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Francesca Vaccaro: 2016 Ignatian Award for Outstanding Senior Woman

Loyola announcement - May 20, 2016

Francesca Vaccaro graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in biochemistry and a liberal arts minor in mathematics while maintaining a 4.00 grade point average. An Ignatian Scholar and active member of the University Honors Program, Francesca is also a first-generation college student and scholar-athlete on the cross country team.

Academically, Francesca is a published author on two peer-reviewed journal articles, coordinated graduate-level lab research, tutored through the Student Success Center and Ignatian Colloquium Honors program, served as President of the Loyola chapter of the American Chemistry Society, and is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honors Society. Outside of the classroom, Francesca has served as coordinator of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for Ignatius Chapel, rector of the Awakening Retreat, Ignacio Volunteer in Kingston, Jamaica, facilitated a Christian Life Community, and volunteered with several Loyola University Community Action Program projects in the city of New Orleans.

Francesca’s many nominators consistently and fervently spoke about her intellect, scholarship, humility and servant leadership. “There is no one that I have met during my time at Loyola who more fully embodies and promotes the Jesuit values and ideals than Francesca. Her passion for everything she takes part in and everyone she interacts with is unparalleled. This is apparent in her involvement on campus, but it is even more so in her daily interactions with those around her. It has been such a privilege and a joy to watch her share her unconditional love and acceptance with this community over the past four years” one nominator writes.

“I am being called to love through my passions for science and math to set the world on fire. While I might not be able to immediately set the whole world on fire, I know that my education of the whole person here at Loyola will let me start a small fire, and Loyola has given me the tools to keep it burning for the rest of my life,” said Francesca.

Following graduation, Francesca will serve in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps having accepted a position with St. Hope Public Schools in Sacramento, California, as a teaching assistant.