Here are a few of our December graduates that are graduating in a couple of weeks. Read what they have to say for their last salute to Saint Mary’s University. 

Chazz Robinson:chzz

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT SMU?: I have two favorite memories that happened close to each other. First, the day the Psychology Club gave me a platform to discussed implications of depression. It was the first time in my life I had a chance to express things that impacted my life in a major way. Most importantly, we expected to fill up a couple of rows of seats, but it ended up being so crowded people had to stand. There were many there that came just to show respect for me and show me an abundance of love. I never had that before and it meant the world to me. Secondly, was when I could give another aspect of my story at Food for Thought. It was similar, only this time many faculty/staff showed up to show support. Both events let me know that I was cared about by many and what I had to say was important. Also, it let me recognize how it felt to have a voice. I created a ton of lasting relationships from those events and I will remember them forever.

WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?: My next steps will involve working for the university and attending graduate school on the Rochester campus for my Masters in Counseling. Between that time, I plan to start the ground work of the non-for profit I want to potentially have and I want to get a book published that I have been working on for a year now. Most importantly, I’m ready to be a listening ear and resource for marginalized groups of people. I’m ready to be what some individuals form Saint Mary’s were to me and the person that I did not have when I was growing up.

WHAT FINAL WORDS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS: I can’t say thank you enough to all the faculty, staff and students that have impacted my life here. As I sit here typing this I am overwhelmed with emotions because I never realized the impact you all have made on my life until now. First, I would like to thank Dr. Pyle. From day one you’ve always been a person I could confided in and ask for help. You’ve seen me grown from the good/bad side of me and you’ve always reminded me that I was still a great man. Secondly, I’d like to thank Dr. Esther Peralez in the Student Success Office. From the very first day of cracking down on my poor professional behavior (lol) you’ve always held me to a standard. In just one summer you taught me how to be a professional even on the days that I didn’t want to be. You also were a mentor to me when I had minimal people to talk to. You’ve always carved out time in your busy day to hear me vent. For that, I am internally grateful and appreciative. Brother Peter, my favorite bother, you have always had great spirit and concern about my well-being. You exemplify what it means to be a Brother and taught me the true meaning of what being a Brother was about. To the rest of the Student Success Center, I owe a major thank you too. The spirit of you all and the care for me was astonishing. I never had many people care so much about my well being and I appreciate you all. Next I want thank the psychology department. I could come to any one of you crying, stressed or concerned and you all were there to support. You all challenged me academically and humbled me when needed. Most importantly, you taught me how to take care of myself and be mindful of the feelings/concerns of others. You’ve given me all the tools needed for the next level. Lastly, I want to thank a few friends. First, I want to thank my dear friend Shaun Ohm. It’s been quite the journey for us and you’ve done nothing less than encourage me and challenge my thinking. Thanks for the Thanksgiving dinner. Next I want to thank Temo Zarate and Jimmy Canedo. You two called me a mentor, but I learned so much from you both as young men who try their hardest to show compassion and friendship. Much appreciation to those I may have forgotten, you are also much appreciated.


Peter Hegland: peter

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT SMU?: My favorite memory would have to been spending time with all of my friends. The people are what make Saint Mary’s such a vibrant community. (also I enjoyed running the trails in the bluffs :))
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?: I am working for HelpSystems, a technology company in the Twin Cities, as a Mergers & Acquisitions Associate. I will most likely purpose my MBA or Law School within the next couple years.
WHAT FINAL WORDS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS: Thank you! Also, have some fun. You have the rest of life to work so enjoy college!
Marzena Drozd:marz
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT SMU?: My favorite memory at SMU is connected with International Center where I spent my first semester. It was such a great experience to get to know students from different cultures. I had a great opportunity to learn some new languages and experiences their native traditions. I encourage everybody at SMU to visit International Center – it’s a great place.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?: For my future plans I applied for Saint Mary’s Graduate School in Minneapolis and I am planning to majoring in Human Resources Management.
WHAT FINAL WORDS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS: I would like give thanks to all professors and faculty members at SMU for making this American college experience unforgettable. Thank you for all your help and support during those 3,5 years. I also wish good luck to all of my fellow graduates in their future plans!
Connor Bonfe:unnamed-3
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT SMU?: My first year here at SMU. I enjoyed meeting my professors and attending the vents on campus. I made lots of friends and felt comfortable the first day I stepped on campus. The atmosphere just felt right ever since.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?: Currently, I am applying for jobs and I’ve had tons of phone interviews and face -to-face interviews with companies. My plan is to move back to the metro area (Twin Cities) and work until I can get more experience to move out of state.
WHAT FINAL WORDS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AND THANK YOU!!! Saint Mary’s would not have been how it is today if it wasn’t for such amazing and caring faculty/staff members I’ve had and the people I’ve worked for. Shout-out to Mike Hagarty and Dean Beckman for being so grateful and helpful for the job and class experiences I’ve went through at school. Best Supervisors I’ve worked for at SMU!
Ben Coleman:

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT SMU?: My favorite memory at SMU would have to be co-founding the club soccer team.

WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS?: My next steps: traveling to Central America and Europe along with starting nursing school at UW Oshkosh.

WHAT FINAL WORDS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS:My final words to the faculty, staff, and students: The memories that I made here I’ll have for the rest of my life. Thank you for making my experience at Saint Mary’s great.