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Senior Initiates at Santa Clara University (2008)

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Jared Abercrombie. Jared, a member of the University and Leavey Honors Programs, is graduating with degrees in Economics and Finance. He was a justice for student government before becoming vice president for Student Involvement. He served as president of Delta Sigma Pi and led the Ambassador Program for the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Jared will work for Lockheed Martin Space Systems before applying to graduate schools. He plans a career in wealth management and one day hopes to start his own company.  

Lauren Baines. Lauren graduates with a degree in Dance and returns next year to complete degrees in Psychology and Art History. She danced in eleven productions, contributed choreography to six shows, and, in 2006, directed Charisma, an interdisciplinary performance that explores spirituality in the arts. She is the recipient of the 2008 Anna Halprin Choreography Award. Her honor’s thesis, “Considering the Intangible,” examines intellectual property and copyright in choreography. She hopes to start her own dance company, attend graduate school, and teach at the university level.

Anna Baldasty. Anna, an English major and Spanish minor, studied the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca and Islamic art and architecture in Granada, Spain. She worked as a copy editor and reporter for the student newspaper, The Santa Clara, and was selected as the 2007-08 intern for the California Legacy Project, a collaboration between Santa Clara University and Heyday Books that celebrates California’s rich literary and cultural heritage. Anna plans to teach English in Spain and then pursue a master’s degree in writing and publishing.     

Kristin Casterson. Kristin is a Sociology major with minors in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST). She studied abroad in El Salvador her junior year and worked at the WGST Resource Room on campus during her senior year. Over the past four years she has worked at St.Clare Elementary School and will be attending U.C. Santa Barbara to pursue a teaching credential and master’s degree in Education.

Stephanie Chun. Stephanie is graduating with degrees in Finance and Economics.  She has worked as a program coordinator in the Undergraduate Business Programs Office and  volunteered as a peer advisor. She has also interned with local companies including Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Verigy, and UBS Financial Services. Stephanie will be joining Novellus as a financial analyst in the Finance Rotational Program. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in economics, and ultimately, join a microfinance organization.

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Jessica Coblentz. Jessica, a double major in Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, is the recipient of the St. Clare Medal. She received the Junior Provost Research Fellowship and a Hackworth Fellowship from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics that supported research on religion and sexual ethics among Santa Clara students. Jessica took on leadership roles in both Campus Ministry and the Loyola Residential Learning Community. Jessica will intern with the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles before pursuing a doctorate in Theology.

Brent Colasurdo. Brent is a Political Science major and General Business minor. He interned at the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General while studying in a pre-law exchange program in Washington, D.C. Brent has been active in fostering the creation of principled business leaders through his involvement in Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity. He will pursue a law degree at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law.

Anthony Colello. Anthony is a Political Science major. A native of Seattle, WA, he studied in London and in the Washington Semester Program, where he completed his senior thesis on the efficacy of the Medicare Program. Anthony has interned at the United Kingdom Alliance for Local Government and the Democratic National Committee. After graduating in December, he spent five months serving as the field coordinator on a local State Assembly campaign. He will spend next year working in Democratic politics in Oregon before pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy.

Megan Coluccio. Megan is a Political Science major and a History minor. Originally from Seattle, WA, she studied public law in Washington, D.C. while interning at the House of Representatives for Congressman Jim McDermott. While at Santa Clara she served as a senator for Associated Students, as vice president of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and worked in Campisi Residence Hall. Megan will continue her education at Seattle University School of Law.

Juliana Cummings. Juliana is a Psychology major with a minor in Retail Management. For four years, she worked at the Student Call Center to help raise money for Santa Clara University. She also took part in immersion trips to East Los Angeles and Oaxaca, Mexico, and led a trip to Nogales, Mexico. Originally from Santa Monica, she studied abroad in Madrid where she enjoyed having art class in the Prado and volunteering at a local elementary school. She will begin work at Genentech in its Access to Care Foundation.

Cynthia Dick. Cindy is a Biology major. For two years, she worked as a research assistant for Professor Elizabeth Dahlhoff. Their study investigated the effects of temperature and climate change on the mating success of willow beetles. The study involved field work in Bishop, CA, as well as lab work, and will result in a published paper. Last summer, Cindy studied wildlife management in Kenya. Cindy plans to work as a lab technician before pursuing a graduate degree in either ecology or conservation.

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Ashton Easterday. Ashton is a Chemistry major and Biotechnology minor who grew up in rural, southeastern Washington. Since her sophomore year, she has been researching Type II Diabetes with Professor Ram Subramaniam. She studied abroad in El Salvador as part of Santa Clara’s Casa de la Solidaridad program. Ashton enjoys hiking, motorcycles, and exploring new places. She will be working with a low-risk drug discovery group in San Carlos before applying to graduate school. She plans to pursue a career in medical research.

David Eitelbach.  David is a Political Science major with a minor in History.  In his time at Santa Clara, he has learned a great deal about both of these subjects. He is most proud, however, of how his studies have improved both his formal and creative writing skills. He is an aspiring writer who, despite his best attempts to mature, continues to feel giddy when cracking open a new volume of Hellboy, or saving civilization in the Xbox game Mass Effect. David is currently exploring options in the video game industry but hopes that one day he will be able to make a living as a writer.

Erica Eng. Erica is a Political Science and Environmental Studies double major. Raised in Carson City, Nevada, she studied abroad in rural Kenya with the School for Field Studies. There she took wildlife management related courses, learned about the local Maasai people, and completed hands-on field research on the socioeconomic effects of local conservation initiatives. Erica interned with Assemblywoman Sally Lieber and helped to establish a volunteer program at a K-5 public school. Erica will embark on a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps before pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy.  

Andrew Engel. Andrew is a Biology major. In his sophomore and senior years, he worked with the Santa Clara Community Action Program on several projects including an after-school program for children with incarcerated family members. He studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Participation in immersion trips to Tijuana, New Orleans, and El Salvador have made him passionate about social justice. This fall he will become a high-school science teacher in the Peace Corps.

Andrew Essary. Andrew will be graduating with degrees in Psychology and Marketing. He has worked as a children’s tennis coach for each of the last four years. Following graduation, Andrew will be heading to North Carolina to begin his career with Cisco Systems as an associate project manager.

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Laurel Fedder. Laurel is a Political Science major and Economics minor. She has volunteered at Kid’s Club, an afterschool program for children with an incarcerated parent and the Northern California Innocence Project. During her junior year, she won the Bernard Kronick Research Award in Political Science for her paper analyzing the voting tendencies of foreign-born American citizens. For the past year, she interned with a patent law firm in San Jose. She will attend Georgetown University School of Law.

Christopher Foster. Christopher, a member of the Santa Clara debate team, is an Economics major with a German minor. He studied abroad at both Heidelberg University in Germany and Oxford University in England.  Christopher was a Hackworth Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics where he created a web-based project to explore the ethical dimensions of emerging technologies. He will pursue a law degree at the University of Washington.

Amanda Fowler. Amanda has earned degrees in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying abroad in Rome, she spent a semester studying American politics in Washington, DC. While there, she worked as an education intern at Earth Day Network and wrote her thesis on the role religion can play in public schools from both a constitutional and educational perspective. After taking a year off to work and travel, Amanda plans to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy followed by a doctorate in Political Science.

Laura Fowler.  Laura is a double major in Sociology and Anthropology. She has conducted research on women in Iran with Professor Mary Hegland of the Anthropology Department and worked as a human resources intern at ILOG. In addition to serving as co-president of the Anthropology Club and Grace Liturgical Dance, she also sang in the Santa Clara Concert Choir and traveled with the group to Austria and the Czech Republic. Laura plans to work in human resources and earn an MBA.

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Jacqueline Gladden. Jacqueline has earned degrees in Spanish Studies and Accounting. Jacqueline has held financial and accounting positions at Smith Barney, Yahoo!, and Deloitte & Touche. She has also volunteered with an after school program for disadvantaged Hispanic youth and with Familias con Libros, an organization dedicated to educating illiterate Spanish-speaking immigrants. Before starting her career at Deloitte & Touche, Jacqueline will travel through Southeast Asia and plans to pet a tiger on her twenty-second birthday.

Rebecca Glover. Rebecca is a Mathematics major with a minor in Music. She has worked as the tutoring coordinator for the Drahmann Advising Center for the past two years and has also tutored her peers in math. She studied abroad in Durham, England. Last summer she researched Right Angled Coxeter Groups with Professor Rick Scott of the Mathematics Department. She will begin a doctorate in Mathematics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Gabriel Godwin. Gabriel, a double major in Religious Studies and Political Science, grew up on Mercer Island, WA.  He has been a research assistant for Professors Buckley and Crowley in the Religious Studies Department, working on the New Atheism and the Transcendental Project of Karl Rahner. Gabriel studied abroad in Florence and went on a memorable immersion trip to Mississippi to aid in the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. He has also volunteered as a tutor at Downtown College Prep. Gabriel will live in Argentina with his brother while applying to graduate schools in Theology.

Andrew Golkar. Drew, a Political Science major and outdoor enthusiast, grew up in Cupertino, California where he attended De Anza College before transferring to Santa Clara. While at De Anza, Drew managed a $1.6 million budget for the student government and coauthored Cupertino's general plan for environmental sustainability. During his junior year, Drew founded an Internet startup that aimed to connect people online in meaningful real-time conversations; he took a year-long leave to develop the company before selling it. Drew has an appreciation for architecture and will explore this interest further in a summer program at Harvard.

Laura Guthridge. Laura is a Psychology major with a strong interest in working with children and at-risk youth. She has conducted research in the field of learning psychology with Dr. Matthew Bell, volunteered at a Child Abuse Prevention Center, and worked as a teacher's aide in local elementary and middle schools. Since graduating in December, Laura has been working as the teen program coordinator at the Support Network for Battered Women in Sunnyvale, CA. She will be applying to graduate schools in Psychology during the coming year.

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Nathaniel Hays. Nate is a History and Religious Studies major. A native of Philadelphia, PA, he has studied Arabic during summers and currently works at the SoccerPost.  He wrote his senior thesis on the Palestinian Hamas movement and next year will begin a master’s degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

Ana Elizabeth Iten. Elizabeth is a double-degree graduate in Biology and Spanish. She served three years in the Residential Learning Communities, her senior year as an assistant resident director. Elizabeth spearheaded Santa Clara’s first Tunnel of Oppression – a diversity program that increases awareness of the oppression people face in our community and around the world. Next year, as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Elizabeth will work at a clinic in Washington, DC that provides free health services in the Latino community. She then plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Julianne Jigour. Julianne, an English major and Creative Writing minor, served as the 2007-08 editor of the Santa Clara Review. She has worked as an English tutor, and as a peer educator for literature and writing courses. She has twice presented papers at the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society national convention. She has also participated in SCU’s annual New Playwright’s Festival, which has featured staged readings of her one-act plays Caged and The Cormorant. Julianne plans to pursue either an M.F.A. in writing or a Ph.D. in literature.

Mary Leaverton. Molly, a double major in Religious Studies and Political Science, worked in the newsroom as the op/ed editor for the student newspaper and served as president of the College Democrats. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain. Molly pursued her passion for religion and politics in her senior thesis entitled “Religion and Politics in Hans Kung’s Global Ethic.” Molly will attend law school at the University of Washington.

Christoffer Lee. Christoffer will be graduating with degrees in Philosophy and Political Science. He rowed on the men’s crew team during his freshmen year, worked as a resident assistant in the residence halls during his sophomore and junior years, and studied abroad in Durham, England. Christoffer was selected to represent Santa Clara University in the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Congressional Internship Program, working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Washington, DC. Christoffer will attend U.C. Hastings Law School.

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Laura Maitoza. Laura is a Biology major with a minor in Chemistry. She has served as a tutor for the Chemistry Department and the Drahmann Advising Center for the past three years. She studied abroad in El Salvador through the Casa de Solidaridad Program and participated in the O’Connor Hospital Healthcare Ethics Internship. In her spare time, she has enjoyed playing intramural tennis. In the fall, she will start medical school at Creighton University.

Jonathan McDonald. Jon is a History major with minors in English and Communication. He was a writer and design editor for The Santa Clara, the school newspaper, a teacher's assistant in the Communication Department, and an intern with Portland Monthly magazine, near his hometown of Lake Oswego. For his history thesis, Jon took a new look at the mutiny that ended the fourth century B.C. conquests of Alexander the Great. He will travel before applying to doctoral programs in History.

Maureen McKenzie.  Maureen is an English major. A native of Green Bay, WI, she is a die-hard Packers fan. As a sophomore, Maureen helped co-found the campus group Every Two Minutes that seeks to raise awareness about sexual violence against women. During her junior year, Maureen studied abroad in London and worked for a non-profit aiming to end violence against women and children in the United Kingdom. Maureen also served as a peer educator for the English Department, and led a spring break immersion trip to El Salvador for Santa Clara artists. Maureen will attend law school at Loyola University of Chicago.

Lisete Melo. Lisete is a Political Science major with a minor in Ethnic Studies. A child of Portuguese immigrants, Lisete is the first in her family to receive a university degree. While at Santa Clara, Lisete was active in the Political Science Student Association and made sure to take advantage of internship opportunities in the non-profit, public, and private sectors. Lisete will attend law school and concentrate on public interest law.

Scott Montgomery. Scott is a Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Biotechnology. He was president of the Biological Honors Society, a peer educator in biology and chemistry, a volunteer at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and a recipient of the American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry. Over the past two years, he has been conducting molecular biology research on a protein involved in cell differentiation.  Scott will be continuing this research project over the coming year as he applies to medical schools.

Roujin Mozaffarimehr. Roujin is graduating with a double major in Political Science and Italian Studies. A San Jose native, she has spent much of her time at the ice rink, as a competitive figure skater growing up and as a figure skating instructor during the last four years. Roujin is also a performer and choreographer of Persian Dance. After spending a year researching issues pertaining to gender, politics and society as a Hackworth Fellow with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Roujin has decided to attend the London School of Economics for a master’s degree in Political Sociology.

Stephanie Paulus. Stephanie is a Combined Sciences major with minors in Biology and Religious Studies. She has been involved with Core Christian Fellowship and has also performed in several shows with the Santa Clara Dance Program. She studied abroad in El Salvador and Denmark. This past year she was a Healthcare Ethics intern at O’Connor Hospital and completed her Honors thesis on the ethical obligation of palliative care. Stephanie will be applying to nursing school and taking part in a medical mission to India through the Peninsula Bible Church and Operation Mobilization.

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Cristina Sanidad. Cristina, a double major in Sociology and Individual Studies, has been a leader in the Santa Clara Community Action Program, dealing with issues around homelessness, health, and disabilities; during her senior year she served as the associate director of the organization. Cristina has researched the survival tactics of undocumented immigrants and published an essay on how to create a culture of empowerment within the workplace. Cristina will serve in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Arizona as a labor organizer.

Stephen Shanley. Stephen has earned degrees in Accounting and Economics. He spent four years on the Santa Clara crew team and recently medaled in the pair event at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. He is a member of the University Honors Program and the Leavey Scholars Program. He studied abroad in England where, in addition to his classes and internship, he was able to train with one of London's premier rowing clubs, the Thames Rowing Club. He will begin work at KPMG's Transaction Services Group in Mountain View.

Dan Szajngarten. Dan is receiving degrees in Political Science and History. Prior to attending Santa Clara University, Dan served for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps earning the rank of Sergeant. While at Santa Clara, Dan became involved in numerous extracurricular activities involving world affairs, worked as a campus tutor, and served for two years as a community facilitator for Residential Life. After graduating, Dan will study international law at the University of Notre Dame School of Law.

Ann Thomas. Ann, a triple major in Political Science, Environmental Studies and Individual Studies came to Santa Clara with a cross-country and track scholarship. She is co-authoring a paper on U.S. cotton subsidies with Professor Leslie Gray that will be submitted for publication. Ann served as a coordinator for the Santa Clara Community Action Program, the head of the Fair Trade Coalition, and an ESL tutor for a custodial worker. Ann will work for the Nature Conservancy in an ecosystem service program in Chiapas, Mexico. 

Margaret Van Dorn. Maggi is a Religious Studies major and English minor and has spent most of her time at Santa Clara dancing between the two. Maggi has written weekly liturgies for the Loyola Residential Community that celebrate diverse expressions of faith and spirituality. She has attended Religious Studies conferences in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Syracuse, and has used these experiences as creative fodder for her own writing, some of which has just been published in Santa Clara’s literary magazine. Maggi will begin work at an Alcohol Addiction Recovery Shelter for Native Americans and promises there will be more dancing.

Nicole Van Groningen. Nicole is a Physics major and Religious Studies minor. She is the valedictorian of the Class of 2008. She has done research in both physics and chemistry, not only at Santa Clara but also at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. She has also tutored students from Santa Clara and Downtown College Prep in math and physics. One of the most rewarding aspects of Nicole’s Santa Clara experience has been her involvement with the Santa Clara Dance Team. Nicole will be applying to medical schools and continuing to explore her passion for dance.

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Catherine Waite. Catherine, a San Diego native, has earned degrees in Management and Spanish Studies. She helped to launch the Peer Advising Program for the Leavey School of Business and worked as a teaching assistant for business leadership classes. She has enjoyed tutoring other Santa Clara students in Spanish and volunteering at Sacred Heart Community Service in downtown San Jose. Catherine plans to pursue her love for the Spanish language and culture by traveling to Argentina, Costa Rica, and Spain. She is excited to teach English in the local schools as well as live with host families in each location.

Amy Walls. Amy, a History and Political Science major, is a Bay Area native. She worked in the Undergraduate Admissions Office for three years and served as a peer educator for two classes. Amy wrote her Honors thesis on the impact of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which gave women protection from employment discrimination. Amy will attend Santa Clara University Law School and plans to specialize in education law.

Vincent Whelan. Vincent is a Biology major. He has worked in the Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva lab at the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. Fred Kaplan. For the past year, he has served as co-president of the SCU Pre-Health Club. He has also been a member of the Da Vinci Community Council and played trumpet with the Bronco Pep Band and Santa Clara Orchestra. This summer, Vincent will co-author a paper on tuberculosis and cultural competency while spending time with family and preparing for medical school at U.C. Irvine.

Thomas Wong.  Tom is a triple major in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. He conducted research in theoretical atomic physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory and worked with Professor Ostrov in the Mathematics Department to solve equations describing taxable investments.  Tom has been a tutor on campus and at local high schools. This summer, Tom will earn a teaching credential from Santa Clara University’s Graduate School of Education. He will teach science in a local high school before pursuing a doctorate in Physics at U.C. San Diego.

Ari Zlotoff. Ari, a double major in Political Science and Spanish, is graduating after three years. He played for the university soccer team all three years, and acted in the play, A Piece of My Heart, a student movie, and many staged readings.  He has worked as a research intern for the California Studies Initiative, translating 18th and 19th century Spanish documents into English. Building on his Honors thesis, Ari conceived and led the Israeli-Palestinian Reconciliation Week that took place on campus in May. Ari will work as the director of New Business Initiatives for Cultural Videos, a production company based in Santa Barbara.

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