2021 Presidential Award Winners

Andrea Aldaz

Andrea Maresa Aldaz

B.S. in Biochemistry
El Paso, Texas

“As an undergraduate, I was able to expand my research experience, better acquaint myself with medical advancements and participate in an applied laboratory setting.”

Steven Castillo

Steven Alfred Rudy Castillo

B.S. in Biology
Amarillo, Texas

“The themes of Catholic Social Teaching helped instill in my character a habitual act of reflection, analysis, critical thinking and problem solving for the common good.”

Kathryn Drees

Kathryn Clare Drees

B.A. in Biology
Boerne, Texas

“The Marianist family spirit has been a huge part of my experience, and I am eager to share my ideas and talents with the community around me as I continue to medical school.”

Alain Peralt

Alain Patrick Peralt

B.S. in Forensic Science
Mountain Home, Texas

“Over the course of my four-year journey at St. Mary’s University, I was introduced to many incredible people who helped me grow into the man I am today. It brings me a lot of joy to look back and see how far I have come to this point.”

Ana Saravia

Ana Paula Saravia

B.A. in Economics and Mathematics
Lima, Peru

“St. Mary’s has trained me to continue learning and, while it has answered many questions I had when I started college, now I have new questions to answer in graduate school.”

Josemaria Soriano

Josemaria Sebastian Soriano

M.S. in Engineering Systems Management
Lima, Peru

“I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to defeating poverty, but I didn’t know how to do it. After my time at St. Mary’s, my path is clear.”

  • 2020 Presidential Award Winners

    • Faris Adrian Andonie (Engineering)
    • Jocelyn Baca (Physics)
    • Victoria Anne Leh (Chemistry)
    • Nicolas Alberto Romero (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Jesus Valencia (Biochemistry)
  • 2019 Presidential Award Winners

    • Christine N. Flores (Computer Information Systems)
    • Geyner Andres Gaona (Biology)
    • Rebeca M. Gurrola (Physics and Mathematics)
  • 2018 Presidential Award Winners

    • Elena Janay Botello (Electrical Engineering)
    • Stephen Mark Braden (Biology)
    • Iliana Esther De La Cruz (Physics and Mathematics)
    • Kathryn Lorraine Ellebracht (Biology)
    • Deandra C. Gonzalez (Biology)

Notable Alumni

Ravi Chaudhary, D.L.S. (M.S. '99)

Ravi Chaudhary, D.L.S. (M.S. ’99)

As director of Advanced Programs and Innovation in the Office of Commercial Space Transportation at the FAA, Chaudhary is responsible for looking into the future of commercial space transportation. And for Chaudhary, a man with a direct line to the president, not a day goes by during which the lessons he learned as an Industrial Engineering graduate student at St. Mary’s University aren’t on his mind.

“I was blessed to have (Professor of Industrial Engineering) Rafael Moras invest heavily in my development and guide me through a challenging graduate engineering degree. Over time, Dr. Moras become more than an academic adviser; he became a good friend and mentor.

Looking back, going to St. Mary’s was one of the best decisions I could’ve made.”

Giovanni Fazio

With an award-winning career that spans more than half a century, Giovanni G. Fazio earned both a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Mary’s in 1954. A renowned astrophysicist, Fazio helped pioneer NASA’s development of gamma-ray astronomy using balloon-borne and ground-based detectors. He is a senior physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Erika Gonzalez-Reyes, M.D. (B.S. ’98)

Gonzalez-Reyes serves as the CEO & President of South Texas Allergy & Asthma Medical Professionals and STAAMP Clinical Research. As a student at St. Mary’s, Gonzalez-Reyes participated in the Health Careers Opportunity Program and the MARCU*STAR program before completing medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston on an Air Force scholarship.

As an alumna, Gonzalez-Reyes mentors pre-med students and allows them to rotate through her clinic. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the School of Science, Engineering and Technology, and by sharing her story with women and minorities, she hopes to inspire them to realize, “That could be me one day.”

“The sense of community that St. Mary’s has, along with the faith-based mission, surrounds you with mentors and educators who are concerned with your success. It’s just as important to them as it is to you.”

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