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Senior Initiates at Santa Clara University (2007)

A    B   C-H    K-L    M-R    S    T-Z

Rebecca Ahrens. Becky, a Liberal Studies major with a minor in Urban Education, founded the club “Colleges Against Cancer” and served as its president for two years. She spent senior year researching and writing her thesis on breakthrough communication methods for nonverbal autistic children and plans to become an elementary school teacher focused on helping children with special needs. After graduation, Becky will lead a youth conference for the American Cancer Society, coach middle school basketball, and begin the teaching credential program at Santa Clara University.

Chesaray Alflen. Chesaray, a double major in Philosophy and Music, co-founded SCU’s snow-sports club and volunteered with “Discovery Blind Sports” where she taught blind and disabled individuals how to snowboard. She studied abroad in India and is considering pursuing graduate study in Eastern Philosophy. After graduation, she will begin a course in herbal medicine. 

Athena Arnot-Copenhaver. Athena is a double major in English and Environmental Studies with a minor in Classics. Her passion is creative non-fiction writing and in winter of 2007, she had a travel piece published in the Santa Clara Review. She has been a community facilitator in the Cyphi RLC and a member of the women’s crew team. In 2004, Athena represented California as a member of the gold-medal winning Junior Olympic Equestrian Team. Athena will be applying to graduate programs in literary criticism and English Literature in the United Kingdom.   

Christina Arrington. Christy is a double major in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies. While at Santa Clara, she served as assistant resident director for the Communitas Residential Learning Community. She also interned with the ACLU and was co-director of the Change LGBT National Conference Planning Committee, as well as a program coordinator for the Santa Clara Community Action Program. In her senior year, Christy helped found a web 2.0 start-up that offers free services to college students online. After graduation she plans to devote a year to developing the start-up before heading to graduate school in Gender Studies.

Utana Baxter. Utana is a Psychology major and French minor. Before attending Santa Clara University, she moved to France for a year to spend time with relatives and learn about the French culture and language. Utana is a martial arts instructor, competitor and performer. After her first year at Santa Clara, she took a year off school to compete internationally in martial arts tournaments. She will begin work as the director of a local children’s Tae Kwon Do program and remain an active competitor and performer.

Shannon Bell. Shannon, a Combined Sciences major, was a member of the women’s cross country team for the past four years. She was a peer health educator and member of Santa Clarans for Social Justice, the Fair Trade Coalition, and the Labor Action Committee. In 2005, she was a part of the first Casa de la Solidaridad pre-med study abroad program in El Salvador. Next year, she will live in Juneau, Alaska with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps working with the physically and developmentally disabled. In fall 2008, she will begin Northwestern University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Kelly Bossenmaier. Kelly is a Dance major and an Economics minor. She worked in the alumni office for four years and was the president of the campus liturgical dance group and the co-captain of Salsa Clara, the school’s salsa dance team. In her junior and senior years, she volunteered as a dance teacher two mornings a week in the maximum security unit at the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall and at the Pacific Autism Center for Education. As a member of the University Honor's Program, Kelly wrote her thesis on the benefits of dance therapy for autistic children. Next year, Kelly will teach second grade on the West side of Chicago with the Inner City Teaching Corps while working towards her Master’s degree in education at Northwestern University.

Jessica Bovino. Jessica is a Psychology major and a General Business minor. She worked for the University Advising Center, tutoring students in accounting, economics, and psychology classes. Jessica also volunteered at Julian Street Inn, a homeless shelter for individuals diagnosed with psychological disorders, and helped teach English to recent immigrants in San José. She was an active member of the Senior Class Gift Committee, raising money for the class of 2007 scholarship endowment. She is considering employment opportunities in professional recruiting and hotel hospitality.

Nicole Brand-Cousy. Nicole, an Anthropology major with Religious Studies and Spanish Studies minors, is a member of Feminists United and Students Together Organizing for Peace. For her senior thesis, Nicole completed an ethnography examining the symbolism and worship of Our Lady of Guadalupe at a local San José church. For two years, Nicole worked for the Santa Clara Community Action Program as an office manager and department coordinator. She studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, interning with an Afro-Ecuadorian community organization there, and hopes to return to South America in her travels around the world after graduation.

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Grace Campbell. Grace is a double major in Political Science and Psychology. A native of Arizona, she studied abroad in Madrid where she researched terrorism with Professor Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca of the Fundación Juan March. She was a program coordinator for the Santa Clara Community Action Program and has worked with child-advocacy groups, particularly Future Families. After graduation, Grace will return to Arizona to study law at the University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law.

Jessica Carrow. Jessica is a Psychology major who worked as a teaching assistant for statistics classes. For two years, Jessica conducted research on juvenile delinquents in Santa Clara County with Professor Brett Solomon. She also conducted research on the psychological benefits of exercise with Professor Thomas Plante and presented their findings at the Stanford Psychology Conference in 2006. The research with Professor Plante also led to a publication in the International Journal of Stress Management. Jessica plans on working with at-risk youth for a year before going on for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Brigid Eckhart. A member of the University Honors Program, Brigid graduates with a degree in History. Following an interest in Africa, she studied abroad at the University of Ghana. Her personal diagnosis of malaria while in Ghana led to her nationally publicized article about malaria in One World Magazine. Brigid’s thesis “Small Boys are Big Men: Experiences and Reflections from Child Soldiers Fighting in Sierra Leone,” earned the History Department’s McPhee Prize. Brigid also co-edited Historical Perspectives, Santa Clara’s undergraduate history journal. She plans to pursue graduate studies in International Relations, and hopes to eventually focus her talents on peace and conflict resolution in Africa.         

Stephanie Edwards. Stephanie has earned degrees in Religious Studies and Anthropology, and a minor in Spanish Studies. Stephanie’s honors thesis explored practical applications of feminist Christian theology. Her Anthropology thesis, “Mujeres en la lucha: How Chicana leaders are shaping their identities and transforming their communities,” won the Anthropology Department’s award for best senior project. Inspired by her time abroad in El Salvador, Stephanie will be serving with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in New Orleans next year. After this experience she hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Trevor Hansen. Trevor, an English major from Denver, was involved in fundraising for scholarships and capital projects all four years at Santa Clara through his work at the Call Center as both a caller and supervisor. He served as a student ambassador by giving campus tours and sitting on panels, took free-lance photos for the campus newspaper, and wrote a $7,500 grant for the San José Museum of Art. He plans on living in the Bay Area and pursuing a career in grant writing.

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Lauren Karp. Lauren is an English major, with an emphasis in Shakespeare Studies. This year, she was one of the English Department's two Canterbury Scholars; her thesis focused on the portrayal of kingship in Shakespeare's history plays and how it parallels contemporary politics. She was also the 2006-07 editor-in-chief of the Santa Clara Review, which celebrated 140 years of publication this spring. After graduation, Lauren will pursue a Master’s degree in English at Oregon State University, where she will also be a member of the TA program.

Alexandria Kavalaris. Alexandria is a double-degree graduate in Political Science and English. She was a community facilitator in the Swig and Nobili Residence Halls, a peer educator, a member of the women's crew team, and a member of the Santa Clara Concert Choir. Alexandria also worked as a legal assistant at a local law office and managed the Aquatics Program for the City of Campbell Recreation Department. She will attend Santa Clara University School of Law in the fall.

Tara King. Tara is a Political Science major with an emphasis in pre-law, and a minor in Communication. She loved introducing students to life at Santa Clara as a community facilitator in the Communitas RLC. Tara was a member of both the university and political science honors programs. During the last four years, Tara volunteered as a teacher for an on-campus English as a Second Language program and enjoyed helping students and faculty while working for the university library. Tara is excited to begin law school this fall at Santa Clara University.

Anastasiya Litvinova. Anastasiya earned degrees in Finance and French Studies, and a minor in International Business. Originally from Ukraine, she enjoys being immersed in different cultures, learning languages and finding new perspectives. She studied abroad in Lille, France, where she had an opportunity to explore Europe and meet people from around the world. After graduation, Anastasiya will travel in Russia, France and England, before beginning work as a financial analyst with the Wells Fargo Corporate Banking Division.

Emory Lynch. Emory is a Religious Studies major, with minors in History and Catholic Studies. She was director of the Santa Clara Community Action Program, and loved every minute of it. Emory received a Donovan Summer Fellowship from the Ignatian Center to study in Quito, Ecuador. She so enjoyed studying abroad at Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador that she will return to be a Community Coordinator with the program after graduation. From there, she plans to globetrot until her wallet is empty.

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Emily McMullen. Emily is a double major in English and Psychology. She was the associate editor of the Santa Clara Review in 2006-07 and served a peer educator for classes in poetry, statistics, and astronomy. During fall 2005, Emily studied abroad in Sydney, Australia where she worked as a coordinator in an after-school program for at-risk Aboriginal children. After working for a few years, she will pursue a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Emily Nauman. Emily graduates from Santa Clara with degrees in Accounting and Political Science. Throughout her undergraduate career, Emily spent summers living in Juneau, Alaska and interning in the Alaska Governor’s Office, working directly for and with the governor himself. After graduation, Emily will return to Juneau for the summer to trek around the local mountains and study for the CPA exam. In the fall, she will attend law school at the University of Washington.

Sara Pauk. Sara, a double major in Classics and Philosophy, studied abroad at King's College London. While at Santa Clara, she worked as an intern for the Vice President of Administration and Finance and as an off-campus math tutor. For her senior thesis, she researched Apollo's role in Augustan Propaganda. In the fall, she will begin a year long post-baccalaureate premedical program at Johns Hopkins University. She hopes to pursue a career in neurology or endocrinology.

Christina Phelan. Christina, a Political Science major with minors in History and Italian, worked as a community facilitator in the Alpha RLC for two years. In the fall of her senior year, Christina founded the Fireside Chats—a weekly discussion group in the Political Science Department. Beyond campus, Christina devoted substantial time her time to the Fresh Lifelines for Youth Organization where she helped educate at-risk youth about safe and healthy life choices. Christina will be applying to dual-degree programs in law and Political Science.

Jessica Baldwin-Philippi. Jessica is a Communication major with a minor in English. She was a member of the cross-country and track teams. Jessica has done research on the civic engagement of youth alongside Professors Chris Bachen and Chad Raphael, and worked with Professor Terry Beers as an intern with the California Legacy Project. After graduation, Jessica will pursue a doctorate in Communication Studies at Northwestern University.

Roey Rahmil. Roey is a Political Science and Philosophy double major. He served for three years in the Residential Learning Communities, his senior year as an assistant resident director in the Alpha RLC. Roey coached two high-school forensics teams while competing on the SCU Debate Team, and wrote opinion articles for The Santa Clara. During his senior year, Roey worked as a Hackworth Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where he peer-educated a year-long class on ethics and globalization. Roey has also interned at various government and nonprofit agencies throughout Northern California. He will continue his education at U.C. Davis School of Law.

Patrick Rugo. Patrick is a Psychology major with a minor in General Business. He organized and led the “Planning for College Success” mentor program for local middle-school students. Patrick also served as a teaching assistant for Professor Tim Urdan and coauthored with Professor Tracey Kahan a soon-to-be-published research study in sleep and cognition. Patrick will be traveling to Italy this summer and then deciding between an MBA and graduate study in Psychology.

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Nathan Salha. Nathan is a double major in English and Economics with a minor in Spanish Studies. In the fall of 2005, Nathan studied abroad in London. Professors Simone Billings and Fred White invited Nathan to contribute an essay to their co-edited textbook on composition and argumentation that is forthcoming from Houghton-Mifflin. In August, Nathan will pursue his interest in business and law at U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.

Richard Schreiber. Richard is an Economics major and Creative Writing minor. Inspired by the best-seller Freakonomics, he hopes to one day write books that are both entertaining and statistically thought-provoking. In the short-run, Richard plans to strengthen his writing skills and to travel to Berlin to continue his study of the German language. From there, he is scheduled to travel to Vietnam where he will spend a year teaching English. After that, Richard plans to return home to pursue either an MBA or an MFA in Creative Writing.

Ashley Schweickart. Ashley is a double major in Sociology and Political Science. She was a program coordinator for the Santa Clara Community Action Program and president of the College Democrats Club. A native of Seattle, Ashley studied abroad in Florence, Italy. She has also been an active volunteer with the Special Olympics. This year Ashley’s Sociology thesis, “Assessing the Efficacy of Retraining Programs in the State of California” was published in the Silicon Valley Notebook. In the fall, Ashley will attend USC’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development to begin a Master’s degree in Urban Planning.

Molly Scudder. Molly is a Political Science and French major, graduating with a 4.0 cumulative GPA. She participated in four immersion trips, leading the most recent Spring Break trip to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Molly worked for the Santa Clara Community Action Program, mentoring and tutoring a 15 year-old boy at Downtown College Prep. Many of Molly’s favorite SCU memories include her sister Annie who graduated last year, also a Phi Beta Kappa. An unabashed Francophile, Molly spent a semester studying in Paris. She will return to France in the fall to teach English for a year while applying to Ph.D. programs in Political Philosophy.  

Galen Smith. Galen, a History major and an English minor, researched for her senior thesis the social implications of the evacuation of children in England during World War II. At Santa Clara, she has nourished her love of other cultures by studying abroad in Durham, England, and Florence, Italy, as well as through an Immersion trip to Tijuana, Mexico. She was also a co-editor of Historical Perspectives, the History department’s undergraduate journal, and a community facilitator in the Modern Perspectives RLC. Galen will work while applying to Master’s programs in History.

Kyle Stephenson. Kyle is a Psychology major with minors in Communication and Religious Studies. He was an assistant in psychological research labs at both Santa Clara University and Stanford University, and played drums in the SCU pep band and other local music groups. His senior thesis, “The Misperception of Social Norms and Sexual Satisfaction,” was presented at the 2007 Western Psychological Association Conference; he is currently re-working the manuscript for submission to a journal. Kyle will work as a researcher at Stanford University’s Social Psychology Department before applying to doctoral programs in Clinical Psychology.

Jesse Suttell. Jesse majored in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in International Studies. She was active in the International Club and participated in Model United Nations. Her junior year, she studied abroad for a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and spent the rest of the year teaching English in Santiago, Chile. She has worked as a Spanish tutor and as a student assistant in the Event Planning Office. After graduation, Jesse will direct an art camp for children and apply to serve in the Peace Corps.

Mary Swift. Mary is an English major with a minor in History. She was a Canterbury Scholar in the English department and has spent the past year researching and writing about modern American literature and feminist criticism. Mary worked as a writing tutor at Santa Clara and helped Father Rynes in the English Department as a peer educator. Mary will return home to Seattle after graduation to work as an editor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After a few years working, she plans to attend law school.

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Marisa Teel. Marisa is a Psychology major with a minor in General Business. In the fall of her junior year, she studied abroad in Australia, where she had the opportunity to learn both skydiving and scuba-diving. For her senior thesis, Marisa conducted an experiment (with over 80 participants) that focused on the factors that contribute to false memory. After graduation, Marisa will work in human resources before pursuing an MBA.

Anne Thompson. Anne is a double major in Psychology and Religious Studies. She did research with Dr. Tracey Kahan in Santa Clara’s Sleep Lab and was a community facilitator in the Alpha RLC and an assistant resident director of the Xavier RLC. For her honor’s thesis she examined the meaning of suffering using the works of protestant theologian, Paul Tillich. She recently began work in the recruiting department at Google.  

Melissa Uhl. Hailing from Maui, Melissa is a Political Science and Environmental Studies double-major. She is graduating in only three years. At Santa Clara, Melissa worked as a research assistant under Professors Sean Watts and Michelle Marvier of the Environmental Studies Institute. Their project sought to protect an endangered California plant species. This summer, Melissa plans to intern with the Natural Capital Project under the direction of the Nature Conservancy, an organization she hopes to work for in the future.

Suzanne Valenzuela. Suzanne is an English major and an Urban Education Minor. Throughout her four years at Santa Clara she was part of the East Side Future Teachers Project and volunteered in elementary, middle and high-schools in Santa Clara and San José. In her senior year, she also worked as a research assistant for Professor Susan De La Paz, helping with the collection and evaluation of data from a high-school and junior high intervention program. After graduation, Suzanne will begin her teaching career as the new 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Quimby Oak Junior High School.

Tessa Weston. Tessa is a Religious Studies major with particular interest in South Asian traditions, social justice, and women’s and gender studies. She spent her junior year studying development and human rights in Thailand and India. Her time on campus has been spent with the Santa Clara Community Action Program working with various homeless communities in the Bay Area. After graduation, Tessa plans to buy an around-the-world plane ticket and travel for a year before embarking on her next adventure.

Hallie Wright. Hallie is an Art History major with a minor in Retail Studies. To help finance her education, Hallie began working in retail; her part-time jobs soon developed into a career interest. She completed a successful merchandising internship this past summer with Gymboree Corporation and went on to serve as the recruiting chair for the Retail Studies Student Association. In the fall, Hallie will begin her career as a buyer with international retailer Duty Free Shops; she looks forward to working in Hong Kong or Singapore.

Jeffrey Young: Jeffrey is a Political Science major and General Business minor who played on the Men's Club Volleyball team and served as a community facilitator in Modern Perspectives. He received a University Honors Program Fellowship to study at Oxford University his junior year. The following summer, he received a fellowship from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies to travel to Israel to study terrorism and return to Washington D.C. to meet with government officials in the counter-terrorism field. Jeffrey received the Michael Shallo prize for outstanding achievement in Political Science. In the fall, he will attend Harvard Law School.

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