Meet Our Incoming Presidential Scholars
The Presidential Scholars Program is a vibrant community of high-achieving students at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU). With nearly thirty students in the program, students connect with faculty, participate in numerous activities, and obtain leadership and research opportunities on campus. The Presidential Scholars Program is a community of learners focused on leadership, academic excellence, and community service.
Presidential Scholars are outstanding incoming first-year freshmen with at least a 3.8-grade point average (GPA) and a minimum of 1100 SAT (math and verbal) or a 22 ACT score.
Meet all six of the incoming Presidential Scholars who joined SAU this fall:
Computer Information Science
Hobbies & Interests: Some of my hobbies are playing basketball and video games.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because of its location and the opportunity to receive my education at an HBCU for free.
Why did you choose your major? I chose CIS because it is going to be a growing industry in the upcoming years, also i will be able to make a salary coming out of college.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? Being a president scholar is an opportunity to represent your university and your academic abilities. It means to be a role model for other students inside the classroom and out.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I’m most looking forward to homecoming week and basketball season.
How do you see yourself being a “Pioneer of Next” at SAU? I see myself using my business and academic accolades to be a pioneer of next. I plan on giving back to the university once my business grows in the future.
Hobbies & Interests: I enjoy doing hair and cheering.
Why did you choose SAU? I choose SAU because of the environment and opportunities. It is a real loving community that I feel like would help ensure success throughout my college years.
Why did you choose your major? I wanted to be able to help someone else well-being in the health care field. I love interacting with people and being able to help them is even better.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? It means that hard work truly pays off. I hope to be an inspiration to someone who feels like they can’t do anything. You are capable of doing whatever you put your mind too.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I am looking forward to meeting everyone while creating lifelong bonds and memories.
How do you see yourself being a “Pioneer of Next” at SAU? I see myself taking action and making a change. I want to be a voice for everyone. I want to encourage people to put themselves out there. I am going to help bring the vision of SAU to life.
Marbella D. Alvarenga Cuchillas
Garner, North Carolina
Hobbies & Interests: A few of my hobbies and interest consist of mainly working out. I like to go to the gym, play soccer, go on runs, and cycle.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because of the atmosphere I was surrounded by. I surrounded myself with like-minded individuals who pushed me to want to reach further. Their success only motivated me more as an early college student. I had also previously built great relationships with the staff on campus which gave me a great support system.
Why did you choose your major? I chose business administration because as an early college student taking business classes, I really enjoyed every single one and felt that it was the major for me.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? To be a presidential scholar to me is one of the biggest opportunities, not only for myself but for my family. It is the first bite of the “American dream” centuries of Hispanic immigrants have been reaching towards. While I have had at least 3 generations of my family live in the United States, it has not been until now that I have been rewarded with this opportunity of higher education for my family and future generations.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I am mostly looking forward to all the progress and things I will be able to accomplish as a full-time student. I am beginning the year holding myself up to high standards and expectations. I know that I can handle whatever comes my way and I can’t wait to see just how strong my drive really is.
How do you see yourself being a “Pioneer of Next” at SAU? I see myself as the first early college student to receive a presidential scholarship. Behind that small sentence holds so much passion and desire to change the perception of early college students. While we are just some high school students wandering around the campus, a lot more students don’t know the full potential of SAU and how it can open so many more doors and opportunities other than just taking classes. I believe my class was the first to be able to join things such as student ambassadors and cycling due to the curiosity of my fellow early college classmates as well as my own. I also believe I was the first early college student to intern at SAU which was a great opportunity for me! I continue to see myself breaking more barriers in our club sports like cycling (and possibly crew and ultimate frisbee).
Hobbies & Interests: Some of my hobbies includes playing musical instruments such as the violin and the saxophone. I also enjoy doing art.
Why did you choose SAU? I choose SAU because of the great opportunities the university offer me as an international student and I admire the history of the university and that the school is an HBCU.
Why did you choose your major? I choose my major because at the end of my degree I wanted to contribute to any growing business or organization by assisting in the development of an efficient business operations which will enhance a company’s performance and profitability.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? Being a Presidential Scholar means a lot to me. It is a rare opportunity and one that I cherish. It also means that I must strive hard academically to uphold the title and status of being a Presidential Scholar.
What are you most looking forward to this year? In this year I am looking forward to new opportunities, meeting new people and learning new things academically.
How do you see yourself being a “Pioneer of Next” at SAU? I see myself as being a “Pioneer of Next“ at SAU by becoming a trailblazer in achieving my goal of excellence in my studies and become a leader of example with hard work and discipline.
Washington, North Carolina
Business Administration and Management
Hobbies and Interests: I play football for SAU, and I love to draw and play PlayStation games.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose SAU because I wanted to graduate from school debt free and put less of a burden on my mother. While choosing SAU, I can continue playing the sport I love and graduating debt free with a degree.
Why did you choose your major? I chose Business Administration because I want to learn the ins and outs of running and managing a business in hopes of starting my own one day.
What does it mean for you to be a Presidential Scholar? To be a Presidential Scholar means to uphold the universities’ expectations and to display my outstanding skills as a student and citizen. Being a Presidential Scholar takes leadership, determination, and commitment. I am grateful for the opportunity and will make the best of it.
What are you most looking forward to this year? I am looking forward to interacting with fellow scholar and developing and build my skills as a person.
How do you see yourself being a “Pioneer of Next” at SAU? I see myself making a difference in many ways. I want to encourage the students and fellow classmates to strive for the best and give back to the university.
Tadiwanashe Agnes Rukasha
Hobbies and interests: I have a strong passion for volleyball and making a change in the community by doing voluntary and community service.
Why did you choose SAU? I chose Saint Augustine’s University because of the great values established at this institution. Saint Augustine’s University is more than education. I believe that this institution will equip me with knowledge, skills, a positive attitude and confidence that will help me face the real world with great conviction.
Why did you choose your major? My great love and understanding for Mathematics and Physics made me choose engineering mathematics. I have always wanted to be a software engineer who ventures in the male dominated field with the intention of bridging the gap that exists between males and females in this department.
What does it mean for you to be chosen as a presidential scholar? Being a chosen as a presidential scholar has been one of my greatest achievements. It means that I have to aim higher in life and act as a role model for many people.
What are you looking forward to this year? This year I am looking forward to graduating with a 4.0 GPA and making a positive impact to the community at the Saint Augustine’s University in any way possible.
How do you see yourself being a ”Pioneer of Next” at SAU? I see myself making change to the SAU community.