Academic Advisory Board

The School of Professional Studies Academic Advisory Board is dedicated to supporting a diverse community of learners, including active-duty military, veterans and returning students. We aim to enhance academic excellence, ensure inclusivity, foster innovation and advocate for student success. We offer tailored support, promote quality education and value diversity. Striving to create an inclusive and innovative learning environment committed to integrity and collaboration, we engage with students, faculty and the broader community to overcome challenges and provide students with the tools they need to succeed and thrive in their educational and career pursuits. 

Student-Centered Support

We are dedicated to understanding the unique needs and aspirations of our student body, which includes active-duty and prior military personnel, military dependents and professionals returning to college. We aim to provide tailored academic guidance and support services that facilitate their success toward earning their degree. 


Academic Excellence

We uphold and enhance the academic rigor and quality of the School of Professional Studies. By offering expert insights and recommendations, we promote a culture of continuous improvement and excellence in teaching, curriculum development and program delivery. 


Inclusivity and Diversity

We are committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse community, valuing the experiences and perspectives of all our students. Our board actively works to create an environment where every student feels welcome and respected. 


Innovation and Adaptation

We recognize the ever-evolving nature of higher education and the unique challenges our students face. The Advisory Board is dedicated to promoting innovation in teaching and learning, leveraging technology and adapting to the changing needs of our student population. 


Community Engagement:

We seek to establish meaningful connections between the School of Professional Studies and the broader community, including employers and organizations. By doing so, we can create opportunities for our students, promote networking and enhance the relevance of our programs. 



We advocate for the interests and needs of our students, faculty and staff, striving to create an environment that is conducive to academic and personal growth. We support policies and practices that align with our mission and values. 


Our Values: 

  • Education: The University educates men and women who will become concerned and enlightened citizens. 
  • Truth: The faculty and students support one another in the search for the communication of truth. 
  • Faith: The University is committed to educational excellence in the context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. 
  • Service: The curriculum includes a global perspective and an emphasis on social justice and community service. 
  • Innovation: The university is open to thoughtful innovation that serves the spiritual and material needs of people. 


By adhering to this mission and these values, the Academic Advisory Board for the School of Professional Studies endeavors to create a nurturing and dynamic environment where students can thrive, overcome obstacles and transform their educational aspirations into successful, fulfilling careers. 

Advisory Board Members

Priscilla CamachoHeadshot of Academic Advisory Board member Priscilla Camacho

Chief Legislative, Industry & External Relations Officer
Alamo Colleges District

Priscilla joined the Alamo Colleges District in April 2020 and in her role focuses on legislative policy at the local, state and federal levels, building and maintaining relationships with industry partners, and collaborating with community organizations whose mission and work aligns with the Alamo Colleges.

Before joining the Alamo Colleges team, Priscilla spent a combined seven years with two of the largest chambers of commerce in the state of Texas. During her tenure at the Dallas Regional Chamber, she oversaw a team in charge of all advocacy efforts to support the North Texas region ensuring it remained the number one place in the country to live, work and build a business. Using a team of experts on local, state and federal issues, the Public Policy team focused on using influence in the development and implementation of policies at all levels of government to benefit the North Texas Region.

Priscilla spent almost five years with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Education and Workforce Development. In this role, she worked with chamber members and external stakeholders to develop public policy strategies related to education and workforce issues at the local, state and federal levels.

A family law attorney early in her career, Priscilla previously worked for several law firms in San Antonio, including Plunket & Gibson and Ford & Massey. She also owned and operated her own law practice for several years.

She is a native of Laredo, Texas, and graduated from St. Mary’s University with a degree in English Communication Arts. She received her law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law.

Priscilla has also served in various capacities on nonprofit and governmental boards including Past Chair of the Board for the Texas Young Lawyers Association, Mayoral Appointee for the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Board, Public Member of the San Antonio Police Department’s Training Advisory Committee, the County Judge Appointee for the Bexar County Child Welfare Board, and the Texans Care for Children board.

Recognized for her service to the bar and community, Priscilla has been named as a 40 under 40 leader by the San Antonio Business Journal, G.O.L.D. Award recipient from the Texas Tech University School of Law, Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Bexar County Women’s Bar Association, and a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star by Texas Monthly and Scene in SA Magazine.

Priscilla’s extensive experience in education, workforce and public policy on behalf of large Texas chambers provides the Alamo Colleges a constant and effective advocate on critical issues – at City Hall, in Austin, and in Washington, D.C.

Carlos de LeónHeadshot of Advisory Board member Carlos de Leon

San Antonio Manager
Romph Pou Agency

With over a decade of experience in South Texas, Carlos currently leads the San Antonio office of Romph Pou Agency, Louisiana's largest marketing agency representing clients in over 20 states. Specializing in healthcare, finance, higher education, tech, retail and real estate development, de León brings a wealth of expertise in marketing, public affairs, and economic development. 

In addition to his agency role, Carlos teaches marketing and management at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Professional Studies.  

Carlos is deeply rooted in his community, having served as the Director of Community Engagement for Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert. His contributions to the University of the Incarnate Word’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies led to the University's recognition as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Currently, de León lends his expertise to the Community Health Advisory Board for UT Health San Antonio’s Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science. Before his marketing career, de León honed his understanding of cross-border relations with the U.S.-Mexico bi-national think tank, Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together, Inc. This experience fueled his passion for fostering cultural bridges and promoting collaboration. 

Katie FerrierHeadshot of Advisory Board member Katie Ferrier

Vice President, Public Policy, Education & Workforce Development
Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce

Katie Ferrier currently serves as VP of Education & Workforce Development at the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Katie serves employers, educational institutions, and community-based organizations and strives to create a climate of shared ideas, information and relationships to encourage greater collaboration and collective solutions to improve the region’s talent pipeline. She is currently building a network of business leaders in Texas to understand the economic impact of a lack of access to quality childcare and craft solutions with public officials. Katie has been named by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to their Business Leads Fellowship and their national Early Childhood Education Task Force and is a national spokesperson for Ready Nation. At the state level, she serves on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Economic & Workforce Council, the Texas Association of Community College’s Public Policy Council, the Aim Hire Texas Policy Council, and as an advisor to Early Matters Texas.

Katie has decades of experience in policy development and implementation and in creating partnerships between the public and private sectors to impact under-resourced communities. Before joining the Chamber, Katie served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations and public officials, delivering a high-level view of their efforts and building connections between projects and other entities, as well as securing supportive resources. Katie has worked as a legislative staffer in both chambers of the U.S. Congress and served as a national representative in the Washington, D.C., offices of YMCA of the USA and Girl Scouts of the USA. She has also served state and local organizations in Austin, Texas, including the Real Estate Council of Austin and the Texas Alliance of Child & Family Services. Katie has a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech University and a Master of Arts in Policy Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Rick MartinezHeadshot of Advisory Board member Rick Martinez

Founder & Chief Ghostwriter
Life Pivot Media

Rick Martinez is a former startup founder & CEO, bestselling author, and now a sought-after professional ghostwriter.

A 1995 graduate of the UIW School of Nursing, Rick Martinez was soon after bit by the entrepreneurial bug and in 2001 bootstrapped his first firm. MedTrust, LLC went on to win several awards, including “Top 100” as recognized by the SBA. He was later recognized as a San Antonio “40 Under 40”.

After the events of Sept. 11, Rick returned to military service as an Army nurse. Returning from his service, the company pivoted into serving the federal government and military hospitals across the US and rapidly grew. The company was acquired in 2015, and after the exit, he pursued his passion for writing and published his first book.

As a writer, he believes in the power of words and has recognized the importance of helping others communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively. Rick has made it his mission to assist CEOs and entrepreneurs in writing and publishing books that establish their authority and legacy, and today is a sought-after ghostwriter.

Rick understands that everyone has unique talents and skills, and his gift lies in his ability to provide guidance, and support in transforming his clients' words into tangible results, and without being too cliché, to think “out of the box.” With his diverse skill set, education, and entrepreneurship history, Rick brings a unique perspective to his writing career.

Rick's values of authenticity, collaboration, and effective communication are evident in his work, and he strives to make a meaningful impact through his writing, and through giving back.

He is married to Lisa (24 years and counting) and has three grown kids and two grandsons.

Michael McDowellHeadshot of Advisory Board member Michael McDowell

Executive Director
Veterans Onward

Michael McDowell is the President/CEO of Valor Club USA and Executive Director for Veterans Onward, a 501c4 transitioning service member program beginning in San Antonio, Texas, in 2023. Previously, McDowell served as the Executive Director of The Soldiers Project, a national organization offering free, confidential, and unlimited mental and behavioral health for post-9/11 veterans and their loved ones, and Director of Operations for the Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Southern California. A retired Marine Corps officer, McDowell served as a field artillery and civil affairs officer with numerous platoon, battery, and battalion-level commands before departing from active-duty service in August 2016.

He has extensive professional and academic training in organizational leadership, operational planning, and strategy development. McDowell holds a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership (2020) and a Master's in Business Administration (2015) from the University of Southern California (USC). McDowell completed his latest research examining the knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences associated with the military transition in December 2020. His expertise includes learning psychology, human performance technology, and developing innovative, empirically based corporate solutions for companies and learning institutions serving service members, veterans, and other underserved populations.

Willie NgHeadshot of Advisory Board member Willie Ng

Blue Armor Security Services

Willie Ng grew up on the southeast side of San Antonio as the grandson of an immigrant, and his grandmother was born and raised at the Texas border in Laredo and grandfather was born in East Asia.  Willie has been serving South Texas for many years through economic development, non-profit work, and public service initiatives with various boards and organizations dedicated to the safety, well-being, and prosperity of everyone.

Willie is a business and community advocate and philanthropist, a small business owner since 2003 and a Master Peace Officer serving San Antonio and South Texas in Law Enforcement since 1993. Willie began as a patrol officer and was promoted to detective investigator with the San Antonio Police Department and later deputized as a Special Federal Deputy Marshal assigned to the U.S. Secret Service Task Force. After retiring from the San Antonio Police Department, Willie was appointed as the chief criminal investigator with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office from 2015 - 2018. Willie’s multifaceted training ranges from command staff leadership to SWAT Management, emergency response management, cyber investigation, active shooter, police K-9 Training, narcotics and dangerous drugs, child abuse prevention, family violence, and mental health.

Willie is educated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Wayland Baptist University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from St. Mary’s University, and Willie is near completion of a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) (ABD) in Organizational Leadership from University of the Incarnate Word.

Willie is a Stage IV throat cancer survivor and attributes his survival to his faith (God) and his wife, Ruby.

Jimena SaenzHeadshot of Advisory Board member Jimena Saenz

Vice President, Workforce Strategy and Development
International Recruitment and Operations
Methodist Healthcare System

Jimena Saenz has served Methodist since 2019, beginning as a Division Director of Strategic Planning and Analytics, then as Division Associate Vice President of International Strategies, and most recently as the Division Associate Vice President of Workforce Planning and Development.

Jimena has been in healthcare for over 10 years, specifically in strategic planning and strategy management. She is originally from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, and grew up in San Antonio, Texas, a proud IWHS Shamrock! She obtained her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University - College Station in Economics and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos in 2013.

Jimena has served on several employee committees, such as chairing the Women’s Colleague Network in 2022, and is currently the communications chair for the Division Employee Advisory Council. She is also passionate about her community and has been on the committee for Visitation House’s annual fundraiser Summer Sojourn, a ministry from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, for the last 10 years. She will be serving the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce as their Healthcare and Biosciences Chair for 2024.

When not at work, she dedicates her time to her family which consists of her husband, Gabriel, 6-year-old Sebastian, and 2-year-old Rafael. Together, they love to watch any kind of superhero movie, spend time at the pool, or visit with friends. Jimena’s hobbies include home organization and interior design, and most recently attempting to master latte art as an at-home barista.