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Students on the Academic MallUniversity of St. Thomas students and alumni are successful in their fields of study and careers. Highlighting their great work, both academic and professional shows how the University is educating leaders of faith and characters. Read our Success Stories below.

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Sep 22, 2015  UST Community Shares Excitement About Popeís Visit
Emily McCauslin with Pope CutoutStudents, faculty and staff at the University of St. Thomas have been eagerly anticipating Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to the United States.

Sep 21, 2015  UST Named Champions of Character Five-Star Institution
The University of St. Thomas Athletic Department has once again been recognized for exemplifying the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champions of Character core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. UST has been named a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution.

Sep 18, 2015  Theology Professor Joins Pope at World Meeting of Families
Fr. Dempsey Rosales-AcostaPope Francis’s highly anticipated first visit to the United States will include a stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the World Meeting of Families. The Rev. Dempsey Rosales-Acosta will be there, too. He will  present on Lectio Divina, a form of meditative prayer using Scripture.

Sep 08, 2015  Purchase Discount Tickets to 37th Houston Italian Festival at UST
Festival season is right around the corner, which means the Italian Festival is almost here.

The 37th Annual Houston Italian Festival, presented by the Italian Cultural & Community Center will be held on the grounds on the University of St. Thomas on Oct. 8-11.

Sep 03, 2015  'Catch Up with the Celts' Raises $10,000 for Scholarships
Marjorie Evans and Keanne BurtThe University of St. Thomas Celts raised nearly $10,000 in support of student athletic scholarships through the generosity of the guests at “Catch Up with the Celts,” an annual back-to-school kick-off event on Wednesday, August 26.

Sep 02, 2015  Freshmen Process 17,000 Pounds of Food at Food Bank
UST Freshman volunteers at Food BankAt the University of St. Thomas, community service is an important part of the college experience. Each year, incoming freshman are introduced to community service as part of the Freshman Orientation by volunteering at the Houston Food Bank.

Aug 26, 2015  Alumnus Joins Digital Team to Cover Popeís U.S. Visit
For James Ramos ’14, communication alumnus, the use of social media was a natural way for him to share messages with anybody regardless of faith of culture.  So when the Catholic website Aleteia began its search for 60 millennials to join its Digital Street Team that would cover Pope Francis’ visit to the United States this September, Ramos jumped at the opportunity.

Aug 25, 2015  Veteran Student Awarded Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship
Venol RaymondU.S. Army veteran and international studies major Venol Raymond will receive a $24,000 award over two years from the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation, whose mission is to assist severely wounded, Post-9/11 Veterans in their efforts to become productive and self-sufficient members of their communities as they transition back into civilian life. 

Aug 17, 2015  Research Makes Biology More Appealing as Majors Rise
Forty-one biology students walked across the stage this past June’s 2015 graduation ceremony, one of the largest classes to graduate with a biology degree since the university’s founding. But it wasn’t pure luck so many students graduated with a biology degree.

Aug 05, 2015  Artist Impacts Community with Project Row Houses
Jennifer Mendez participates in Project Row Houses Summer Studios programJennifer Mendez, a senior studio arts major and art history minor at the University of St. Thomas, participated in the Project Row Houses Summer Studios program to create paintings, drawings and sculptures that will be on display at Project Row Houses from Aug. 22 through Sept. 27.

Aug 04, 2015  Freshmen Succeed with Mendenhall Summer Institute
Trini Mendenhall at MSI LuncheonIn the largest class of the Mendenhall Summer Institute, 56 students earned six credit hours and took part in activities this July that successfully prepared them for their first semester of college.  

Jul 22, 2015  Robert McNair and UST Team Up for Free Enterprise, Entrepreneurship
The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the University of St. Thomas are pleased to announce the establishment of The McNair Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas Houston.  The Center will advance research and education on the role of private enterprise, individual initiative and entrepreneurship in fostering economic growth and authentic human flourishing. 

Jul 20, 2015  UST Athletes Recognized for Academic Excellence
Juan Gutierrez, a junior majoring in finance and economics, knows if you can be a good athlete, you can be a good student. Both require the same dedication and follow through, and for both, the key to success are organization and a tight schedule.

Jul 13, 2015  Bioinformatics Students Get Hands-On Research in SMART Program
Two UST bioinformatics students, rising senior Luke Hebert and rising junior Nicholas Hayden were among a handful of students selected nationwide to participate in Baylor College of Medicine’s Summer Medical and Research Training program. 

Jul 10, 2015  Students Present Biomass Research in Austria
Europe is making concerted efforts in increasing its use of sustainable energy and is turning to biomass, a biological material derived from living organisms, to create renewable energy. With undergraduate research and articles published on biomass and its conversion to energy, the University of St. Thomas finds itself at the forefront of this research and theory.  

Jul 07, 2015  Former Star UST Player Named Head Basketball Coach
“More and more I think that things are meant to be,” said Anthony Medina ’11. “I was meant to move to Houston. I was meant to attend St. Thomas. I was meant to meet Coach Todd Smith.”

Medina said this because since his arrival at the University of St. Thomas as a founding member of the men’s basketball team in 2008, life seems to be falling into place. That is not to say he hasn’t had to work for his success, it was through his hard work that he has been able to capitalize on the opportunities presented to him and begin building his career.

Jul 06, 2015  Sister Helps Produce Series on Creation, Environment
Sister Damien Marie Savino, FSE, chair of environmental science and studies, has spent the last five years collaborating with Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation to create a documentary series that explores the Catholic approach to environmentalism. Now, the first three videos of the six video series that cover topics ranging from awe and wonder to integral ecology, have been released to the public.

Jul 02, 2015  From Apple to Disney, Engineering Students Aim for Impact
Umer Khan on Apple campusEngineering involves an intense understanding of mathematics, physics, science and software, and working as an engineer can be a lucrative career. But for UST students, studying engineering is about more than making a living—it is about making an impact.

Jun 12, 2015  English Grad Continues Research Studies at Vanderbilt
Thea AutryThea Autry’s obsession with the world of books and her burgeoning fascination with philosophy are why she chose to major in English literature and minor in philosophy at the University of St. Thomas. This fall, the 2015 graduate will join the Ph.D. in English program at Vanderbilt University, where her research will focus on post-colonial studies and African American literature.


Jun 05, 2015  Alumna Wins Second Daytime Emmy
During his acceptance speech at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in April, Steve Harvey commented, “This is for my production team—you don’t know who they are, but they make the show what it is.” Kim Gagne ’86 communications alumna, is part of that team, working as a supervising producer on “Steve Harvey,” Harvey’s eponymous talk-variety show. 

Jun 02, 2015  Student Selected for Scholarship in Salute to Nurses
Every year during National Nurses Appreciation Week, the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses program awards scholarships to three exceptional nursing students attending Houston area colleges and universities. This year Kara Jones, a junior in the Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing at the University of St. Thomas was among those selected for the prestigious award.

May 20, 2015  Earthquake in Nepal Hits Home for UST Professor
Nepal after earthquakeThe earthquake, rated a 7.8 on the Richter scale, struck 80 kilometers from Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, and was the strongest earthquake since the 8.0 that struck the country in 1934. UST's connection to Nepal includes Dr. Srijana Shrestha, assistant professor of psychology, who is a native of Nepal; Raul Medina ’13, a pre-med alumnus, volunteering there, Dr. Jeffrey Kottler, visiting professor in the school of education, who runs a foundation there. 

May 04, 2015  Plane Crash Survivor Optimistic for Future After Graduation
Kechi OkwuchiKechi Okwuchi is optimistic and a firm believer in the unknown, and she is here to tell others that “It’s okay to not know what the next step is.”

Apr 30, 2015  The World Keeps Turning for 70-Year-Old Grad
Frances Clouche-BowmanFrances Clouche-Bowman recalls receiving the nudge to formally study criminal justice and social work. And in August, the 70-year old Beaumont native will complete her Master of Education degree from University of St. Thomas. She joins more than 1,000 UST graduates at the 65th Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. on May 16, 2015 at NRG Arena, located at 1 NRG Park.

Apr 29, 2015  For Graduate, RN Stands for 'Real Nurse'
Juanita HardyAppreciated all her life for a natural eagerness to help others who dealt with a scrape or an ache or worse, 49-year old Juanita Hardy will graduate from the University of St. Thomas School of Nursing in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and an overall GPA of 3.8.

Apr 28, 2015  Biology Graduate to Attend Yale PhD Program
Holly MertaThe difficult odds did not stop Holly Merta from applying for Yale’s Ph.D. program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Merta, a biology major who will graduate in May, received the Gruber Science Fellowship—one of the most prestigious awards offered by Yale’s GSAS—for her accomplishments and promise. 

Apr 23, 2015  With Shared Goals, Twins Graduate Nursing School Together
At first glance, Evelin and Ingry Umanzor simply resemble each other. Once you get them talking, the twin telepathy, the knack they have for finishing each other’s sentences and pausing to gather their thoughts in sync, kicks in. 

Apr 22, 2015  Grad Proves Fatherís Incarceration Doesn't Confine Her
Rama GerigGrowing up, Rama Gerig was not allowed to speak about her father. Her father’s felony conviction and 20-year incarceration left her mother to raise four children alone. Knowing personally the trauma that children of incarcerated parents face, Gerig founded Society’s Forgotten Children, a University of St. Thomas club that “breaks the silence,” and she will graduate this May. 

Apr 17, 2015  CEO of Catholic Relief Services Speaks at Graduation
The president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, Carolyn Woo, Ph.D, will address the 2015 University of St. Thomas graduating class at the 65th Commencement Ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16 at NRG Arena, located at 1 NRG Park (formerly Reliant Arena).

Apr 15, 2015  Taffet Trades Soccer Pitch for Med School
Jason Taffet will join more than 1,000 graduates to celebrate with a Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. on May 16, 2015 at NRG Arena, located at 1 NRG Park (formerly Reliant Arena). He will attend the University of North Texas’ Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall.

Apr 09, 2015  In Self-Help Age, Honors Class Asks if Happiness is Real
Honors Class Presents on HappinessAn search for “self-help” reveals 400,000 book results. In the age of self-help, it seems that everyone is searching for happiness. The graduating class of University of St. Thomas Honors Program will present its research on “Is Your Happiness Real?” at the UST Research Symposium at 4 p.m. on April 10 in Jones Hall.

Mar 31, 2015  Research Questions Will be Answered at Symposium
Students Form Question MarkThe University of St. Thomas will hold its 21st Research Symposium on April 9-11. During the Symposium, undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines can give oral or poster presentations on their research to their peers, faculty, staff and professionals in their field. The theme of this year’s symposium is based on a quote by Socrates: “Wisdom begins in wonder.”

Mar 25, 2015  UST Hosts TEDx Talks on Diversity, Progress
Carl Scott TEDx USTHouston TalkThe University of St. Thomas will host TEDx Talks on the theme “Diversity and Progress in the 21st Century” from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 24. The Talks will include 14 speakers related to UST to share their knowledge and insight about topics ranging from bioinformatics to women’s rights in the Middle East. 

Mar 23, 2015  Prepare for Easter with the Way of the Cross
All University of St. Thomas community members are invited to walk the 14th annual Way of the Cross, through the heart of Houston, beginning at 10:15 a.m. on Good Friday, April 3.

Mar 19, 2015  Rodeo Scholarships Help Students Saddle Up for Academic Success
Every year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo awards high school seniors and college students scholarships to further their education. For many students, these scholarships mean they can focus on their education without the worry of having to cover financial expenses.

Mar 17, 2015  Alumnus Feels the Beat with Music Career
For nearly 25 years Walter Suhr ’89 has been making the citizens of Houston dance to the rhythms his band, Mango Punch!, has produced. The band and its music reflect the diversity of Houston as the musicians play music from the 40s and 50s, the top 40 charts, Cumbia and Latin music. Recently, they have added Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars to their repertoire of more than 200 songs.

Mar 10, 2015  Alumnusí Preparation Leads to Law School Success
After his first semester at law school, C.J. Miller ’14, found himself at the top of his class. Earning a perfect 4.0 GPA, he is the first student to achieve that at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in more than 10 years. While Miller has maintained an incredible work ethic, and impeccable style—he dresses for success in the southern gentleman uniform of khakis and pastel button-down shirts—he credits University of St. Thomas for providing him with the foundation that led him to success.

Mar 09, 2015  Short Classes Allow More Time for Summer Fun
Summer Classes Beach ReadingAs summer nears, we find ourselves making plans like trips to the beach or out of town. Amid the fun, it’s also possible to take summer classes to get ahead and still enjoy the break with your family and friends. The University of St. Thomas offers a variety of summer classes that allow students to complete degrees faster, study interesting special-topics classes or become immersed in another culture through study abroad.

Feb 23, 2015  Liberal Arts Degree Forms Human Person, Job Skills
India OgaziThe recent professional experiences of MLA students and graduates bear witness to this ancient educational wisdom of the liberal arts. Take, for example, the career of India Ogazi, MLA ’14. Ogazi was determined to pursue a standard master’s degree in communication, until she heard about the University of St. Thomas’ MLA program. 

Feb 18, 2015  65th Mardi Gras Gala Raises $1.1M for Scholarships
The University of St. Thomas 65th Mardi Gras Gala rocked the Hilton Americas-Houston on Fat Tuesday and raised more than $1.1 million in support of student scholarships. 

Feb 17, 2015  Sports Doctor Gives Back Through Mentorship and Service
Andrew Li ’05 can still be seen around the University of St. Thomas campus on an almost weekly basis even though he graduated nearly 10 years ago. Now, between working with clients as a sports medicine doctor for UT Physicians Orthopaedics, he spends his time investing in future generations as a mentor in UST’s Insight Program. He also volunteers his time working with Andrew Crane, UST’s athletic trainer, to make sure UST’s student athletes have the best healthcare available.

Feb 16, 2015  Veteran, Drama Major Overcomes Obstacles, Takes a Bow
Amelia Templeton, a small-town girl and self-proclaimed painfully shy child, found her voice through theatre when she participated in her first performance, Ducktails and Bobbysox. Since that performance, she has been calling the shots and directing her journey.

Feb 10, 2015  Education Students Gain Cultural Insight in Jamaica
Nine students from the University of St. Thomas School of Education traveled to Lucea, Jamaica, with the University’s study abroad program this January. They were immersed in Jamaican culture as they stayed with families, participated in school and community activities, and assisted in the community. 

Feb 04, 2015  Pope Bestows Knighthood on USTís Clinton Brand
Dr. Clint Brand receives Papal honors. Photo by: Margaret PichonPope Francis has named UST English professor Clinton Allen Brand as a knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great for his “invaluable” work incorporating Anglican liturgical rites, prayers, and customs into Catholic worship for the Ordinariates—former Anglican communities that have entered into full communion with Rome with permission to retain many of their traditions.

Feb 03, 2015  Professors Take A Scientific Approach to Improve Learning
With many different educational trends, it is often difficult to decide how to present particular topics in the classroom. To figure out which methods of learning are most effective, Dr. Albert Ribes and Dr. Alexandra Simmons-Nout, both assistant professor of biology, decided to use a scientific approach. They, with the help of junior biology major Thao K.T. Nguyen, and Dr. Jack Follis of the department of mathematics, designed an experiment to measure the impact of using a molecule visualization software on students’ understanding of specific genetic concepts.

Jan 29, 2015  Mendenhall Family Plans for 'Record-Setting' Gala
Trini Mendenhall and Jan and Oniel MendenhallLongtime UST benefactor and former board member Trini Mendenhall will co-chair the University’s 65th Mardi Gras Gala with her son Oniel, MBA ’04, and his wife Jan on Feb. 17 at the Hilton Americas hotel in downtown Houston. 

Jan 28, 2015  New Program to Train Licensed Professional Counselors
CounselorThe University of St. Thomas School of Education will soon launch a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree in fall 2015. The MSCMHC degree will prepare graduates to serve the community as licensed professional counselors.

Jan 26, 2015  Catholic School Kids Explore Faith in Essay Contest
Essay Contest 4th Grade Winner Lynley Pace of St. Laurence Catholic SchoolThousands of students participated in the University of St. Thomas/Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Essay Contest, sponsored by the UST Office of Catholic Outreach. More than 6,000 students from archdiocesan Catholic schools—third-graders through high school seniors—wrote essays for the contest.

Jan 23, 2015  Nursing Student Crowned King, Musician Crowned Queen
The University of St. Thomas Mardi Gras Chairs selected Alfonso Moreno and Adrienne Copeland to represent the student body during the 65th annual Mardi Gras Gala at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at the Hilton Americas – Houston Hotel.

Jan 22, 2015  UST Joins Texas Medical Center as 55th Member
The University of St. Thomas has become the 55th member institution of the Texas Medical Center. With a current enrollment of more than 3,500 students, UST is housed on an urban campus centrally located in Houston’s Museum District, near the TMC.

Jan 15, 2015  UST Receives Anonymous Gift for Science Building
The University of St. Thomas has received a $5 million contribution from an anonymous benefactor in support of its planned Center for Science and Health Professions. The new center will accommodate the growing demand for the university’s highly regarded STEM programs as well as its Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing. 

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