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Hawk Highlight

A Positive Force: Savannah Vasquez '21, MA '23

“The people I’ve met at Holy Names University have opened my mind,” said HNU alumna Savannah Vasquez ‘21. “They have helped me grow in so many ways, educated me on so many things. They’ve given me more than just friendship.”

Savannah grew up in a close family in Livermore, CA and felt drawn to the familial atmosphere at HNU. As a first-generation college student, she found it appealing to join a small community that looked out for one another.

“Looking back, I don’t think I would’ve survived on a bigger campus,” said Savannah. “Here, we all know each other and act like family.”

After Savannah became an HNU student, her entire family stocked up on HNU-branded clothing and gear to show the immense pride they felt about Savannah’s achievements. Savannah’s mother is her “biggest supporter and #1 fan,” and was the first person Savannah called when she joined Dance Force, an HNU performance group.

Dancing was something Savannah loved, but had never done publicly before. She became a dedicated member, solo performer, and eventually Dance Force president. She credits the experience with helping her gain confidence and says it “got me out of my shell.”

Savannah went on to embrace additional leadership roles on campus: admissions ambassador, resident assistant, peer mentor, Latinos Unidos club executive, Associated Students of Holy Names University (ASHNU) communications coordinator, ASHNU student body vice president, and ultimately ASHNU student body president.

The year she became ASHNU student body president was also the year that the COVID-19 pandemic hit: 2020. HNU’s campus closed and classes went online. “I made it my goal to be a voice for students that might be struggling,” said Savannah. “We put on forums with professors to let them know we are not OK 100% of the time, and we asked for flexibility and support in the classroom.” She’s proud of the impact these actions had in helping students during such a difficult time.

“I love to be there for people. That’s who I am and who I’ll always be,” said Savannah. Her desire to be a positive force in people’s lives has led her to pursue a career that will allow her to help others. She graduated with a degree in criminology and psychology in 2021, and is currently working toward a master’s degree in forensic psychology at HNU.

“HNU is my home,” said Savannah. “I’ve met my forever people here.”

This article first appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of HNU Today