Each spring St. Mary’s University celebrates student achievement inside and outside of the classroom at our Distinguished Leaders Night. This evening honors St. Mary’s students who live the Marianist ideals, contribute to the educational mission of the university and extend themselves to the community through their academic and co-curricular involvement. The 2009-2010 The Recipients were honored at the 16th Annual Distinguished Leaders Night held on Tuesday, April 13.

Presidential Awards are chosen by St. Mary’s President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. and the Student Development division.

Stephanie M. Baumgart
Hometown: Philadelphia
Majors: Accounting, Corporate Financial Management, Financial Services/Risk Management
Rattler Enterprises, Co-founder, CEO
Entrepreneur Scholars Program E-5 Cohort
Dean’s Student Advisory Council, 2008-present
Outstanding Student Award in Accounting, 2009
Beta Gamma Sigma member
Future Plans: I will begin the St. Mary’s MBA program in the summer of 2010.
I plan to graduate in the spring of 2011 and pursue a Ph.D. in accounting beginning fall of 2011.
My goal is to earn a Ph.D. so that I can return to St. Mary’s University as a professor of accounting in the Bill Greehey School of Business.

Gina M. Buffaloe
Hometown: Corpus Christi
Majors: Physics and Mathematics
Phi Sigma Tau, Vice President
Minority Access to Research Careers Program, Student Researcher
St. Mary’s University Guitar Ensemble
Society of Physics Students, Secretary
Fiesta of Physics, Demonstrator
San Antonio Stand and Deliver Program, Math Tutor
London Semester Abroad, Fall 2008
Future Plans: I plan to pursue a doctorate degree in physics and become a researcher in the astrophysics or high energy physics field.

Reesa M. Cerdas
Hometown: Galveston
Majors: International Business and Marketing
University Ministry
Campus Recreation, Fitness Instructor
Rattler Awakening, Cook Staff
SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) Team
International Business Club
International Business Honor Society
Pilgrimage of Solidarity to Peru, May 2009
Future Plans: After graduation I will be committing a year of service with the Marianists in Peru. Upon my return, I will pursue an MBA at St. Mary’s University.

Anahi Guadalupe Covarrubias Hernandez
Hometown: San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Majors: International Business and Corporate Finance
Delta Zeta Sorority
International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi
International Summer School Schmalkalden, 2009
President’s Ambassador
Rattler Awakening Retreat 11, Staff Member
Student Orientation, Student Director, 2008
Future Plans: I plan to pursue a career within the finance field for a year, then pursue a master’s degree in Global Management or Non-Profit Management.

Courtney M. Deane
Hometown: El Paso
Major: Biochemistry
Code Blue Dance Team, Co-Captain
St. Mary’s Society of Mathematicians, Treasurer 2007-2008, Vice President 2008-2009
St. Mary’s Cross Country Team, 2008-2009
Learning< Assistance Center, Tutor, 2007-2009 American Chemical Society of Students Miss El Paso 2008 Future Plans: Pursuing a D.D.S. degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School and joining the Navy Dental Corps. Christopher E. Flores Hometown: San Antonio Majors: Physics and Mathematics St. Mary's University Honors Scholar Phi Sigma Tau (International Honors Society in Philosophy), President Sigma Pi Sigma (National Honors Society in Physics), Member Society of Physics Students, Vice President London Study Abroad, Fall 2008 Minority Access to Research Careers Trainee Undergraduate Research Office Summer Fellow Future Plans: I am pursuing a Ph.D. in High Energy Physics at the University of California at Davis beginning in the fall of 2010. Miguel Angel Garcia Hometown: McAllen Major: Political Science Phi Alpha Delta, President President's Ambassador London Study Abroad, Fall 2007 Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities - Washington D.C., Summer 2009 Alumni Interned in the White House Complex and National Archives District 125-Intern with Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro Actor and Director with the Drama Department Acted in the school production of Antigone and directed the school production of The Boor Hug
Lobbied for Texas Equalization Grant in 2007 and 2009 in Austin
Future Plans: I plan to pursue a master’s degree in either Political Science or International Relations and later on I plan to apply to Harvard and NYU in pursuit of a law degree. I will also begin writing a book and a play, and hopefully help my parents open a new business back home.

Derek J. Gonzalez
Hometown: San Antonio
Major: Marketing
St. Mary’s University Baseball, Four Year Starter
Dallas Cowboys Marketing Staff
Marianist Leadership Program
Rattler Awakening Retreat, Rector
Journey To The Cross: Men’s Retreat, Founder
The Bridge, Co-Founder
Marianist Movers, Co-Founder
Future Plans: I have a summer internship with the San Antonio Missions media/radio department and Canvas Ministries. After a year of work experience, I will pursue a master’s degree in Business or Radio, TV and Film.

Tiffany P. Le
Hometown: San Antonio
Major: Biology
Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, President
Lucien Manchester’s, Ph.D., Anatomy, Histology, and General Biology Chief Proctor
Colette Daubner’s, Ph.D., Biochemistry Teacher Assistant
Organic Chemistry, Peer-Led Team Learning Leader
Research on Tyrosine Hydroxylase
Honors Program Scholar
Joint Admission Medical Program
Future Plans: I will be pursuing a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Nicholas E. Maldonado
Hometown: San Antonio
Major: Corporate Financial Management and Financial Services/Risk Management
President of a renewed Finance Club
Admission Emissaries, President and Tour Guide Trainer
Risk and Insurance Management Society Scholarship Recipient
St. Gregory the Great Back-to-back City Champions, Assistant Coach
“Clash of the Clubs” game show, Creator
Bill Greehey School of Business “Scavenger Hunt”, Creator
Internship at “Northwestern Mutual,” Fortune 500 Company Top 10 Internships site
Future Plans: I am pursuing a CFP designation and a master’s in Risk Management in order to help people all around San Antonio and the surrounding area to feel secure with their finances now and in the future. Above all, the main goal is to make people smile by helping them achieve their goals and dreams in any way I can

Kelly Lauren Ochoa
Hometown: Yorktown
Majors: Marketing and Biology
Residence Life, Resident Assistant
University Ministry, Ministerial Assistant
21st Century Leadership Center, Leadership Program Assistant
University Cheerleader
Delta Sigma Pi
President’s Ambassador
Student Orientation Assistant
Future Plans: I am pursuing a master’s degree in Business Administration, then furthering my education by pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy.

Rebecca Marie Uribe
Hometown: San Antonio
Major: Entrepreneurial Studies
Beta Gamma Sigma, Member, 2010
Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Association, President and Charter Member, 2009-2010
New Student Orientation, Student Director, 2009
LeaderShape, Graduate, 2010
Future Plans: Upon graduation, I plan to start a business working with inner city youth in San Antonio, and to pursue both a master’s degree in Business Administration and a Ph.D. within the next 10 years.

Claudia Lizbeth Valladolid
Hometown: San Antonio
Majors: International Relations and Speech Communications
University Programming Council, President
Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar
Student Government Association, Senior Senator (Senate Majority Leader)
President’s Ambassador
Phi Alpha Delta, Social Events Chair
Marianist Universities Meeting, St. Mary’s Student Representative, Summer 2007
Oklahoma State University “Democracy and World Politics” – Summer Fellowship Research Program, Summer 2009
Future Plans: I will be pursuing a master’s degree in Communication and Development at Ohio University (Center for International Studies) on a full tuition scholarship and stipend. At the completion of this degree I hope to work for the United Nations by supporting and promoting positive and social development through the means of research. I aspire to represent the United States through communication comprehensibility, and hopefully through public diplomacy.

Francesanne Willis
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn.
Major: English
Marianist Leadership Program
Rattler Awakening
Catholic Student Group
London Semester Abroad
Delta Zeta Sorority
Rattler Recruiters
Future Plans: I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in elementary education and helping young children embrace learning.

Athletics Department
Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year: Arlynda Flores
Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year: Curtis Mitchell

Campus Recreation
Campus Recreation Excellence in Leadership: Travis Brownlee, Lizette Gallardo and Ashley Kirby
Career Services and Service Learning Centers
Career Services Intern of the Year: Juan Elizondo
Outstanding Commitment to Service: Katie Green

Enrollment Management
Excellence in Recruitment Award: Monica Navarro and Erica Solis
Excellence in Retention Mentorship Award: Anahi Covarrubias

Residence Life
S.T.A.R.S. of the Year: Cassandra Baily
Resident Assistant of the Year: Alexa Burdett
The St. Mary’s Fund
St. Mary’s Fund Leadership Award: Portia Gresham
St. Mary’s Fund Spirit of Philanthropy Award: Ashley Hernandez
St. Mary’s Fund Volunteer of the Year: Vincent Astudillo

Student Activities and Transition Programs
Greek Life, New Member of the Year: Francisco Lopez
Greek Man of the Year: Danny Zamorano
Greek Woman of the Year: Rebecca Lopez
Award of Fraternal Excellence: Omega Delta Phi

International Student Services
International Students of the Year: Alfonso De La Torre Navarte and Francine Masso
International Graduate of the Year: Mario Quispe

Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, Hattie Briscoe Award
St. Mary’s Law School Restorative Justice Initiative

New Student Orientation
Student Orientation Assistant of the Year: Domini Davis

Registered Student Organization Office
Recognized Student Organization of the Year Award: Best Buddies

University Programming Council
Production Assistant of the Year: Megan Torres
Executive Board Member of the Year: Claudia Valladolid

University Ministry
Diakonia Award: Brian Buchmeyer

Carl Fitzgerald Scholarship:
Bobby Baiza and Francesca Garcia

Gamma Sigma Alpha
Gamma Sigma Alpha is a National Academic Greek Honor Society that recognizes Social Greek members with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in any semester during their junior or senior year:
Christina Adame
Samantha Bezdeck
Ana Marquez

Order of Omega
Order of Omega is a national organization that recognizes fraternity men and women who have attained a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities, specifically in the areas of brotherhood/sisterhood, leadership, service and scholarship:
Vincent Astudillo
Samantha Bezdeck
Cindy Marie Dominguez
Marisa Doria
Christine Duchouquette
Juan Elizondo
Cristina Serrano
Alexandra Weber
Amanda Kropp
Kristina I. Mata
Elizabeth R. Perez
Brandi Rodriguez
Sonya Sanchez
Kimberly Sue Salazar

Phi Eta Sigma
Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society for students who achieved a 3.5 grade point average or higher during their freshman year:
James A. Almagner Jessica S. Hernandez Sandra V. Rosas
Tiffany A. Brown Brittany M. Horak Karina L. Rubio
Nicholas R. Canedo Shane I. Loza Justin M. Sadler
Gabrielle Casas Julian A. Martinez Jorge L. Sosa
Paul G. Chamberlain Amanda L. Mendez Gregory A. Valdez
Alejandra Diaz Itzel Morales Micah L. Walker
Wendy M. Espinoza Haemi Noh Jose R. Ybanez III
Nicole M. Flores Tanairi Y. Ochoa Stephanie A. Zargoza
Hillary L. Garza Kimberly A. Pruske
Rachel M. Gutierrez Peter M. Romero

Who’s Who
Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges is one of the most renowned honors programs in the nation. It recognizes students who combine a strong academic background with leadership skills evidenced in co-curricular involvement in campus and community activities:
Leslie Aragon Stephan Hardt Sarah Roche
Gabriela Baida Samone Hill Jessica Rodriguez
Stephanie Baumgart Ashley Kirby Teresa Rodriguez
Eric Barrera Christine Le Joseph Santos
Danielle Borboa Tiffany Le Christopher Sierra
Steven Brzezinkski Kristopher Levy Everado Silva
David Cadena Kristina Lindsay Truc Tran
Anahi Covarrubias Shannon Lowry Tami Tydlacka
Courtney Deane Averie Maldonado Rebecca Uribe
Victoria Dela Fuente Mellyruth Maldonado Claudia Valladolid
Joseph Diaz Gabrielle Martinez Rose Vazquez
Kelly Dowd Kristina Mata Belinda Veliz
Christine Duchouquette Edwin Najera Lashelle Villarreal
Maria Fernandez-Merlo Barbara Neusch Kristie Wainright
Dyana Garcia Gerardo Paredes Ashly Waltman
Lauren Garcia Anna Plote Warrin Witten
Miguel Garcia George Posada Hector Zapata
Alyssa Gonzalez Allyshea Puchi-Cortez
Minerva Gorjon Keily Rivero

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