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Laurel Awards 2020

The Laurel Awards celebration is a time to recognize our graduates and those receiving special honors

May 12, 2020

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
Claudia Mejia

Mary-Elizabeth Sadduk
Fern Santos

Lara Shannel
Tanya Quevedo

Traditional Undergraduate Programs Outstanding Achievement in Writing Awards:

Sandra Aguilar
Darlene Arceo Montenegro
Sienna Atendido
Grecia Carrera
Jacqueline Dominguez

December Dorton
Marianey Figueroa
Lisa Gomez
Gabriela Jimenez
Gabrielle Marquez

Annabelle Mendoza
Sydney Rojas
Samantha Sanchez
Vanessa Valencia
Alyssa Villa

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:

Jennifer Aragon
Viviana Jimenez

Elennie Hernandez
Deja Spears

Evelyn Jeronimo

Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program

Conscientious Award: Robert-Joseph Avila
Perseverence Award: Sumayya Saiyad

Diligence Awards:

Maricarmen Alvarez

Ridge Matthew Echiverri

Latora Nall

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.

Alina Asmarian

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.

Milene Andino
Sandra Aguilar
Narineh Arakilian
Madison Ascencio
Abigail Avendano
Kristin Caro
Casondra Cerecedes
Madeline Chavez
Valerie Chavez
Eunice Dogbey
Erica Egar
Quennie Enad
Vannessa Estrada
Monique Eusebio

Nicole Fichera
Maria Gutierrez Rivas
Jacqueline Hernandez
Megan Innamorato
Margarita Lechuga
Tricia Lim
Natalie Lizalde
Cecilia Lucatero
Andrea Lugo
Stephanie Manzo
Jasmine Marquez
Katherine Martinez
Frances Mercado
Vicente Mojares

Yvette Molina
Nayeli Montalvan
Krystal Morales
Phyllis Mungai
Nneka Nwobodo
Cristal Peña
Daisy Pineda
Anahita Pirnazari
Noah-Noah Pujanes-Mantor
Jasmine Siguenza
Kathleen Sundquist
Vanessa Valencia
Benton Williams

Leadership and Service Awards

We acknowledge the following students for their commitment to organizations across the Doheny campus:

Campus Ministers

A group of people standing in an arena

Alezey Cortez
Ashley Espinoza
Karen Garcia Diaz

Brenda Martinez
Graciela Orozco
Valerie Peña

Madison Serna
Josephine Vargas
Raeleene Wilbur

Club and Organization Presidents

3 pictures of students in different clubs and organizations

Kaylah Hernandez,
Black Student Union

Jasmine Siguenza,
Business Club

Vania Bravo,
Latinas Unidas (Doheny)

Veronica Muñoz,
Mount Future Nurses Club

Dean's Student Council

girl laughing with badge

Vania Bravo
Jennie Ekpa

Ky’Mari Love
Kamaria Purvis)

Doheny Student Activities Council

A group of students at Doheny campus

Savannah Sanchez,

Spirit Coordinators:
Andrea Cortave
Lizette Gonzalez

Spirit Team:
Samantha Alderete
Andrea Bernal
Nicole Berumen

Kathleen Perez,

Natalie Huggard
Cindy Lopez

Clara Kim
Fiyinfoluwa Ojo
Min Ji Sang

Joanna Gamarra,
Administration Vice Chair

Jayleen Ramos
Kimberly Rivas

Dalilah Valencia
Linette Vidauri

ISAE Peer Advisor

Marizennia Andres
Jessica Contreras
Joanna Gamarra
Vivian Garcia
Cindy Lopez

Karina Mejia
Mabel Monterrosa
Roxana Pablo
Fatima Padilla
Rufina Piche

Jayleen Ramos
Jocelynn Velazquez
Rashell Villatoro

Leadership Scholars

A group of women wearing purple outside on grass

Ashley Blancas
Lucy Collins

Graduating Leadership Scholar:
Kimberly Ganivet

Ashley Espinoza Flores
Fatima Renteria Castro

Mariana Sifuentes

Orientation Leaders

A collage of students in matching orientation tshirts outside

Returning Orientation Leader:
Kathleen Perez

New Orientation Leaders:
Ashley Espinoza Flores

Noeli Herrera
Veronica Montiel

Phi Theta Kappa

Vanessa Aguilar
Victoria Alvarez
Esmeralda Alvarez
Lydia Rose Alves
Crystal Carrillo
Denise Castro
Daniela Contreras
Jessica Cortes
Gisselle de Anda
Andrea Escamilla
Natalie Figueroa
Marilyn Garcia-Lana
Maria Gutierrez Rivas
Yarely Guzman-Guzman
Alyssa Hernandez
Helen Hernandez

Viviana Jimenez
Michelle Leon
Judith Lopez
Karen Macias
Gabrielle Marquez
Jasmine Marron
Ashley Martinez
Guadalupe Martinez
Katherine Martinez
Leia Minzt
Krystal Morales
April Navarrete
Ashley Ngo
Julia Paredes
Sarah Perez
Desiree Ramirez

Erika Rincon
Cindy Rivera
Sydney Rojas
Alene Saavedra
Annabell Salgado
Diana Saravia
Jasmine Siguenza
Emily Solorio
Abbigail Tinoco
Nicole Torres
Lesley Vasquez Quiñonez
Alyssa Villa
Veronica Villalta
Scarlett Zambada

Resident Assistants

A group of students wearing purple shirts

Nadya Beckett-Jimenez

Valerie Chavez
Veronica Muñoz

Emily Nguyen

Sports and Wellness Peer Wellness Advocates

Students sitting behind a table during a farmer's market on campus

Vanessa Aguilar
Goretti Cervantes
Samantha de la Torre

Alicia Ejiaga
Yarely Guzman-Guzman
Carmen Ramos

Alyssa Ream
Josephine Rodriguez
Isabella Solano

Student Government Association

Students standing together in groups

Emily Rodriguez, Doheny Senator

The Following Awards Are For Students Who Especially Stood Out Among Their Peers:

mother fontbonne statue in black and white

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

Sister Magdalen Coughlin

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

Sister Espinoza

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

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.


Stephanee Beggs
Wendy Bernarte

Michelle Chavez
Brandy Mendoza

Abner Ramirez
Jasmine Siguenza

laurel wreath pin

Laurel Wreath

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:

Brianna Alvarado
Wendy Bernarte
Ashley Blancas
Valerie Chavez

Ashley Espinoza Flores
Andrea Flores Aguilar
Kaylah Hernandez
Veronica Munoz

Virginia Rodriguez
Emily Salazar
Vanessa Valencia

laurel circle pin

Laurel Circle

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:

Diana Cardenas

Ky’Mari Love
Kamaria Purvis

Jasmine Siguenza

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.