The Presidential Award is presented to students who exemplify leadership, service and academic excellence. The award honors those who have demonstrated a service to society, participated in co-curricular activities, promoted a positive influence in promotion of the St. Mary’s mission, and possess the knowledge and skills to be an effective leader.

2022 Presidential Award Recipients

Luisa Ximena Barbagelatta Grau 

B.B.A. Marketing | Callao, Perú

“St. Mary’s University has not only shaped who I am as a person but also how I connect with others. It has helped me find my passion and mission in life, which is to seek inclusively and a sense of community. I look to the future with bright eyes and high hopes, moved by the Marianist Charism and confident I am leaving St. Mary’s University with a plethora of values.”

Zoe Brigman

B.A. in Music with Teacher Certification | San Antonio, Texas

“As I leave St. Mary’s University and enter the professional world as an elementary educator, I see how much my experience at St. Mary’s has influenced my classroom culture by centering on love, respect and inclusivity. In my personal life, I have been impacted by the education in faith, family spirit, and adaptation and change St. Mary’s has provided me. This unique University has given me a piece of itself that I cannot wait to show the world.”

Ankita Chabra

B.S. in Biology | New Delhi, India

“The most important college experience I had at St. Mary’s University was receiving an early acceptance to Saint Louis University School of Medicine. From day one, the Biology Department provided us with immense support and guidance. My journey at St. Mary’s prepared me for my dream career in more ways than I could imagine, instilling in me a sense of service and purpose that I will carry forward with me.”

Kimberly Annayd Cruz

Doctor of Jurisprudence | Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México

“This University has prepared me for life outside school walls in ways no textbooks could describe. I was encouraged to seek internship and employment opportunities I thought beyond my capabilities. The assurances from people who saw more in me than I saw in myself. I no longer have any doubt about my ability to pursue my dream of leaving the world a better place than I found it.”

Regina de la Parra

B.A. in International and Global Studies and Environmental Science | Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México

“At St. Mary’s, I discovered myself as a Marianist, servant leader and advocate for environmental change. I will walk the stage and take the next step in my future well-grounded, centered and knowing my purpose in life: Finding ways to protect the environment, through understanding and community, all while fostering the Marianist teachings in all stages of my life.”

Daniela Maria Duran Garcia Prieto

B.B.A. in Management and Marketing | San Salvador, El Salvador

“Because of the quality education I received at St. Mary’s University, I am blessed to accept a full-time position at Goldman Sachs. Education can get you to extraordinary levels of success, and if you combine it with the values of the Marianist Charism — family, faith, service, justice and peace — you can become even more successful. This lesson could not be more meaningful to me, as I hope to someday give back to my Salvadorian community by creating a business that generates jobs and income.”

Alejandro M. Farias

B.B.A. in Finance and Risk Management | San Antonio, Texas

“At St. Mary’s University, I discovered what it meant to foster my leadership skills, grow a sense of community and serve on many levels. My time at this great University has become the most formative four years of my life and blessed me with a strong sense of self. I can go on with full faith knowing that, because of the education that I received, I can conquer anything in front of me.”

Midori Flores

B.S. in Environmental Science | San Antonio, Texas

“The diversity of people I have led, helped and worked with at St. Mary’s University has allowed me a broader perspective of societal needs. Undoubtedly, I have learned how to be a part of and promote community, and I am confident in my abilities as a budding leader. I will energetically work to fulfill my calling to both inspire others and lend a helping hand whenever possible.”

Pragyan K C

B.S. in Computer Science | Kathmandu, Nepal

“My connection with the Marianist Leadership Program helped start my journey of shaping the person I am today and helped me understand the mission statement of the University. I came here barely knowing about Marianist heritage, I now understand what it means to be a servant leader, to have empathy and to share the table equally with everyone.”

Rylie Kieny

B.B.A. in Finance and Risk Management | San Antonio, Texas

“Choosing St. Mary’s University has been one of my life’s defining moments. In the Greehey School of Business, I have been empowered, supported and held accountable to exemplify well-rounded leadership in addition to hold strong academic achievements. My professors and St. Mary’s staff have left on me a profound and lasting influence. I have become a better sister, daughter, friend and leader thanks to the people, the history and the teaching of St. Mary’s University.”

Eric I. Ortega Rodriguez

B.B.A. in Finance and Risk Management | Kerrville, Texas

“St. Mary’s University has not only taught me skills both technical and personal, but also how to use those abilities with the goal of creating a better tomorrow. My time at St. Mary’s has been my defining moment, giving me the confidence to be who I am, strive to achieve my goals and focus on helping others in everything I do. “

Maria Fernanda Palacios Herrera 

Doctor of Jurisprudence | Querétaro, México

“I am grateful for the opportunities St. Mary’s University has offered me. I will be leaving St. Mary’s as a stronger advocate and a more confident leader. I am more prepared than ever to conquer my goals, with a wide network of attorneys, and eager to continue my mission to serve my community as an immigration attorney.”

Wilzave Quiles Guzmán

B.A. in International and Global Studies and B.S. in Environmental Science | Camuy, Puerto Rico 

“Thanks to the experiences I have had on campus and the people I have interacted with I have realized the importance of a relationship with God and how we can reflect that through everything we do. I have become a more self-reflective, resilient, confident woman. I still have lots to learn but St. Mary’s University has strengthened my foundations and prepared me for life beyond graduation.”

Lance Siler

B.B.A. in Finance and Risk Management | Fulshear, Texas 

“I have found myself being pulled by the Marianist Charism to live a life that is rooted in God, in faith and in His love. My experience at St. Mary’s University gave me a new strength of faith. The community, the mission and the people I have encountered have helped guide me on a personal journey of self-discovery — a journey of understanding myself and a life accompanied by Mary, who helps us grow in our faith and love of God.”

Sarah Daniela Uhlig

B.A. in Theology and English and M.A. in English Literature and Language | San Antonio, Texas

“St. Mary’s University fundamentally influenced who I am today and how I serve others. When I look back on my time at St. Mary’s, I understand how students become part of the Marianist family. Even though we come from diverse backgrounds and faiths, we all share the Marianist Charism. We remember the foundation of the University and continue the legacy of those who came before us to establish the St. Mary’s community.”

Shalini Venkat

B.A. in Psychology | Helotes, Texas

“I grew up with a passion for social justice issues, especially those concerning women and ethnic minority populations, after hearing stories from my parents about how they struggled as Indian immigrants. Faculty, staff and peer mentors have inspired me to engage in job opportunities, pursue research projects, and start the Women’s Affairs Council. Taken together, these experiences have allowed me to grow into an advocate ready to create change after graduation.”

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