Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund

Created, funded and directed by fellow USD alumni, the USD Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund was launched in 2006 to provide much-needed scholarships for USD students.Recipients of this scholarship are current USD students with financial need, strong academic merit and who give back to the USD and local community.

Over 90 percent of the gifts to this fund are annual gifts between $10 to $250. With the collective power of thousands of USD alumni, we have the ability to ensure future Toreros a USD experience. In 2012, the USD Alumni Association Board of Directors rallied alumni to help make this $1M endowment.

Apply by Feb. 29th to the Alumni Endowed Scholarship. Find the essay question, eligibility criteria and online application at

Make a difference today. Give to the Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Meet the recipients of the 2015-2016 Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund:

Allison Agre '15 Torero Regional Rally Scholar - Kansas City
As a Communication Studies major, Allison Agre learned how messages and symbols affect our way of thinking about the world.  As a Peace and Justice Studies minor, she have been given new perspectives on the nature of conflict and social justice. Her education at USD and internship at the United Front Multicultural Center, have instilled a passion for making the world a better place and for promoting peace. In her career, Allison hopes to help people find happiness and be able to continually learn and grow from others who surround her.

Allison said, “Thank you so much for choosing me as the recipient for the Torero Regional Rally – Kansas City scholarship. I am so honored and grateful to have been selected. To the generous donors and alumni who made this possible, I appreciate the scholarship so much and your money will be put to good use. It is this kind of generosity that makes it possible for me to attend USD and that makes the financial burden of my education much lighter. Thank you!”

Alexa Argumedo '16
Alexa Argumedo is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Sociology.  Last year, Alexa, along with three of her fellow classmates, founded USD’s first Habitat for Humanity chapter and she currently serves as President. The chapter focuses on building affordable housing throughout the San Diego County. In addition, she helps with the United Front Multicultural Center Diversity Banquet as well as a UFMC Formal. She also works at the Registrar’s Office.  In the near future, she hopes to pursue a career in corporate social responsibility. It is her dream to stay in San Diego and work with an organization or corporation that values diversity and sustainability.

Alexa says, "First, I would like to thank you for your generous scholarship. This past school year was filled with lots of joy, smiles, as well as financial uncertainty. Your generosity could not have been received at a more perfect time. As a first-generation Latina student, navigating my way through college has been difficult and tricky at times. The University of San Diego has never failed to provide me with resources and safe spaces where I can find help and answers to all my questions, as well as support. It has also provided me with unique opportunities. During the past three years, I have gained immense knowledge and confidence in myself as a student, leader, and friend and it is all thanks to USD. As a young girl, I remember never doubting that I would attend college but I always questioned how I would be able to afford it. It is because of your generosity that I am able to earn an education at a prestigious university such as USD. I am forever grateful and appreciative and in the near future I hope to help others fulfill their educational dream and goals just as you have helped me do so. I cannot thank you enough for believing and supporting in a fellow USD Torero."

Tori Berba '17
Tori Berba is currently a sophomore majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience and minoring in Music. She is also involved in Women’s Ensemble, USD’s Medical Brigades, and Founder’s Chapel Choir as a cantor. She wishes to use the opportunities that USD has blessed her with to pursue a career in medicine, focusing on children with developmental disorders.
Tori says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you! A million thank you’s to the USD alumni and donors who made this scholarship possible. Without your generous donations, I would not be able to stay at this beautiful school and I would not be able to experience the many blessings that USD has in store for me.

Lena Figueroa '16 Torero Regional Rally Scholar - Reno/Tahoe
Lena Figueroa is a USD senior earning a bachelor’s degree in International Business with a double minor in mathematics and music. Lena is the chair of the student event/program planning organization: Torero Program Board. In addition, she is the vice president of PR and Marketing for her sorority Alpha Chi Omega and campus tour guide for Undergraduate Admissions. She has been a small group leader for University Ministry's Pre-Orientation retreat, participated in USD Summer Conferences, Greek life, and a campus tour guide for the past three years. Looking forward, she hopes to work for an organization with a global presence.

Lena said, “I can't thank USD alumni and donors enough! This scholarship has been a blessing. I am humbled and honor to know that they recognized me among all the other incredible students on our campus that give so much to our community. I am so proud to be a Torero and I will continue to put my heart and soul into our home.”

Thais Fournier '16 (MS)
Thais Fournier will be starting her second year this upcoming fall as a graduate student in the Marine Science Master’s Program. Within her short time at USD, Thais has been heavily involved in the community of San Diego and USD by serving as a graduate assistant for the Environmental and Ocean Sciences Department, participating in the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and volunteering her time with Ocean Discovery Institute, a not for profit organization that helps underrepresented youth in San Diego to explore science through authentic research. Thais will continue her career in marine science as a productive research scientist and educator to inform science, policy and the public.

Thais says, “I am extremely grateful to the USD alumni and donors for making this scholarship a possibility. This scholarship just goes to show that even one donation can make such a difference in someone’s life. This scholarship will financially assist me in acquiring my degree and I will be sure to continue the generosity to other USD students as an alumnus.

Luke Ilijevski '16
Luke’s time at USD began during the Spring 2014 semester after transferring from another 4-year university. He served as a Resident Assistant for Freshmen in Missions A this year, and he will be a Resident Assistant in the UTAs next year, where he will uniquely have a majority of transfer students that he hopes to assist in their adjustment to USD. This summer he will be an Audit intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Diego and he aspires to continue working in public accounting after his departure from USD.

Luke says, “I would like to thank USD alumni and donors who made this scholarship possible. Attending this school has been a significant financial burden for my family, but I will make sure that this investment enables me to create a solid foundation on which to build my career post-graduation.

Michael Kaminski '17 Torero Regional Rally Scholar - Chicago
Michael Kaminski is a junior studying accounting. He currently serves as the vice president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. On Sunday night, he can be found reading at Founders Chapel mass. After graduation his plans include joining a public accounting firm in the San Diego and perhaps earning his master in tax from USD.

Michael said, “Thank you so much for selecting me for the Alumni Endowed – Torero Regional Rally Scholarship! My time at USD has been incredible beyond anything I could have imagined and the sense of community that this campus fosters will never cease to amaze me. I hope to someday afford the same opportunities given to me to future students at this amazing university.” 

Cory Keyes-Ali '17 (MA)
Cory is currently a research assistant in clinical mental health counseling at USD. He has some expertise in business consulting, teaching, supervision, assessment an evaluation, human resources, public speaking and research development. Cory hopes that his theoretical frameworks will bring clients psychological healing. His research interests focuses on bio-psychological referred pain and its condition stimuli. Cory believes that much of the poverty, crime, sickness an illness and self-destructive tendencies of people may be contributed to bio-psychological referred pain. Cory believes that if individual's pain is healed much of the world’s problems will stop.

Cory says, “It gives me great pleasure in knowing that my essay touched the minds and hearts of the USD Alumni Association. This is my first scholarship and I feel truly fortunate to be a graduate student at USD. This is a wonderful blessing. There is still more work that needs to be done in San Diego's disadvantage communities and the world at large; however, USD has offered me excellent professors and training that will prepare me for the many challenges and rewards that my field has to offer. I am very appreciative of the USD alumni and donors' generosity.

Katie Lepore '11 (BA, MTAX), '16 (JD)
Katie received a Bachelor of Accountancy and an M.S. in Taxation both in 2011 from USD.  After graduation she worked at a large accounting firm and earned her CPA license. She decided that she missed USD too much and came back in Fall 2013 to start law school; she plans to practice in the fields of tax law and estate planning.

Katie says, “Thank you to the USD alumni and donors who made this scholarship possible.  As an alum myself, I know the value of a USD degree and what an honor it is to be part of the USD family.  Thank you for your generosity in helping me to achieve my goals.  Law school presents many challenges, but you have just made my load that much lighter!  Sincerest thanks.

Pilar Malim '16 (MA)
Pilar will be starting her second year in the MA in Leadership Studies program in the fall. She is currently an Academic Coordinator with Student Support Services (SSS) here on campus. SSS serves students who are first generation to college, low income, underrepresented and/or students with disabilities. She says, “I love my job and am an alum of SSS and USD. Higher education is my passion and I would like to eventually earn my PhD in International Relations and become a professor.”

Pilar says, “Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to receive this scholarship! I have a lot of student loan debt from my undergraduate experience and was ineligible for tuition remission for my first year as a graduate student, so every little bit that goes toward my MA helps an extraordinary amount. As an alum myself, I realize the importance of giving back to USD in order to help future Toreros fulfill their educational dreams. Being the first person in my family to graduate from college, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to reach even higher and earn my MA in Leadership. I am overwhelmingly grateful and thankful for the alumni support that made this scholarship possible!

Mark Manasse '17 (PhD)
Mark Manasse is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Leadership, focusing on how to better assist at-risk students in the California Community College system.  He has been teaching English and English as a Second Language (ESL) in higher education since 1999, and he has been a teacher trainer and mentor since 2006.  In his role as a full-time faculty member at San Diego Miramar College, he has mentored and helped to place numerous USD graduate students into local community college classrooms.  As the founder of the now national certified English Center at Miramar College, he has also helped countless at-risk community college students become more successful in their English and ESL classes.  This work, along with his work as the local and regional coordinator for the California Community College Success Network (3CSN), helped Mark earn the League of Innovation's Innovation of the Year Award for Miramar College as well as become the Continuing Education Person of the Year from The Association of Community and Continuing Education.  

Mark says, “Thank you USD alumni and donors for honoring me as a USD Alumni Association Scholar. The kind of educational support you are providing me helps me better serve others in our community.  This year, I hope to continue my work as a proponent for equity and access within the California Community College System, and this generous scholarship assists me in reaching that goal.  Thank you again for acknowledging my hard work and dedication to the field of education.

Jenna Morris '16
Jenna is a Communications Major and Marketing Minor planning a career in Sports Marketing. Her experience in this field includes her involvement in the Sports Marketing Internship through USD Athletics and she is also a Marketing/Operations Assistant at the REC center. Next Fall semester Jenna will be working as an intern at UpperDeck Company in the marketing department. Recently, she has completed her first year as a Resident Assistant in Founders Dorm and next year she will continue her job in the Vista Apartments.

Jenna says, “I am so grateful to be the 2015-2016 USD Alumni Association Scholar. Thank you USD alumni and donors for recognizing my hard work and involvement on this campus. I plan to expand my involvement even more next year and make a stronger impact in the community. I am truly honored to accept this award.

Meaghan O’Connor '16
Meaghan is a junior at USD majoring in Political Science with a 3.75 GPA. She is graduating in three years instead of four, and she hopes to pursue a career in Washington D.C. after she graduates. At USD Meaghan has been involved in Students for Life leadership, Peer Mentors, Women's Club Soccer, Athletic Department Tutoring, the Writing Center, and University Ministry.

Meaghan says, “I would like to thank the USD alumni and donors who made this scholarship possible. It is because of generous people like you that students such as myself are able to afford an outstanding education at an amazing school like USD. Your kindness and generosity are appreciated by all who receive this scholarship. Go Toreros!

Nicole Read '16
Nicole is currently an undergraduate student studying Political Science at the University of San Diego. She is a member of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), as well as a member of Student Support Servies (SSS). She is a work-study student for McNair Scholars and is currently an intern at the San Diego Elder Law Center. After undergrad, she has aspirations of attending Law School.

Nicole says, “I want to thank the USD alumni and donors who made this scholarship possible. I am a first generation college student who without your help, might not have been able to afford another year at USD. My heart is filled with gratitude for your generous help.

Kimberly Roscoe '16 (MEPN)
Kimberly is in her third semester of the MEPN program at USD, with the goal of becoming a pediatric RN upon graduation, specifically in the neonatal intensive care unit.  She enjoys working intimately with local organizations to help all babies get a healthy start at life, while also providing support and resources to families with a medically fragile child. Her two young children are her motivation for excelling in both this program, and as a registered nurse for children and families in need.

Kimberly says, “Thank you to each and every one of the alumni and donors who have made this scholarship a reality for me.  Your gracious donations have provided opportunities that bring me closer to the procurement of my dream of becoming a pediatric registered nurse while raising two young children as a single mother.  I will always carry your kindness in my heart.  Thank you.”

Emma Uriarte '17
Emma Uriarte is beginning her third year at USD, majoring in English with a Creative Writing emphasis and minoring in Environmental Studies. She is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority as well as the Student Alumni Association. She hopes to continue her studies by pursuing a graduate degree after completing her undergraduate degree, and then hopes to put her parents’ tuition money to work by getting a job in the writing and publishing industry.

Emma says, “Thank you so much to all of the alumni and donors who have made this scholarship possible for students like me. With your help, we can make our dreams of an affordable education a reality.

Keith Van Wagner '16 (JD)
In the fall Keith will be starting his third year in Law School, and will be the incoming Student Bar Association President. He is working on getting a concentration in both Criminal Litigation and Civil Litigation, while also participating in two national Moot Court tournaments next year, one of which he took first place in this year. In his free time Keith enjoys volunteering, and learning to be a better cook.

Keith says, “I am sincerely honored to be selected as a recipient of the USD Alumni Association Scholarship for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. Words cannot express the gratitude which I feel towards all of your generous donations, which will allow me to complete my studies in Law and become a prosecutor upon passing the bar. I hope one day to be able to return the generous favor by giving back to the USD community, either through volunteering as I currently do in the San Diego Community, or by contributing financially to future students. Thank you again for your thoughtful and generous gift, and I hope to meet you one day to thank you in person.” I know that all those I am able to help in the future will benefit from your contributions as well, just as the concept of ‘pay it forward’ truly has a chain reaction. A special thank you to Kyle's parents; while I never met your son, I can tell that he has touched the lives of many.”