BAIS Featured Student Archive

December 2012
Congratulations to Sonja Anderson, who has been selected Valedictorian for the College of Arts and Sciences for the Fall 2012 Commencement! Valedictorians of the schools and colleges within the University of San Francisco exemplify the highest standards of leadership and scholarship in the Jesuit tradition. A leader in the finest sense of the word, the Valedictorian demonstrates selfless service to the University community while reflecting excellence in all academic pursuits. She is firmly committed to the mission of the University. In particular, the Valedictorian has helped to create a campus-wide environment that values each individual, heightens ethical standards, instills a passion for justice, and integrates faith with life.


May 2012
Congratulations to Chelsea Lalancette, who won the Second Prize in the 11th "Chinese Bridge -- Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, Preliminary Contest in Northern California" last April at the Confucius Institute in San Francisco. In addition to a trophy, an award certificate and prizes, Chelsea is also invited to visit China this summer - with round-trip international airfares and all other expenses covered by the organizer. "Chinese Bridge" is a world-wide Chinese language competition organized annually by the Confucius Institute Headquarters of the Chinese government.


Congratulations to Kate Armstrong on winning the Gilman Scholarship for her trip to Zambia this summer!


Congratulations to David Carrillo '12, who won first place in the University of San Francisco Student Video Contest 2012 with his video "Erasmus Pedagogy," featuring BAIS students Kelsey Jones, Kelly Mills, Dominique Tjiptorahardjo, and Andrea Powell


The following BAIS students will be honored at the Seventeenth Annual Division of Student Life Leadership Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, May 9th at 5:00pm. For a full list of recipients, please go here.

Cassandra SutherlandArchbishop Oscar Romero Award
In recognition for his ability to become a voice for the voiceless as the Archbishop of San Salvador, this award is presented to the graduating senior or graduate student who strives to alleviate poverty and oppression.
Cassandra Sutherland

Mckenzie MullenExcellence in Leadership & Service Awards
This award is given to sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated academic achievement and overall leadership and service within the University of San Francisco community in one of the following areas: Ethic of Care, Social Change, Social Justice, and Community Development.
Mckenzie Mullen

Dominique TanFather John P. Schlegel, S.J., Award
Recognized for his work in creating an inclusive community, this award is presented to an undergraduate student who has embraced the diversity and social justice objectives of the University's mission.
Dominique Tan

Sofia AndradeLeo T. McCarthy Public Service Award
In recognition for his dedication to those marginalized by the political process, particularly the poor, the elderly, and farm workers, this award is presented to a graduating senior who worked to promote social justice through public service to create a more humane and just world.
Sofia Andrade

Senior Leadership Award
This award will be given to graduating seniors who have consistently worked and succeeded in enriching and impacting student life and is committed to the values of Student Life throughout their career at USF: “Providing experiences that challenge students to develop spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially, culturally and morally in order to prepare them to contribute to the University community.”
Sahar Bala


March 7, 2012
Student Profile: Abesha Shiferaw-Elfaqir Witnesses Egyptian Revolution and Plans Return to Egypt
by Kathleen De Lara

Abesha Shiferaw-Elfaqir sees life from the perspective of an Egyptian rebel. While many seniors are focusing on getting into the door of their future employer, Shiferaw-Elfaqir is planning to live out her passion for social justice building on values she learned while growing up and studying in Africa.

Shiferaw-Elfaqir, a senior international relations student, was born and raised in Ethiopia, where she learned the values of family and interdependence. She was taken care of by her godmother and left Ethiopia when she was 7 years old.

Driven by a culture that underlined fellowship and pride in one’s roots when she moved to Seattle, Washington Shiferaw-Elfaqir drew upon the same principals at USF.

The Egyptian revolution had just begun when she moved to Cairo as part of an AMIDEAST Education Abroad program January 2011. The study abroad program allows students to interact with the people of North Africa and the Middle East. Living in an apartment located about two miles from Tahrir Square, Shiferaw-Elfaqir and three other students from other U.S. universities, had, “in the strangest sense, front-row seats” to the protests in Egypt last year.

“We could smell the gun powder and feel the tear gas from our house, and we witnessed the burning down of the National Democratic Party building, but in my month of staying there, I never encountered any bad exerience with the people,” she said.

SLEAwards-13 SLEAwards-3 SLEAwards-106 SLEAwards-101 SLEAwards-91
Congratulations to all of our excellent students!


Keep a Child Alive trip In 2010, BAIS student Kristen Dyer won a contest sponsored by Keep a Child Alive (KCA), co-founded by Alicia Keys. Kristen was one of 24,000 people who donated $5 via text message along with one-word to describe Africa. Kristen chose "strength."

In this excerpt from her blog entry upon returning, Kristen reflected on her trip:

Continue reading at the USF Foghorn


I can honestly say that this trip included some of the best days of my life, and I’ve lived a small but significant 20 years. I am on my flight back to San Francisco getting ready to reconnect with my world and all I can think about is how badly I don’t want to forget a single thing I experienced. The people I met within the KCA family will never leave my heart. If you throw in all the people I met in the villages and clinics of South Africa as well, this is one exhausted heart. Many would probably presume that the feeling I have right now is overwhelming sadness. I thought so too. What surprises me though, is how at peace I am within myself. Every single person I came in contact with this past week (feels like a whole month) whether that contact was by a smile, a look, a zulu prayer, a dance, a chat, a hug… every single person gave me a piece of their spirit. I was given pieces of joy… resilience… strength… loss… shame… pride… and I was able to lose myself in each one of these people. They gave me exactly what I needed to look deep inside myself and find where I needed those pieces so that I could find myself in order to be who I want to be. And at the end of every day, while sitting so small in front of the magnificent Indian Ocean, peace consumed me, not sadness.

Join Kristen on Thursday, December 1st at 5p in McLaren 252 to see the World Premiere of the documentary made during this journey of a lifetime and talk with Kristen about her experiences on the trip.
Keep a Child Alive trip Keep a Child Alive trip Keep a Child Alive trip Keep a Child Alive trip


November 2011
From the USF Foghorn:
Acknowledging USF Veterans
by Sarah Mojarro

This past Friday was Veterans Day, which some regard as a day of sales on merchandise like cars, clothing and furniture. However, with the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a stronger call on Americans to honor the sacrifices men and women of this generation - and those before - have made to protect this country.

Among the nation's brave soldiers is USF Sophomore Antonio Brown.

He enlisted into the Army when he was 23 years old. During this term, he was deployed five times to countries like Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Brown served in the Army as a sergeant for ten years before receiving veteran status in fall 2009.

Regarding his motivation to enlist, Brown said, "It was something I had always wanted to do as a kid." Brown said he was also inspired by some of his relatives whom had served in the Marines, Army and Navy.

"Being in the Army gave me a sense of pride, confidence, and discipline. If you can work through it, then you can make it through anything," Brown said.

"It took a lot of adjusting, coming back to civilian life when you are used to waking up at 3 am and you're always on the go. Life seems to be moving slower now because in the Army, there is always an objective for the day," Brown added.

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Brown said he chose USF for several reasons. He was attracted to USF's diversity, its dedication to social service and the culturally enriching experience of living in San Francisco.

"I love USF, I love the people, and I love the small classes as opposed to public schools. I also love the professors, all of them," Brown said.

Currently 35, Brown is pursuing a major in International Studies with an emphasis in economics. He plans to work on economic injustice issues in Eastern and South Africa post-graduation.

Reflecting on the significance Veteran's Day holds for him, Brown said, "For me, this day is more of a day of reflection. When I was younger, I would celebrate with my grandfather, who had served, so it was a big deal, but today I mostly reflect on the experience I had and how honored I am to be a part of the one percent of people who serve in the military in the country."


August 2011
From the USF Foghorn:
Profile: Senior Kelly Mills
by Sascha Rosemond

The Pedro Arrupe Award is an embodiment of USF's mission of "faith that does justice," and this year Kelly Mills received the award in honor of her dedication to social justice and alleviation of poverty and oppression. She was given the award during the Mass of the Holy Spirit on August 22nd.

Mills is a senior University Scholar working on an International Studies major with a minor in African Studies and Peace and Social Justice Studies. She was recognized for her involvement in projects such as the Not for Sale Campaign and the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

The Not for Sale Campaign was founded at USF in 2006. The organization is dedicated to re-abolish slavery and stop human trafficking in different parts of the world. Mills joined Not for Sale her freshman year and continued to be involved while living in the Erasmus Living-Learning Community her sophomore year.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network is a national organization dedicated to leadership and advocacy among the Jesuit community. A local chapter of this organization will launch at USF this year. Mills said, "It is going to be a place for USF students who are working on social justice issues to come together and reflect on their work and collectively figure out ways to be more effective activists."

Mills got involved her freshman year by going to different clubs and finding other people who had the same dedication to social social justice and the well-being of others.

Mills has also volunteered at Akili Dada, which is an organization committed to women's education in Kenya. Akili Dada was founded by USF Professor Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg.

Getting involved in what she truly believes has earned this senior from Norwalk, Connecticut the Pedro Arrupe Award. Mills said, "Join clubs and organizations, talk to the wonderful people at University Ministry and SLE who can guide you to projects, and find organizations in San Francisco that you care about."

Mills' plans for the future aren't definite but she knows that she will be working to promote social justice. When she graduates in spring 2012, she says, "I will miss all the amazing people that I have met here and the community that I feel a part of."


May 2011
Congratulations to Zannah Herridge-Meyer on winning the 2011 Dean's Medal for Excellence in the Arts!


Congratulations to Jade Batstone on winning the Ralph Lane Peace & Justice Essay Award Competition! Her winning essay is titled "From Rubble to Respect: Emerging from the 'Ground Zero Mosque' Debate with Mutual Understanding."


The following BAIS students will be honored at the Sixteenth Annual Division of Student Life Leadership Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, May 11th at 5:00pm. For a full list of finalists and recipients, please go here.

Excellence in Service & Leadership AwardEXCELLENCE IN SERVICE & LEADERSHIP AWARD
This award is given to sophomores and juniors who have demonstrated academic achievement and overall leadership and service within the University of San Francisco community in one of the following areas: Ethic of Care, Social Change, Social Justice, and Community Development.
Recipient: Evan Vaughan

Leo T. McCarthy Public Service AwardLEO T. McCARTHY PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
In recognition for his dedication to those marginalized by the political process, particularly the poor, the elderly, and farm workers, this award is presented to a graduating senior who worked to promote social justice through public service to create a more humane and just world.
Recipient: Zannah Herridge-Meyer

ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO AWARD
In recognition for his ability to become a voice for the voiceless as the Archbishop of San Salvador, this award is presented to an undergraduate student who strives to alleviate poverty and oppression.
Finalists: Elizabeth Guerra, Noah Jennings

Priscilla A. Scotlan AwardPRISCILLA A. SCOTLAN AWARD
In recognition for her unselfish dedication and service to USF, the Priscilla A. Scotlan Award is presented to an undergraduate student who has been a role-model for the University community.
Recipient: Elizabeth Guerra


The following BAIS students have been elected to the 2011-2012 ASUSF Senate. For a full list of officers and representatives as well as additional opportunities to job the ASUSF Senate, visit their website.

Junior Class Representative: Evan Vaughan
College of Arts and Sciences Representative: Margarita Zosa


April 2011Noah presenting his paper at the 9th Annual Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union
Noah Jennings
, Class of 2011 (Global Politics and Societies, European Studies)
Attended the 9th Annual Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the EU, April 7-8, 2011

The 9th Annual Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the EU was a great opportunity for me to showcase my senior thesis and learn from experts in the field. The conference was held at Scripps College in Claremont, CA, where a group of 50 students converged on the campus to present their research. I had the opportunity to see other students' work from a diverse group of schools, including BYU, USC, University of Florida, and Gonzaga. Topics ranged from European defense strategy and anti-terrorism, to Turkish accession and recognition of Kosovo. My own paper on same-sex marriage in Spain and Portugal was selected along with nine others for the honor of being published in the conference volume. Other students were even awarded summer trips to Brussels and Rome to gain a first hand perspective on their studies. For those students at USF who are interested Europe, I would definitely recommend submitting research to next year's conference.

Congratulations, Noah, on being accepted to this conference and your paper's publication in the conference volume!

Noah at dinner with some of his fellow presenters