Cesar Ledesma

Bachelor of Arts: Politics

Honors

Magna Cum Laude
Professor Hisham Ahmed Award

Hometown

Bay Point, California

Award Bio

Cesar A. Ledesma is graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Politics. He is incredibly honored to be named the first recipient of the Professor Hisham Ahmed Award. The late professor served as an encouraging figure to all of his students and is greatly missed. Professor Ahmed and the Politics Department as a whole supported Cesar throughout the years, and he remains tremendously grateful for the experience. During his time at Saint Mary's College, Cesar participated in SMC's High Potential Program and CILSA's Public Service Internship Program. From these experiences, he has solidified his goal of pursuing his JD and is currently working with social justice organizations in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

My Greatest Supporters

My mom, my brothers, and my girlfriend, Rosanna. They were consistently there for me and supported all of my academic decisions. Without them, I could have not made it this far, and they are the reason why I will continue to thrive. I also owe all of my friends and classmates the credit of constantly challenging me into improving my abilities academically. Special thanks to Sophia!

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Hands down, my favorite SMC memory has to be the time a friend of mine confidently went up to the board to solve the 9 Dots Puzzle challenge and drew three straight lines on the board. She misheard the directions and didn’t know they had to interconnect. It's been almost 2 years and I still find it as funny as it was then.

My Next Chapter

My current goal is to pursue a JD and eventually work in the federal judicial system. I will continue to serve as a Leadership Council Delegate for a non-profit organization in Alameda County and as an academic mentor for underserved middle and high schoolers.

Clubs and Activities

CILSA Public Service Internship Program
High Potential Program
Government Club
Monument Crisis Center
Leadership Council Member at Genesis, An Affiliate of the Gamaliel Network

Favorite Quote

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it."
— Nelson Mandela

Brendan Carr

Bachelor of Science: Math: Applied Track & French

Honors

Magna Cum Laude

Hometown

Anderson, CA

My Greatest Supporters

I'd like to thank, firstly, my immediate family for their invaluable help. When I needed motivation: you were there. And, just as well, you taught me the merits of rest.
Secondly, my other family members who helped foster my curiosity. I appreciate the wisdom and the resources that you selflessly offered. Much Love.
Of course, I thank my friends for the fun days that imbued me with happiness. <3

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

An unforgettable moment that happened Freshman year was when I made a promotional half-court shot during the Home Opener for the Men's basketball team! The sold-out crowd went wild! Many students recognized me in the week following. But what I will forever treasure is that, I found several excellent professors who inspired me to seek the truth in many domains!

My Next Chapter

I will be finding things to do that will help the people of Northern California, my home. My basis for the future is to be authentic and honest.

Clubs and Activities

Gael Force
Philosophy Club
Intramural Flag Football
Knights of Columbus

Favorite Quote

"Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live in time. All the rest, governing, amassing, and building, is but an accessory and secondary."

— Michel de Montaigne

Andrew Watterson

Bachelor of Arts: Politics

Honors

Magna Cum Laude

Hometown

Brisbane, Queensland

My Greatest Supporters

My greatest supporters during my time at Saint Mary’s were my family, my girlfriend Amelia, Chris and the rest of the Assumption squad. Without them, I don't know where I would be.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

My favourite memory at Saint Mary's would have to be when all my friends came to watch me play tennis.

My Next Chapter

I will attend grad school in the U.S. and find my way back home to Australia after.

Clubs and Activities

Men’s tennis team
Student Athlete Advisory Committee
Institutional Affairs Board
Governing Documents Committee
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Ada Fraser

Bachelor of Science: Psychology: Behavioral Neuroscience

Honors

Magna Cum Laude

Hometown

Albany, California

Alondra Mendoza

Bachelor of Science: Business Administration: Marketing

Minor

Communication

Honors

Magna Cum Laude
Earl W. Smith

Hometown

Fort Bragg, California

Award Bio

Alondra Mendoza is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing and a Communication minor. Throughout her undergraduate career, Alondra was a lead peer mentor for the High Potential Program, the PR and Event Planning intern for the Disney Forum Speaker Series, and the Diversity Dance representative for La Hermandad. In addition, she was a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. After graduation, Alondra will work at Five9 as a Social Media and Communications intern.

My Greatest Supporters

My greatest supporters are first and foremost my family and friends, as well as the High Potential Program community at Saint Mary's. Without them, I wouldn't be where I'm at today.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

My favorite Saint Mary's memory is getting to know and live with my best friends from campus. We've established such close connections that I know we will be friends for life. I also truly enjoyed being a part of the High Potential Program and building such a tight-knit community with my peers and coach.

My Next Chapter

I will be staying home in Fort Bragg, CA, and starting an internship for Five9 as their 2021 Social Media & Communications intern this summer.

Clubs and Activities

High Potential Program Lead Peer Mentor
La Hermandad Diversity Dance Representative
NSFP Weekend of Welcome Leader
TASC Tutor
CILSA Jumpstart Corps Member

Favorite Quote

"God is within her, she will not fall..."
— Psalm 46:5

Ariana Khojasteh

Bachelor of Science: Psychology: Clinical Counseling

Minor

Communication

Honors

Magna Cum Laude

Hometown

Campbell, California

My Greatest Supporters

My mom, dad, older brother Ryan, and all of my friends and professors at SMC!

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Being a Weekend of Welcome Leader my Junior year and being a Resident Advisor my Senior year.

My Next Chapter

I will begin a PhD program in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University this Fall.

Clubs and Activities

Resident Advisor
Research Assistant
Weekend of Welcome Leader
Peer Conduct Council Member
Psi Chi President
Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society
Psychology Club Co-President
Admissions Volunteer
Senior Week Committee

Favorite Quote

“Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.”
— Michael Josephson
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Alexander Riggsby

Bachelor of Arts: Politics

Minor

Communication

Honors

Magna Cum Laude

Hometown

Reno, Nevada