The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign supports academic and research distinction

Science and Tech
November 19, 2019

Our history. Our moment. Our vision to be the finest.

Find out how our students and faculty have followed their passions to find academic and research distinction with help from the gifts of The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign through the short story and quotes below.

Research opportunities help launch young scientist

Jose Figueroa and Richard Lombardini discuss physics.

Jose Figueroa, left, a junior from San Antonio studying Physics and Mathematics, gives thanks for the opportunities provided by those who have donated to improve research opportunities.

“Young people, especially people of color in the sciences, just need a chance,” said Figueroa, who has interned with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. “Breaking the mold is something I don’t take for granted. Doing that internship proved that I can research. I can go anywhere in the world and be a good scientist.”

The recently renovated Brother William Hamm Physics Lab is greatly enhancing courses “crucial in the preparation for future engineers and scientists,” said Richard Lombardini, Ph.D., right, Associate Professor of Physics.


Alexis Salazar sits in a biology lab.

I had never been exposed to research prior to coming to St. Mary’s. After I started, I fell in love with it. The professors helped me understand that my work extends to thousands of lives. The donors who funded much of our research and our renovated spaces have helped introduce us to our future callings.” — Alexis Salazar, Biology senior from San Antonio

Veronica Contreras-Shannon stands by a microscope.

Research as an undergraduate can be a transformative experience. As a mentor, I can see that transformation at work in my students. When students are in the research lab working on answering real questions that could impact health and disease, they learn biology in a whole new way.” — Verónica Contreras-Shannon, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences

Nicolas Romero stands by Mechanical Engineering equipment.

The Mechanical Engineering program has given me the skills required to work in an engineering-related industry right out of undergraduate school, but with an emphasis on the importance of establishing interpersonal relationships and reflecting the characteristics of a Marianist education.” — Nicolas Romero, Mechanical Engineering senior from California and member of the Marianist Leadership Program

Amber McClung leans on Mechanical Engineering equipment.

Mechanical engineering does not make sense without facilities for the students to experience the engineering in a hands-on environment. Without the support that we have received to build labs, our program would be meaningless. It is great to be able to attract students who want to learn mechanical engineering in our Marianist community.” — Amber McClung, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Brad Root stands in the Graduate Center for Excellence.

Travel funding for students, such as through the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, incentivizes good work. Our students say these opportunities have allowed them to be better prepared than everyone else when they reach graduate school.” — Bradley W. Root, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of History

Samantha Shine Trabucco sits on the brainstorm blocks in the Graduate Center for Excellence.

Thanks to the support I’ve received through the Promoting Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program, I am able to attend St. Mary’s and give back to the community by sharing stories about San Antonio’s history. Through the program, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with the nonprofit Esperanza Center to produce a digital project on the history of the Missions and Tejano culture.” — Samantha Shine Trabucco, Master of Arts in Public History student from Floresville

Read more about what the campaign means to our students and faculty through these stories:

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