Every student at St. Edward’s brings a unique perspective and background to our campus community. On the hilltop, their personal stories and understanding of the world are enriched by experiences rooted in our Holy Cross mission. These experiences help students reach new levels of knowledge and achievement ─ and discover what matters most to them. Here, eight Hilltoppers share meaningful moments from their St. Edward’s experience.

Running the World

Kelly Aparicio ’19

Kinesiology major

“Last summer, I interned with Bel Inizio, an organization based out of Houston that works with disadvantaged women to develop self-confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition. Training these women to run their first 5K was inspiring and led me to train to run my first half marathon. I found that if they could reach their goal of racing for a better life, then I could reach my goal of running a half marathon. I am proud to say that I ran for Team Bel Inizio in the Austin Half Marathon on February 18. In training, I was able to apply knowledge from both Bel Inizio and my kinesiology courses. I learned so much about my body, both mentally and physically.”

Open-Minded Adventurer

Colin de Guzman ’18

Behavioral Neuroscience major

"I like to put myself in scenarios where I don’t know what’s going on. Choosing St. Edward’s was a good start of trying something new. Being involved in Campus Ministry and with Student Life, with the University Programming Board and Orientation, allowed me to see different perspectives. I learned how to create experiences through event planning with Student Life, how to reflect by going on service breaks with Campus Ministry and how to think scientifically through research in my major.”


Madeline Cohen ’17

Political Science major

“Learning about American politics and the lack of representation of diversity is why I devote myself to causes that will make a difference in the world. The emphasis on social justice and diversity at St. Edward’s helped me realize I should do something I can feel good about. Politics can often be seen as a slimy business, but at the end of the day, I know I could be a force for good and have a positive impact.

Teacher Extraordinaire

Matthew Villarreal ’19

Math major

“I tutor middle-school students in math. My girlfriend and I are both first-generation college students, and I know there are a lot of kids who struggle to get there academically. Being a role model is my way to give back because math can be challenging, but the personal relationships I’ve developed with the students make it easier for me to teach and for them to learn.”

Ambassador of Caring

Brandon Paz ’19

Communication major

“When I was a freshman, I saw people grow and felt myself grow, too. I’m a Resident Assistant because I want to be a catalyst for people to become the best versions of themselves. I feel like it’s my calling to bring positivity and care to those around me. You can’t be an RA if you don’t care about the people you’re looking out for.”

The Storyteller

Andrea Guzman ’19

Digital Media Management major
Journalism and Digital Media minor

“My internship at the Colorado Springs Gazette as a business intern tested my resilience because I was in a new state, I didn't know anybody, and I was stressed that I wouldn't perform well at my job. I was used to campus reporting for Hilltop Views but not reporting for an entire city. The staff gave me advice on what to report on, and I become an asset to the team. Journalism is not just facts and stats. We’re telling stories of everyday people, and journalism is about educating the heart and mind. It makes me happy to be a journalist at St. Edward's and pursue a career while applying the values of a Holy Cross education.” 

Leader of Tomorrow

Ashton Conwell ’19

Psychology major

“I’ve learned how to be comfortable in my own skin. Coming to St. Edward’s from Cleveland, there wasn’t a lot of diversity at my high school. When I came here, I joined the Black Student Alliance and met more people who looked like me who’ve had similar struggles, and whom I could talk with about the black experience. I have a responsibility to my culture and to represent what being black is for me. St. Edward’s encourages me to explore that piece of myself and present it in a way I choose.”

Sharer of Smiles

Alejandro Torres ’20

Biology major

“I've wanted to be a dentist since I was 15 years old. This past summer, I went to south India and assisted in oral and maxillofacial surgery as a Johnson-Turpin Scholar through CAMP. It was my first time on a plane and traveling outside of the United States. I work as a dental assistant in Austin but helping patients through their oral surgeries was a big opportunity for me that isn't available here. The experience of shadowing doctors Monday through Saturday for a month made my passion for dentistry stronger and made me humble so that I appreciate what I have at home. I want to spend my summers going to other countries to help more people, and once I am a dentist, I plan to travel back to India again and volunteer.”