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Alumni Association Honors Distinguished Graduates

Each year, the Saint Louis University - Madrid Alumni Association honors graduates who have excelled in their professions and contributed to the community at large.

This year’s awards ceremony opened with words of welcome from Patrice Burns, career services coordinator, and Paul Vita, Ph.D., academic dean and campus director.

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The SLU-Madrid Alumni Association honored Tadzoka Pswarayi ‘10 and Andreea Niculea ‘05 at the fourth annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. 

Katherine Espinosa, ’13,  alumni association representative, then announced the honorees and detailed their achievements. Chester Gillis, Ph.D., SLU's newly appointed interim provost, joined Vita in presenting the awards.

Emerging Leader Award

Tadzoka Pswarayi, ‘10, (English, International Studies, and Political Science) has made significant contributions to society since graduating from SLU-Madrid. She co-founded and directs Impact Harare, a business incubator and social enterprise community center that focuses on social good initiatives and helps to scale their impact. She also works as an independent International Development Consultant where she has worked on projects with USAID, FHI 360 Talent Cloud, and The World Bank Analytical Trust Fund.

Pswarayi has worked in the technology sector to work towards gender equality through programming that teaches girls and women digital literacy and coding. She is the Zimbabwean lead for Seedstars World, the biggest global tech competition in emerging markets, and coordinates the Zimbabwean team for the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge. She also works as a freelance journalist with This is Africa. She is truly the embodiment of women for others.

Professional Achievement Award

After Andreea Niculea, ‘05, (Business Administration) graduated from SLU-Madrid, she worked as a consultant at Interbrand before pursuing a Master of Science in Financial Management at the University of London. She then moved into management positions at Bankinter and Innotarget in Madrid before relocating to Beijing to serve as the managing director at trommsdorff + drüner. She later served as their director of International Business Development in Berlin. For the past two years, Niculea has worked at Banca March in Mallorca, first as the chief data officer, and now as the chief digital transformation officer. She also serves as an advisor to various startups. Niculea is truly a citizen of the world who honors the principles of Jesuit education in her work.

Burns, who coordinated the event, commented, “I especially enjoyed Andreea's and Tadzoka's acceptance speeches. I was aware of how they touched so many lives on our campus as students, but I had no idea how much their experiences at Saint Louis University Madrid — both on the campus and in our extended community — impacted their lives and helped shape them into the people they are today.”

Following the ceremony, the honorees joined faculty, staff, students and friends in attendance for a cocktail reception. Many thanks to Burns for organizing the event; Jessica Erwin, Sodexo catering staff; SLU-Madrid's maintenance team, as well as all the attendees for making the evening so special.