Here we go Mustangs!

Here we go Mustangs! Peruna

Our students perfected the pivot while earning degrees. Now they're ready to use their know-how to do a world of good. Click on their photos below to learn about some of our stellar grads.

Congratulations, Mustangs!

Jared Burleson ’21 North Richland Hills, TexasPhysics and mathematics majors
Chinese minor

Jared chatted up Nobel physicist Michael Kosterlitz during a chance meeting while taking advantage of a study abroad opportunity in China made possible by SMU's President’s Scholars Program. Next year he’ll be pursuing a master’s in global affairs with an emphasis in STEM public policy as a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Ashton Woods ’21San Antonio, TexasMechanical engineering major
Law and legal reasoning minor

Ashton broke records as a hurdler and sparked change as the co-founder and vice president of the SMU Black Student-Athlete Committee. The President’s Scholar flexed her passion for community building in multiple leadership roles and reinforced her academic arc with a law firm internship. In the fall, the “M” Award recipient will attend Stanford Law School to study intellectual property law.

Brecken Schaefer ’21 Fort Collins, Colorado Finance major
English minor

Brecken raced through her degree in just three years while competing with SMU’s championship equestrian team. While Brecken will miss all the spontaneous moments that made student life so fun, she’s eager to start on her Master of Science in finance at the University of Colorado Boulder while working as an investment associate with NAI Affinity in her hometown.

Chase Hall ’21 Newport Beach, CaliforniaAdvertising major with a creative specialization
Graphic design minor

Chase captured the many moods of campus style as a photographer for SMU Look, the student-led fashion magazine. Creative collaborations defined the path he carved out, with his graphic design work on student campaigns winning two American Advertising Federation awards. Over the past four years, he has built a thriving photography business that he’ll continue after graduation.

Diem-Tho Le ’21Prosper, TexasBusiness management and biological sciences majors
History minor
YouLead Global Youth Leadership co-founder

Diem-Tho mastered the Mustang mashup with support from University scholarships and stipends. She combined an array of student leadership roles with the benefits of interdisciplinary academics while continuing the efforts of a nonprofit she started for high school students. After graduation, she’ll work for Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Dallas in global procurement.

Evan Rios ’21 Corinth, Texas J.D.

Evan taught middle school before diving into the law. As a student, he served as President of the SMU Law Review and the Hispanic Law Student Association. After graduating, Evan will clerk for the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Nathan L. Hecht ’74 , and then for Judge Cory T. Wilson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In the year between those opportunities, he’ll be an associate in Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s litigation group.

Lexie Watson ’21 Naples, FloridaInternational affairs and political science majors
Chinese, ethics, and public policy and international affairs minors

Lexie shaped multiple majors and minors into the perfect academic fit for her. As a Tower Scholar, her studies in China and Japan brought to life theories she learned in the classroom – and opened her eyes to what a foreign service career could look like. In the fall, she’ll pursue a master’s degree in international affairs at Texas A&M.

Mohammed Njie ’21Fajara, GambiaElectrical engineering major
Computer science minor
Janta Energy social enterprise founder

Mohammed came to the Hilltop with a bold idea to bring reliable energy to his country. He tapped into resources available through the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity and Big iDeas for a pilot program that blossomed into a partnership with the Gambian government. He’ll soon head home to expand it on a national scale.

Peter Wetherbee ’21Tulsa, OklahomaInternational studies and human rights majors
History and arts management minors

Peter seized every chance to build bridges across the campus community. The Dedman College Scholar served as a student representative on the Board of Trustees and in leadership roles with Program Council, Human Rights Council and a host of other groups. He recently received an “M” Award, SMU’s most prestigious student honor. He will pursue a master’s degree in international affairs at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Rosedanny Ortiz ’21Juana Díaz, Puerto RicoMaster of Divinity degree

Rosedanny considered SMU for graduate school in engineering, but attending an Inside Perkins event changed everything. Now focused on ministry in the Hispanic community, she served as president of the L@s Seminaristas student organization and is lead pastor at a Dallas church. She’s beginning the commissioning interview process for an elder in the United Methodist Church.

Veronica Mellado De La Cruz ’07, ’21North Richland Hills, Texas Ph.D. in education
Simmons School of Education and Human Development
Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies

Veronica earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SMU and spent seven years with an early childhood intervention program before tackling data-empowered bilingual reading research that earned her a prestigious Moody Dissertation Fellowship and other honors. She’s now exploring postdoctoral opportunities that are a good match for her expertise with underserved learners needing intensive intervention.

Class of 2021 infographic

Here We Go Mustangs