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Senate president among student speakers at Commencement

Latifah Kiribedda '12 applauds other Antonian Scholars at the Honors and Awards Ceremony on May 1, where she received the University's most prestigious award.
Latifah Kiribedda '12 applauds other Antonian Scholars at the Honors and Awards Ceremony on May 1, where she received the University's most prestigious award.
Photo by Meghan Kotz '14.

Each year, the Mary E. McCahill Memorial Award — St. Catherine University’s most prestigious prize for students — goes to a senior who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership and service during her years at the University. This year, that student was Latifah Kiribedda ’12.

On May 20, Kiribedda will speak on behalf of the baccalaureate graduates at St. Catherine University’s 2012 spring Commencement at 2 p.m. She was selected in April by a joint faculty, staff and student committee.

Kiribedda, who will receive her Bachelor of Science degree in public health, is the Student Senate President and the only student on the University’s Opus Prize Committee. In 2010, she was among the women who advocated for a panel discussion to showcase the diversity within the Muslim faith — when St. Kate’s was chosen to host the major international exhibition “Breaking the Veils: Women Artists from the Islamic World.”

Born in Uganda, Kiribedda was drawn to St. Kate’s by the University’s mission of educating women to lead and follow.

“When I read the story of [founder] Mother Antonia McHugh, I was pretty amazed,” she says. “Here was a sister in the 1900s who tells the bishop she wants to build a church on top of a hill. The bishop says no, you have to build a small chapel at the bottom… he goes to Rome, and by the time he comes back, she is way up with her plan for Our Lady of Victory Chapel, as big as a church, up on the hill.”

Kiribedda is a certified HIV instructor for the American Red Cross and the Minnesota AIDS Project. She spent January 2011 conducting community health assessments in Tanzania. Two months later, she presented a case study of her time there and findings in a “Global Health” course.

In addition to being on St. Kate’s Telefund team, Kiribedda is involved in the LEAD Team, Muslim Students’ Association and Public Health Club. She has also been the vice president of the International Students Association, a resident hall advisor, and peer mentor with the Multicultural and International Programs and Services.

Read a Q-and-A with Kiribedda in “Bridge Builder,SCAN October 2011.

Associate Commencement student speaker
Sarah Singer ’12 will speak on behalf of the graduating students at the 11 a.m. Associate Commencement on May 19.

Singer is a candidate for an Associate of Applied Science from the occupational therapist assistant (OTA) program at St. Kate’s. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and Communications from Concordia University.

“After years of working in a marketing industry, I decided to pursue my dreams of having a ‘helping’ career,” she says. “I believe I have found that in the field of occupational therapy, as it combines different fields that have always held my interest: teaching, psychology, and health sciences, to name a few.”

In 2010­–11, Singer was the OTA Club co-chair for social opportunities and service projects. She was a St. Kate's representative to the Association of Occupational Therapy Association’s Assembly of Student Delegates meeting last year in Philadelphia and this year in Indianapolis.

Graduate Commencement student speaker
Jacob (Jake) Heidelberger ’12 will speak on behalf of the graduating students at the 2 p.m. Graduate Commencement on May 19.

He is a candidate for a Master of Arts in Education, specializing in secondary education with a teaching license in mathematics. Heidelberger has a Bachelor’s of Arts in mathematics from Saint John’s University.

In fall 2011, he completed his student-teaching experience at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood and Linwood-Monroe Arts Plus in St. Paul. Heidelberger has spent the past 12 years as an actuarial specialist with Securian Financial Group.

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Related links:
Leading Alzheimer’s researcher among St. Kate’s Commencement speakers

May 7, 2012 by Pauline Oo

See also: Leadership, Liberal Arts, Students