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News

Building Momentum

After a national search in 2023, Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., was selected as the University’s 14th president. Serving as Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology from 2009 to 2021, he was instrumental in creating the Blank Sheppard Innovation Center and helping launch the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program. In this issue, Gold & Blue magazine welcomes Erevelles into his new role.

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News

Alumni

ƵƬ’s celebrates 40 Years of Gold & Blue magazine

Gold & Blue magazine is celebrating 40 years. Our alumni, faculty, staff, students and Marianists have shared their journeys across these pages. They have deepened our sense of community by giving us a glimpse into their lives through stories and photographs.

ƵƬ’s authors offer up summer reading options

Alumni and faculty from ƵƬ's University offer up new reading materials, helping you find a cool way to stay out of the summer heat this year.

Couple who met in Biology class celebrate 10 years together

Marina Salgado (B.A. ’17) and her husband, Mario Salgado (B.A. ’17), didn’t expect to find chemistry in a Biology class. But in Fall 2013, the couple, in the first semester of their first year of college, met in Biology 1301 at ƵƬ’s University.

Mengler’s steadfast work helps The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign reach new heights

The success of ƵƬ’s University’s largest campaign didn’t happen without President Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., logging thousands of miles, shaking hundreds of hands and emphatically sharing a vision about the future of its campus and schools.

ƵƬ’s authors offer diverse collection of fall reads

Poetry, public relations, knitting and novels about crime and culture — these recently published books from ƵƬ’s University alumni cover a wide variety of fascinating topics.

Military veteran MBA alumna becomes knitting author 

Ashleigh Wempe started knitting and pattern designing to pass the time while transitioning from the U.S. Air Force to the ƵƬ's University MBA program.

Giving Day 2023 ƵƬfuels Rattler success

Jaclyn Quilantan, Ph.D. (B.S. ’12), said ƵƬ’s University was good to her when she was attending school for her undergraduate degree. Now, she is working to give someone else that same chance. Quilantan is one of many alumni who donate during the annual ƵƬ’s University Giving Day.

Keep your mind active with our summer read picks

These books, written by ƵƬ’s University students, faculty and alumni, take readers on an educational journey, ranging in topics from philosophy to neurology.

Alumni entrepreneurs discover career and companionship at ƵƬ’s 

Despite both being students in the Greehey School of Business, Aaron Thomas and Nisi Heredia (B.B.A. ’11), now Nisi Thomas, didn’t cross paths until they met at a student gathering.

ƵƬ’s alumni find benefits through post-graduation guide

From social media to local chapters, from campus events to fun perks, ƵƬ's University alumni can find many paths to stay connected to their alma mater through the guide below.

Beat the heat with summer reads

Need a break from the heat? Stay inside with a one of these books written by our very own ƵƬ’s University alumni and faculty. 

A ƵƬ’s degree 70 years in the making

For Charles Anderson, 88, the Doctor of Commerce, honoris causa, was more than just another milestone in a life full of accomplishments. Instead, this moment 70 years in the making.

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Arts and Humanities

ƵƬ’s alumnus uses military position to mentor others

Joseph Puntoriero sat in a military base in Lebanon with shaky Wi-Fi just hoping it would hold long enough to submit his final assignment. Ultimately, the International Relations degree aided his journey to become a military mentor to future leaders.

ƵƬ’s History student researches one of San Antonio’s first desegregated clubs 

History major Jadyn Evans shared with the San Antonio community her research into the Keyhole Club, one of the area's first desegregated nightclubs.

ƵƬ’s undergraduates embrace mock trial team

During his internship at the Bexar County Courthouse, Eduardo Saucedo Moreno struck up a conversation with a local attorney about the lack of a mock trial team for undergraduate students at ƵƬ’s University. The interaction sparked an interest that helped him establish a program at ƵƬ's University.

Forensic Science transfer student finds path to community impact

As a ƵƬ’s University junior transfer student majoring in Forensic Science (Criminology Option), Anna Marie Wojnar believes working as a crime scene investigator or in forensics can impact others.

Wall Street Journal recognizes Economics professor for accurate 2023 ƵƬpredictions

She may not have a crystal ball, but Economics Associate Professor Belinda Román was recognized by the Wall Street Journal for giving a most accurate 2023 ƵƬU.S. economic forecast.

ƵƬ’s Spanish professor wins major Peruvian literary award

Christian Elguera Olórtegui, a novelist who teaches Spanish at ƵƬ’s University, has won a top literary prize in his home country of Peru, the Copé Award.

Big grants and revamped career services enhance the student experience

Through grants and a realigned career services office, the University’s faculty and staff continuously look to improve the college experience, give hands-on learning opportunities and pinpoint a vocation that aligns with students’ passions.

Brothers excel with Marianist education at ƵƬ’s

Brothers Kai and Aidan Solonka chose ƵƬ’s University to continue the Marianist education they first encountered at Central Catholic.

ƵƬ’s professors to lead panel at weekend anime convention

Benjamin “Josh” Doty, Ph.D., said he has been an anime fan since he first stumbled upon an episode of Dragon Ball as a child. Now, he and Associate Professor of Philosophy Eric Chelstrom, Ph.D., will have the opporutnity to share their passion for anime.

MPA student helps communities from Brownsville to White House

Emmanuel Sanchez believes in the power of civil servants to improve their communities. The combined-degree Political Science and Public Administration student has seen the impacts first-hand during internships from Brownsville to the White House

Leading Ladies: Nancy LaGreca seeks inclusivity through humanities

Nancy LaGreca, Ph.D., is no stranger to diversity.  Growing up in Niagara Falls, New York, she heard multiple languages at home — from her father’s Sicilian to her mother’s Slovakian to their common language, English. 

Alumna continues her passion for service at USAA 

As the corporate responsibility director at USAA, Laura Cabanilla has helped distribute tens of millions of dollars to philanthropic projects that make a difference in the San Antonio community and individuals’ lives.

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Athletics and Recreation

ƵƬ’s University athletes vie for Winter Games glory

Although they had never met, Winter Vinecki and Collin Storms (B.A. '22) paths tie them from not-so-snowy ƵƬ’s University to the same Olympic training facilities in Lake Placid, New York.

Rattler Baseball team member takes computer science talents to the major league

Combining his computer science studies at ƵƬ’s University with his passion for baseball, Cayden Garcia made a splash with the Appalachian League, one of the longest-running baseball leagues in the history of professional baseball.

ƵƬ’s soccer standout dreams big on and off the field

Many children dream of becoming a professional soccer player, a lawyer or an international businessperson. For international student Daniel “Dani” Gimena, these aspirations aren’t just fantasies.

Basketball alumna makes Harlem Globetrotters’ roster 

With a personality matching her ability on the court, Arysia Porter (B.A. ’19) has taken her talents from studying Criminology and playing Rattler Women’s Basketball around the world with the Harlem Globetrotters.

STUNT program hurdles its way into Rattler Athletics varsity sports portfolio

Toe touches, back tucks and high-air basket tosses signaled the very first practice this summer by   recruits to ƵƬ’s University’s newest varsity sport — STUNT. 

Rattler Athletics uses new technology to improve performance 

ƵƬ’s University student-athletes — especially in Soccer, Golf and Volleyball — are accessing the latest technology to improve their game, which was made possible partly by donations to Rattler Athletics. 

Women’s Basketball player brings her talents to school and courts

As a five-sport student-athlete in high school in Fredericksburg, Hannah Wilson (B.A. ’21) learned to balance school, sports, a social life and more.

Golf alum journeys from ƵƬ’s to the airwaves

Before Peter Burns (B.A. '02) ascended to among the most prominent personalities in college sports, he was searching for direction and guidance in the classrooms of ƵƬ's University.

ƵƬ’s soccer coach discovers passion for public history

While attending the Master of Arts in Public History program at ƵƬ’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 ƵƬ’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 ƵƬ’s coach among first female varsity collegiate esports coaches

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

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Business

Greehey School of Business connects students through mentorship 

The Greehey School of Business Mentorship Program, open to all business students, is a voluntary program that allows students to seek additional support.

MBA, Industrial Engineering alumna mentors aspiring students

Local alumna Valeria Garza graduated from the Industrial Engineering bachelor's program to earn an MBA with online coursework while working as a software engineer at USAA.

Fall graduate follows family tradition by becoming ƵƬ’s alumna

As a self-described “sometimes procrastinator,” Isabella Tamez knew the small class sizes at ƵƬ's would hold her accountable to herself and her classmates.

ƵƬ’s students gain access to business attire

The Rattler Wardrobe at the Greehey School of Business loans clothing to business students who need attire for professional events.

St. Louis alum discovers vocation at ƵƬ’s

Andrew Tague (B.B.A. ’23) decided to take a chance on Texas and ƵƬ's University to continue exploring a Marianist education.

Business and Law undergraduate sees big potential in new major

Layla Dickerson went from being an elementary student who had to sit in the hallway because she kept acting out to a rising sophomore at ƵƬ’s University who helped advocate for the new B.B.A. in Business and Law.

U.S. Army Reserves major earns MBA while serving in Germany in support of Ukraine

Raul Rodriguez, a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, was a year into his Master of Business Administration program at ƵƬ’s University in Summer 2022 when he received orders to relocate to Germany to help support Ukrainian efforts.

Leading Ladies: Rowena Ortiz-Walters looks to foster growth in business students

Since joining ƵƬ’s University as Dean in 2021, Rowena Ortiz-Walters, Ph.D., said her mission is to find ways to be inclusive by fostering a program that welcomes students from all backgrounds. 

Texas Facilities Commission director oversees massive construction at the Capitol 

Overseeing $1.5 billion in facilities projects across the state falls to Executive Director of the Texas Facilities Commission Mike Novak (B.B.A. ’75).

Finance and Risk Management senior dives into service 

Zane Smith fell in love with ƵƬ’s University the first time he set foot on campus for his college tour. Now, he makes an impact as a tour guide, President's Ambassador and scholar.

Alumnus transitions from military law to the business world

When serving in the United States Army, William Brown, J.D. (M.B.A. '20) now a regulatory relations attorney at USAA’s Chief Legal Office, regularly packed up and went wherever needed.

Defining Moment: Bill Greehey’s gifts fund multiple ventures

As the largest donor in ƵƬ’s history, Bill Greehey has continuously shared his success to benefit students.

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Community

Winston Erevelles shares his journey to the ƵƬ’s presidency and outlook on the next chapter

Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., has been a fixture of the University’s School of Science, Engineering and Technology as its long-time Dean and Professor of Industrial Engineering. On June 1, he became ƵƬ's University's 14th president.

Honoring our legacy, shaping our future

This summer, ƵƬ’s University will celebrate its 172nd anniversary. It is deeply moving and inspiring to reflect on the hopes and aspirations the Marianist brothers must have had as they helped boldly lay the first stones of St. Louis Hall in the late 1800s. 

Chris Erevelles highlights her trusting partnership with husband Winston Erevelles

Since a faith-inspired 2001 meeting in Pittsburgh placed Christine “Chris” Erevelles, M.D., in touch with her future husband, Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., their trusting partnership has grown along with their dedication to ƵƬ’s. Learn more about her in this Q&A.

Peruvian student helps fellow international students

When she was a high schooler in Lima, Peru, Brissa Campos Toscano never imagined she would one day attend college in the United States. After arriving at ƵƬ’s University in 2021, she made it her mission to help other international students.

Retiring President Thomas M. Mengler leaves lasting mark

Over the course of 12 years, Thomas Mengler — the second most famous face of ƵƬ's behind Rattler Man — shared his vision of expanding the University’s Catholic and Marianist traditions.

Board Chair reflects on President Tom Mengler’s tenure

Nearly a dozen years of visionary leadership and unwavering dedication have reshaped ƵƬ’s University under the guidance of President Thomas M. Mengler, J.D.

ƵƬ’s community speaks about Tom and Mona Mengler’s tenure

As Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., prepares to retire as the 13th president of ƵƬ’s University, those who worked closest with him and his wife share their thoughts on the couple.

ƵƬ’s students share their favorite Thanksgiving traditions

As thoughts of turkey and gravy dance in people’s heads, we asked a few ƵƬ’s University students about their favorite holiday traditions.

ƵƬ’s employee reflects on Jovita Idár’s new quarter

ƵƬ’s employee Rose Ann Martinez celebrates her great-great-aunt, Jovita Idár, a Mexican American journalist and activist, being recognized on a U.S. quarter.

Leading Ladies: Five women at the top of their fields help steward academic excellence at ƵƬ’s

Since the University’s origins as an all-male school 170 years ago, women will hold all four dean’s roles as well as the role of vice provost for academic affairs for the first time.

Leading Ladies: Carolyn Tubbs relies on open communication as Vice Provost

Working with people of diverse backgrounds on topics requiring intense listening and understanding is something Carolyn Tubbs, Ph.D., has been doing most of her career.

San Antonio King Sejong Institute knits cultures together

With the help of the San Antonio King Sejong Institute at ƵƬ’s University, the two cultures are brought together through Korean language, art, music, drama and history classes.

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Faith and Service

Sister shares her calling to Theology

As a teenager, Sister LaReine-Marie Mosley, Ph.D., had already decided to venture into a life of religious practice. Celebrating 40 years since joining the Sisters of Notre Dame, Gold & Blue magazine sat down to get to know Mosley.

ƵƬ’s employee’s connection to the Marianist mission spans generations

Linda Muller (B.A. ’86, B.B.A. ’86, M.A. ’03), Director of Enterprise Systems and Services, never planned to attend ƵƬ’s University. But three degrees, a wedding, eight children and a 30-year career later, Muller is happy with God’s plans for her.

The Rev. Brandon Paluch revels in role at ƵƬ’s University 

Before he began to consider becoming a Marianist, the Rev. Brandon Paluch, S.M., learned the foundations of ministry on the golf course.  

Outgoing president’s faith touted as benefit to University

Since being selected as the University’s 13th president, Thomas Mengler’s goal has been to make ƵƬ’s not just a top-notch Catholic institution in the Southwest, but a premier university where people can “revitalize and expand” what makes exceptional Catholics and servant leaders.

Integrating Catholic Intellectual Tradition helps students become critical thinkers

Focusing on educating students to think beyond themselves, the core curriculum is instrumental to giving them a liberal arts education integrated with Catholic and Marianist values.

Presidential duo creates 12 memorable years at ƵƬ’s helm

Since 2012, Tom and Mona Mengler have embraced ƵƬ's University, the Marianist charism and San Antonio. The couple shares their thoughts on what the University's community has meant to them.

Alumna receives U.S. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022

From helping her community in her native Ghana by starting her first corporation at the age of 11, to years later receiving the U.S. Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, Brenya Twumasi, J.D. (M.A. ’98), has lived to serve.

SM Friends Program at ƵƬ’s encourages partnership

Arely Reyes, a member of the Marianist Leadership Program, met Brother Dan Stupka through the SM Friends Program, which enables students to pair with a Marianist brother as part of their community service requirement.

Theology alumna recognized globally for humanitarian work at the border

Before Sister Norma Pimentel (M.A. ’89) became executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, was named among TIME’s Most Influential People or was recognized by Pope Francis for her work with refugees at the U.S.-Mexico Border, she dreamed of being an artist.  

ƵƬ’s University puts its all into a seven-year climate effort

On Earth Day 2022, ƵƬ’s University faculty, staff and students were learning about the seven-year commitment to “care for our common home."

Defining Moment: Alumnus credits mission for his success

When Charles T. Barrett Jr. (B.B.A. ’62) decided to enroll at ƵƬ’s University, he did so wanting to get back to a school with Marianist teachings.  

Alumnus priest pens book of homilies during pandemic

When the Rev. David Garcia (B.A. ’71) was approached to write weekly homilies during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he initially refused.  

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Law

School of Law graduate from the RGV finds support during J.D. studies

When it came to picking a major, Hannah Orendain (J.D. ’24) had to decide between following in her father’s footsteps by becoming an attorney, or going to medical school.

Former TV journalist chooses career in law

Max Massey was a man between two worlds — one foot in broadcasting and the other in law school. It wasn’t long before he had to make a choice, cementing his decision to jump feet first into a career in law.

ƵƬ’s Law clinic students help keep our community housed

Eviction prevention is the focus of the ƵƬ's University School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic and the Real Estate Clinic.

Associate Dean makes humanitarian causes her career mission

ƵƬ's Law Associate Dean Ramona Lampley inspired much of her legal work on preventing forced labor in international supply chains.

Military veteran turns legal interest into second career

Using his military mindset and 20 years experience as a combat medic in the United States Army, David Louis would excel in his studies as he made the leap to ƵƬ’s School of Law.

Urban litigator brings small-town values to practice

Julia Mann (J.D. ’94) has held just about every job one could have at a law firm. She is the managing partner of Jackson Walker LLP’s San Antonio office and as a high school student, worked at the law firm of her father's office in Lake Jackson.

Law alumnus goes from academic struggles to top Dallas attorney

After his first semester at ƵƬ’s Law, C. Gregory Shamoun’s GPA was below what was required to continue. Undeterred, Shamoun not only raised his GPA, but graduated and became a sought-after attorney in Dallas.

Law alumnus founds environmental clean-up nonprofit

Tyler J. Ryska (J.D. ’17), an Austin-based attorney, founded a new environmental clean-up nonprofit, The Clean Initiative Project.

Alumnus leads international legal transactions in Mexico, philanthropic efforts at home

Many may see Alex Pérez (J.D. ’96) as an international attorney, a tax law expert or a leader in San Antonio’s philanthropic efforts as the San Antonio Area Foundation’s board chair. But he views himself, fundamentally, as an interpreter.

School of Law graduate aims to become a military attorney  

December School of Law graduate Meagan Folmar (J.D. ’23) plans to join the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Double alumna tackles Master of Jurisprudence program 

Bhakta is pursuing her Master of Jurisprudence with a Concentration in Compliance, Business Law and Risk: her third degree at ƵƬ’s.

Lawyer turned Marianist Novice finds his ministry at ƵƬ’s Law

As a young criminal lawyer in his home state of Querétaro, Mexico, Guillermo “Memo” Peña Contreras had no interest in the priesthood. Peña Contreras imagined life as a priest would leave him stuck inside a parish in a sedentary life. 

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Science and Tech

ƵƬ’s student studies native plant species for more sustainable landscape

Growing up in Lima, Peru, Jose Cornejo became environmentally conscious after studying at a Marianist high school that valued God’s creations. He would take those values to heart and decided to do something about to benefit the planet. 

Founding Director of Nursing shares path toward the ƵƬ’s Nursing Program

Gold & Blue magazine sat down with Donna M. Badowski, DNP, Vice Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology, and Founding Director of Nursing, to learn more about her background and get the inside scoop on the planned Nursing Program.

Pediatric nurse finds calling at ƵƬ’s University

Enrique Salinas, a first-generation student originally from Eagle Pass, earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from ƵƬ’s in 2019. After participating in undergraduate research opportunities and shadowing a medical doctor, a single day spent shadowing a nurse made all the difference in his career decision. 

ƵƬ’s Software Engineering graduate student improves systems

ƵƬ's University alumnus and master's student Ian Wells is fascinated by software engineering because it can improve processes and make lives easier.

Leading Ladies: Teresa Beam gets ready to start new dean’s role

Growing up in Columbia City, Indiana, Teresa “Teri” Beam, Ph.D., was an inquisitive child. Beam found herself fascinated with the sciences, specifically the subject of genetics.

Trailblazing couple immortalized with new campus building

Despite bestowing generous gifts, the couple, Leland T. Blank Ph.D. (B.S. ’67) and Sallie V. Sheppard, Ph.D., said teaching has always been their reward. So, when they learned their names would be immortalized on the Blank Sheppard Innovation Center now under construction, both said they were “beyond surprised.”

Alum at Department of Energy positions U.S. for its future

Zack Valdez, Ph.D. (B.S. ’10), finds motivational fuel in explaining complex science and increasing public trust in scientific findings by everyone from community members who need to understand their environment to Congressional decision-makers.

Environmental Science and English major studies coyote-red wolf link

Originally from Mexico, Bianca Ramos joined the ƵƬ’s community, eager to explore her passion for sharing the wonders of the natural world with others.

Biology junior sets sights on medical school and inspiring others  

Overcoming a lack of economic or educational resources, Jocelyn Torres is studying Biology and aiming for her next degree through the Joint Admission Medical Program.

Cybersecurity degree nets prestigious designation from NSA, DHS 

Being recognized as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense is more than securing a prominent designation for ƵƬ’s University — it also guarantees for students that their program is recognized by the federal government.   

Seasoned faculty, new equipment take the Forensic Science program to the next level

With the help of a multimillion-dollar grant, updated equipment and new professors, the Forensic Science program at ƵƬ’s University gives students specialized knowledge in identifying and analyzing physical evidence needed to succeed in their careers. 

Biology alumna appointed to presidential scientific committee

When Erika Gonzalez, M.D. (B.S. ’98), learned she had been chosen to sit on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science, she was in disbelief. 

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