Senior Spotlights

As we countdown to commencement ceremonies, OLLU shines the spotlight on the accomplishments on some of our December 2016 graduates and give them an opportunity to reflect on their time at OLLU. Commencement ceremonies will take place Dec. 17, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Freeman Coliseum.

Campus Activities: President of Association of Information Technology Professionals, CyberSaints, Club Bowling Team

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has given me the opportunity to make many great relationships between the faculty, staff, students and myself. I feel that I have relationships with my professors that my friends at other universities do not have. I have also worked on campus for three years and have made great relationships with the staff here at OLLU. I have had a great opportunity through my activities on campus to meet numerous students and I feel that I have made some great life friends.

An important life lesson learned: I learned that you need to keep your head held high and aimed at the end goal. We all will struggle at some point in life, but we can overcome the issue at hand and prevail.

Plans for the future: I have accepted an offer at United Services Automobile Association as a software developer and integrator after graduation. I plan on working for a while and obtaining my master’s during that time. I do have an interest in teaching, but that won’t be for quite some time.
 

Campus Activities: Women's Soccer Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sigma Zeta Math and Science Honor Society

Impact of OLLU: In my time at OLLU, the community feel has enabled me to form relationships with friends, teammates, and professors which I will forever cherish. Being able to come to school and see the same faces on a day-to-day basis has meant that we, as classmates, have grown and changed together and I feel like those people with whom I have spent so much time at OLLU know me better than anyone. I am blessed to have built so many meaningful relationships that I hope will only continue to grow in the future.

An important life lesson learned: I'd have to say that something I am reminded of every day is the importance of taking things one day at a time and not worrying too much about what is (or may not be) coming. In class, assignments pile up and get to be extremely overwhelming. I've taught myself to just focus on getting one thing done before looking at what's next. The same principle applies to my life as a whole even outside my undergraduate experience. I've always been a huge planner. However, things come up, and a lot doesn't go as planned. This is something that I have experienced many times at OLLU, but it is also something that I can carry with me in the future.

Plans for the future: With my biology and kinesiology background, I plan to continue my education in the health care field either in medical, physician assistant, or physical therapy school. I have applied to medical schools and am entertaining the thought of applying to PA/PT schools as well. In the meantime, while I wait for acceptance, I do have a job lined up with Airrosti Rehab Centers which will hopefully help to supplement my education as I put what I have learned in the classroom into practice in a clinical recovery setting.
 

Campus Activities: Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, Inc., University Programming Council, Association of Black Students, HALO, OLLU Choir, Lake Front Live, First Year Connection, Applications of Learning Mentor, Leadership for Freshmen Excellence Program, Student Government Association, Blue Crew, Drama Club, Co-Founder of Blue Nation, Founder of Saints Greek Council, Founder of Mr. and Ms. OLLU Showcase, Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership Society, OLLU Lions Club, Awakening Staff, Student Leadership and Development Student Supervisor, National Association of Campus Activities

Impact of OLLU: I found my passion here at Our Lady of the Lake University. Through my experience here I have grown to know that developing other leaders is what I truly love to do. OLLU has helped me define and maximize who I am and prepared me to go anywhere I would like to.

An important life lesson learned: Through being here at the Lake, I have learned that this world is filled with so many different people with different backgrounds. I have learned that everyone is a leader in their own way and that the best thing I can do to truly help a person is listen.

Plans for the future: I currently have a job at Enterprise as an MT in training to become an assistant manager. I also have been accepted to continue my OLLU career here in the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program. With my degree, I also would love to grow my business as a DJ.

 

Campus Activities: Track and Field Team, Cross-Country Team, OLLU Rock and Roll Half-Marathon Representative (Taking Second in Her Age Group) Qualifier for NAIA National Marathon, Bexar County Health Collaborative Intern

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life academically as well as helped me to enhance my athletic performance. Through academics, both the psychology department and sociology department have inspired me to reach a new level of confidence to pursue my career dreams. The professors in these departments have invested in my future and I am forever grateful to them. My athletic performance has improved both through new record times and mental toughness. The coaches I have worked with have encouraged me to stick to a strict regimen. I recognize I am unique in my coaching ability and the coaches at OLLU have gained my respect and trust by allowing my abilities to come together physically, mentally, and emotionally. They know what it takes to push a runner to reach her potential. It took many tries to find the perfect match with a coaching staff and I found it here at OLLU. Thank you, Coach Sherman and Coach Smith for your time and patience and for enduring my occasional moodiness. I am looking forward to another successful season with you both.

An important life lesson learned: I have learned to stay committed and never accept the limitations anyone else tries to put on me.

Plans for the future: I have been accepted for graduate school at Our Lady of the Lake University. In addition to attending classes at OLLU, I also will be running track and field. I hope to use my degrees from OLLU to usher me into Boston University’s Interdisciplinary PhD in Sociology and Social Work.

 

Campus Activities: Men's Club Basketball Team Founder, Youth Basketball Summer Camp, Math Society, Earth Club, Elementary School Volunteer Mentor

Impact of OLLU: Since attending OLLU, I have met some pretty amazing people. All of whom have wanted the best for me. I am grateful for that. The people I met here I will never forget and will always have a bond with them from friends to faculty and staff.

An important life lesson learned: You can always bounce back. There should be no limit to how high you can go as long as in your mind you accept that challenge and put in the hard work to overcome failure.

Plans for the future: I am currently in the application process for graduate school. I want to pursue a master’s degree in aquatic biology. Also, I have always wanted to be a high school teacher and basketball coach. I will be working at New Frontiers Charter School in the spring. I want to use athletics to help young people learn and improve their lives.

 
Campus Activities: National Society of Leadership and Success, Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society

Impact of OLLU: OLLU has impacted my life significantly. The small class sizes, and professors who go out of their way to help their students, and the academic resources provided to help students succeed (the writing and peer tutoring centers) are amazing. OLLU has helped me to grow as a person. I cannot imagine myself having gone to a different university. I am glad I chose OLLU. OLLU has blessed me with a great learning experience and life-long friends.

An important life lesson learned: I have learned many important life lessons, but the one that is most important to me is that no goal is unattainable; if you apply yourself, work hard, and stay focused, you can do anything.

Plans for the future: I was recently accepted to the graduate program here at OLLU. So, for now I plan to further my education in business, while working as a student employee, and also volunteering at organizations in the marketing department to receive hands-on experience. In the future, once I have finished school completely, I hope to get into marketing management and I believe that everything I have learned at OLLU will help me succeed not only in my career, but in my personal life as well.
 
Campus Activities: University Programming Council, First Year Connection Mentor, HALO Coordinator, Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Pi National Society For Leadership and Success, Student Teams Actively Recruiting Students (S.T.A.R.S), Lake Greek Council, Order of Omega National Leadership Honor Society, OLLU Lions Club

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has impacted my life immensely. OLLU has provided one of the most important contributions to my life and family. Throughout my time at OLLU, I have met numerous people who have, in their own ways, positively impacted my life. These people have pushed me to do what I never thought was meant for me. Because of these individuals I was able to become a representative of the students on this campus, to become an executive member within honor societies and other organizations, to put on campus programs for the students and for the community to enjoy, to work alongside faculty to help shape the dynamics of the campus, and provide more for the students here at OLLU. These people I have met have done so much for me and because of their efforts I have done everything I came here to accomplish and so much more. I can proudly say that because of OLLU, I have gained many new brothers and sisters.

An important life lesson learned: Not to sound cliché, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that nothing is impossible. College in and of itself is no easy task. It isn’t any easier while working, maintaining a social life, keeping up with assignments, taking responsibilities in organizations, joining new organizations, networking everywhere you go (because it never hurts to plan very far ahead into your future), and so much more. I know my experience is not comparable to others, some have it easier and some have much harder, but that does not mean our goals and dreams are not achievable. We will never accomplish our goals or dreams at the same time or at the same rate, but we can all say that we have accomplished something we were told was impossible, or something that was beyond our abilities.

Plans for the future: I intend to do many things with my degrees because there is so much for me to do with them. I would like to teach secondary school English and become a motivating factor just as my senior English teacher was for me. With all I’ve gained from what I have done during my time at OLLU, my hope is to teach and guide future generations.

 

Campus Activities: Student Mentor at Harlandale High School, Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society, Alpha Chi National Honor Society

Impact of OLLU: Truthfully, the professors at OLLU have made the most impact on my life. Their knowledge, skill, and passion for social work has helped shape my educational journey.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I’ve learned is that it’s less important to be perfect in this world, but vital to our soul to be authentic. Our common humanity unites us in our struggles, growth, achievements and possibilities. I live my life by this quote from Inspirational leader and activist Lilia Watson, “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.”

Plans for the future: I’ve been a dedicated staff member at the Rape Crisis Center for children and adults since 2004, so naturally I will continue to work with this great organization as I attend graduate school in the spring at OLLU. My aspirations are limitless at this point. I will be continuing my education and work with the Rape Crisis Center but hope to one day be able to teach other social work students.

 
Campus Activities: Men’s Baseball Team, Assistant Pitching Coach, A/V Tech

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has given me the opportunity to realize I can really accomplish anything in life if I put hard work into it.

An important life lesson learned: God called me to be here at OLLU for many different reasons. OLLU gave me the opportunity to play for the Men’s Baseball team. I learned the value and importance of an education which led to a successful academic career here at OLLU. The biggest life lesson I learned is never give up because God has much bigger plans for everyone. The opportunities that God opened during my time at the Lake were opportunities in which I could gain more confidence in myself.

Plans for the future: I plan to pursue my MBA at OLLU beginning in the spring semester, and I will be working at the university. I want to work for a financial firm in the near future, but my ultimate goal is to have my own company.

 
Campus Activities: Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority, Inc. Executive Board; Student Government Association Director of Records and Finances; Saints Greek Council Vice President of Administration; Law and Politics Society President; Criminal Justice Society Treasurer; Blue Nation Orientation Senior Leader; First Year Connection Applications of Learning Mentor; Leadership Institute for Freshman Excellence Mentor; Lion’s Club International; Blue Stars Dance Team; vOLLUnteer Unity Council Site Leader; President’s Volunteer Service Award Recipient; Ms. Providence 2016; Alpha Chi National College Honor Society; Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society; Sigma Lambda Criminal Justice Honor Society; Order of Omega National Leadership Honor Society; and Admissions Student Employee.

Impact of OLLU:
Throughout my undergraduate years at the Lake, I’ve learned to apply OLLU’s core values into my own life. I was blessed to study at a university that embraces Community, Integrity, Service and Trust. The OLLU community has definitely had a positive impact on my life from the amazing staff and faculty to the students in my classes. I have truly grown professionally and I’m forever thankful for their unconditional support.

An important life lesson learned: I’ve learned that in order to be successful, you need to step out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself.

Plans for the future: I aspire to earn my Juris Doctorate in the future. I am in the application process for law school. I’ve always been passionate about helping those who are marginalized. I want to practice immigration, criminal, and/or civil rights law, specifically for a nonprofit organization. I also plan to run for office someday.
 
Campus Activities: Bilingual Education Student Organization, Kappa Delta Epsilon Gamma Psi

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has impacted my life by emphasizing the “big picture” and by reinforcing the importance of service. The faculty at OLLU always challenged me with the question of “how are you going to use what you are learning here to make your community and your world a better place?” The pursuit of finding the answer to this question has pushed me to become a person that lives everyday making the conscious effort to make his community a little bit better through service, hard work, and hope for a brighter future. I do not believe that any other university could have given me the same service-driven education.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I have ever learned is that you have not truly failed until you quit. Sometimes, it is easier to just give up than to keep trying to achieve whatever it is you are trying to achieve. However, so long as you do not quit, eventually you will find your way to the finish line. People who are successful usually are not where they are because they are smarter or because they are made of something different than those who are not. They are successful because they had the tenacity and perseverance to keep going even when life gave them every reason not to. As someone who is about to graduate, I can see my finish line approaching and I think back to all the times I wanted to give up and how grateful I am that I did not.

Plans for the future: I aspire to become a mathematics teacher at my old high school. OLLU has taught me to give back to my community and I plan to make a fulfilling career out of it. I have been offered a long-term substitute teacher position at my old high school. If all goes well, this will turn into a permanent position starting next school year.
 
Campus Activities: Phi Alpha Honor Society

Impact of OLLU:
I would like to share a story that actually inspired me to attend OLLU and how it impacted me. When I first went to talk to someone about enrolling and attending OLLU, I noticed a professor take her time and sit down with a student who was on the verge of having to drop classes due to a personal issue. The professor tried talking to the student about not dropping her classes, but the student had already made her decision. The professor then wished the student well and told her to return anytime. I sat there and thought....This is where I want to be. I want to attend a college where I will be valued. It may have only been one professor, but that's all it took. I knew then that I was making the right decision. OLLU has caring and supportive staff. Not only are the staff great, but so are the people who attend. I gained new friends. The combination of great staff and students is what impacted me to complete my degree.

An important life lesson learned: I learned that anyone can do it. Anyone can attend college if they put their mind to it. As a mother of three, a wife, and a full-time employee, I had doubts about my educational success, but as I attended OLLU, I gained the confidence and determination to complete and succeed.

Plans for the future: I am employed full time as a Case Manager for a nonprofit agency, but completing my degree has helped me to become better at my job and view things through a whole new lens.
 
Campus Activities: McNair Scholars Program, Honors Program, President of Psi-Chi Psychology Honor Society, Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity, Health Services Office Assistant, and Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office Intern

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has made me a more well-rounded individual due to the vast amount of experiences that were presented to me during my undergraduate education. Thanks to these experiences, I am now more aware of a greater reality and the importance of being active in the community.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest lesson that I have learned at OLLU has been to get out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the numerous opportunities and experiences that are provided by the community to enrich my development as a scholar and as an individual.

Plans for the future: I hope to be able to implement the degree and experiences achieved at OLLU in order to help marginalized individuals in the community by providing them with adequate resources and professional help.


 
Campus Activities: HALO Apprentice, University Programing Council, First Year Connection Mentor, University Ministry, Student Government Association, Sigma Alpha Pi Leadership Honor Society, Alpha Sigma National Art Honor Society and Sigma Theta Epsilon National Christian Fraternity

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU gave me the opportunity to further my education even though I am a nontraditional student. Everyone at OLLU has been very accepting and they have helped me develop essential skills that have been extremely useful out in the real world.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson that I have learned is to thank God for the time he gives us because it goes by so fast.

Plans for the future: I hope to accomplish a lot of things with my degree and the experience I gained at OLLU. I want to help mold young minds in my community back home in Los Angeles, California. I want to help them be more open to their culture through the arts. I also hope to open my own print shop where I could have affordable prints for the community and create my own clothing designs. I also want to open a Latinx-themed bar/restaurant.


 
Campus Activities: Men’s Tennis Team, Community Volunteer

Impact of OLLU:
OLLU has impacted my life tremendously. I have met so many people who have become good friends of mine. I have gained numerous things by attending Our Lady of the Lake University such as my work ethic. Every year since freshman year, I have improved my work ethic and I give a lot of credit to tennis as Coach Castillo pushed us hard every year and the outcome of that was our first championship.

An important life lesson learned: The biggest life lesson I have learned while attending OLLU is, if you want something then don't stop until you get it. Whether it was from a professor or my coach, they always motivated me to strive for the best and if that was not enough they showed me the work ethic to finally achieve what I wanted.

Plans for the future: I am currently a Farmers Insurance agent and was blessed with this opportunity in the spring of 2016. Being only 22 years old and already a business owner, I feel very blessed and thankful. The business department at Our Lady of the Lake University prepared me for this opportunity. In the future, I hope to continue my education and earn a master’s degree in business. I would also love to use my experience as a college tennis player and teach private tennis lessons to those who are less fortunate. By giving back, I would feel a sense of happiness knowing that I am helping others.