Culture of champions
The St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Advocacy Program gives J.D. students real-world experience by allowing them to practice in a courtroom setting before mock judges and juries. This powerhouse program builds teams that continue to dominate national competitions.Read More
Alumni entrepreneurs discover career and companionship at St. Mary’s
Despite both being students in the Greehey School of Business, Aaron Thomas and Nisi Heredia (B.B.A. ’11), now Nisi Thomas, didn’t cross paths until they met at a student gathering.
St. Mary’s alumni find benefits through post-graduation guide
From social media to local chapters, from campus events to fun perks, St. Mary's University alumni can find many paths to stay connected to their alma mater through the guide below.
Beat the heat with summer reads
Need a break from the heat? Stay inside with a one of these books written by our very own St. Mary’s University alumni and faculty.
A St. Mary’s degree 70 years in the making
For Charles Anderson, 88, the Doctor of Commerce, honoris causa, was more than just another milestone in a life full of accomplishments. Instead, this moment 70 years in the making.
St. Mary’s alumnus ditches backpack for guitar case to open stage at Fiesta Oyster Bake
Trey Gonzalez (B.A. ’18) has played crowds of varying sizes, but his performance at Fiesta Oyster Bake is a little more exciting than others.
Defining Moment: Alumnus hopes to give students a chance
When asked about his defining moment at St. Mary’s University, Antonio “Tony” Sanchez Jr. (B.B.A. ’65, J.D. ’69) paused for a moment before answering, “economics.”
Greehey Scholars Program alumni begin their happily ever after at St. Mary’s
She was an Accounting major. He was studying Finance and Risk Management. She was in the Honors program. He was on the tennis team. She was a junior from the Rio Grande Valley. He was a first-year student from Sugar Land.
St. Mary’s alumni better the world with mental health counseling
Through St. Mary’s University’s two counseling programs, the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, hundreds of students have gone on to become licensed counselors, helping people overcome hardships and live more fulfilling lives.
Alumna becomes the youngest writer in the Writers’ League of Texas Fellowship Program
When Jamira Richardson joined the St. Mary’s University English Literature and Language program in Fall 2016, her professors were confident she’d go far with writing. It was no surprise that she was selected as the youngest member for the Writers’ League of Texas Fellowship Program right before graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Spring 2020.
Alumnus and Executive Director of Development shares Marianist spirit
Before accepting St. Mary’s University’s Marianist Heritage Award earlier this year, Fred “Steve” Hemphill (B.A. ’05) made a list of every Marianist who has impacted his life — 42 names.
Alumna becomes a successful direct mail marketer while putting her family first
Five kids and one stay-at-home mom starting a home-based business sounds like a risky equation. However, when you factor in Brenda Stewart’s determination to put her family first, it all adds up to the perfect solution for her success.
Environmental Science alumna earns state grant for superior teaching
Christina Lopez (B.A. ’18) was 28 years old when she enrolled at St. Mary’s University to study Environmental Science, hoping to teach it someday to young students.
Arts and Humanities
Alumna continues her passion for service at USAA
As the corporate responsibility director at USAA, Laura Cabanilla has helped distribute tens of millions of dollars to philanthropic projects that make a difference in the San Antonio community and individuals’ lives.
Communications Studies-Political Science double major takes advantage of St. Mary’s opportunities
Junior Lily Schow leads through academics, as a Communications Studies and Political Science double major, and through SGA and esports.
Criminal Justice student connects with St. Mary’s mission
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Christine Nduhura's family fled to Rwanda amid ethnic cleansing and later immigrated to the U.S. Now, she's studying Criminal Justice at St. Mary's University.
New minor and certificate focus on Mexican American Studies
Sierra Salas, a senior Political Science major at St. Mary’s University, knows what she wants in a career: to serve the people of San Antonio.
Art professor makes her mark across the city with large-scale mosaics
From the Blue Star Art Complex to McAllister Park, Houston Street to St. Mary’s University — the public art created by Adjunct Professor Twyla Arthur has infused beauty into spots across San Antonio.
Larry Hufford delivers final lecture and lasting wisdom
With more than 50 years of teaching experience, Larry Hufford, Ph.D., said there is one thing he hopes he's remembered for as a person.
Defining Moment: Alumna names scholarship after Marianist mentor
RaSheeda Keir hopes to give future generations a change at the same success she had while attending St. Mary's University.
St. Mary’s students discover Mexican American culture through new program
St. Mary's offers a 15-hour certificate and the 18-hour minor in Mexican American Studies to learn more about Mexican American history.
Alumna Rachel Huron looks to acting and beyond
by Nathaniel Miller Growing up, many children are told they can be anything. Rachel Huron (B.A. ’21) decided she wanted to be anyone. The St. Mary’s University alumna, who graduated Dec. 11 with a degree in Communications Studies, also earned a minor in Drama. Now in the process of applying to graduate schools ...
Theology grad and drummer continues search for meaning
Trivett Wingo (M.A. ’20), in his search for meaning and purpose, has lived many lives — as a drummer for a world-touring band, as an accountant and now as a St. Mary’s University graduate seeking to fulfill his knowledge quest.
With nearly six decades serving St. Mary’s, Political Science professor concludes a legendary career
Charles Cotrell, Ph.D., aka Charlie. To generations of St. Mary’s University alumni, his name signals a jaw-dropping 55-year teaching career, or serving as the University’s first lay president from 2000 to 2012.
Public History student follows Old Spanish Trail to award-winning conclusion
Glory Turnbull (B.A. ’20), a student in the Master of Arts in Public History program at St. Mary’s University, received in May the Student Excellence Award from Texas Digital Libraries for digitizing archival documents and subsequently creating an exhibit on the Old Spanish Trail (OST) — a 2,817-mile automobile route constructed in the early 20th century stretching from St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California.
Athletics and Recreation
STUNT program hurdles its way into Rattler Athletics varsity sports portfolio
Toe touches, back tucks and high-air basket tosses signaled the very first practice this summer by recruits to St. Mary’s University’s newest varsity sport — STUNT.
Rattler Athletics uses new technology to improve performance
St. Mary’s University student-athletes — especially in Soccer, Golf and Volleyball — are accessing the latest technology to improve their game, which was made possible partly by donations to Rattler Athletics.
Women’s Basketball player brings her talents to school and courts
As a five-sport student-athlete in high school in Fredericksburg, Hannah Wilson (B.A. ’21) learned to balance school, sports, a social life and more.
Golf alum journeys from St. Mary’s to the airwaves
Before Peter Burns (B.A. '02) ascended to among the most prominent personalities in college sports, he was searching for direction and guidance in the classrooms of St. Mary's University.
St. Mary’s soccer coach discovers passion for public history
While attending the Master of Arts in Public History program at St. Mary’s University, Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach Adam Nerio (M.A. ’20) started his days on the field at 5 a.m. for team training.
Pivoting with excellence: Men’s Soccer captain continues studies from Brazil
Deni Cresto, a junior from Curitiba, Brazil, studying Exercise and Sport Science, often refers to a message from St. Mary’s University Men’s Soccer Head Coach Johnny Clifford: “Control what you can control.”
Rattler Baseball player graduates to research scientist
Like young baseball fans around the world, Jeff Wigdahl dreamed of making the big league — Major League Baseball.
New St. Mary’s coach among first female varsity collegiate esports coaches
Breaking into the world of esports has been a challenge for women. At St. Mary’s University, Kaitlin Teniente found her chance to become the first head coach — leading the new varsity Esports Program.
Big Solve: Changing the culture
The loss of the opening game of the Fall 2019 Men’s Soccer season felt like a make-or-break moment. But it wasn’t just the loss that stung — it was the way we lost.
Soccer player Pato Botello Faz inks pro deal
In his senior season on the St. Mary’s University Men’s Soccer team, Pato Botello Faz took the Heartland Conference by storm and signed to play with a United Soccer League club in Michigan, the Lansing Ignite.
Roller derby members bring track lessons to St. Mary’s
“Just put a Band-Aid on it.” This was Melanie Call’s nonchalant response after receiving a busted lip playing for the Alamo City Roller Girls (ACRG), San Antonio’s women’s roller derby team.
Coaching for Impact
Hannah Petersen heard stories of how difficult it would be to say goodbye to her new friends in Vietnam after a three-week stay of service in Summer 2017.
Texas Facilities Commission director oversees massive construction at the Capitol
Overseeing $1.5 billion in facilities projects across the state falls to Executive Director of the Texas Facilities Commission Mike Novak (B.B.A. ’75).
Finance and Risk Management senior dives into service
Zane Smith fell in love with St. Mary’s University the first time he set foot on campus for his college tour. Now, he makes an impact as a tour guide, President's Ambassador and scholar.
Alumnus transitions from military law to the business world
When serving in the United States Army, William Brown, J.D. (M.B.A. '20) now a regulatory relations attorney at USAA’s Chief Legal Office, regularly packed up and went wherever needed.
Defining Moment: Bill Greehey’s gifts fund multiple ventures
As the largest donor in St. Mary’s history, Bill Greehey has continuously shared his success to benefit students.
Defining Moment: CEO’s scholarship supports women in business
Lynda Ellis knows the business world can be tough. But the lessons learned at St. Mary's University have helped her in her career, and she wants to help future women leaders a chance to succeed.
Defining Moment: Couple provides scholarship for those in need
Sally Scholz said her late husband Charles Scholz, would never have been able to get where he did in life without St. Mary's University.
Contreras Leaders in Risk Program welcomes inaugural class
The Contreras Leaders in Risk Program launched during the Spring 2022 semester. It was made possible through a $2 million gift by Thomas “Tom” Contreras (B.B.A. ’88) and Leticia “Leti” Contreras (B.A. ’89) in 2017.
Siblings make their mark through marketing research
Two sisters launch careers as marketing professors through the Greehey School of Business MBA programs.
Virtual option allows for international experience during COVID-19 pandemic
During the Spring 2021 semester — as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to scuttle travel plans — Sami Bouls (B.B.A. ’21) received hands-on experience with two Latin American companies and pursued his degree in International Business — all from the safety of his own home.
New Vice Provost leads renamed Career and Professional Development Center
In her new role as Vice Provost for Vocation and Career Services, Stephanie Ward sees her mission as a simple one: helping students find purpose in their careers.
Kenyan alumna breaks barriers in leadership role at footwear company
Jeddidah Thotho (B.B.A. ’98) is as self-assured stepping off a global planning call for Bata Shoe Kenya PLC — the country’s largest footwear company — as she is stepping into her favorite pair of Bata Comfit boots to care for her two children.
Management majors launch woman-owned fashion businesses
For some St. Mary’s University students, like Management major Nadia Carrasco-Vasquez, who graduated this May, owning a business is a lifelong dream — in her case, since childhood days in her mom’s coffee shop in Arizona.
Student finds new home with alumni and on campus
When Victoria Van Winkle was 12 years old, her birth mother was diagnosed with cancer. She spent much of her teenage years looking after her younger siblings and in hospitals with her mother. She didn’t have much time to study or think about her future — until she met a doctor who would change her life.
St. Mary’s University featured on Amazon Prime’s “The College Tour”
St. Mary’s has been featured in an episode of The College Tour, an Amazon Prime series that spotlights colleges and universities around the country.
Defining Moment: Couple sees sense in togetherness
Leticia "Leti Contreras and Thomas "Tom" Contreras believe the community experience at St. Mary's University is what makes it so special.
The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign succeeds in bringing the University’s vision to life
The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign gifts fund scholarships, endowed professorships, world-class facilities, academic programs and research.
Defining Moment: St. Mary’s shares gratitude for a mission made real
In this Gold & Blue, you will hear from several generous men and women who helped achieve what so many believed impossible — a fundraising campaign 10 times greater than any prior St. Mary’s University campaign and larger than all previous campaigns combined.
With numerous college options, top-ranked seniors rank St. Mary’s first
This fall, St. Mary’s University welcomed an astounding number of valedictorians and salutatorians into its Class of 2025. Hailing from all corners of the state, each of these 13 students chose to become Rattlers after graduating in one of the top two spots in their high school senior class.
A summer escape with St. Mary’s authors
This list of Rattler reads will help your mind escape to another place with books by St. Mary’s students, alumni, faculty and staff.
Collegiate cats find companionship at St. Mary’s
At any given time, the St. Mary’s University campus is home to at least 10 free-ranging felines. Marty, Ringo, Possum and Oliver hang around Blume Library, while A.J., who has made a shelter of campus for more than a decade, frequents the Marianist Residence in her old age.
Pivoting with excellence: St. Mary’s community adapts in response to pandemic
At St. Mary’s University, at no time in our history has our ability to succeed as a team been tested as it has amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At no time has our ability to come together ensured the future of the University and our region as we have this year.
Pivoting with excellence: Housekeeping staff continue their spotless record
During a pandemic, proper cleaning is crucial. Fortunately for the St. Mary’s community, the Housekeeping Department went above and beyond even before COVID-19.
Pivoting with excellence: Rattler Success Center supports students in online learning
At the University made the transition to online, the Rattler Success Center (RSC) was one step ahead, having already begun online tutoring earlier in the 2019-2020 academic year.
International mother and son graduate in St. Mary’s first virtual Commencement
Most students who go to college leave behind proud parents at home. For Abdulrahman Almaghlooth (B.A. ’20), he not only went to college with his mother, Reema Alhowaish (Ph.D. ’20), but also graduated with her in the spring as part of St. Mary’s University’s first virtual Commencement ceremony.
Faith and Service
Theology alumna recognized globally for humanitarian work at the border
Before Sister Norma Pimentel (M.A. ’89) became executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, was named among TIME’s Most Influential People or was recognized by Pope Francis for her work with refugees at the U.S.-Mexico Border, she dreamed of being an artist.
St. Mary’s University puts its all into a seven-year climate effort
On Earth Day 2022, St. Mary’s University faculty, staff and students were learning about the seven-year commitment to “care for our common home."
Defining Moment: Alumnus credits mission for his success
When Charles T. Barrett Jr. (B.B.A. ’62) decided to enroll at St. Mary’s University, he did so wanting to get back to a school with Marianist teachings.
Alumnus priest pens book of homilies during pandemic
When the Rev. David Garcia (B.A. ’71) was approached to write weekly homilies during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he initially refused.
Through transformational leadership, St. Mary’s enhances academic programs, student development and faith formation
With new challenges arising daily, and old ways of life coming into question, St. Mary’s University believes one answer to uncertainty remains one of the bedrocks of a Marianist university — educating for transformational leaders.
After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican double-major regains confidence at St. Mary’s
When Wilzave Guzman thinks of her homeland — Puerto Rico — she is filled with good memories of growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood, volunteering with military organizations to help feed the island’s needy. But for the senior double majoring in Environmental Science and in International and Global Studies there is also pain and, at the same time, acceptance and awe at the vast power of Mother Nature.
Pivoting with excellence: The Rattler Impact Scholarship awards over $1.2 million to nearly 1,000 students
In July, through the generosity of the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association, President Mengler and his wife, Mona, combined with University funds, St. Mary’s offered the Rattler Impact Scholarship to further support nearly 1,000 students in Fall 2020.
Pivoting with excellence: Mask Squad takes on safety measures
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear masks. The Mask Squad — a group of about 80 St. Mary’s University students who were trained and are committed to the health and safety of every member of our community — have worked to stem the spread of COVID-19 on campus this fall.
Chapel Choir releases video collaborations amid pandemic
Since 2007, more than 100 students at St. Mary’s University have sung their hearts out for the masses as proud participants of Chapel Choir.
Staff member leads virtual prayer sessions amidst coronavirus pandemic
When the coronavirus pandemic hit San Antonio during spring break – temporarily paralyzing St. Mary’s University’s prayer community – it didn’t take long for Jessica Uhlig, Ed.D., Executive Director of Marianist Educational Associates, to place her faith in technology.
Ethics expert proposes framework for “Voting Catholic”
While there’s no perfect way to “Vote Catholic,” theologian Julie Hanlon Rubio, Ph.D., proposes a framework for helping the faithful make tough decisions during election season. Rubio is a Professor of Social Ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.
Students and faculty showcase the formation of faith at St. Mary’s
Find out how our students and faculty are better able to strengthen their beliefs through the gifts of The Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign through Q&A and quotes.
School of Law professor elucidates ethics in the legal field
Legal ethics expert and professor Michael S. Ariens continuously strives to be the type of author he wants to read. He hopes to be that author who writes the book on the niche topic his readers need most.
St. Mary’s Law graduates nine alumni from one family
The St. Mary’s University School of Law graduates alumni from all over the world, but the Dowd family from St. Louis produces School of Law graduates en masse.
Nationally ranked Advocacy Program prepares court-ready lawyers
Walking into the St. Mary’s University School of Law’s Raba Building, it’s easy to get distracted by the numerous trophies. But those awards, earned by the School of Law’s Advocacy Program, represent tournament placements and are points of pride for a program that has produced national champions.
Alumna uses her experience to create judicial clerkships
The Hon. Marina Garcia Marmolejo is using her experience to create judicial clerkship opportunities for School of Law students. She is a Laredo-based federal district judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Pipeline program makes law school a reality for high school students
The Office of Pipeline Initiatives finds ways to demystify law school for high school students to make their law school dreams a reality.
School of Law celebrates faculty, staff who have served decades
This year marks a milestone for several faculty members, celebrating decades of dedicated service to the St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Clerkships add employment security and prestige to law graduate’s repertoires
St. Mary's School of Law graduates secure judicial clerkship opportunities through a new clerkship program.
M.Jur. alumnus combines forensic psychology with law studies
The question that drives forensic psychologist John Delatorre is why an individual commits a crime. He applies psychology to consult on criminal, civil and family law cases in his work. He'll soon apply his Master of Jurisprudence education to his work as well.
MBA/J.D. student finds nontraditional path to success
A single teen mom. A successful business owner. And now a dual-degree student at St. Mary’s University attaining her MBA and J.D. Vanessa Ortega has paved her own path to success and helps others find theirs.
Law student founds nonprofit group for young runners
For his nonprofit Running Down a Dream, Shawn Barnett led a group of 14 school-aged children and their parents through warm-up stretches. Before starting their run, Barnett, a second-year J.D. student at the St. Mary’s University School of Law, tells everyone to set a reasonable, achievable goal for themselves.
Tamales, cafecito and blessings bring the Rio Grande Valley family spirit to St. Mary’s Law students
The smell of warm tamales and hot coffee bring to mind the warmth and aroma of home for some St. Mary’s University School of Law students.
Graduating J.D. student finds her “why” at St. Mary’s Law
Rosa Peterson, scheduled to graduate from the St. Mary’s University School of Law on May 21, has donated her time to various organizations during her studies.
Science and Tech
Environmental Science and English major studies coyote-red wolf link
Originally from Mexico, Bianca Ramos joined the St. Mary’s community, eager to explore her passion for sharing the wonders of the natural world with others.
Alum at Department of Energy positions U.S. for its future
Zack Valdez, Ph.D. (B.S. ’10), finds motivational fuel in explaining complex science and increasing public trust in scientific findings by everyone from community members who need to understand their environment to Congressional decision-makers.
Biology junior sets sights on medical school and inspiring others
Overcoming a lack of economic or educational resources, Jocelyn Torres is studying Biology and aiming for her next degree through the Joint Admission Medical Program.
Men’s Basketball player uses mechanical engineering to help others
As a St. Mary’s University senior studying Mechanical Engineering and a forward on the Ratter Men’s Basketball team, Emmanuel Ewuzie is on his way to achieving his goals.
Cybersecurity degree nets prestigious designation from NSA, DHS
Being recognized as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense is more than securing a prominent designation for St. Mary’s University — it also guarantees for students that their program is recognized by the federal government.
Seasoned faculty, new equipment take the Forensic Science program to the next level
With the help of a multimillion-dollar grant, updated equipment and new professors, the Forensic Science program at St. Mary’s University gives students specialized knowledge in identifying and analyzing physical evidence needed to succeed in their careers.
Biology alumna appointed to presidential scientific committee
When Erika Gonzalez, M.D. (B.S. ’98), learned she had been chosen to sit on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science, she was in disbelief.
Biology graduate sets sights on medical school
Attending school away from home can be terrifying. For Ankita Chabra, leaving India to attend St. Mary’s University was an easy decision.
Defining Moment: Former trustee wants to see programs continue to evolve
Robert "Bob" Elizondo knows to keep up you have to change with the world, and he wants St. Mary's to keep up with technology.
Defining Moment: Gift to help fund innovation center
Growing up, John Sieffert didn’t stay in one place for long because of his father's job. Eventually, he found his way to St. Mary's.
Defining Moment: Alumnus helps next group of STEM students
Robert Massie gives to the new Innovation Center continuing in the tradition of service to others.
Defining Moment: Alumnus hopes to fuel growth of beloved program
Earning three degrees at St. Mary's University, Juan Valadez Jr., said it's his turn to give back to incoming students to help their education.