Submitted by Saint Martin’s University

Ten incoming Saint Martin’s University first-year students have been selected to serve as the ninth cohort of Benedictine Scholars.

The group includes Kip Angaiak (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colton Corrales (Vancouver, Wash.), Chalise King (Pasco, Wash.), Erin Luong (Boise, Idaho), Jessica Mcneil (Honolulu, Hawaii), Erica Moody (Battle Ground, Wash.), Sarah Niemi (Yakima, Wash.), Riley Phelps (Yelm, Wash.), Mark Wood (Bothell, Wash.), and Malia Pinder (Eugene, Ore.).

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 values of the institution – faith, reason, service and community.

Benedictine Scholars serve their communities, meet in small groups and will work on a project of their own choosing.

Last year the Benedictine Scholars cohorts organized the Saint’s Martin’s Lantern prayer service and parade on Saint Martin’s Day.

Additional projects completed by recent Benedictine Scholars have included the restoration and re-installation of the Stations of the Cross throughout the Saint Martin’s campus, the creation of a large Saint Martin’s-themed mural, assisting with hosting service opportunities for students and preserving historical documents for the monastic community.

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.

“I am excited to be working with this new cohort and am thankful for their commitment to Saint Martin’s University,” Dunne said. “The scholars program is a group of students that I enjoy working with and brings an important sense of community to the campus.”

Faculty and staff members representing numerous departments throughout the University evaluated more than 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 to $40,000 in total scholarship support per year, renewable for four years of study.

The ninth cohort of Benedictine Scholars are:

  • Kip Angaiak, Fairbanks, Alaska, who is graduating from Monroe Catholic Junior-Senior High School and will major in Communication Studies
  • Colton Corrales, Vancouver, Wash., who is graduating from Mountain View High School and will major in Literary Studies
  • Chalise King, Pasco, Wash., who is a Chiawana High School Graduate and will be a Criminal Justice major
  • Erin Luong, Boise, Idaho, who is graduating from Borah High School and will major in Biology
  • Jessica Mcneil, Honolulu, Hawaii, who is graduating from Kapolei High School and will major in Education
  • Erica Moody, Battle Ground, Wash., who is graduating from Battle Ground High school and will major in Nursing
  • Sarah Niemi, Yakima, Wash., who is graduating from La Salle High School and will major in Elementary Education
  • Riley Phelps, Yelm, Wash., who is graduating from Yelm High School and will be majoring in Mechanical Engineering
  • Mark Wood, Bothell, Wash., who is graduating from North Creek High School and will be a Biology major
  • Malia Pinder, Eugene, Ore., who is graduating from Winston Churchill High School and will be majoring in Business Administration

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 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 five certificate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. 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.

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