Saint Martin’s names its third cohort of Benedictine Scholars

May 27, 2014

Ten incoming Saint Martin’s University freshman have been selected to serve as part of the third cohort of Benedictine Scholars. The Benedictine Scholars program, designed to support and reflect the University’s mission as a faith-based, values-centered institution, was launched in 2012 and dovetailed with the roll-out of the Saint Martin’s Benedictine Institute.

The incoming scholars help form the student nucleus of a University-wide endeavor to understand, strengthen and articulate the centuries-old Catholic Benedictine values that are the foundation of Saint Martin’s University and Abbey, said Scott Andrew Schulz, Ph.D. the University’s dean of enrollment. The newest group brings the total number of Benedictine Scholars to 30 students.

“This year’s group of Benedictine Scholars is academically gifted to be sure,” Schulz said. “More importantly, however, these students bring with them demonstrated commitments to compassion and social justice that will inspire every member of the Saint Martin’s community to deepen an understanding of themselves and their place in a more interconnected world.”

Faculty and staff members representing numerous departments throughout the University evaluated candidates from an applicant pool of about 120 students, Schulz said. 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 a $10,000 renewable scholarship.

The scholars aspire to embody the University’s core values as a Catholic, Benedictine institution, regardless of their individual faith or religious affiliation. These values are implicit in The Rule of Saint Benedict, which was written about 540 A.D. by Saint Benedict of Norcia. The Rule remains relevant today as a guide to the spiritual and practical concerns of community living. After the Benedictine Scholars complete their freshman year on campus, the expectation is that they will carry the core values of Saint Martin’s out into the wider community and mentor incoming cohorts of scholars.

“We welcome all of our new Benedictine Scholars most warmly and sincerely,” says Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B., executive director of the Benedictine Institute. “We will assist them in forming a strong spirit of community in which they will be able to develop all of their unique gifts and talents as independent men and women of faith and reason, while helping them to form strong bonds of friendship with their fellow students, their faculty, staff and members of the monastic community.”

The 2014-15 Benedictine Scholars are:

  • Michael Dominguez, Olympia, a graduate of Northwest Christian High School in Lacey. He plans to study civil engineering.
  • Alyssa Fink, Poulsbo, a graduate of Central Kitsap High School who plans to study mechanical engineering.
  • Andrew Raab, Yakima, a graduate of East Valley High School who plans to study accounting.
  • Nicolle Saucedo, Kent, a graduate of Kent-Meridian High School who plans to study criminal justice.
  • Jessica Bever, Olympia, a graduate of Capital High School who plans to study elementary education.
  • Katherine Rieger, Kent, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Auburn. She plans to study mathematics.
  • Taylor Wolf, Gervais, Ore., a graduate of Blanchet Catholic School in Salem, Ore. Her major is undeclared.
  • Morgan Olson, Ravensdale, a graduate of Tahoma Senior High School who plans to study elementary education.
  • Matthew Ramos, Olympia, a graduate of Pope John Paul II High School in Lacey. He plans to study biology.
  • Belana Anderson, Olympia, a graduate of Timberline High School. Her major is undeclared.

This year’s alternates included students from:

  • Eagle Rock High School, Azusa, Calif.
  • El Camino High School, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Elma High School, Elma
  • Enumclaw High School, Enumclaw
  • Hoquiam High School, Hoquiam
  • John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Burien
  • Lexington High School, Lexington, Mass.
  • Saramen Chuuk Academy, Micronesia
  • Shorewood High School, Shoreline
  • Thomas Jefferson High School, Auburn
  • Timberline High School, Olympia
  • Tumwater High School, Tumwater
  • Woodland High School, Woodland
  • Yelm High School, Yelm

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university 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 14 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 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Fr. Kilian Malvey, O.S.B.,
Professor, Religious Studies
Executive Director
Saint Benedict’s Institute

Scott Schulz, Ph.D.
Dean of Enrollment

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager