Fourteen students to learn civic leadership

Fourteen sophomores at the University of the Incarnate Word comprise the 2015 cohort of Cardinal Community Leaders sponsored by the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership.

The students, who applied last spring when they were freshmen, are involved in a weeklong orientation through Friday, April 14, that will further acquaint them with the center, social justice, leadership, and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word history and mission.

The students also are participating in a community service project at SAMMinistries and visiting sites in San Antonio, said Daniel Espinoza, the center’s director of student engagement. Espinoza is also a doctoral student at UIW.

Ettling Center staff, UIW faculty and Incarnate Word sisters are leading sessions at the orientation.

“This orientation will provide a solid foundation for our leaders as they prepare to serve in our community,” Espinoza said.

In addition, the students also will be enrolled this fall in a special, three-hour credit course on social justice leadership.

The course will give them “opportunities to broaden their perspectives and interact reflectively in cross-cultural environments and engage with social justice issues in the local and global community,” Espinoza said.

“Many of these students attend college while employed or meeting major family responsibilities. Additionally, they typically have minimal experience and leadership modeling to draw upon as they prepare for their professional careers in a multicultural society. This course will help address some of these challenges by providing an introduction to literacy in civic leadership, which will then create informed, responsible, and lifelong engaged citizen leaders.”

The Ettling Center’s mission is “in the spirit of Christian service, to develop leaders who promote social justice in partnership with diverse local and global communities.”

The center — a partnership between UIW and CHRISTUS Health — is an initiative guided by the principles of Catholic social teaching. (The center) is dedicated to promoting the common good by educating enlightened and concerned leaders committed to learning, research, advocacy and service for those in most need.”

The center believes “civically engaged leaders collaborate in partnership with local and global community stakeholders to achieve individual/social transformation while respecting the dignity of each individual and all creation.”

The center’s mission draws inspiration from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word who came to Texas in 1866 and created the ministries of CHRISTUS and UIW, both of which continue to sustain numerous education and health initiatives within the United States and internationally.


The new Cardinal Community Leaders include:

Lauren Axler, a rehabilitative science major from Boerne, Texas.

Mariaelena Boyle, a double major in biochemistry and art from Seguin, Texas.

Ha Cao Khanh Le, a pre-optometry major from San Antonio.

Chelsea Castaneda, a biology major from San Antonio.

Maria Del Carmen Barron Esper, an international sciences major from San Antonio.

Aralexis Hargrove, a nursing major from Live Oak, Texas.

Mariella Metz-Yeverino, an English major from San Antonio.

Anastasia Monroy, a nursing major from Victoria, Texas.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Morales, a communication arts major concentrating in journalism from San Antonio.

   Daniela Portillo, an undeclared major from San Antonio.

Natalia Ramon, a biology major from San Antonio.

   Tyler Seno, a biology major from San Antonio.

   Matthew Silvas, a pre-pharmacy major from Live Oak.

   Corey Trevor-Wilson, a management information systems major from San Antonio.