Category Archives: Top Stories

OLLU welcomes metro, medical leaders to Board of Trustees 

Romanita Matta-Barrera, Chief Workforce Officer of greater:SATX, and Francisco “Paco” Gonzaba, Executive Director of the Gonzaba Medical Group, have joined the Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Board of Trustees.

At greater:SATX, Matta-Barrera leads efforts to align education, workforce and economic development to meet the talent needs of the region’s current and future employers. She brings a wealth of business and nonprofit experience to OLLU. Matta-Barrera previously served as CEO of Fluent Strategy Group and Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans in the George W. Bush Administration. She also represented San Antonio in the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program.

“OLLU has the tremendous potential to be a beacon of opportunity,” Matta-Barrera said. “While it serves learners from across the country, it’s located in the heart of the West Side, where we can work to ensure that future generations are able to maximize their potential. I want to be a part of laying that foundation for support to the students that seek to improve their lives through quality education.”  

At the Gonzaba Medical Group, Gonzaba oversees marketing and growth strategies, clinical operations, information technology, contact center operations, patient experience and operational excellence. He works with the Executive Mentorship Program for the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves as a mentor to future healthcare leaders. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Executive Advisory Board Committee for the University of the Incarnate Word’s master’s in Health Administration program. 

“The mission and culture of Gonzaba Medical Group is to serve the community and I feel what Our Lady of the Lake is doing is completely in line with that,” said Gonzaba, son of the group founder, William “Bill” Gonzaba. 

Paco Gonzaba says he was drawn to join the Board of Trustees, in part, by the example set by OLLU President Abel Chávez, PhD. “Dr. Chávez is a dynamic leader. There are a lot of similarities between him and I. He has a passion for evolving Our Lady of the Lake, keeping the university true to its roots and cultural identity. The school has great historical significance and where he wants to take it is inspiring.”

Reminder: Annual ‘Heritage Day’ set for Oct. 8

Heritage Day will be held on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Moye Retreat Center, 600 London Street, in Castroville. The event will feature food, a raffle, a silent auction and visits with the Sisters of Divine Providence. 

Heritage Day is a tribute to our collective spirit, heritage and the transformative impacts of the Sisters of Divine Providence. It is also an opportunity to strengthen shared bonds, to reminisce about our collective past and to dream about our collective future.

Moye Retreat Center has been part of the Castroville community since 1868. This Heritage Day will be a celebration of the past while illuminating our path forward.

Activities that await:

  • Make shared memories: Walk the grounds and take in the living history of the Moye Retreat Center. Talk with the Sisters. Make new friends. Enjoy the day!
  • Try your luck with our quilt raffle, delve into the treasures of the silent auction, and grab a few gifts from the craft sale. Pick out something for your garden from our plant sale. Savor a delightful array of homemade treats at our bake sale.
  • Explore the children’s area which will have a petting zoo, face painting, pumpkin decorating and more. Hay bales and festive decorations will be set up, perfect for capturing fall family photos.
  • Experience the choreographic beauty of Alsatian dancers and groove to the tunes of our DJ.
  • Order a BBQ Plate: A delicious combination of BBQ Chicken, Alsatian Sausage, and sides! Cost: $10.

Proceeds will benefit the Moye Retreat Center, the original Motherhouse of the Sisters of Divine Providence in Castroville.

Notice of required Title IX Training coming this week 

In compliance with state and federal law, the OLLU Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance is providing notice that this week all students and employees will receive a pop-up “ToU acknowledgment” document that will require the user to read and acknowledge before accessing MicroSoft Office 365. The document includes important information about the OLLU Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance Procedures.

Students will be required to read and acknowledge the Title IX Policy Student Training document, and employees will be required to read and acknowledge the Title IX and Clery Act Employee Training document.  

To view each training document as a full-size PDF, visit  

This information is being provided as orientation on the university’s sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking policy, and as part of OLLU’s ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive primary prevention and awareness outreach programs to the campus community. Opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage in programs and training related to preventing sexual misconduct will be announced throughout the academic year.

For any questions about the training documents, contact OLLU Equity and Compliance Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Nicole Monsibais, at

To view the entire Title IX Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance Procedures, visit

To report an incident, visit

Notice of Annual Security Report

In OLLU’s continued effort to keep our communities safe, and in compliance with state and federal laws, including the Clery Act, the OLLU Police Department is providing you notice that the 2023 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (ASR) for San Antonio, Houston and Rio Grande Valley is now published on the university website.

The ASR provides OLLU crime statistics for 2020, 2021, and 2022 as well as valuable information regarding policies and procedures related to campus safety and security; drug and alcohol use; programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; fire incidents and safety procedures. You are encouraged you to take some time and visit the website and review the ASR as it provides additional safety and security related information as it pertains to each campus.

The report is available online at:

You can locate the 2023, 2022 and 2021 reports by visiting “Campus Life” from the university website homepage and selecting “University Police” and then “Security Reports and Crime Logs.” You also can easily locate the latest report on the website by selecting the “Consumer Information” link at the bottom of the OLLU website and then selecting “Annual Crime and Fire Safety Report.”

A paper copy of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available upon request by calling the OLLU Police Department at 210-431-4022 or by visiting the OLLU Police Department Office in the Walter Student Service Center on the San Antonio campus. To obtain a paper copy at the Houston Campus, please contact, Jamina Scippio-Mcfadden  To obtain a paper copy at the Rio Grande Valley Campus, please contact Cindy Mata-Vasquez at

Please do not hesitate to call 210-431-4022 or email if you have any questions or concerns related to the information contained in the ASR.

Annual notice of Consumer Information

OLLU is required by federal law to distribute or make available certain consumer information to current students, current employees, prospective students and prospective employees. The annual notice is available online and was distributed by email to the university community last week. In addition, it can be found on the Consumer Information page on the university website.

This notice provides a brief summary of the following OLLU consumer information disclosures and other notifications required by law:

  • Higher Education Act General Disclosures
  • Annual Security and Fire Safety Report
  • Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA)
  • Student Rights Related to Educational Records (FERPA)
  • Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA)
  • Penalties for Copyright Infringement
  • Notification of Penalty for Making a False Alarm or Report
  • Criminal History and Occupational License Notice
  • Campus Carry Policy Notice
  • Nondiscrimination and Title IX

OLLU receives $3 million Title V grant for Kinesiology program

OLLU has received a $3 million Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education to enhance the Kinesiology program, the second largest major at the university. The project, “Transforming STEM Identity at OLLU: Advancing Kinesiology,” is designed to improve student performance and graduation rates.

The project will focus on student athletes. Seventy-eight percent of Kinesiology majors compete in OLLU athletics. 

“This grant will provide an opportunity for our students to graduate with real-world experience, certifications and research,” said project director Emily Sauers, PhD,  Associate Professor of Kinesiology. “Whether our students pursue graduate work or enter the workforce, they will be highly competitive candidates for any future endeavor.” 

The $3 million grant will be disbursed over five years and will focus on several equity-driven, evidence-based projects. Funds will be used to renovate the kinesiology lab, create a Women’s Metabolic Institute focused on cardiometabolic health in Latinas, and upgrade equipment to enhance experiential learning. 

“This grant is critical for Kinesiology,” Dr. Sauers said. “The implementation of new programs and infrastructure will put OLLU Kinesiology on the map.”

United Way accepting applications for Child Care Scholarships

The United Way is accepting applications for Child Care Scholarships through Oct. 15, with recipients receiving an average award of $14,000 for quality child care.

The annual cost of child care – which averages $9,300 in Texas – is difficult for many San Antonio families to afford, often forcing parents to delay or cancel their higher education plans altogether. The scholarship removes this financial barrier to education. To learn more visit:

To apply for the scholarship:

OLLU will hold its annual Workplace Charitable Campaign for 2023, beginning Oct. 23. United Way representatives will share United Way program offerings at the Oct. 25 SAFE event in the University Mall.

Free COVID test kits available through government starting today 

As COVID-19 cases increase in Texas and the U.S., the Biden Administration has announced that consumers will be able to get four free COVID home tests per household, beginning today, through the government-run website:

The Department of Health and Human Services will award $600 million to a dozen domestic COVID-19 test manufacturers to shore up the government’s supply of home tests. The investment will deliver about 200 million new over-the-counter COVID-19 tests.

University community members are encouraged to take advantage of this offer as testing is no longer available on campus.

OLLU-Houston holds annual fall Blessing Ceremony

Working collaboratively to accomplish goals was the focus of the third annual Blessing Ceremony that launched the new academic year at OLLU-Houston on Sept. 16.

Dozens of students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and community members attended the event during a break between morning and afternoon classes. 

The Office of Mission and Ministry, under the leadership of Vice President Gloria Urrabazo, worked with the #TeamOLLUHouston on the program, which included different experiences for those who attended.

This year’s program participants included George Williams, PhD, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Jared Montoya, PhD, Associate Provost for Graduate and Online Programs. Dr. Williams offered reflections about the power of hope, determination, and perseverance inspired through faith. 

“We have to consider the whole person when supporting our students,” said Gloria Goode, Houston’s Student Success Coordinator. She continued, “Our students are balancing graduate school, work, family, and other obligations. Our goal is to emphasize how together we can help them navigate their program.” 

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