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2011

Initiates at Santa Clara University (2011)

Laura Beck. Laura is a Communications major with minors in Art History and Environmental Studies. While studying abroad in London she held a catering internship and introduced her diners to the finer points of sweet potato casserole. On campus, Laura was in GREEN Club, copy-edited for The Santa Clara, co-authored a capstone project about violent online video gaming, researched Santa Clara composting programs, and interned at The Forge Community Garden. This fall, Laura will intern at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Carolyn Biemer. Carolyn is an English major. After two years rowing for Santa Clara's crew team, she spent a semester abroad in Buenos Aires. Although she plans for a future in medicine, she also has a passion for creative writing and has handwork published in the Santa Clara Review. During this school year she took part in a health ethics internship through the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and O'Connor Hospital. She plans to return home to Portland, Oregon, and work in a local hospital while applying to medical schools.

Brooke Boniface. Brooke is a double major in Political Science and History. She wrote for the campus newspaper each of her three years at Santa Clara, serving as the editor of the opinion section this past year.Outside of classes, Brooke worked at the student call center to raise funds for the university, as a research assistant for Professor Naomi Levy, and at various other jobs around campus. Following graduation, Brooke will join Teach for America as a middle school science teacher in Eastern Kentucky.

Sabrina Brett. Sabrina, a native of Carmel, CA, will graduate with degrees in Music and Political Science. She studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and Freiburg, Germany. During her junior year, she interned as an environmental policy coordinator at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. She also interned with the County of Santa Clara, assisting in the implementation of the County's Waste Reduction Program. Sabrina performed in numerous campus productions, including: Hansel and Gretel, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Mikado.

 

Amanda Kazimir Brown. Kazimir graduates with degrees in Sociology and Political Science. She ran on the University's track team and is both an SCU and West Coast conference record-holder. She has served as an assistant in the LEAD scholars program, as a student ambassador,and published a piece on first-generation college students and their academic aspirations in the Sociology Department's Silicon Valley Notebook.She has interned at both the San Francisco Mayor's Office and Silicon Valley Council for Nonprofits. She will begin a master's degree at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy.

Jessica Cassella. Jessie, a Political Science major and English minor, is the valedictorian of the Class of 2011. Shehas been an orientation leader, community facilitator, secretary of the Multicultural Center, and an intern in the U.S. Congress. As a Provost Research Fellow, Jessie wrote a paper on the influence of staff members in the House of Representatives that she presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago. She will work at the ACLU of Northern California while applying to law schools.

Matthew Akio Chee. Matthew is a Finance and Economics double major with minors in Mathematics and Political Science. A native of Waipahu, Hawaii, he was the president of Delta Sigma Pi and assessed the financial health and value of AMR Corporation for his senior honors thesis. Matthew has interned at the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism as well as the Hawaiian Electric Company. After graduation, he will start his career at NetApp in Sunnyvale, CA, as a financial analyst before pursuing a master's degree in Public Policy.

Angela Cooke. Angela graduates magna cumlaude with a degree in Religious Studies. Born and raised in the Santa Clara Valley, she has run a monthly study and worship group for her religious community in the East Bay since 2004. On campus, she has focused on ecumenical activities, including participating in the SCU Interfaith Council and Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, interning with the Local Religions Project, and serving as a peer educator in the Religious Studies department. She plans to earn a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology and will be ordained as clergy in 2013.

Erika Dose. Erika is an English major from Eugene, Oregon. While at Santa Clara, Erika has cultivated a love for volunteerism through her participation with the Santa Clara Community Action Program. As the coordinator for Kids' Club, Erika took an active role mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth in San Jose. Last summer, she taught in a Tanzanian school for orphans with the organization Cross Cultural Solutions. Erika has also served as a peer educator on campus. Erika will be applying to graduate programs in elementary education.

 

Isabel Durón. Isabel is a Political Science and Ethnic Studies double major. Over the past four years she has actively been involved in the Multicultural Center and served as its director this past year. She attended the Washington Semester Program where she completed her senior thesis on gentrification in Columbia Heights, a neighborhood in Washington. DC. Isabel was awarded the Matt Meier Award in Ethnic Studies for her research on undocumented students; she also organized a panel of undocumented students for SCU's first ever Diversity Leadership Conference. Isabel will work as a summer associate for the Greenlining Institute, a multi-ethnic public policy research and advocacy institute.

John Fullerton. John is an Economics major. He was a co-founder of the acapella group, Vocalicious, and has been involved with the Music department and concert choir for the past three years. John has volunteered with SCU's Arrupe Program and the American Cancer Society's 24hr Relay 4 Life.Hehas also been a member of the SCU Division One SCUTS rugby team and competed in SCU's Iron Bronco triathlon challenge. John will be attending Stanford University's Institute for General Management over the summer and hopes to pursue a career in technology and social media.

Nicholas Giustini. Nicholas is a Bioengineering major with minors in Biology and Chemistry. He was a research assistant in Dr. Steve Suljak's Analytical Chemistry laboratory on campus and also spent two summers at Dartmouth College researching the hyperthermic treatment of cancer using ironoxide nano-particles. He has served as a community facilitator, writing tutor, Department of Engineering tour guide, and as the vice president of the Pre-Health Club. After graduation, Nicholas will be matriculating at the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Francisco Gutierrez-Villarreal. Francisco is an Economics major and is the first member of his family to attend a four-year university. He grew up in Salinas, CA, where he studied at Hartnell Community College for two years before transferring to Santa Clara. Francisco was awarded the Charles and Barbara Hazel Prize as the top Economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences. He plans to apply to graduate programs in Economics or a closely related field.

Lindsay Hammons. Lindsay, a Biology and Public Health double major, served as a program planner and Community Council vice-president for the ALPHA Residential Learning Community. For the last three years, she conducted research on muscle-cell differentiation with Dr. Jim Graingerin the Biology Department. Lindsay also studied abroad in Rome and interned at the Italian Red Cross. She tutors on campus and is actively involved in her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Lindsay plans to pursue a medical degree.

 

Stephen Hobbs. Stephen, a double major in Communication and Political Science, was a member of the men's water polo team. A native of Walnut Creek, CA, he was a four-time Academic All-American and in his final year a co-captain and All-American Honorable Mention. He completed his final two quarters studying Journalism and New Media as part of the Washington Semester Program at American University in Washington, D.C. and interned at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. After graduation, Stephen plans to pursue a career in journalism.

Drew Hodun. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Drew is a Physics and Religious Studies double major with minors in Philosophy and Mathematics. He studied abroad with the Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador after spending a summer teaching English in Peru as a Donovan Fellow. His passions include travel and outdoor activities, especially backpacking. Highlights from his time at Santa Clara include working as a campus tour-guide, membership in an acapella group,and his participation in the Santa Clara Community Action program. He has also served as a program coordinator working with AIDS patients in San Francisco.

Morgan Hunter. Morgan graduates summacum laude in Classics. A member of the University Honors Program, she has al ong standing interest in languages, having studied French, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Sanskrit, in addition to her major languages. She was awarded a Diebold Fellowship in Indo-European linguistics to study at UC Berkeley during the summer after her sophomore year. This year she taught Latin to intermittently intrigued students at her former middle school. She will attend UC Berkeley as a Classics graduate student in the fall.

Amanda Igeta. Amanda is graduating with a double major in Biology and Economics. Originally from Pearl City, Hawaii,she studied abroad at Cambridge University and in Costa Rica. Amanda designed an experiment on primate seed dispersal while in Costa Rica and went on to complete an honors thesis based on this study. She was a flute player for the university orchestra, secretary for the Multicultural Center, student assistant in the English Department, and a volunteer at various animal organizations. This summer she will intern at the Wildlife Center in New Mexico, after which she will be applying to veterinary schools.

Erin Lee. Originally from Flagstaff, Arizona, Erin will graduate with a degree in Biochemistry. While at SCU, she was involved in undergraduate research as a part of the Adalsteinsson Research Group. Her research involved using nuclear magnetic resonance to track the behavior of various molecules involved in organic solar cells. She was a member of the SCU Cheer Squad for four years, serving as the team captain in her senior year. After graduation, Erin will conduct research in pharmaceuticals or alternative fuels before pursuing a graduate degree in medical illustration.

 

Carolyn Linck. Carolyn is a member of the University Honors Program double majoring in History and Communication. A native of Henderson, Nevada, Carolyn studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a four-year member of Santa Clara's cheerleading team and also served as education chairperson of her sorority,Kappa Kappa Gamma. In 2009 Carolyn won the Redwood Award for best historical essay. Carolyn has worked as an intern in media relations at Santa Clara Athletics and is interested in pursuing a career in communications or sports administration and management.

Conor Merritt. Conor, a Combined Sciences major, was a member of Santa Clara Emergency Medical Services, and the vice-president of the campus chapter of Global Medical Brigades which took medical immersion trips to Honduras and Panama. He studied abroad in El Salvador where he volunteered in the public hospitals of San Salvador, and worked as an orientation leader for the incoming students of the class of 2014. Next year, Conor will be doing muscular-skeletal research at Children's Hospital of Denver while applying to medical schools.

Stephanie Mita. Stephanie is a Biology major with minors in English and Public Health Science. During her time at SCU,she worked in Dr. Tracy Ruscetti's Biology lab researching oral vaccine efficacy in mice. She worked as a Chemistry tutor and an English peer educator, as well as the fiction editor for SCU's literary magazine, Santa Clara Review. Throughout college she volunteered in the emergency department of a local hospital. After graduating in December 2011, Stephanie hopes to spend time learning languages and working in a podiatry office before entering podiatry school.

Adrian Morales. Adrian is a Political Science major with minors in History, Philosophy, and Middle Eastern Studies. He was a member of the speech and debate team each of the past four years, and served as a senator in the Associated Student Government during his last two years. This summer, Adrian will study abroad in Jordan to complete requirements for a certificate in Arabic Studies from San Jose State University. In the fall, he will be moving to Sacramento for a fellowship in the California State Assembly.

Christopher Mosier. Christopher, a native of Mission Viejo, CA, is a double major in Political Science and Economics. He was a captain on the cross country and track teams and worked with the Athletics Department to improve game day atmosphere. Christopher served as Student Body President and attended the semester-long Panetta Institute Leadership Seminar. For his honors thesis, he researched the Chinese Cultural Revolution and explored the religious relationship between Mao and his student followers. After graduation, Christopher will attend law school at Santa Clara University.

 

Amalee Nsour. Amalee has a double major in Political Science and Economics. A Bay Area native, she spent a semester studying Arabic in Cairo, Egypt. She attended American University's Washington semester program in Foreign Policy where she completed her senior thesis on Israel's impact on US-Iranian relations. She also interned with Catholic Charities' refugeere settlement department and with the National Security Network in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Amalee is going to Istanbul, Turkey, to work for a women's non-profit through the Leavey Business School's Global Fellows Program.

Anna Paustenbach. Anna is a double major in English and Religious Studies with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She has been actively volunteering in the Santa Clara Community Action Program throughout her four years at Santa Clara, and has also been a peer educator in the English department. Anna studied abroad in London,and reflected upon her experiences interning there at a homeless shelter in her article featured in the social justice magazine, Live One World. In the fall, Anna will attend the University of Chicago's Master's Program for the Humanities.

Bonnie Phan. Bonnie, a junior, is pursuing a double degree in Political Science and Music.In her freshman year, Bonnie won the concerto/aria competition and performed with the orchestra in its fall concert. She has also performed with the new music ensemble and the world percussion ensemble. This year, she served as the research/fund implementation director of The Music Connection. With a strong interest in European politics, Bonnie completed her quantitative methods requirement in Political Science with a project on factors determining public attitudes towards the European Union.

Diana Pillsbury. Diana is a Political Science major with a minor in Spanish. Graduating in three years she has been very busy! During her time at Santa Clara, Diana conducted research on U.S.-Turkey relations at Sabanci University in Istanbul as a Leavey Business School Global Fellow, corrected many essays as a writing tutor and peer educator for the HUB Writing Center, and worked on federal education policy in Congressman Honda's office as Santa Clara's 2010 Panetta Fellow. Diana will attend law school at George Washington University.

Lucas Ramirez. Lucas is a Music major with a minor in History. Although he focused primarily on composition, he has performed as a member of both the Santa Clara University Concert Choir and the World Percussion Ensemble. A self-styled political observer and news junkie, he hopes to dedicate more time to following the messy process of formulating public policy at the state and national levels. Lucas will explore opportunities in the music field while continuing to compose and researching graduate programs in music.

 

Tanya Schmidt.Tanya, a junior English major with minors in Classics and Religious Studies, is the captain of the University's Division One women's volleyball team. She works as a student ambassador and campus ministry liturgy intern and also enjoys volunteering through the SCU Community Action Program. As a Donovan Fellow last summer, she taught English to elementary school children in Cusco, Peru. Next year, as a Canterbury Fellow, she will write an honors thesis comparing Shakespeare and Ovid. In the fall, she will apply to graduate school to pursue further studies in English Renaissance Literature.

Erin Schulz. Erin, a native of Morgan Hill, California, is an English Major with minors in Political Science and Dance. For her senior seminar, she studied pirate and castaway literature under Professor Michelle Burnham, and, for her thesis, she examined the significance of religion and spirituality in pirate culture as depicted in various literary works from Dana to Stevenson. She was also an active member of the Dance program, performing in, and choreographing for,numerous university and student productions. Her future plans include pursuing a PhD in English, teaching at the university level, and ultimately publishing a novel.

Brian Scott. Brian is an Economics major and Mathematics minor. He has tutored mathematics to potential first-generation college students, and has served food to the homeless in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. He was also the lead actor in the acclaimed short-film, Nerds Collide. Brian is an avid snow boarder and an aspiring hip-hop artist. He has worked in wealth management for Morgan Stanley and UBS and worked in commercial real estate for Kidder Mathews. He will soon begin work as an investment banking analyst for Robert W. Baird & Company.

Emilee Sena. Emilee is a Chemistry major from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She participated in collaborative research under Professors Richard Barber, Thorsteinn Adalsteinsson, and Brian McNelis. She conducted spectroscopic time studies of organic photovoltaic device degradation, and presented this research at an American Physical Society conference in Dallas. At Santa Clara, she tutored and was the service and social event coordinator for a women's Christian ministry. This fall she will attend UC Berkeley in pursuit of a PhD in Materials Physical Chemistry.

Tierney Siler. Tierney is a Psychology and Communication double major. She served as director of philanthropy in her sorority, Alpha Phi, helping to raise over $70,000 for Women's Cardiac Care this past year. After studying abroad in Florence, Italy, Tierney worked as a research assistant on two different studies for Dr.Tim Urdan in the Psychology Department. She also volunteered as a tutor at Scott Lane Elementary and Buscher Middle School. At Santa Clara, Tierney has focused her studies on Social Psychology, which will aid her as she takes on a full-time position in recruiting for Blach Construction Company.

 

Merit Logan Smith. Logan is a Philosophy major with an English minor, though his interests include everything from anthropology to improv comedy. This year, Logan was selected to be part of SCU's first class of Learning Facilitators who teach workshops on effective learning techniques based on the latest educational theory and neurobiology research. Logan was also the founder and lead instructor of Santa Clara's Capoeira Club,a club dedicated to the Brazilian martial art of dance-fighting. No one knows what the future holds for Logan--not even Logan--but he is confident he will go on to do great, honorable things…or maybe he will just go to law school.

Kyla Teramoto. Kyla is graduating one year early with a degree in Biology. Some highlights of her undergraduate career include cheering on the Broncos as a member of the SCU Cheer Team,helping to organize Hawaii Club events, and serving as a peer health educator.She researched antibiotic resistance with Dr. David Hess for her Honors Program thesis. A resident of Honolulu, she held research positions there and volunteered with Kuakini Health Systems. This fall, Kyla will be attending the University of Hawaii's Burns School of Medicine.

Hilary Titus. Hilary, an English major and Biology minor, studied at Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador and spent a summer working in rural Tanzania with a Donovan Fellowship from the Ignatian Center. As a Canterbury Fellow in the English Department, Hilary completed her honors thesis with a work of creative nonfiction entitled, Junt@s Somos Libres (Together We Are Free), in which she explores questions of theology, solidarity, and her experiences in community. Next year she will be working at Sacred Heart Nativity School in San Jose through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Sarah Tkach. Sarah graduates with a double major in History and French Studies. She studied abroad in Burkina Faso and hopes to return to West Africa in the future. Sarah has enjoyed many experiences at SCU including Ethics@Noon lectures, immersion trips to Mexico and West Virginia, and the 9pm student Mass. She has loved being part of Wonderfully Made Women's Christian Group and applying her editing and marketing skills in the English Department's California Legacy Project. Sarah will begin work with Dominican Volunteers in New York City or with Vincentian Service Corps in St. Louis.

Katherine Tolentino. Katherine is graduating with a degree in English and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She spent most of her free time at Santa Clara writing and singing, as an editor of The Santa Clara newspaper and a member of the University's Chamber Singers. She was very grateful to have the opportunity to study abroad, not once but twice, first in Rome and then at the University of Oxford. After working for KQED Radio this summer, Katherine will return to Oxford in the fall to complete a degree in Social Science of the Internet.

 

Sara Vakulskas. Sara is a Political Science major with minors in General Business and History. Recent adventures include interning at the Council on US-Arab Relations in Washington, DC, and studying Islam and Middle Eastern politics in Jordan and Egypt. Her thesis, "Honor Killings: The Ongoing Tragedy," analyzes the relationship between Islam, tribalism, modernity, and honor killings in Jordan. Sara's paper, "The Patriot Act," is published in the fourth edition of The Well-Crafted Argument.Next year, she will attend the University of Minnesota Law School on a full scholarship.

Whitney Vellequette.Whitney is a French and Psychology double major. She studied abroad in Arlesand Paris, and has been a peer educator for the French Department. She was also a research assistant for Dr. Melissa Gilbert in the Education Department,analyzing the impact of motivation on math scores. This year, she interned with the Reading West Africa program on campus, and wrote her French Honors the sison film adaptations of The Count of Monte-Cristo. In September, she will move to Toulouse, France to teach English, and hopes to continue on to a graduate program in France in either business or international affairs.

Curtis Martin Wagner. Curtis, an Economics major from Manhattan Beach,California, was a four-year member and the 2011 captain of the Santa Clarabase ball team. In 2010, he was named an Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine and won the West Coast Conference batting title, finishing the year with a .404 average. He has also volunteered for the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation, raising over $2,500 to fully fund a wish for a terminally-ill child. After graduation, Curtis will move to Southern California to pursue a career in litigation consulting.

Christopher Wemp. Chris is a junior majoring in Music and Political Science. He serves as a music ministry intern,playing piano and composing songs for Mission Santa Clara. He studied abroad in SCU's Casa de la Solidaridad program in El Salvador last fall, and will begoing to Lima, Peru this summer for music ministry and ethno-musicological studies. In his senior year, Chris will start a music education program for Sacred Heart Nativity School, and will continue to tutor on-campus SCU workers in English.

Kristen Williamson. Kristen is an English and Spanish double major with a minor in Communication. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she studied abroad in Argentina and received a Donovan fellowship to travel to Costa Rica and teach English to Nicaraguan migrant children during summer 2010. This year, she was an Arrupe intern at Foothill High School and created a program to improve literacy among the students. Kristen plans to travel before pursuing graduate work in Latin American Studies.

 

Stephanie Wilson. Stephanie, an English major and Philosophy minor, was captain of the women's cross-country and track and field teams. She received the Saint Clare Medal at commencement. In the2009 cross-country season, Stephanie placed 28th at Nationals, earning All-American honors. As a Donovan Fellow, Stephanie spent the summer of 2008 interning on an organic farm in the Salinas Valley. She was also involved with Campus Ministry and the SCU Community Action Program. Stephanie is exploring career paths in environmental education and training with a local running club to try to qualify for the Olympic trials in the marathon.

Amanda Wong. Amanda is a Biochemistry major with minors in Biology and Biotechnology. She served as a community facilitator and emergency medical technician on campus. Amandaalso worked in an organic synthesis laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Mike Carrasco. This experience has inspired Amanda to integrate research into her future medical career. After graduation, Amanda plans to continue doing research as she applies for MD/PhD programs. She will also be raising awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by participating in the Nike Women's Half Marathon this October.

Angelica Wright. Angelica is a Psychology major and English minor. A Las Vegas native, she studied abroad in Barcelona and enjoyed traveling across Europe. During her senior year, she served as the Arrupe Program's intern at Julian Street Inn, a mental health shelter in San Jose. For her honors thesis, she researched premarital counseling in the Catholic Church and analyzed the Mission Church's marriage preparation program. Next year, Angelica will begin a master's degree in counseling psychology at Santa Clara.

 

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