HERE WE GO, MUSTANGS!
They’ve put in the hard work, and now the Class of 2019 is ready for life’s next big adventure. Whether they’re heading to corporate careers or graduate school or full-time opportunities they created while at SMU, our grads will always think big and do good wherever they go. Let’s look back on some of their great stories as we celebrate their future success.
“When you start college, you need to listen to yourself. If you’re not happy and passionate about what you’re doing, find what you're excited about. SMU allowed me to do that.”
STEJARA DINULESCU ’19 came to SMU as a pre-med student, but found her passion for coding and neuroscience research when she added psychology and creative computation to her fine arts major. Her unique interdisciplinary interests led to her acceptance to three Ph.D. programs.
“I had the best experience at SMU, I’m a little sad it is over, but graduating feels good.”
JENNIFER PÉREZ ’19, graduates from Cox School of Business with her BBA in accounting. Through hard work and perseverance, she earned her degree, but a fateful meeting in Honduras five years ago gave Jennifer the opportunity to prove herself.
“What sets SMU apart from other schools is the ability to pursue multiple majors and experience a strong academic program while exploring various interests. Fusing my majors cultivated my creativity and ingenuity.”
MEREDITH BURKE ’19, ’20, triple major in mechanical engineering, art and math, secured a full-time position at Raytheon as a software engineer and will work on her master’s in mechanical engineering at SMU.
“At SMU, I was able to forge my own path. Thanks to the human rights program, I’ve also made lasting connections that have enabled me to expand the scope of work I’ve been doing. I’ve been able to open doors that have never been opened.”
AVERIE BISHOP ’19, double major in human rights and sociology, is considering law school offers for the fall. While at SMU, she established the Tulong Foundation that supports an array of projects in the Philippines.
“Playing Division I basketball and meeting the demands of a rigorous business training program resulted in a hectic lifestyle, but the rewards have been totally worth it.”
JAMES PYLE ’19, finance major and three-year men’s basketball letter winner, landed a job as an investment analyst with Barclays in Houston after earning recognition as one of the Cox School of Business’ top undergraduates.
“There is such a strong entrepreneurial community at SMU. Social innovation, where you are truly making a difference in the community, is ingrained here. And we have Dallas at our fingertips. Students can tap into phenomenal resources to activate the full potential of their ideas.”
NEHA HUSEIN ’19, double major in marketing and human rights, turned Just Drive, her mobile app that rewards users who lock their phones while driving, into a full-time career.
“The key to making a difference is to approach social problems and other people with curiosity and compassion. By learning and working together, you can tackle real problems and see real change.”
GREG GUGGENMOS ’18, ’19, launched the Community Bail Fund of North Texas as an undergraduate. Greg graduates with his master’s degree in applied statistics and data analytics and will focus on “driving policy change in criminal justice reform through randomized controlled trials that test innovative interventions.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to do anything and everything that I wanted. My decision to continue dancing in college was somewhat last minute, but easy to make, thanks to SMU’s flexibility and encouragement of double majors.”
HALEY TRIPP ’19, receives her bachelor’s degree in dance in May and will continue to develop wearable technology to reduce dancers’ lower back injuries while she finishes her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
“I’m excited about finding ways to add value to programs in the NBA, the WNBA, the G League and Division I universities. The foundation for the journey ahead has been established by my incredible experience at SMU.”
CONNOR KOLODZIEJ ’19 scored internships with the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Dream and the Texas Legends while at SMU. He graduates as the No. 1 student within his sport management concentration.
“I know I’ve said it before, but when I decided to come to SMU I never thought I’d get the chance to work on and help build an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.”
YASMIN JACKSON ’19, a geology major with a minor in archeological anthropology, helped build SMU’s Sea Monsters Unearthed exhibit now on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. She intends to help promote sustainable management of Texas water systems by joining the Texas Stream Team’s “Citizen Scientist” network.
“The support of professors has had a profound impact on me. Rita Economos in the Earth Sciences Department guided me through a senior thesis project that set me up to go to graduate school, if I choose to.”
EVAN SNYDER ’19, double major in geology and human rights, obtained a summer credit research internship with Highland Capital Management. As a first-year student, he joined the SMU-led research that’s now a major Smithsonian exhibition, Sea Monsters Unearthed.
We’ll celebrate our graduates during SMU’s 104th May Commencement Weekend, May 17–18. Commencement Convocation highlights will include a speech by American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, and the presentation of honorary degrees to Dallas preservationist Virginia McAlester and Chobani yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya. If you can’t make it to the Hilltop, watch the ceremony live online.