St. Benedict statue
May 12, 2021

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

The group includes Anthony Alohi Arecchi (Honolulu, Hawaii); Marisol Bergstrom (Port Orchard, Wash.); Jamari Foster (Federal Way, Wash.); Lara Jade Reyes Montefalcon (Lacey, Wash.); Esmeralda Moreno (Pasco, Wash.); Aldrin Fagaragan Rafael (Waipahu, Hawaii); Avril Andales Regis (American Samoa); Hunter Anela Jean Smith (Ewa Beach, Hawaii); Dove Marie Cruz Tupper (Ewa Beach, Hawaii); and Trisha Mae Bugal Valenzuela (Waipahu, Hawaii).

The mission of the Benedictine Scholars Program, which started in 2012, is to promote a deeper understanding of the Catholic, Benedictine values and heritage that define Saint Martin’s University. The selected individuals will serve as ambassadors, both within the University and outside the campus, promoting the core themes of the institution – faith, reason, service and community.

"We’re excited to welcome our new cohort of Benedictine Scholars,” shared Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Ph.D., dean of enrollment. “The Benedictine Scholars program allows the Benedictine values to be carried on by our scholars who represent all of the four academic colleges on our campus. With this tenth cohort, we will have had 100 students in the program: the long lasting impact of their leadership has left an indelible mark on our campus.”

Benedictine Scholars serve their communities, meet in small groups and will work on a project of their own choosing. Through the program’s service-learning component, the Benedictine Scholars will engage in 60 hours of service in the wider community. They will then integrate the service experience into academic exploration in special courses and reflect on the experience with their Scholar community. Scholars also volunteer for Saint Martin’s events such as Open Houses, the Gala and Commencement.

Assistant professor of civil engineering Floraliza Bornasal, Ph.D., will serve as the faculty advisor for the Benedictine Scholars program, while director of campus ministry Colleen Dunne, M.Div., will be the staff advisor for the Benedictine Scholars program.

Faculty and staff members representing numerous departments throughout the University evaluated 189 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.

The tenth cohort of Benedictine Scholars are:

  • Anthony Alohi Arecchi from Damien Memorial School, Honolulu, Hawaii, will major in Mechanical Engineering
  • Marisol Bergstrom from South Kitsap High School, Port Orchard, Wash., will major in Chemistry
  • Jamari Foster will major in Federal Way High School, Federal Way, Wash., will major in Business Administration
  • Lara Jade Reyes Montefalcon from North Thurston High School, Lacey, Wash., will major in Computer Science
  • Esmeralda Moreno from Tri-Cities Preparatory, Pasco, Wash., is currently undecided
  • Aldrin Fagaragan Rafael, from Waipahu High School, Waipahu, Hawaii, will major in Nursing
  • Avril Andales Regis, Fa'asao Marist College Preparatory High School, American Samoa, will major in Political Science
  • Hunter Anela Jean Smith from James Campbell High School, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, will major in Business Administration
  • Dove Marie Cruz Tupper from James Campbell High School, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, will major in Elementary Education
  • Trisha Mae Bugal Valenzuela from Waipahu High School, Waipahu, Hawaii, will major in Nursing

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:

Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs
Dean of Enrollment
pholsingerfuchs@stmartin.edu

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
gchan@stmartin.edu