Members of the graduating Class of 2020 from Saint Leo University's residential campus are making their way toward new accomplishments, in spite of the disruption that the coronavirus caused during their final semester of undergraduate study.

"We are very proud of all of our graduates and so happy that these new alumni of Saint Leo University are able to proceed so quickly to their next steps, whether they are heading into a first job or into another academic program for advanced studies," said Dr. Mary T. Spoto, vice president of Academic Affairs at Saint Leo. "In several of these cases, the students were working directly toward goals they had already set when the virus became very serious in the spring and caused shutdowns in many sectors of the economy. And they are proceeding, even though they may need to make adjustments, at times.

"This is encouraging news and testimony to the power of perseverance in difficult times," Spoto added.

Some of the graduates with post-baccalaureate plans to report are:

  • Kevoy Bailey, an accounting major, accepted a job as a revenue analyst at Acosta Sales and Marketing in Jacksonville, FL, a large, privately owned agency that represents manufacturers and retailers.
  • Sarah Bermudez has accepted a one-year missionary appointment beginning in September to work for the Catholic youth ministry organization Life Teen at one of its camps in north Georgia. The education major and Honors Program graduate is from the local Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL, and is considering teaching or ministry work after the completion of her Life Teen commitment.
  • Lauren Boos, a political science major who completed the three-year, Accelerated Pre-Law Program at Saint Leo, is being admitted directly to the University of Montana College of Law in the fall. She is interested in human rights law.
  • Jason Chatoff, an accounting major, is now a tax specialist at the Tampa, FL, office of the major accounting firm PwC.
  • David Morales, accounting major, is a tax specialist at the Tampa office of PwC, the accounting firm.
  • Lauren O'Connell, an accounting major, also joined PwC at its Tampa office.
  • Christine Potthast gained her bachelor of science in computer science under a special scholarship and academic program funded by the National Science Foundation in only three years. She will return to Saint Leo to use the remainder of her funding for a Master of Science in cybersecurity following a summer internship in computer science.
  • Jeanine Ramirez, a political science major and Honors Program graduate, will head to Washington, DC, next and American University where she will study for a Master of Arts degree in ethics, peace, and human rights. She will also work as a policy intern with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Environmental Justice Program.
  • Fallen Routeman, an accounting graduate, joined accounting firm PwC in its Tampa office.
  • Matalin Shaver, a stand-out competitive Lions swimmer who graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree, wanted to start her career with a commitment to Catholic youth ministry. In August she will begin a 10-month assignment for the Diocese of Charleston, SC. Long term, she is interested in a social work career with vulnerable populations.
  • Alyssa Sloan, a biology major in the biomedical and health sciences track, has started a research internship at the Veterans Administration. The Honors Program graduate will start the Master of Science degree program in biomedical sciences at the University of South Florida in Tampa in spring 2021.
  • Veittoria Statuto, another student from the three-year, Accelerated Pre-Law Program, will attend Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, FL. She is interested in criminal law.
  • Madison Whatley, an English major in the literary studies specialization, has been admitted to a Master of Fine Arts program in writing at Florida International University. She became a published poet while at Saint Leo in the Honors Program, with works released in a variety of publications.
  • Jason Wolstenholme, an accounting major, joined PwC, at the accounting firm's Tampa office.

Additionally, the accounting program reports that other graduates who held internships during their final year are continuing their internships or preparing to enter the job market.

Saint Leo University held a Virtual Celebration on July 11 for students graduating in 2020 from academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It can be viewed here.