News

Transformational Leadership

In this issue, you'll learn about entrepreneurial students creating fashion businesses, the legacy of retiring President Emeritus Charles Cotrell, new programs addressing COVID-19 job loss in San Antonio, and the many ways St. Mary's University is preparing the next generation of transformational leaders.

Read More
News

Alumni

St. Mary’s alumni better the world with mental health counseling

by Brooke Blanton Leith  Through St. Mary’s University’s two counseling programs, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, hundreds of students have gone on to become licensed counselors, helping people overcome hardships ...

Alumna becomes the youngest writer in the Writers’ League of Texas Fellowship Program

When Jamira Richardson joined the St. Mary’s University English Literature and Language program in Fall 2016, her professors were confident she’d go far with writing. It was no surprise that she was selected as the youngest member for the Writers’ League of Texas Fellowship Program right before graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Spring 2020.

Alumnus and Executive Director of Development shares Marianist spirit

Before accepting St. Mary’s University’s Marianist Heritage Award earlier this year, Fred “Steve” Hemphill (B.A. ’05) made a list of every Marianist who has impacted his life — 42 names.

Alumna becomes a successful direct mail marketer while putting her family first

Five kids and one stay-at-home mom starting a home-based business sounds like a risky equation. However, when you factor in Brenda Stewart’s determination to put her family first, it all adds up to the perfect solution for her success.

Environmental Science alumna earns state grant for superior teaching

Christina Lopez (B.A. ’18) was 28 years old when she enrolled at St. Mary’s University to study Environmental Science, hoping to teach it someday to young students.

‘You have to be aligned,’ says alumni couple who discovered a lifetime of love

When it comes to a lasting romance, it’s not just a matter of the heart, but also the head. That’s what Sonya (B.A. ’95) and Enrique Alemán Jr. (B.A. ’93) have learned over their 25-year marriage — a love that began at St. Mary’s University in 1993.

Pivoting with excellence: George Hernandez Jr.

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with alumnus George Hernandez Jr., President and CEO of University Health System.

Pivoting with excellence: Alejandra “Alex” Lopez

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with alumna Alejandra "Alex" Lopez, Economic Development Director for the City of San Antonio.

Pivoting with excellence: Nelson Wolff

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with alumnus and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Pivoting with excellence: Alumna’s advice as nurse during pandemic: ‘be kinder to one another’

June 23, 2020. Riverside, California – an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. A makeshift emergency room without air-conditioning inside Parkview Community Hospital – a small-volume hospital that served mostly nursing home patients before the coronavirus pandemic.

St. Mary’s alumna uncovers Aztec history as Library of Congress intern

Recent St. Mary’s University alumna Maria Guadalupe “Lupita” Partida had a rare opportunity to step into the mind of an Aztec messenger through her remote internship this summer with the Library of Congress.

Alumni support St. Mary’s and each other through lifelong friendship

Michael “Mickey” Schott (B.B.A. ’68) peers over first base toward the green outfield. The bat makes a loud crack! Schott fields the ball and tags the runner out. The memories flood his mind like it happened yesterday, but it has been more than 50 years.

View All

Arts and Humanities

Theology grad and drummer continues search for meaning

Trivett Wingo (M.A. ’20), in his search for meaning and purpose, has lived many lives — as a drummer for a world-touring band, as an accountant and now as a St. Mary’s University graduate seeking to fulfill his knowledge quest.

With nearly six decades serving St. Mary’s, Political Science professor concludes a legendary career

Charles Cotrell, Ph.D., aka Charlie. To generations of St. Mary’s University alumni, his name signals a jaw-dropping 55-year teaching career, or serving as the University’s first lay president from 2000 to 2012.

Public History student follows Old Spanish Trail to award-winning conclusion

Glory Turnbull (B.A. ’20), a student in the Master of Arts in Public History program at St. Mary’s University, received in May the Student Excellence Award from Texas Digital Libraries for digitizing archival documents and subsequently creating an exhibit on the Old Spanish Trail (OST) — a 2,817-mile automobile route constructed in the early 20th century stretching from St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California.

Peruvian student finds success in economic research

Ana Paula Saravia had every intention of attending college in her home country of Peru — until a St. Mary’s University admission counselor visited her Marianist high school on a recruiting visit.

Longtime local educator and writer discovers literary confidence at St. Mary’s

The mind of Rafael Castillo (B.A. ’75), Ph.D., is like a nonstop gear, housing an inquisitive, wide-ranging vision that has marked him as a man of letters for decades.

Students collect historical information for coronavirus digital archive

By the time the coronavirus pandemic began impacting the St. Mary’s University community, faculty and students in the Department of History had already begun documenting the swift and historical changes reshaping the Rattler landscape.

Pivoting with excellence: Allison Gray

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with theology professor Allison Gray.

Pivoting with excellence: Communications professor puts student needs first

Taking advantage of the flexibilities of online learning, Communications Assistant Professor Amanda Hill, Ph.D., has made virtual learning more beneficial for all her students.

Sociology professor helps launch new Public Health certificate

At no time in modern history has the need for public health expertise been more striking, nor has the call to rectify inequities in the nation’s public health system been louder.

Environmental Science major publishes children’s book

The summer entering her sophomore year of college, Midori Flores, an Environmental Science junior at St. Mary’s University, began work on her first children’s book.

The graduate counseling program prepares the next generation of mental health professionals

One in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness. But help is on the way. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors will grow 25% this decade.

Communication Studies major turns campus fossil hunter

Karina Nanez, senior Communication Studies major, has collected rocks — almost daily — since age 5. The El Paso native picked up the hobby from her aunt Josefina, who inspired in her an early sense of wonderment at the natural world.

View All

Athletics and Recreation

St. Mary’s soccer coach discovers passion for public history

While attending the Master of Arts in Public History program at St. Mary’s University, Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach Adam Nerio (M.A. ’20) started his days on the field at 5 a.m. for team training.

Pivoting with excellence: Men’s Soccer captain continues studies from Brazil

Deni Cresto, a junior from Curitiba, Brazil, studying Exercise and Sport Science, often refers to a message from St. Mary’s University Men’s Soccer Head Coach Johnny Clifford: “Control what you can control.”

Rattler Baseball player graduates to research scientist

Like young baseball fans around the world, Jeff Wigdahl dreamed of making the big league — Major League Baseball.

New St. Mary’s coach among first female varsity collegiate esports coaches

Breaking into the world of esports has been a challenge for women. At St. Mary’s University, Kaitlin Teniente found her chance to become the first head coach — leading the new varsity Esports Program.

Big Solve: Changing the culture

The loss of the opening game of the Fall 2019 Men’s Soccer season felt like a make-or-break moment. But it wasn’t just the loss that stung — it was the way we lost.

Soccer player Pato Botello Faz inks pro deal

In his senior season on the St. Mary’s University Men’s Soccer team, Pato Botello Faz took the Heartland Conference by storm and signed to play with a United Soccer League club in Michigan, the Lansing Ignite.

Roller derby members bring track lessons to St. Mary’s

“Just put a Band-Aid on it.” This was Melanie Call’s nonchalant response after receiving a busted lip playing for the Alamo City Roller Girls (ACRG), San Antonio’s women’s roller derby team.

Coaching for Impact

Hannah Petersen heard stories of how difficult it would be to say goodbye to her new friends in Vietnam after a three-week stay of service in Summer 2017.

Alumna sets the stage for Super Bowl LI

Erica Baum (B.S. ’96) always dreamed of doing something bigger than herself — she just didn’t realize how literal that might be.

You Don’t Know Sumo

Jessica Brower has, perhaps, the best icebreaker in the history of conversation. The diminutive St. Mary’s University senior tells people, quite matter-of-factly, that she’s a sumo wrestler.

St. Mary’s Grad Becomes Youngest Head Coach in Mexican Professional Basketball History

It might not seem like an obvious connection, but for Eric Weissling (B.B.A. ’10), his St. Mary’s University business education is a perfect match for his career as a professional basketball coach.

The Year of the Rattler

St. Mary’s Athletics has strung together many impressive seasons in many different sports during recent years, but 2014-2015 will go down as something special: three sports in tight national championship chases, buzzer-beating playoff wins, and a record number of academic award winners, just to name a few.

View All

Business

New Vice Provost leads renamed Career and Professional Development Center

In her new role as Vice Provost for Vocation and Career Services, Stephanie Ward sees her mission as a simple one: helping students find purpose in their careers.

Kenyan alumna breaks barriers in leadership role at footwear company

Jeddidah Thotho (B.B.A. ’98) is as self-assured stepping off a global planning call for Bata Shoe Kenya PLC — the country’s largest footwear company — as she is stepping into her favorite pair of Bata Comfit boots to care for her two children.

Management majors launch woman-owned fashion businesses

For some St. Mary’s University students, like Management major Nadia Carrasco-Vasquez, who graduated this May, owning a business is a lifelong dream — in her case, since childhood days in her mom’s coffee shop in Arizona.

St. Mary’s programs fight COVID-19 job loss

Laura Thompson was in the midst of organizing a natural hair event at San Antonio’s Henry B. González Convention Center when COVID-19 spread across the region in Spring 2020.

MBA student and entrepreneur hones vocation toward common good at St. Mary’s

Nick Ramos, who turned 26 in May, had already launched a couple of businesses before he enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at St. Mary’s University in 2020.

Pivoting with excellence: Sung-Tae (Daniel) Kim

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with business professor Sung-Tae (Daniel) Kim.

Pivoting with excellence: Robbie Bishop-Monroe

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with business professor Robbie Bishop-Monroe.

Big Solve: Bridging Economic Divides

Economic divide — it’s the common threat to a global society. For example, mango farmers in Haiti earn 2% of revenues for their labor. That’s only two cents for every dollar of mangoes sold.

Alum to help San Antonio’s economy by boosting entrepreneurship

Flourishing through innovation underpins not only Rene Dominguez’s life, but also his career in economic development in the Alamo City.

Understanding industrial organizational psychology propels new career options

Studies consistently show the most promising careers now require “softer” relationship-oriented abilities paired with strong analytical skills. For instance, the role of human resources manager landed in the 35th slot among 800 fastest growing occupational fields in the United States.

Certificate program fills gap in soaring demand for business intelligence experts

Predictions show the world will generate 163 zettabytes of data annually by 2025, according to the research group IDC. Businesses are forecast to create and manage 60% of that data.

Management major launches online luxury eyelash business

Nadia Carrasco-Vasquez hadn’t been at St. Mary’s University a full semester before thinking, “I’m tired of being broke. I need to do something with my education.”

View All

Community

A summer escape with St. Mary’s authors

This list of Rattler reads will help your mind escape to another place with books by St. Mary’s students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Collegiate cats find companionship at St. Mary’s

At any given time, the St. Mary’s University campus is home to at least 10 free-ranging felines.  Marty, Ringo, Possum and Oliver hang around Blume Library, while A.J., who has made a shelter of campus for more than a decade, frequents the Marianist Residence in her old age.

Pivoting with excellence: St. Mary’s community adapts in response to pandemic

At St. Mary’s University, at no time in our history has our ability to succeed as a team been tested as it has amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At no time has our ability to come together ensured the future of the University and our region as we have this year.

Pivoting with excellence: Housekeeping staff continue their spotless record

During a pandemic, proper cleaning is crucial. Fortunately for the St. Mary’s community, the Housekeeping Department went above and beyond even before COVID-19.

Pivoting with excellence: Rattler Success Center supports students in online learning

At the University made the transition to online, the Rattler Success Center (RSC) was one step ahead, having already begun online tutoring earlier in the 2019-2020 academic year.

International mother and son graduate in St. Mary’s first virtual Commencement

Most students who go to college leave behind proud parents at home. For Abdulrahman Almaghlooth (B.A. ’20), he not only went to college with his mother, Reema Alhowaish (Ph.D. ’20), but also graduated with her in the spring as part of St. Mary’s University’s first virtual Commencement ceremony.

Graduate student escapes homeland for St. Mary’s, thrives at new safe haven

Christmas Day, 2018. A couple of bags in hand, Shaima Khalaf flew into San Antonio to start a new life as a student in the Master of Arts in English Literature and Language program at St. Mary’s University.

St. Mary’s faculty and staff tackle society’s biggest challenges

At St. Mary’s University, our campus community talks a lot about educating leaders for the common good — a noble yet, on first glance, abstract notion. What does it look like when our faculty and staff apply their expertise to solving some of humanity’s biggest problems?

University counselors, staff adapt to meet students’ holistic health needs

Universities across the country, including St. Mary’s University, have been grappling with increasing mental health concerns among their student bodies. Compounding those existing challenges are the spread of the coronavirus across the United States and the significant shifts in the way we work, learn, teach and live.

Students succeed with help from The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign

The gifts of The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign have already made a huge impact on student success. Students and faculty share their paths to success through the short story and quotes.

The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign gifts bring glory to a St. Mary’s University education

One gift alone can contribute to transformative educational opportunities — the defining moments that change a student’s trajectory from unsure to successful, elevate a professor’s research into the national limelight and support the University community in its faith journey with Catholic and Marianist traditions.

Professor and student research St. Mary’s Hispanic-serving history

Gerald E. Poyo, Ph.D., resolved to tell the story of St. Mary’s University’s history with the intention of uncovering its Hispanic historical narrative. What he found was the University’s foundation, from the very start, was rooted in a call to serve Mexican children.

View All

Faith and Service

Through transformational leadership, St. Mary’s enhances academic programs, student development and faith formation

With new challenges arising daily, and old ways of life coming into question, St. Mary’s University believes one answer to uncertainty remains one of the bedrocks of a Marianist university — educating for transformational leaders.

After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican double-major regains confidence at St. Mary’s

When Wilzave Guzman thinks of her homeland — Puerto Rico — she is filled with good memories of growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood, volunteering with military organizations to help feed the island’s needy. But for the senior double majoring in Environmental Science and in International and Global Studies there is also pain and, at the same time, acceptance and awe at the vast power of Mother Nature.

Pivoting with excellence: The Rattler Impact Scholarship awards over $1.2 million to nearly 1,000 students

In July, through the generosity of the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association, President Mengler and his wife, Mona, combined with University funds, St. Mary’s offered the Rattler Impact Scholarship to further support nearly 1,000 students in Fall 2020.

Pivoting with excellence: Mask Squad takes on safety measures

Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear masks. The Mask Squad — a group of about 80 St. Mary’s University students who were trained and are committed to the health and safety of every member of our community — have worked to stem the spread of COVID-19 on campus this fall.

Chapel Choir releases video collaborations amid pandemic

Since 2007, more than 100 students at St. Mary’s University have sung their hearts out for the masses as proud participants of Chapel Choir.

Staff member leads virtual prayer sessions amidst coronavirus pandemic

When the coronavirus pandemic hit San Antonio during spring break – temporarily paralyzing St. Mary’s University’s prayer community – it didn’t take long for Jessica Uhlig, Ed.D., Executive Director of Marianist Educational Associates, to place her faith in technology.

Ethics expert proposes framework for “Voting Catholic”

While there’s no perfect way to “Vote Catholic,” theologian Julie Hanlon Rubio, Ph.D., proposes a framework for helping the faithful make tough decisions during election season. Rubio is a Professor of Social Ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.

Students and faculty showcase the formation of faith at St. Mary’s

Find out how our students and faculty are better able to strengthen their beliefs through the gifts of The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign through Q&A and quotes.

St. Mary’s students study religious pilgrimage in Israel

From following the steps of Jesus’ crucifixion at Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa to visiting the Western Wall and the Dead Sea, 14 students in a Theology course this spring visited important Israeli sites of pilgrimage in the Christian, Catholic, Jewish and Islamic faith traditions.

University mission meets Marianist calling to improve neighborhood

For 71 years, Holy Rosary Catholic Church and St. Mary’s University have been neighbors on San Antonio’s West Side. Literally steps apart, these two Marianist institutions have largely existed in parallel. Now, there are significant efforts to converge their futures — and strengthen the neighborhoods around them in the process.

West Side native embraces a giving spirit

Growing up on the West Side of San Antonio, Amelia “Amy” Nieto (B.B.A. ’89, M.P.A. ’97) remembers summer evenings riding her bike from her childhood home on Marquette Street to the St. Mary’s University campus, waving to Brother William J. Hamm, S.M., on his nightly runs.

History’s role in faith and law will enrich Red Mass

As members of the legal community prepare to reflect on the intersection of faith and law during Red Mass in October, it may be equally important to remember how faith has played a part in 300 years of San Antonio history.

View All

Law

Five tips for first-year J.D. students

In your first year of law school, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning. Everything feels so different from your undergraduate experience. The assigned readings never seem to end. Here are five tips I learned as a J.D. student in the Class of 2023 that may help incoming law students find success from the very start.

J.D. students with military backgrounds click with St. Mary’s values

Despite having no family or connections in San Antonio, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rachel Barr found comfort in one of the core values of the St. Mary’s University School of Law — service.

J.D. students juggle law school challenges while raising their families

Law school isn’t easy, but in addition to all of the usual challenges, some students at the St. Mary’s University School of Law must also balance school life with raising a family.

St. Mary’s Law celebrates five-year anniversary of Master of Jurisprudence Program

This year marks the five-year anniversary of the St. Mary’s University School of Law Master of Jurisprudence Program.

San Antonio’s City Clerk uses Master of Jurisprudence degree to advance her career

At age 12, desperate for healthy home life, Tina Flores (M.Jur. ’17) fought to be in foster care. Her mother was battling drug addiction, unable to care for Flores and her siblings. Her father was in prison. They had no food, electricity or hope. Even as a child, Flores knew she had to escape the toxic environment and sought emancipation from her parents to begin her life anew.

St. Mary’s lawyer heads new civil rights division in Bexar County

One of alumnus Daryl Harris’ favorite quotes comes from Charles Hamilton Houston, an attorney who played a role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws: “A lawyer is either a social engineer or a parasite on society.”

Mentor Circles Program connects J.D. students with the legal community

Last fall, St. Mary’s University School of Law Dean Patricia Roberts, J.D., led the law school in a new effort to partner with its alumni and the San Antonio Bar Association and connect second- and third-year J.D. students with experienced lawyer mentors.

Legal tech CEO invents new approach to common legal service

Even before becoming an expert on expunctions as CEO of San Antonio-based Easy Expunctions, Yousef Kassim (J.D. ’13) was familiar with the process of removing information pertaining to an arrest, charge or conviction from a person’s record.

After a lengthy pursuit, St. Mary’s alum earns two master’s degrees

Roberto Ruiz dreamed of earning his master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology (IO) from St. Mary’s University. He made many attempts to get into the program, but after 13 years, he felt the possibility slipping away.

Law student powers through COVID-19, February winter storm, to finish strong

Rising second-year J.D. student Michael Tucker, from San Antonio, was halfway through his 47-page brief in the Spring 2021 semester at the St. Mary’s University School of Law when he caught COVID-19 and was out of commission for nearly two weeks.

Recent graduate honed legal writing skills at St. Mary’s Law

For most of her undergraduate career, Rebecca Fuller (J.D. ’21) thought she wanted to go into the medical field. It wasn’t until one of her professors called her into his office and asked her to consider pursuing at least a minor in writing that she realized she had a talent for it.

Graduating J.D. student works toward expanding rights of sexual violence survivors

In March 2020, Senate Bill 146 was signed into law in Indiana. The legislation expanded the rights of sexual violence survivors to receive trauma-informed care.

View All

Science and Tech

A groundbreaking medical team — featuring St. Mary’s alumni — changed the way we treat COVID-19

It’s April 2020 and a team of researchers at Houston Methodist are studying the effects of convalescent plasma — blood plasma donated from recovered patients — in treating the complicated COVID-19 virus. One day, the group began discussing where they attended college.

Environmental Science professor seeks genetic link between coyotes and endangered red wolves

In 2019, Associate Professor of Environment Science Melissa Karlin, Ph.D., began collecting samples of coyote scat in select Texas regions, hoping to discover a genetic link to a critically endangered animal: the red wolf.

Biology junior co-authors research in three respected science journals during pandemic

Biology junior Cherry Rubannelsonkumar is having a prolific publishing year in 2020-2021: three of her co-authored articles featured in respected science journals, including Cell.

Researchers aim to increase safety for aircraft and nuclear facilities

Juan Ocampo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is leading two projects focused on the structural integrity of aircraft and nuclear facilities, drawing students into the research process.

Pivoting with excellence: Hugo P. Salazar Jr., M.D.

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with University physician Dr. Hugo Salazar.

Pivoting with excellence: Juan Ocampo

In an effort to spotlight those who are Pivoting with Excellence, Gold & Blue sat down with engineering professor Juan Ocampo.

Pivoting with excellence: Academic Technology Services staff step up to ensure seamless online instruction

Prior to Spring 2020, Academic Technology Services provided Online Teaching Certification to about 12 faculty members each semester. Between April and the start of Fall 2020 classes, a staggering 170 faculty members completed the training.

Seniors share how St. Mary’s prepped them for medical school

True to St. Mary’s University’s commitment to delivering excellent education in the health fields, more than 460 graduates — since 1979 — have gone to study at medical school.

St. Mary’s new drone lab buzzes toward completion in Fall 2020

Construction is underway on the new Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Laboratory — or Drone Lab — at St. Mary’s University, slated for completion in October.

Electrical Engineering professor uses artificial intelligence to predict heart disease

Professor of Electrical Engineering Vahid Emamian, Ph.D., has long had his heart set on mentoring future engineers at St. Mary’s University — but also on applying cutting-edge machine learning methods to help doctors monitor heart health.

Big Solve: Mathematics for the Common Good

Last spring, I toured the Southwest Research Institute with a group of students to learn about summer internships. In a whirlwind overview, our host told us about some of their current projects and the cutting-edge mathematics being used.

Sixty years after discovery by St. Mary’s University students, Natural Bridge Caverns still unfurling mysteries

In the land before time — well, 140 million years ago — Southwest Texas lay under a warm ocean. During the Cretaceous period — about 60 million years ago — tectonic movements cracked spaces in subterranean rock.

View All

Media

Back to top