Outstanding Senior Award Recipient Announced


Saint Mary’s announces Outstanding Senior Award Recipient

Media contact:
Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

May 12, 2011 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—Every year the Saint Mary's College Alumnae Association Board of Directors presents the Outstanding Senior Award to a member of the senior class who exemplifies the spirit and values of the College. The Board chooses the recipient from nominees submitted by students, faculty and staff. The recipient is known as someone who carries out the beliefs of her faith in daily living and is distinguished by scholarship, leadership, and outstanding dedication to Saint Mary’s—as demonstrated through participation in both curricular and extracurricular activities. As the valedictorian represents the mind, and the Lumen Christi Award recipient reflects the soul, the Outstanding Senior embodies the heart of Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s College is proud to announce the recipient of the Outstanding Senior Award of 2011 is Emma Hoffman, a biology major from Oak Forest, Illinois. She will receive her award at the Alumnae-Senior Champagne Brunch on Monday, May 16.

From nearly the moment she stepped on campus as a first-year student, Emma has been active in Campus Ministry. She has bore witness to her faith before others through retreat ministry and group presentations and served as a liturgical minister and a peer minister to her fellow students. “Emma exemplifies what a Saint Mary’s woman can become: Someone eager to serve and know more about the world in which we live,” said Regina Wilson, assistant director of Campus Ministry.

Throughout her four years at Saint Mary’s, Emma gained the confidence to pursue her passions for biology, traveling abroad, and involvement in student government. As a first-year student, she was elected president of her class. As a sophomore, she was a member on the Class Board, and as a junior, she served as Student Government Association Mission Commissioner. In her senior year, she stepped up to the role as the student trustee on the College’s Board of Trustees.

Studying abroad has been an integral part of Emma’s Saint Mary’s experience, including participating in the Rome Program her sophomore year. As a biology major, her senior research project took her to Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, where she tested a water purification system as she fostered memorable relationships with the poverty-challenged locals. This experience allowed Emma to combine her love of biology with her desire to serve others and it gave her a new appreciation for her own, more fortunate, circumstances.

All of these experiences have combined to teach her what she calls the crucial skill of being able to state her opinion with confidence. “As my senior year comes to an end, I do not have to worry that I will be lost in a crowd,” Emma said. “My leadership abilities will set me apart. My path is not certain, but the tools and friends I have gained at Saint Mary’s will always hold me in good stead.”

Following Commencement on Saturday, May 21, this summer Emma will return to Little Corn Island for a year, where she will do biology related projects. During that year, she plans to apply to graduate school to study environmental health or apply to the Peace Corps.

Note: Emma recently did a TV interview with WSBT-TV about her research in Nicaragua.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” in the U.S. News & World Report 2011 College Guide. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.