in the career development field in higher education,” Jaime said. “I look forward to networking, learning and enhancing my ability to support DEI-focused initiatives for the CCDT office and OLLU through this experience. 

Jaime will share co-chair responsibilities with Erica Lake from the University of South Carolina-Columbia and Kristi Newton from The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

NACE members at large represent universities and companies across the U.S. 

On-campus COVID testing site changes method of sample collection

Curative testing kiosk

Curative, the on-site PCR test kiosk located at 24th Street and San Luis, is changing its sample collection method to a shallow nasal self-collection as part of a transition plan to offer a new Abbott PCR test beginning in early July.

Curative also has extended its agreement with OLLU through September. 

Curative began the transition from oral fluid self-collection to shallow nasal self-collection on June 17. Samples can be seen on how this is done here: https://support.curative.com/article/27-instructions-for-a-nasal-swab.

The new collection method is fast, convenient and simple to do. Samples will be observed and directed by Curative on-site health care workers to ensure a good sample is collected. Results will be ready in 24-48 hours from receipt of the sample at the lab. The new test will use one swab and test for SARS-CoV-2, Flu A, Flu B, and RSV.

For questions, reach out to support@curative.com or 888-702-9042.   

Curative provides testing throughout the United States.  To book an appointment go to www.curative.com.  For the kiosk on that San Antonio campus use this link: https://curative.com/sites/10554 

OLLU presents 10th Annual BIG BLUE All-Sports Athletic Banquet

Our Lady of the Lake University is proud to present the 10th Annual BIG BLUE All-Sports Athletic Banquet – Virtual Edition. The university is proud of all of its athletes, teams, coaches and staff for all of their accomplishments during the 2020-2021 athletic season. Congratulations to everyone.

Click on the link to view the banquet video on YouTube:

In The News

Recent media coverage that brought attention to OLLU:

On June 7, a story in the San Antonio Express-News about recent OLLU graduate Eliseo “Eddie” Illarraza who earned a Master of Social Work degree despite being paralyzed from the neck down: https://www.expressnews.com/local/sanantoniostories/article/Paralyzed-from-the-neck-down-Brooklyn-man-used-16227824.php

On June 5, a story about OLLU President Diane E. Melby’s planned retirement in July 2022 appeared in the Valley Morning Star: https://news.yahoo.com/ollu-president-retire-2022-touts-143100433.html

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