Her Life

A letter from her professor, says it all.

Ms. Bernadette Estrada is one of the finest students I have come to know in my eleven years of university teaching.  Bernadette participated in the highly selective London Study Abroad Program.  She not only excelled in the writing-intensive London Program, returning to San Antonio (St. Mary University) having earned a 3.67 GPA, but she shared her gift of writing, with fellow students, by offering free tutoring in her dorm room.

The London Program was designed to challenge students and it required that they produce scholarly work.  Students were busy doing research, writing papers, and the compilation of a London Writing Profolio, but Bernadette's academic commitment went beyond what was required of her.  Her insatiable appetite for knowledge and her admirable curiosity for the world around her, prompted her to take additional courses in the evening-an Arabic lanquage course at Imperial college and private lesseons in Arabic Calligraphy with Mustafa Ja'Far from the British Museum.

During school breaks, most students traveled to Amsterdam, Paris etc..Bernadette went to Istanbul and during the winter break, spent a month in Beirut.  Only a person such as her- capable, aware, responsible, could successfully explore these regions without incident and with the cultural sensitivity necessary to make friends along the way.

Bernadette is most dedicated to research and writing, and possesses the genuine enthusiasm and talent, required to be successful at both.  Bernadette is one of the brightest and certainly the most highly motivated student I have met at St. Mary's University.  She has great drive and clear-sighted vision in her goals and is thoroughly self-motivated.  It is because of these attributes that I expect Bernadette to become a prolific writer and to reach the pinnacle of her profession.

Her leadership skills are very, very impressive.  I have recently seen her organize the newly founded campus "Study Abroad Society"- her conception - and she has done so with great interest in promoting study abroad on campus, as well as, welcoming international students who are studying at St. Mary's University.  Because she can identify with them, she has been able to meet their needs and provide a network for friends who can support them and extend to them, generous acts of hospitality.

Perhaps what most impresses me about Bernadette is her great sense of service.  She has well formed social conscience and plans to exert her considerable professional and writing talents toward changing society for the better.  Let me assure you that Bernadette is no mere dreamer, she is an idealistic realist who is clear-eyed about the world she lives in.

from: Dr. Steve Neitheisel