They’ve heard Pomp and Circumstance, turned their tassels, and earned their degrees. Now, some of Saint Leo University’s bachelor’s degree recipients already are taking the next step in their journeys, whether it be work or graduate school. Many found their new positions through internships completed while at Saint Leo.

Some of the new graduates poised to make exciting career steps include the following:

Outstanding Students

Earning top honors for the undergraduate Class of 2023 were valedictorian Angelica Molina Arboleda and salutatorian Maria Nakata.

Molina Arboleda, a native of Colombia, was an Honors Program student, and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a minor in world politics. She now will attend the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs to pursue a dual master's degree in public administration and international relations. “Syracuse gave Angelica one of the largest scholarships they offer incoming graduate students,” said Dr. Daniel DuBois, associate professor of history.


“I would like to thank Saint Leo University and my faculty advisor Dr. Daniel Dubois for helping me grow professionally and preparing me for such an amazing career path,” Molina Arboleda said. “During my experience at Saint Leo, I had the pleasure of being a student ambassador, resident assistant, LEAD Scholar, and [participate in] many other activities and clubs.”

Nakata, the salutatorian, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice: criminalistics.

In the fall, she will continue her education at the University of Florida, pursuing a Master of Science in pharmacy with a major in pharmaceutical sciences and a concentration in forensic science.

She participated in internships with the City of Naples - Naples Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations RAC Fort Myers in her continued pursuit to work for the federal government and investigate and prosecute transnational criminal organizations.

Outside of academics, Nakata was a member of the acrobatics and tumbling team; the Criminal Justice Honor Society - Alpha Phi Sigma - Lambda Theta chapter as the chapter’s public relations officer; a Student Government Union senator; a peer mentor for SLU 101; Admissions student ambassador, and a graduate of the Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay Class of 2023.

Joining the Workforce

Seanette Culmer, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in accounting and economics, has accepted a full-time position at Ernst & Young (EY) in Tennessee. She already has passed one part of the CPA Exam and is working toward completing the remaining sections.

Nina Michelangelo, an Honors Program student, graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in accounting, will be interning then working for an accounting firm in Tampa, FL. She was a federal tax strategies intern at CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA). 


Ivan Plante, an Honors Program student, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in political science. He is interning at Blackston’s Financial Advisory Group. Plante was on the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations and is a 2022 alumni of The Fund for American Studies - Leadership and the American Presidency, which is a summer program that provides an immersive look at lessons from the American presidency.

Ally-Reese Williams is joining the firm, Slide Insurance, which is based in Tampa. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Williams worked as an actuarial assistant intern last summer, and she will start her full-time position there this summer. Williams also was a member of Saint Leo’s indoor and beach volleyball teams.

Alondra Jaimes graduated with a bachelor’s in management and will complete an internship this summer at St. Rita Catholic Church in Dade City and hopes to gain employment with the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg after conferral of her degree.

Andrew Booth graduated with a bachelor’s in sport business and two minors: sport hospitality and sales and marketing in sport. He completed his internship as an event operations assistant for the Savannah Bananas and will embark on a career in sport and event management in the Tampa, FL, area. He is getting married in July to Olivia Lopresti, ’22.

On to Graduate School

Jessaca Bristol graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in psychology: clinical and counseling and a minor in English. An Honors Program student, Bristol will be moving to the United Kingdom where she will be a graduate student at the University of South Wales where she will pursue a master’s in mental health and counseling beginning in the fall. 


Emily McLoughlin earned her bachelor’s degree in history, graduating magna cum laude. She was accepted into and will begin in the fall at the University of South Florida’s Master of Arts in History Program, with a specialization in museum studies.

Shelsy Louijean graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics and will attend graduate school at the University of Glasgow in Scotland this fall to study biostatistics.

Courtney Gray majored in mathematics and graduated cum laude. She will head to graduate school at the University of Rhode Island for master’s in mathematics this fall. 


Elizabeth "Lizzie" Zacharias graduated with a bachelor’s in medical humanities: pre-med. While at Saint Leo, she conducted research with a lab at the University of South Florida and works at a community health clinic. She will pursue a master’s in public health with a focus on epidemiology next year.

Jake Nash, a member of the men’s golf team, graduated bachelor’s in management and a minor in accounting. He has applied to the Tapia College of Business’s Master of Business Administration Program.

Beginning Law School

Alisa Azzarelli, an Honors Program student who graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in economics, will attend Florida International University College Law in the fall on a full tuition scholarship. She also received acceptances to the law schools at Iowa University, University of Miami, St. Thomas, Touro, Catholic University, and American University. This summer she will be interning at the VBPNP (Vigorito, Barker, Patterson, Nichols and Porter) Law Firm in New York.

Alora Peters graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in English: professional writing and a minor in religion. The Honors Program student served as editor-in-chief of The Lions’ Pride Media Group and president of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. She will attend Ave Maria University School of Law in the fall. 


Attending Medical School

Hannah Evers, an Honors Program student, graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in biology: biomedical and health sciences. A member of the soccer team, Evers completed more than 18 credit hours every semester, and presented her senior seminar research as the Florida Academy of Sciences. Evers will be attending medical school.