Class of 2022: Senior Accomplishments

battalio pic

Madeline Battalio graduates with degrees in economics, statistical science, and a minor in mathematics. 


becker pic

Sara Beth Becker graduates with degrees in biological science and mathematics. She will be beginning SMU's graduate program in medical anthropology this fall.   

caldwell pic

Stella Caldwell graduates with a degree in political science. She intends to take a gap year before beginning law school.  


Cole Fontenot graduates with degrees in philosophy, history, economics, and public policy, along with minors in human rights and public olicy & international affairs. In addition to the Dedman College Scholars Program, Cole is a Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and the University Honors Program. He has been deeply involved in Student Affairs at SMU, serving as an RA for three years in Morrison-McGinnis Commons and conducting research into issues of student belonging and racial battle fatigue on college campuses. During his time at SMU, Cole received a Rubottom Foreign Service Fellowship and the Wallace F. Lovejoy Memorial Award in Economics. Cole also served as President of the SMU Honor Council, the Historical Society at SMU, and served on the board of Kids-U, a local non-profit providing after-school care and mentorship in low-income apartment communities. After graduation, Cole will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to work as a Middle School Math teacher as a member of Teach for America.


Gabrielle Gard graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry with minors in Spanish and mathematics. Gabrielle is a Dedman College Scholar, Hyer Society University Achievement Award Recipient, Mortar Board Top Ten Sophomore, and member of the Hyer Honor Society, the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and the University Honors Program. Gabrielle has been heavily involved in research in the Vogel Laboratory during her time at SMU and the Savani Laboratory at UT Southwestern, and her work has led to her recognition as a 2021 Goldwater Scholar, Hamilton Scholar, and Engaged Learning Fellow. Gabrielle also has a passion to educate others about basic life support. She obtained her EMT-B certification and led the SMU Mustang EMS Organization as president to teach CPR, Stop the Bleed, and other basic life support skills on campus. As a leader on campus, Gabrielle initiated a research collaboration between UT Southwestern and SMU to provide an opportunity for SMU undergraduate students to conduct research at UT Southwestern for a semester. In her free time, she has been a camp counselor at Camp I-Thonka-Chi, serving children survivors of severe burn injuries, and is working her way towards a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo. After graduation, Gabrielle will be attending UT Southwestern Medical School and pursuing a career as a physician-scientist.


Madison Geiger graduates with degrees in public policy and economics, as well as minors in business administration and Spanish. She will be attending the SMU Dedman School of Law this fall.

Stephanie Gilchrist graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biophysical science with minors in Spanish and mathematics. Outside of being a Dedman College Scholar, Stephanie is also a part of the University Honors Program, and has received a Hamilton Scholarship for her research in particle physics. The research supported by SMU allowed her to be listed as a co-author on the ATHENA Detector Proposal for the EIC, submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy in 2021. She also gave a talk on her project entitled “Kaon Identification of Charm-Quark-Initiated Jets Using the Proposed ATHENA Detector at the Electron-Ion Collider” at the Fall 2021 meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society. She has also served as the secretary to the Society of Physics Students chapter at SMU. After graduation, Stephanie plans to take the next steps towards a career in intellectual property law. 

hamil picElizabeth Hamill graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, along with minors in political science, history, and European studies. In addition to being a Dedman College Scholar, Elizabeth is part of Phi Beta Kappa Academic Honors Society and the University Honors Program. During her time at SMU, Elizabeth has been very involved with The Big Event at SMU, serving on the Executive Committee as the Director of Service for two years; in this position, she coordinated multiple days of in-person service that were designed to connect SMU students to the DFW area and assist community organizations, including The Big Event 2022, which sent hundreds of students to volunteer at over 25 different locations in the Dallas area. She also was heavily involved with her college ministry, The Wesley House, and served as a worship leader there all four years. Elizabeth earned the Belle Mayer Bromberg scholarship from the English department, and she will be graduating with Distinction in the English major after writing her thesis on the novels of Jane Austen. After graduation, Elizabeth plans to attend seminary and pursue a Masters of Biblical and Theological studies.


Daniel Jacobs graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in French with minors in advertising, journalism, and business administration. Throughout his time at SMU, Daniel has worked with The Daily Campus, the Daily Update as well as Hilltopics. After graduation, Daniel will be moving to New York City to work at GroupM. He plans to pursue a career in marketing and sales. He eventually hopes to create his own advertising agency.

james pic

Kylie James graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry with minors in Spanish and psychology. In addition to Dedman College Scholars, Kylie is a member of the University Honors Program, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society, Alpha Chi Honor Society, Psi Chi Honor Society, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. During her first year, she was a member of the SMU rowing team, the Emerging Leaders program, and served as an Orientation Leader. Throughout her time at SMU, she was also involved in The Big Event, Global Medical Brigades, Wesley House, and served as the Panhellenic Affairs Vice President for Gamma Phi Beta. Along with student organizations, she has been involved in the Dallas community by serving as a Sunday School teacher at HPUMC and a volunteer at The Agape Clinic, which provides healthcare to underserved populations in Dallas with predominately Spanish-speaking individuals. She was the recipient of the Virtual Richter Research Fellowship and is a Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholar for her involvement in Dr. Harrod’s lab studying TIGAR expression in primary HTLV-1-infected and non-viral non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma tumor tissues, as well as colorectal carcinoma clinical samples. After graduation, Kylie will be attending medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee with plans to pursue a career in pediatric oncology.

laboret picBretton Laboret graduates with degrees in biological science and business management. He will attend UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas this fall. 

lee picJoseph Lee graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and a Bachelor of Science in health and society, along with minors in Chinese and human rights. Along with being a Dedman College Scholar, Joseph is active on campus with the Best Buddies Program and has coordinated events on campus and in Dallas for adults living with intellectual or developmental disabilities. He has also been involved in prison ministry volunteering through the Bridges to Life program as well as volunteer work at hospitals and hospices in the local Dallas Area. During his time at SMU, Joseph was awarded a Hamilton Research Fellowship and a Maguire Public Service Fellowship which featured research that informed hospital policies during pandemic and health emergency. After graduation, Joseph will be continuing in public health research before he pursues a Master's of public health and likely a graduate's degree in public policy. 

majeedSamer Majeed graduates from SMU with a BS in biological sciences and health & society as well as a minor in psychology with Honors in Liberal Arts. During his time at Southern Methodist University, he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, an honors pre-medical society, and Sigma Phi Epsilon, a social fraternity, Samer developed an interest in basic and clinical research while at SMU, where he spent time both in Dr. Pia Vogel's laboratory studying the structure and molecular dynamics of nucleotide binding proteins as well as the Veteran's Affairs Hospital in south Dallas where he participated in research with anti-coagulation medications and their impact on individuals with cardiovascular disease. In 2020, Samer received a grant from the Department of Veteran's Affairs to attend the annual Cardiovascular Innovations conference in Denver, Colorado to aid in his research endeavors. Outside of research, Samer serves as the founder and director ACEing Autism Fort Worth, a comprehensive, volunteer-run tennis program designed for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). After graduating from SMU, Samer will take a gap year while applying for medical school to further pursue his research interests in the autonomic nervous system at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) in Dallas, where he will serve as a research associate on projects related to coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. He will continue to serve as director of ACEing Autism Fort Worth during this time, and hopes to attend allopathic medical school in the DFW area in order to continue leading the organization into the distant future.
pan picMadeline Pan graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences and a Bachelor of Science in health & society, along with minors in statistical science and chemistry. Along with being a Dedman College Scholar, Madeline is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and the University Honors Program. She has been a part of the Chinese Student Association officer board all four years and also served as a Resident Assistant. Madeline is grateful for her lab research experience as working as an Undergraduate Research Assistant and Hamilton Research Scholar has allowed her to gain much insight into the antibiotic industry and the synthetic process. She also was a ALEC statistical science tutor and a Microbiology Lab Teaching Assistant. During her time at SMU, Madeline received an Engaged Learning Fellowship, Robert Mayer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and the Richter International Fellowship, which have allowed her to pursue various research topics related to COVID-19 and the antibiotic industry. After graduation, Madeline will be in Singapore for her Boren Scholarship language program to further improve her Chinese linguistic skills while going through the medical school application process.
pang profileJohanna Pang graduates with distinction in both human rights and English, along with minors in Spanish and psychology. In addition to being a Dedman College Scholar, Johanna is a part of the University Honors Program and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. During her time at SMU, Johanna founded SMU’s chapter of Students Expanding American Literacy, and she also co-directed the Champions Mentorship Program in pursuit of education equity. Deeply involved in campus ministry, Johanna received several fellowships, such as the Richter Fellowship, Human Rights Fellowship, and the Cooper-McElvaney Peace and Justice Fellowship, as she explored the connections between race, faith, and social justice. On the side, Johanna has also nurtured her love for poetry, and was a Meadows Poet Laureate and recipient of the David Russell Poetry Award. After graduation, Johanna will be moving across the lawn to attend Dedman School of Law as the incoming Luce Scholar. She plans to pursue a career in child welfare law.
payne picMadeline Payne graduates with degrees in biological science and Chinese. In the fall she will enter the Ph.D. program in ecology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
reis picAndrew Reis graduates from SMU with a Bachelor of Science in both mathematics and statistics, with a minor in physics. In addition to being a Dedman College Scholar, Andrew was a Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholar, Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA), and member of the University Honors Program. He was involved with Dr. Allison Deiana’s firmware lab, researching the feasibility of implementing machine learning algorithms in the hardware of the ATLAS detector. During his time at SMU, he completed two separate internships – one focusing on data science and the other on predictive modeling – and passed two actuarial exams. This summer, Andrew is excited to start his full-time role with Ernst and Young as a technology consultant.
sagehorn picSydney Sagehorn graduates with degrees in statistical science, economics, and film & media arts with minors in journalism and history. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve as the president of the Student Filmmakers Association, as well as the editor-in-chief of Hilltopics, the University Honors Program’s creative publication. Through her time at SMU, Sydney worked multiple internships, including one with Double Life Films, a Dallas-based production company specializing in documentary filmmaking. She also worked for the Deason Center for Criminal Justice Reform, where she worked to publicize issues of injustice in the criminal legal system. Through SMU, Sydney served as the director of the Creativity Committee in Loyd Commons, where she organized commons and campus-wide events. She also served as a member of the Honors Advisory Council and an ambassador for the Dedman College Scholars Program. In the spring of 2019, Sydney participated in the SMU-in-Rome-Paris study abroad program to study history. Sydney is the recipient of the 2022 Nash Parsley Memorial Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement. Upon graduation, Sydney will move to Los Angeles, California for an internship in film and TV development. She plans to pursue a career in non-fiction storytelling.
justin shimizuJustin Shimizu graduates with a degree in biological science with minors in business administration and neuroscience. He will move back to San Diego for two years and work as a dental assistant, while studying for the DAT. He hopes to attend dental school at USC or UCLA, with the end goal of opening his own dental practice. While at SMU, he worked in Dr. Glasscock’s lab researching epilepsy and SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy). In addition to completing the University Honors Program where he served as a peer mentor, he was also a member of Alpha Phi Omega (a service fraternity that does volunteer work in the Dallas area).
solarczykMichelle Solarczyk will attend the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She graduates with degrees in geology, economics, and public policy—as well as minors in environmental science and international studies.
venable picSarah Venables graduates with a degree in English and minors in European studies and journalism.  She will attend the University of Denver MA program in literary studies this fall.
younkersDerek Younkers graduates with Bachelor of Arts in both political science and history, along with a minor in Arabic. In addition to being a Dedman College Scholar, Derek is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society and recipient of the Douglas Bauer Scholarship Award. While at SMU, Derek has been a member of Beta Upsilon Chi, an RA in Ware Commons, and a four-year member of the SMU Cheer team. Upon graduation, Derek will continue his studies pursuing his JD at Baylor Law School in the fall. Derek plans to begin his legal career in Dallas with hopes of doing pro bono work for veterans in the DFW area.