UIW celebrates the Fall Class of 2018

Margaret Garcia | Wed Dec 12, 2018

San Antonio – University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) President Dr. Thomas M. Evans will confer degrees to nearly 1,300 professional, doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students at the Fall Commencement Ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Freeman Coliseum.

Admission to the commencement ceremony is by ticket only. Commencement will also be broadcast online. Live coverage will begin 15 minutes prior to start time at http://uiwtv.org/commencement/.

This graduating class completed a total of 44,584 hours of service in the community providing an economic impact totaling $1,100,779 in volunteer service hours. It is the UIW community’s hope that the graduates will continue this legacy of service as concerned and enlightened citizens in our society.

The 2018-2019 Moody Professor is Dr. Sharon Herbers, a professor in the Dreeben School of Education. Herbers came to UIW in 2005, drawn by the Mission of service, education and faith, the community’s commitment to live that Mission, and the diversity of the students she met. Her field of adult education provides her the opportunity to work with students of diverse ages, nationalities, cultures and professional backgrounds as they pursue their personal and professional goals in education or pastoral care. While at UIW, Herbers has been named the UIW Piper Professor, and has received the Mission Continues Sr. Margaret Rose Palmer Award for Education, as well as a Legacy Teaching Award. Her personal mission is to weave together research, teaching and service by applying knowledge gained from research to improve teaching practice and engaging class participants.

The professorship, established in 1971 by the Moody Foundation, reflects the recipient’s level of scholarship, teaching excellence and community service. The Moody Professor is the faculty member chosen to lead the faculty and carry the University Mace. The Commencement address to the December graduates is traditionally delivered by the Moody Professor and is often considered the students’ “last class.” 

The 2018 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission recipient is Carol Zernial ’89 MA. Zernial is a nationally recognized gerontologist who was named one of the nation’s Top 50 Influencers in Aging for 2017 by Next Avenue, the digital journalism arm of the PBS System. She holds a master’s degree in social gerontology from the University of the Incarnate Word and has been involved in the field of aging for over 25 years. Zernial currently serves as executive director of the WellMed Charitable Foundation and vice president of social responsibility for WellMed Medical Management. She is immediate past chair of the Board of Directors for the National Council on the Aging and is a member of the governor’s Aging Texas Well Advisory Committee. She is the producer and co-host of the podcast Caregiver SOS on Air. Zernial served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 2015 under President Barack Obama and in 2005 under President George W. Bush. She also served as a staff member to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging under President Bill Clinton. She is the former chair of the National Institute of Community-based Long-term Care, board member for the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and vice president of the Texas Association of Area Agencies on Aging. In 2008, she received the Outstanding Professional in Aging Award in Texas, and in 2017, she received the Murlin B. Johnson Legacy Award for her work to support aging services and care giving.

A Baccalaureate Mass is scheduled for 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15 in the Alice P. McDermott Convocation Center on the UIW Broadway campus. The San Antonio Pipes and Drums will perform processional and recessional music for Baccalaureate and Commencement. Lena Gokelman, director of Campus and Liturgical Music, will lead the musical direction for the 2018 Commencement.

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