Laurel Awards is the end-of-the-year celebration for most undergraduate degree programs at Mount Saint Mary's University’s Doheny Campus. Modeled on the ancient Greek custom of bestowing laurel wreaths on Olympic victors, this celebration is a time to recognize our graduates and those receiving special honors. Originating in 1974, this annual award ceremony celebrates the success of students with faculty, staff, administration, and family. We thank you for all you have done to contribute to student life at the Mount in support of your peers and the entire community.
We honor the Sisters of St. Joseph, founded to help women achieve all of which we are capable. We celebrate by bestowing laurels: the symbol of victory for the ancient Greeks, and the symbol of academic achievement and service in our own day. We call to mind the motto of Mount Saint Mary’s University: Deus illuminatio mea, or God is my light, so that we may remember that the gifts God has bestowed on us are meant to illumine and serve the world.
With God’s light to guide us on our path, we can say with St. Paul: I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith. St. Matthew tells us that Jesus said to us: You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Academic Department Awards
Faculty selected students for the following awards, based upon their academic achievement and future promise.
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program
Civility and Respect Award: Luis R. Carrillo
Kind and Caring Award: Bernadette Salenga
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Program
Most Promising Student Award: Guadalupe Ramos
To Succeed Is the Goal Award: Marnisha Wright
Diligence Award: Abner Ramirez
Department of Business Administration
Academic Excellence in Business Administration Award: Jasmine Siguenza
Outstanding Student in Business Writing Award: Yazmin Panduro Aquino
Department of English
MSMU Online Outstanding Achievement in Writing and Literature Awards:
Haede Elias Quijada
Traditional Undergraduate Programs Outstanding Achievement in Writing Awards:
Darlene Arceo Montenegro
Department of History and Political Science
Outstanding Achievement of a Political Science Student Award: Alondra Sosa
Pre-Health Nursing Program
Exceptional Achievement of a Second Year Student Award: Melanie Andrade
Department of Psychology
Achievement of a Liberal Arts/Psychology Student Award: Gisselle de Anda
Outstanding Achievement of a Liberal Arts/Psychology Student Awards:
Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program
Conscientious Award: Robert-Joseph Avila
Perseverence Award: Sumayya Saiyad
Ridge Matthew Echiverri
The Mother Margaret Mary Brady Award
Recognizes a graduating Weekend/Evening College student who has been fully engaged in the university experience. The student should be active in their program, embody ethical decision-making and integrity, and serve as a recognized role model for other students. Strong academic achievement is included in the criteria for this award.
Students Graduating With Honors
Forty-one of our Doheny students are expected to graduate with honors. These students have established and maintained an overall minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher through their final fall semester in their degree programs. They will wear honor cords at the commencement ceremony in August at the Shrine Auditorium.
Maria Gutierrez Rivas
Leadership and Service Awards
We acknowledge the following students for their commitment to organizations across the Doheny campus:
Karen Garcia Diaz
Club and Organization Presidents
Black Student Union
Latinas Unidas (Doheny)
Mount Future Nurses Club
Dean's Student Council
Doheny Student Activities Council
Min Ji Sang
Administration Vice Chair
ISAE Peer Advisor
Graduating Leadership Scholar:
Ashley Espinoza Flores
Fatima Renteria Castro
Returning Orientation Leader:
New Orientation Leaders:
Ashley Espinoza Flores
Phi Theta Kappa
Lydia Rose Alves
Gisselle de Anda
Maria Gutierrez Rivas
Lesley Vasquez Quiñonez
Sports and Wellness Peer Wellness Advocates
Samantha de la Torre
Student Government Association
Emily Rodriguez, Doheny Senator
The Following Awards Are For Students Who Especially Stood Out Among Their Peers:
Mother St. John Fontbonne Award
Mother St. John Fontbonne was one of the great leaders of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Although their community first began in France in 1650, the French Revolution of 1789 led to severe persecution and enormous hardships. Several of the sisters were executed, and many others were threatened. After the Revolution, the leadership of Mother Fontbonne reunited the scattered Sisters of St. Joseph and helped them recreate an even stronger vibrant community dedicated to service. Her innovation, wisdom and steadfast courage are the hallmarks of true servant leadership. This award is given to a student who has exhibited a similar servant leadership in Campus Ministry, marked by initiative and dedication.
Recipient: Madison Serna
Sr. Magdalen Coughlin Award
Sr. Magdalen Coughlin served for many years, until 1989, as the ninth president of Mount Saint Mary’s. A woman of deep faith, she accomplished much in her years as president but was especially noted for her great zeal and unflagging love for our students, in whom she saw enormous beauty and potential. This award is therefore given to a first-year student who is an outstanding minister committed to the service of other Mount students -- someone in whom Sr. Magdalen would have delighted.
Recipient: Raeleene Wilbur
Sr. Teresita Espinoza Award
The Sr. Teresita Espinoza Award is special for two reasons. The first one is that Sr. Teresita is one of our beloved Sisters of St. Joseph, the order of religious women who founded the university in 1925. The second reason is that, inspired by Sr. Teresita, it acknowledges students who offer a reliable presence, steadfast support, personal warmth, and willing assistance for whatever is needed in ministry.
Recipient: Valerie Peña
Sr. Angela Marie Mesa, CSJ Award
Balancing the many aspects of life is a challenge for all students. Sometimes, the challenges are so significant that a student should be recognized for achievement in the face of adversity. The Sr. Maria Angela Mesa Award is given to students who withstood significant personal challenges during their years at the Mount and responded with grace, perseverance, and exceptional courage.
The presentation of laurels throughout history acknowledges achievement, and our Laurel Wreath is bestowed on students who demonstrate leadership in a variety of involvement opportunities such as the Business Club, Campus Ministry, Student Government Association, Student Activities Council, Residence Life, and a host of other organizations and programs on the Doheny campus, all while maintaining a 2.5 GPA or above. Faculty and the Women’s Leadership staff have nominated these student leaders based on their leadership and participation in the co-curricular life of the University:
Ashley Espinoza Flores
Andrea Flores Aguilar
The Laurel Circle recognizes second-year students who have shown exceptional leadership in different clubs and activities on the Doheny Campus, all while maintaining a 2.75 GPA or above. Although there are many worthy students, the Mount community chose to honor these particularly outstanding leaders:
We thank the new Laurel Wreath and Laurel Circle leaders and celebrate the light and energy you have brought this community!
Congratulations to all those receiving awards, all those who have earned honors, all students recognized for their contributions, and all students graduating, moving into a new program, or moving into a new chapter in their lives!
May we learn
how to see God’s light all around us:
In the sick we care for,
in the homeless we help to shelter,
in the hungry we work to feed…
and in all those who walk with us along the way.
May we at the Mount
always shine God’s light upon one another.