ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., May 13, 2012 — Two students whose academic and cultural endeavors have taken them from the classroom at St. Bonaventure around the globe were named the 2012 Ideal Bonaventure Students.
Abhimanyu Aggarwal and Manuela Marin Salcedo were recognized as Ideal Bonaventure Students on Saturday, May 12, at the university’s Honors Ceremony and again Sunday, May 13, during St. Bonaventure’s 152st Commencement Exercises.
The Ideal Bonaventure Students exemplify the spirit of St. Bonaventure and the ideals of St. Francis through community service and academic excellence. They are selected by a committee that considers nominations from the campus community.
Aggarwal, son of Drs. Rajiv and Madhu Aggarwal of Leesburg, Va., was a member of the Franciscan Health Care Professions Program, graduating with an honors degree in bioinformatics as well as an MBA.
Marin Salcedo, daughter of Drs. Alberto Marin and Teresita Salcedo of Weston, Fla., earned an honors degree in journalism and mass communication and minors in Italian and English.
The honorable mentions were Alicia D’Alessandro, a journalism and mass communication major from Niskayuna, N.Y., and Arkeno Greenaway from Bronx, N.Y., who earned a BBA in accounting and an MBA.
Abhimanyu Aggarwal is well recognized across campus as serving on a number of clubs and boards.
A four-year member of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), Aggarwal started the organization’s technology empowerment program, which was charged with installing donated computers in schools in developing countries. He also was on the Student Activities Board for four years, including service as the treasurer, where he managed the financial budget for the organization and assisted in planning events for students.
School of Business faculty member and SIFE adviser Dr. Todd Palmer describes Aggarwal’s work ethic among students as “legendary.”
Last year, Aggarwal led an effort to place 150 computers in during SIFE’s annual Bahamas trip. His work led to the creation of six labs in schools; five of the schools had no computer technology prior to Aggarwal’s involvement.
“Whenever a project is brought up, his name is shorthand for the students in terms of getting something done effectively and efficiently,” Palmer said.
And that passion is what led Aggarwal to run a successful startup business — processing medical billing — and led to consultations with small businesses and nonprofits to aid in setting up websites. In a recent consulting project with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Aggarwal redesigned the mission society’s web presence and aided in rebranding efforts.
“Abhi is prominent in every single area that we hold important at this university – academics, service and spirituality. But it goes beyond this. Abhi is a person who has in his 21 years done more for his community and the world than most of us do in a lifetime. Yet the amazing thing is that Abhi is just getting started,” Palmer said.
Aggarwal is a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Pi Mu Epsilon honor societies as well as the professional organizations the American Chemical Society and Mathematical Association of America.
As part of the university’s combined degree program, Aggarwal plans to pursue a medical degree at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., this fall.
An honors student and a Division I athlete, Manuela Marin Salcedo approaches the tennis court and her studies with the same care, competence and precision.
Marin Salcedo played the No. 1 position on the tennis team since her freshman year, leading the team as captain this season. This year, she posted 23 wins, including a team-best 14 doubles victories.
In early May, Marin Salcedo was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference Women’s Tennis All-Conference Second Team in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches. The honor marks the third time in her four-year career that Marin Salcedo has garnered an All-Conference nod.
Her 23 overall wins were second-best on the Bona roster, and her 14 doubles victories led the Brown and White. She posted a 14-6 doubles record on the year, with all but one match occurring at the No. 2 doubles slot.
Marin Salcedo is as fearless with her camera as she is with a tennis racket.
As a youngster, she traveled to several nations in the Mideast where she trained to be a professional diver and to South America as a competitor in international tennis tournaments. She routinely immersed herself photographically into the cultures.
For her Honors Project, Marin Salcedo spent eight weeks of fieldwork in the small coastal village of Rincón del Mar, Colombia. She immersed herself in the culture, lives and laughter of the villagers, attempting not only to witness, but experience what it is like to be a resident of Rincón. The final product was a glimpse at the villagers’ lives, from beginning to end, through an extensive series of interviews and photographs.
Marin Salcedo has done internships on three continents.
In August and September 2011, she interned at PHOTO magazine in Paris, where she drew on her language skills to conduct and translate interviews in French, Spanish and English. She also wrote book reviews and two cover stories for the magazine (in French) that were published in September.
On campus, Marin Salcedo’s work has appeared in The Laurel literary magazine, The Bona Venture student newspaper, and The Intrepid, an online student newspaper.
“Manuela is among the finest undergraduate writers and thinkers I have ever coached,” said Dr. Denny Wilkins, who was Marin Salcedo’s academic adviser and professor in four courses. Wilkins also served as the university’s faculty athletics representative.
“Manuela has shown the skills, aptitude, humanity, social grace and emotional resolve needed to perform under pressure in a world that has difficult problems to solve and needs capable people to solve them,” said Wilkins.
In addition to being named an Ideal Bonaventure Student, Marin Salcedo was the recipient of the 2012 Dr. Mary A. Hamilton Woman of Promise Award and the Father Cornelius Welch Award for Achievement in Photography.
She plans to attend graduate school this fall at Syracuse University, where she will study photojournalism.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.