Saint Martin's University names eleventh cohort of Benedictine Scholars

Photo of St. Benedict statue

LACEY, Wash. — Ten incoming Saint Martin’s University first-year students have been selected to serve as the eleventh cohort of Benedictine Scholars.

“I am excited to begin working with the incoming cohort of Benedictine Scholars as they begin their journey at Saint Martin’s University,” shares Floraliza Bornasal, Ph.D., assistant professor of civil engineering and the faculty advisor for the incoming cohort. “I look forward to seeing the growth of the incoming Scholars as they continue the tradition of hospitality, justice, listening, dignity of work, stewardship, stability, and other core values that frame the Benedictine traditions of the University in their pursuit of education at Saint Martin’s.” 

The eleventh cohort of Benedictine Scholars are: 

  • Jayse Arcalas from Kapolei High School, Kapolei, HI, will major in Nursing 
  • David Cano III from Rainier High School, Rainier, WA, will major in Elementary Education 
  • Heather Hubbard from Tumwater High School, Tumwater, WA, will major in Computer Science 
  • Faith Linthicum from Shelton High School, Shelton, WA, will major in Pre-Medicine 
  • Sierra Nees from Mountainside High School, Beaverton, OR, will major in Civil Engineering 
  • Lydia Smaciarz from Willapa Valley High School, Raymond, WA, will major in Accounting 
  • Ariana Valera-Ruvalcaba from Auburn High School, Auburn, WA, will major in Business Administration 
  • Lily Villa from Mabton High School, Grandview, WA, will major in Educational Studies 
  • Tatiana Watkins-Snow from West Anchorage High School, Anchorage, AK, will major in Pre-Medicine 
  • Laurin Patterson from Billings Senior High School, Billings, MT, will major in Computer Science 

The Benedictine Scholars Program started in the fall of 2012 with the mission to promote a deeper understanding of the Catholic, Benedictine values and heritage that define the University. The Benedictine Scholars serve as ambassadors for the core values of the institution—faith, reason, service, and community—both within our campus community and in the wider world. 

“Through their service-learning coursework, Scholars find their individual leadership styles and share their talents through various leadership roles on campus,” said Saint Martin’s University Dean of Admissions and Enrollment Patty Lemon. “Many Scholars go on to become service-oriented leaders in their community after graduation.” 

Faculty and staff members representing numerous departments throughout the University evaluated over 200 candidates for the Benedictine Scholars Program. Those selected are typically students whose academic records are matched by their leadership experiences, their contributions to the life of their school or faith communities and their service to individuals and groups. Each scholar selected for the honor receives $10,000 additional scholarship support on top of other financial aid per year, renewable for four years of study. 

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program, and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing, and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.


For additional information: 

Floraliza Bornasal, Ph.D.
Faculty Advisor, Benedictine Scholars 
Assistant professor, civil engineering 

Jocelyn Bonilla
Marketing and Social Media Manager