Meet 7 Outstanding Grads from SLU's Class of 2019
The Class of 2019 entered as one of Saint Louis University’s biggest and brightest. Four years later, members will leave the same way. See how a handful of graduates from across SLU spent their time as Billikens, and what they are going to do next.
Maya Abrahamian, Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
What’s Next? Abrahamian will start a position with Deloitte Consulting, LLP as a business technology analyst following graduation.
About Her SLU Experience: Abrahamian landed her first job out of Saint Louis University more than six months before graduation, thanks to an internship at Edward Jones and career resources at the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business.
As a part of the firm's operations division, Abrahamian applied what she was learning in the classroom to aggregate and analyze historical data and make suggestions to influence the direction of the division's client free billing team.
"Edward Jones gives interns work that has a real impact on the firm and a sense of independence that allows interns to complete projects in the way that best fits their style," said Abrahamian. "Having this independence really allowed me to get a better idea of what type of work I enjoy and in which type of environment I work best."
"I truly have the Chaifetz School's Career Resources Center to thank for helping me get to this point, and I could not be more excited for next year!"
Nick Di Napoli, SLU Madrid
What’s Next? Following graduation, Di Napoli is considering a career in the art business field or as a management consultant.
About His SLU Experience: Di Napoli began working as a researcher and an independent art consultant even before earning his college degree. As a high school student in California, he developed an interest in religious art. Following his freshman year at SLU’s St. Louis, Missouri campus, he decided to continue his SLU degree at SLU-Madrid after a year studying abroad in Bologna, Italy.
Before graduation, Di Napoli had internships at the Museo del Prado with Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado and the Colección Granados. He also works as an international sales associate with Heritage Liturgical, a design firm in California that works with liturgical art, such as chapels, vestments and statues.
"I have come to understand art as a quest for beauty, a vital element found in every civilization throughout history,” said Di Napoli. “Studying it reveals to us priceless information about our collective human experience and compels us to realize that our world is full of meaning and purpose."
Hile Ermias, College for Public Health and Social Justice
What’s Next: After graduation, Ermias will join Procter and Gamble as an account manager.
About His SLU Experience: Ermias has helped nearly 200 Saint Louis University students who are the first in their families to attend college or who come from communities that are underrepresented on college campuses.
He was a resident advisor in the Village Apartments and has served as a student leader for SLU's chapter of Chi Alpha, leading Bible study and mentoring others.
During his junior year, Ermias worked as an emergency medical technician, responding to 911 emergency calls and helping injured and sick patients. He also assists priests at St. Mary and St. Gabriel Ethiopian Orthodox Church in St. Louis with Masses, wedding ceremonies, holidays, baptisms and with funeral services, in addition to teaching kids about Ethiopian Orthodox Church customs.
"Public health is the ultimate service oriented major. The lessons we study in the classroom are meant to make the world a better and healthier place,” said Hile. "The combination of my public health coursework and my role as an RA have helped me shape a path where I know I can be successful."
Douglas Fritz, College of Arts and Sciences
What’s Next? Fritz will be taking a gap year to pursue a teaching fellowship abroad before medical school.
About His SLU Experience: Founder and a three-term president of the University’s Green Billikens club, Fritz was also a resident advisor, co-chair of the Student Government Association (SGA) sustainability committee, concert and pep bands member, and vaccine researcher in a lab run by Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D.
"People have eclectic interests," said Fritz. "Choosing a major shouldn’t mean that you need to limit them. I want to be a doctor, but I care deeply about environmental sustainability. Those aren’t mutually exclusive. As an American Studies major, I will address the complexities of American culture and history that affect my patients’ health. As an environmental advocate, I will ensure that the planet, community and hospital that my patients visit will promote their health and the health of their children long after they leave it."
"The SLU faculty prioritizes interdisciplinary knowledge and ensures that they support and create opportunities for students who want to be well-rounded," Fritz said. "The SLU education prioritizes doing and being more, and faculty actively embraces that."
Conner Gibson, School of Nursing
What’s Next? Gibson will begin a nursing residency at HCA Houston in its medical intensive care unit following graduation.
About Their SLU Experience: Gibson served as a SLU 101 leader, nursing and Spanish tutor, peer instructor in nursing courses, and as a Health Resource Center nurse practitioner lead during their time at SLU, while also making time to represent fellow students in the School of Nursing in the Student Government Association as a senator.
Gibson spent a semester at SLU-Madrid, studying cardiac medications on a train to Vienna and discussing the U.S. health care system with strangers-turned-friends in a hostel in Switzerland.
"I view my patients as complex, multi-faceted people and I consider not just their medical diagnoses, but the things that bring them joy, their family dynamics and their spiritual practices as I provide care to them,” said Gibson. "Studying in Madrid reinforced the need to do this by opening my eyes to linguistic differences that affect health literacy and a patient’s ability to manage their chronic conditions.
"As a result of studying at SLU and SLU-Madrid, I am a more well-rounded nurse who treats patients holistically."
Meredith Walker, Parks College of Aviation, Engineering and Technology
What’s Next? Walker will work as a project manager with Cisco Systems in Raleigh, North Carolina following graduation.
About Her SLU Experience: A SLU 101 leader, Oriflamme leader and peer instructor with SLU’s University 101 course, Walker has also pursued her passion for advancing women in STEM fields with Saint Louis University’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and her commitment to her Catholic faith as a member of Sorores in Christo, the campus Catholic women’s faith group. She was a morale captain and miracle maker with SLU’s Dance Marathon and a member of the Honors Learning Community.
Walker also spent a semester in Madrid at Saint Louis University’s Spanish campus, where she added her international business minor and learned flamenco.
"Engineering is about solving the world’s problems to better improve the life of someone around you," said Walker. "Everything I have done these past four years has been encouraging me and training me in how best to serve others once I become a professional. I remind myself the purpose behind my learning is how I will apply these assignments to real-world examples, to be a problem solver and to improve the world in some capacity in the future. I will become an even better version of myself in the years to come because of the impact of my SLU experiences."
Mana Yacim, Doisy College of Health Sciences
What’s Next? Following graduation, Yacim will be teaching biology through Teach for America.
About Her SLU Experience: Praised by her mentor as a scholar, a leader and a servant leader, Yacim was active in SLU’s African Student Association, the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students and as one of the University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars.
An aspiring hematologist, Yacim completed a rigorous pre-med curriculum and conducted research on sickle cell anemia traits in the lab of her faculty mentor, Tim Randolph, Ph.D., while also volunteering in hospitals and tutoring services both in her hometown of Jefferson City and in St. Louis.
"After almost four years as a student here, I have discovered the Billiken is a transformative figure. It develops and grows within us as we discover what being a student at SLU means," said Yacim. "I believe the Billiken represents someone who is willing to take the lessons they learned from SLU to implement change locally, nationally and internationally, essentially leaving the Billiken’s footprints everywhere they go."
Curious what SLU's graduate students will be doing as new alums? Check out even more profiles.