They studied and worked hard, with determination and grit. Now the most recent graduates of Saint Leo University are taking the next step in their lives. For some it’s new jobs, while for others it’s graduate, law, or medical school. Many parlayed internships completed while at Saint Leo into full-time jobs. 

Here’s a look at just some of the outstanding graduates of 2024.

Turning Internships Into Careers

Not only do Saint Leo University students have the benefit of studying with faculty members who have experience working in their fields, but they also must complete internships that provide real-world, hands-on experience. Some of our most recent graduates have transformed from intern to employee: 

Reagan Buhrman, who graduated with a bachelor’s in management, interned at Franklin Street, a commercial real estate firm in Tampa. She was offered a full-time position as a commercial insurance analyst.

Lyndra Davis graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in sport business. In January 2024, she began what was intended to be a three-month internship with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) headquarters in Tampa. After one month of the management internship, she was hired full time by the organization, and now is a development coordinator with the NPCF.


Angel Limardo, who graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, was born in Miami, but his family is originally from Colombia and Venezuela. He played soccer at Daytona State College for two years and completed his associate degree and then was recruited to play at Saint Leo. He organized the university’s Robotics Club. In the summer of 2023, Limardo interned at Port Canaveral Space Force base with General Dynamics. Last fall, he landed an internship at ConGlobal, an intermodal company offering a full range of transportation and technology services and has accepted a full-time position with ConGlobal. 

Angelina Maguire earned a bachelor’s degree in international hospitality, hotel, and event management. She completed an internship at Walt Disney World and continues to work as a guest service expert at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort. She is marking her one-year anniversary with the company this month and plans to further her career within the luxury hotel industry. 

Stephen Moran graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He earned his associate degree from Pasco-Hernando State College and transferred to Saint Leo where he was involved with the Robotics Club and gave tours of the Robotics Lab in Kirk Hall. In the fall, he began an internship at ConGlobal and has accepted a full-time job with the company. 


Tomas Ossa, an international transfer student from Colombia, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in software engineering. Ossa received two awards from the College of Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Data Science (CARDS) during the Celebration of Academic Excellence: Excellence in Academic Leadership and the Dean’s Award for Excellence.

In addition to his academic success, he played soccer for Saint Leo, and was vice president of the Robotics Club. He interned for Saint Leo’s Department of Information Technology and for ConGlobal. He has accepted a full-time position with ConGlobal.


Tayhana Taylor, an Honors Program student, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in accounting. She will attend North Carolina State University to complete the Master of Accountancy program. Taylor completed four prestigious internships, including two with the CPA firms of Ernst & Young and Deloitte in New York City. These internships were highly competitive, and Taylor engaged in both audit and tax while in these roles, gaining experience with leading-edge accounting protocols. She has been offered a full-time position with Deloitte in 2025 once she completes her master’s program. 

Marcos Vidal-Maldonado earned a bachelor’s in management and will work at Enterprise Mobility following an internship that turned into a job, putting his management and decision-making skills to work. 

‘Vals and Sals’ 

In 2024, Saint Leo honored its top students, selecting a valedictorian and a salutatorian for each of its learning sites — campus, education centers, and online. Earning top honors were the following students: 

University Campus


Valedictorian Isabella Riano, of Naples, FL, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology: clinical/counseling. The Honors Program student was born in Miami and grew up in Colombia, living there until she was 15. 

Riano conducted psychological research about parenting styles and experiences with bullying and perceptions of stepparents from movies, which she presented at the university’s Celebration of Academic Excellence and at the Southeastern Psychological Association Annual meeting. In her last semester of her undergraduate career, she completed a part-time internship with the Pasco County (FL) Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Unit. She previously completed an internship with Green Dot. Her long-term goal is to become a licensed clinical psychologist and help children.

Cole Washko, of Bradenton, FL, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English: professional writing. The campus salutatorian served in the U.S. Air Force for four years as a hydraulic technician. After leaving the military, he chose to attend Saint Leo, where he served as the office manager for the Military Resource Center on campus, helping to connect student-veterans with the appropriate resources. During his senior year, Washko was hired full time as a public information officer (PIO) for Sarasota County, FL. 

Education Centers


Valedictorian Sylvia Elaine Chaney graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Social Work degree. She attended Saint Leo’s Tampa Education Center. Chaney was the recipient of a Leven "Chuck" Wilson Scholarship Award for “Influential Women in Social Work” as well as the Dennis and Cathy Mullen Endowed Scholarship Award. She will pursue a Master of Social Work degree at Florida State University. 

Genair Tanoa Kirnes, was a student at the Tampa Education Center and graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Social Work degree. While at Saint Leo, the salutatorian for the education centers was a member of the Iota Gamma chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society and the recipient of a first-generation student scholarship. She will attend the University of Central Florida to pursue a Master of Social Work degree. 

Center for Online Learning


Valedictorian Alexandra Georgina Calabro graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education. Calabro said three brain surgeries left her starting over, physically and mentally. “From there, it was all about reevaluating everything that is important in life, and for me that included pushing forward in fulfilling that goal of obtaining my bachelor's degree with the endorsements for education,” she said. 

Katie Teresa Vaughn, the salutatorian for the Center for Online Learning, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education. Her goal is to continue to inspire, empower, and uplift the next generation of learners through academics and extracurricular activities. Vaughn continues to hone these skills as a paraprofessional at Pine Island Academy and aspires to become their newest fifth grade teacher next school year.

Going to Work

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

Zachary Ellingson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management, started his own business, Club Riah, hosting pop-up party events around the Tampa Bay area. 


Gabriella Fonseca graduated with a bachelor’s in management and is working as an administrative assistant for Advancement and the Region for the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. 

Karen Hastings, who graduated with a bachelor’s in communication: digital communication, was hired by Major League Baseball (MLB) as a live content creator.

Kyle White, who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in management, is planning to continue working in the hospitality industry full time with Stonewater Grill; he previously completed his internship with the company. White intends to obtain his MBA and start his own hospitality business.


Leonardo Kelly graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in management and started a full-time job as an accountant at Hillsborough Community College.

On to Graduate School

Some of Saint Leo’s most recent graduates plan to obtain higher degrees in graduate programs or from medical school, law school, and other programs. 

Jacob Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree in medical humanities: pre-med and is planning to attend Nova Southeastern University to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. He also is on a wait list for the University of Florida. 

Linda Carlson, who earned a bachelor’s in management, is interviewing with the Audi dealership in Tampa and hopes to work in sales before returning to Saint Leo for her MBA. 


Delaney Gilchrist, an Honors Program student, women’s lacrosse team member, and president of Saint Leo’s American Marketing Association chapter, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in marketing. She will attend Nottingham Trent University in England to pursue a master's in marketing and brand management and will play lacrosse. She also is starting her third internship this summer and work with a cybersecurity company as a marketing intern. 

Sarah Gilley graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English: professional writing and will attend University of Central Florida to pursue a master’s in English. Gilley received a full scholarship for her master’s program. At Saint Leo, she volunteered as social media coordinator for Sigma Tau Delta in her junior year and as treasurer in her senior year. She was the co-editor of The Lions’ Pride Media Group and previously served as campus news editor and copy editor. Gilley is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and attended the University of Glasgow in fall 2023.

Alex Heck, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in economics will attend the University of Notre Dame to pursue a master’s in business analytics. A member of the Saint Leo men’s golf team, he was the Saint Leo Male Scholar Athlete of the Year and won an Outstanding Student Award for economics. 

Cooper Miles earned a bachelor’s degree in management. The member of Saint Leo’s baseball team will begin the MBA program at the university. 


Three Saint Leo ROTC students were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army in a ceremony May 7 for the Suncoast Battalion. 

Commissioned were: Lisa Bonds, who earned a bachelor’s in political science; Catherine Goodyear-Holloway, who earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice: criminalistics, and Derek Scott, who graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in criminal justice.