Arrupe Immersion Hug
Fun on Retreat
Reflection on Senior Retreat
Students in Colombia
Church & Tree

Student Leadership

Ignatian Companions

Ignatian Companions is the University Ministry student leadership group on campus.

Mission Statement: The University Ministry Ignatians are student leaders who connect the student body with University Ministry. We strive to be people for and with others. Ignatians engage reality, reflect, and discern in the Jesuit Catholic tradition to develop our faith. We facilitate, promote, and participate in University Ministry programs such as retreats, immersions, community outreach, and faith formation. During weekly reflections we come together to build a supportive, loving, and trusting community. We hope to empower the greater USF community to engage with any spiritual, faith, or non-faith traditions.
Christine Abiba

Christine Abiba

My name is Abiba. I'm a sophomore nursing major with a minor in Gerontology and a student of the St. Ignatius Institute. What Pedro Arrupe describes in his Fall in Love Prayer I have found in working with older adults. Having conversations about how aging is perceived and bridging the intergenerational gap are passions of mine that get me so excited and riled up! As a first year Ignatian, I hope to share my enthusiasm for service, storytelling, and being in genuine connection with others.


Alex Dizon

I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. My interests include playing basketball, listening to music, and taking long walks on the beach. I’m a Design major with a minor in Fine arts and I’m currently a junior. At USF I’ve been involved with a number of different retreats including the Magis Emerging Leadership Retreat, Kairos Retreat, and the Undergraduate Mid-Day Retreat. Through University Ministry, I’ve learned a lot about my faith life and have grown in my decision making. Because of UM, I’ve learned lessons that I’ll continue to take with me for the rest of my life. 

Gracey Dolan

Gracey Dolan

Hello! I'm Gracey Dolan, a sophomore Media Studies and soon to be Philosophy major! I'm from Chicago, Illinois, but my family currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I'm definitely a huge fan of one of the retreats we offer at USF, Kairos. I wear my Kairos cross everyday! It definitely provides what I am constantly searching for, a community of people who love and support me, similarly to the entire University Ministry community! I am just kind of existing as a human being at this school, involving myself in all that I can, learning all that I can, and loving everyone and everything.

Where is your Center

Natalie Gallo

Hi everyone! I am currently a Junior here at USF double majoring in Psychology and Leadership & Organizational behavior. I am extremely passionate about the idea that our world is full of human beings all the same; therefore, we should be humans for one another in order to enrich and better our life experiences. This belief was confirmed when I participated in a UM immersion trip to Peru in 2013. Seeing children that simply had no security, providing community, or love made me want to participating in serving/helping those who are having difficulties with injustices in their lives. I plan to discover my vocation with this passion during my time at USF.  


Alfonso Garcia

My name is Alfonso Garcia. I am from Pinole, CA  and a junior majoring in Communication Studies.  Besides being a student at the University of San Francisco I am passionate about raising awareness for organ and tissue donation among students. The reason being that in 2010 a liver transplant saved my life.  This year I have joined the Ignitions because I want to be a part of something in the USF community far greater than myself.  I want to learn more about the Jesuit order, be more engaged in my faith, and help others grow in theirs as well.

Rachel Ketola

Rachel Ketola

I am a sophomore from Seattle majoring in International Studies with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I am extremely passionate about social justice and am specifically interested in the Latino community and the empowerment of women locally and globally. Last Spring I participated in the UM immersion trip to Peru and saw firsthand the struggles of an impoverished and disregarded group of people. I was greatly inspired and hope to continue to learn how to advocate for marginalized communities. I plan to participate in immersion trips in the future, study abroad in Latin America, and am excited to continue my education at USF! 

Amarilis Medrano

Amarilis Medrano

I am currently a senior at USF double majoring in Communication Studies and Advertising. I am also a student worker at University Ministry. Having the opportunity to work closely with UM has opened many doors for me. Last November I was able to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-in in Washington D.C. for the first time. This trip allowed me to meet with our state representatives and speak to them about issues regarding the Immigration Reform and the unfair wages and treatment of workers. I also attend an immersion trip to Peru where I worked with an organization that provides support for street kids. I am a huge advocate for supporting the Latino/minority presence in higher education and that is why I hope to provide more tools and resources in order to help others. As the president of Latinas Unidas, I also give a big emphasis to community service and dedicate a lot of my time to that. 


Michael Mortimer

I am a junior, from Laguna Beach, California, double majoring in Business and Politics. Throughout high school my youth group was an important part of my life and thus when I came to USF I wanted to stay strong in my faith as well as get involved on campus and University Ministry provided me with an opportunity to do both. As a result in my first year I attended retreats, participated in the student mass, and went on an immersion trip. UM has provided me with life changing experiences and has allowed me to meet some amazing people.  


Jacqline Murillo

I'm a third year student here at USF with a major in Philosophy, on the Pre-Med track, and in the St. Ignatius Institute. One of my favorite things about being a student here at USF is how easy it is to get involved with the things you are most passionate about. For me, that's social justice. Community outreach is my most favorite pastime. If I'm not busy with my studies, I love being out in the community. Other interests of mine include traveling, Spanish/Latin culture and language, and having meaningful conversations with friends and peers. Furthermore, to draw a link between my studies and my hobbies: my interests lie in public health and taking a look at policies to combat structural injustices. I hope to someday work for Doctors Without Borders and not only do "doctorly" things, but also work and advocate for the world's marginalized.  


Mele Perla

I'm a senior English/Creative Writing major with a music minor, and I'm also in the Dual Degree teaching program! I was born and raised in San Jose, CA and I love the bay area! I've been involved with UM since my freshman year. I joined CORE as a freshman and now I'm a student leader leading my own CORE. During my sophomore year, I went on an immersion trip to West Virginia and it was such a fantastic experience. There, I found my passion and love for social justice! As a Resident Advisor in Gillson Hall, I've also understood and practiced social justice on a smaller level -- in the communities I live and work with. USF and UM has helped me grow spiritually and emotionally throughout my years here, and I can't wait to share it with others!  


Nina Ragonese

Hello!! My name is Nina Ragonese. I’m originally from LA and am now a senior marketing major and music minor. I have been working as a student assistant in the University Ministry office since my freshmen year and have participated in several retreats and other programs. As an Ignatian I help with the Interfaith and Liturgy programs. I am an alum of the Casa Bayanihan program in the Philippines and would love to see as much of the world as possible and learn as much as I can from the people I encounter.


Leah Ragen

Leah Ragen is a student of Politics and Education.
This junior is all about interfaith work and conversation,
She has been with USF’s program since its recent foundation.
Originally from the country’s capital city,
Leah’s a trained facilitator, plus also witty.
Leah knows a lot about many faith and non-faith traditions, too.
She really looks forward to working with you!

Matt Shae

Matt Shea

Hi! My name is Matt and I'm currently in my junior year, majoring in Design with a minor in Music. I'm from Santa Clara, CA. I'm a huge lover of music and anything that has to do with music...I listen to all kinds of music, I love going to shows, I've been playing drums for about 8 years, and I play in a funk rock band! Besides music I also love graphic design, writing, reading (especially science fiction) and exploring the city of San Francisco. Last year I studied abroad in the Philippines with the Casa Bayanihan program and it was truly a life-changing experience that ultimately led me here to the Ignatians. I'm looking forward to being more involved in USF through University Ministry and continuing on this crazy journey!

Tina Solitaria

Christina Solitaria

I was born in Ohio and moved to the Palm Springs area, Southern California when I was 10. I have one younger brother, Michael, who is one of my best friends!!!! I am now a senior and I am majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Philippine Studies. What I value most about being part of a Jesuit institution is the opportunity to live in solidarity with those who are on the margins of society. I was able to experience this through my study abroad experience in the Casa Bayanihan program in Manila, Philippines. My experience in Casa Bayanihan encouraged me even more to be involved in UM. During the three years that I’ve been at USF I have participated in UM through retreats like the New Student Retreat and Kairos, October Outreach/April Action, Catholic Relief Services, student mass, the Ignatian Teach-In for Justice and this year I have become a CORE (Community of Reflection) leader. Outside of UM, I’m involved in Kasamahan’s Philippine Dance Troupe and their Barrio Fiesta performance during Spring semester so I hope to see you there!

Where is your Center

Thai Tran

I am a senior Biology Major with a Biochemistry Minor as a Pre-Pharmacy student. I am from Irvine, CA and attended Mater Dei High School. I am the Resident Advisor of the 2nd floor of Lone Mountain Residence Hall. I was a small group leader on Kairos 26 Spring Semester and I am trained to be an Acolyte. I hope to work closely the retreats area and the liturgy sections in UM.

AJ Velando

A.J. Velando

Salutations! I am Aaren Joy Velando but you can call me AJ. I am a second year from Fremont, California. My involvement with University Ministry includes partaking in the CORE program and retreats. I am a Saint Ignatius Institute student and work for the Office of Graduate Admissions at USF. I study Architecture and Community Design with an Architectural Engineering minor. In the future, I see myself as an architect and serving at my local church in my free time. UM has taught me to strengthen my faith and I look forward to serving the community and meeting many amazing people through this opportunity.

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

I am from Evanston, Illinois which is suburb of Chicago. I wanted to go to a college far away and coming to the University of San Francisco was the best decision I ever made. I went to a Jesuit high school but I was not involved at all in the ministry program. However, really wanting to get involved at USF, I discovered University Ministry and I'm glad I did that because UM is a great community. I am a sophomore Economics major and possibly an astronomy minor, living at Lone Mountain second floor. My hobbies include watching sports, playing sports, reading about sports, reading books, doing crossword puzzles, taking long walks, and going on adventures.

CRS Ambassadors

 CRS Campus Ambassadors are working hard to build a constituency for the global poor on their campuses and to advocate for more just policies. CRS Campus Ambassadors serve as the official liaison between their campus community and CRS. ach fall, CRS U.S. Regional Offices hold regional Campus Ambassador trainings, and send Campus Ambassadors back to campus equipped to advocate for and educate others on social justice issues. To learn more about CRS Ambassadors, please click here.


CRS Ambassadors 2014-2015


Rachel Ketola

See Rachel's bio above. 

Michael Mortimer

See Michael's bio above.

Jacqline Murillo

See Jacqline's bio above.

Graduate Student Leaders

Juan Rodriguez

Juan Rodriguez, Tutoring Coordinator 
I was born in Mexico D.F and raised in the Bay Area. I am currently a graduate student in the School Counseling Program. I've always had a passion for assisting, supporting youth and being an advocate for social justice. My personal experience in education growing up has inspired me to be the counselor and mentor I never had. When I am not reading I am out being active playing sports and traveling. 

Quintin Gabler

Quintin Gabler, Marketing and Web Content Coordinator
I am from central Pennsylvania, and received my bachelor's degree in chemistry from Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. I worked in West Oakland in environmental education for a year through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Last year I was a Resident Minister, and I am excited to continue working in the University Ministry office as the Marketing and Web Content Coordinator. I am a graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program here at USF. I hope to eventually work with experiential education in a student leadership or outdoor recreation setting.


Mauricio Diaz de Leon

Mauricio Diaz de Leon, Community Action & Social Justice Coordinator 
My name is Mauricio Diaz de Leon. I was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and moved to San Diego, California when I was 5 years old. I lived in San Diego until I moved to San Francisco to attend USF for undergraduate school. I graduated with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science and participated in the USF Men’s soccer team. I am currently a graduate student in the Collegiate Athletics program here at USF. My hobbies include playing soccer, other sports, listening to music, and exploring the amazing city that we live in. I am excited to still be engaged and continue to be a part of the USF community