Apr. 29, 2020
AUSTIN, Texas— St. Edward’s University has selected twelve students to receive the 2019–2020 St. Edward’s University Presidential Award.
The Presidential Award is given to outstanding seniors from the undergraduate, graduate and New College programs who embody the principles of the university’s Holy Cross tradition and mission, and have demonstrated excellence in leadership, academic performance and service to the university and other communities. The award is given annually each April to no more than 12 students.
Kelly Aparicio ’19
Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy
Kelly Aparicio is proud to identify as a first-generation student. Fleeing persecution in El Salvador, her family came to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream. Signing up for the St. Edward’s Freshman Escape retreat forced Kelly to move out of her comfort zone and inspired her to find a new support system within the Office of Campus Ministry. She says that working the volunteer desk at St. David’s hospital taught her that building a professional network takes time and patience. Kelly joined the Latino Student Leaders Organization and served as its multi-cultural co-chair, vice president and president.
Chase Bartlett ’20
Religious and Theological Studies
Chase Barlett overcame a serious sports injury to become the first Hilltopper tennis athlete to win a singles regional championship. His coach describes him as a great student, player and teammate who has made a huge impact in the tennis program and the athletic department as a whole. During his time at St. Edward’s, Chase has volunteered with the Inside Books Project, sending books and writing letters to prisoners in Texas. He also volunteered with Becker Elementary, working with the tennis team to set up their Fall Festival. Chase has been in the Honors Program and on the Dean’s List from Fall 2016 to present, and studied abroad in Berlin.
Kia Baeza ’20
Biology, Pre-Health Professions
Kia Baeza’s childhood desire to be a hero, combined with her love for life and science, cemented her path in medicine. After leaving her competitive high school, which focused on providing health professions experiences and education, she entered St. Edward’s and hit the ground running. In 2017, Kia took on several leadership roles with the university’s Orientation program. She worked as an Orientation Leader and Campus Involvement Team Leader to acclimate incoming students to the traditions and environment of our university. This valuable experience taught her how to navigate through awkward situations.
Meagan Biscamp ’19
Meagan Biscamp did her social work field internship at the Sobering Center in Austin — a support program for people dealing with substance abuse — and she testified before the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to help pass a bill that benefits the center. She founded and led the St. Edward’s chapter of IGNITE, a national non-partisan organization that helps young women become more politically and civically engaged. Meagan says the practical experience and knowledge she gained at St. Edward’s have made her a more socially aware and active citizen, and more confident in her ability as a leader, organizer, researcher and advocate.
Karlee Bradley ’20
As an Honors student, a regular on the Dean’s List and a recipient of the Outstanding Mathematics Student in First Year Courses award, Karlee Bradley’s academic achievements during her time at St. Edward’s have been outstanding. But it’s her growth as a servant leader that makes her most proud. She says she could not image her life without service. Her participation and leadership in service activities has included three Service Break Experiences in the U.S. and abroad, and volunteering with S.E.R.V.E. Austin and several Austin nonprofit organizations to assist underserved communities and people experiencing homelessness.
Lauren Fogt ’19
Kinesiology, Pre-Physical Therapy
Lauren Fogt believes that college is what you make of it. As a freshman, she signed up for every campus club and opportunity that sparked her interest. She quickly learned to balance her time between the commitments and has been an active participant and volunteer in campus and community activities. She was also a teacher’s assistant for the statistics course in the Psychology degree program. A highlight of her time at St. Edward’s was her study abroad semester in Madrid. Honoring what is important to her and having the courage to speak up created innumerable experiences that were life changing.
Emily Herman ’19
Emily Herman says that her experiences at St. Edward’s speak more vibrantly than even the most powerful of speakers. She found that in leadership, servitude and scholarship, she developed as an individual. She endured challenges by facing them with others, and building up her own empathy and understanding of life. And through it all, she uncovered the essence of how to feel and be heard. Alongside her passion for service and servant leadership, Emily has maintained impressive academic achievements and worked in internships and jobs that have furthered her physical, academic and personal development.
Alejandro Izaguirre ’20
Alejandro Izaguirre has the heart of an activist for social progress and the work ethic to back it up. As the vice president and president of the SEU League of United Latin American Citizens chapter, he worked to uplift the narratives of undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients. He learned that being a good listener is imperative to the process. As a Legislative Fellow for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in the U.S. House of Representatives, he staffed, briefed and prepared materials for the Budget, Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. His leadership growth and commitment to social justice are evident throughout his numerous involvements and campus activities.
Alycia Martinez ’20
International Business and Finance
Alycia Martinez describes her time at St. Edward’s as challenging, unexpected and life changing. She has consistently displayed the characteristics that embody the mission of the university and never fails to show a high degree of responsibility, ambition, organization and integrity. Alycia says the Freshman Escape and Emerge retreats, and the caring St. Edward’s community have been pivotal in helping her become more confident and self-aware. She served as a Campus Ministry Retreat Leader, an Orientation Leader, a Spring Break Experience Leader, part of the leadership team for It’s On Us, a Eucharistic Minister, and a Homecoming Team Champion.
Ashley Nassy ’20
Accounting and Finance
Ashley Nassy’s outstanding leadership, scholarship and service are evident in her many achievements at St. Edward’s, including being an Academic Scholar Athlete and on President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List. Her first campus involvements included joining the Accounting Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She went on to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and, along with her Hilltopper softball teammates, built a house in Austin. She worked with the Hurricane Harvey Service Project, leading her team and coordinating efforts to help people affected by the storm. She also participated in a Service Break Experience to Jamaica.
Ana Regalado ’19
Teacher Education/Spanish, Language Arts & Reading
Ana Regalado says that attending the campus Involvement Fair her freshman year, sparked her love of getting involved. At the fair, she joined numerous organizations that aligned with her passion for serving others, such as S.E.R.V.E. Austin, Eucharistic Ministry, Latino Student Leaders Organization and Hilltop Hospitality, and she remained active in all. Ana joined three Service Break Experiences that took her to Girard, Kansas, to focus on migrant education and social services; to Denver, Colorado, to volunteer with serving the homeless; and to Bangalore, India, to work with a rehabilitation center for street boys and orphans.
Leslie Rios ’20
Inspired by her conversations at St. Edward’s about mental health, education and representation, Leslie Rios set out to help low-income, first-generation students like herself be successful. She created and led two first-generation programs for incoming and current students that provide a community of people and resources to help them thrive on the hilltop. In the process, she discovered her passion for policy and advocacy as a career path for improving access to education. Leslie’s impressive leadership and advocacy include serving as president of the Student Government Association and participating in three Spring Break Experiences in the U.S. and abroad.