Christian Cepeda is the inaugural winner of the First Year Renaissance Student Award in honor of Rev. Hugh R. Page, Jr., Dean of the First Year of Studies. The award goes to the student who embodies curiousity; risk-taking; perserverance and self-discipline; a thirst for knowledge and new experiences; and excellence in intellectual, artistic, and social fields. Christian is also a Balfour-Hesburgh Scholar who embodies the program’s three pillars of intellectual engagement, leadership, and commitment to service.
Christian hails from Jefferson City, Missouri, and is Neuroscience and Spanish double-major who earned Dean’s List honors last semester with a 4.0 GPA. Christian has been undertaking research in Dr. Nydia Morales-Soto’s lab, which is investigating bacteria that causes pneumonal and nosomial infections. This summer, Christian will be participating in an Undergraduate Clinical Research Internship at Vanderbilt University, where he will have opportunities to explore the diversity of scientific and medical research. Christian’s ambition is to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. to become a pediatric specialist so he can make an impact on the lives of families, just as doctors made a difference for his family, particularly his little brother when he fell ill. Christian is also a member of the Latino Honors Society.
As for leadership and artistic endeavors, Christian serves as Vice President of Ballet Folklórico Azul y Oro, and is Social Media Director for the Latino Student Alliance. He sings and plays guitar for Coro Primavera and Mariachi ND. Recently, his Balfour Program peers elected him to be Treasurer for the 2019-2020 Balfour Student Board.
In commitment to service, Christian volunteers in the South Bend community, assisting residents with citizenship classes. He has participated in urban Plunge, working with the homeless residents in St. Louis, and Sueños Sin Fronteras, which helps low-income, first-generation Latinx youth realize their goals for attending college.
Additionally, Christian is a licensed apprentice electrician!
As you can see, Christian truly is a Renaissance student, driven by his faith, love of family, deep pride in his Mexican identity and culture, and overall, a commitment to serve others.
In addition, he is a poet, blues musician, photographer, martial artist, and certified tennis professional.
The award was created to honor students who, like Dr. Page, embody diverse talents and interests, humility and kindness, and the characteristics of a well-rounded scholar.