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DCHS Student Honored as Spirit of the Billiken Award Recipient

Saint Louis University Investigative and Medical Sciences student Mana Yacim was recently honored as one of the university’s Spirit of the Billiken Award recipients at a special awards ceremony in late March.

Spirit of the Billiken Award Class of 2019

The Spirit of the Billiken Class of 2019 recipients, featuring students representing colleges all across the university. Submitted photo

The Spirit of the Billiken Award was created years ago by the Saint Louis University Office of Alumni Engagement. In honor of the university being founded in 1818, the office annually recognizes 18 senior students who are committed to being proud and dedicated alumni of Saint Louis University. The honorees represent what it means to be a Billiken by excelling in academics, leadership, community service, commitment to Saint Louis University and dedication to living the university’s mission after graduation. Recipients had to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply. After applying, select candidates go through an interview process and, from there, a committee determines the 18 winners.

Yacim was honored to be one of the few recipients chosen from such a large pool of deserving candidates. Receiving this award gave Yacim the opportunity to see just how far she had come from when she started at the university.

“The entire process allowed me to reflect on my time at SLU and how I will use the numerous lessons I have learned long after I leave SLU,” Yacim said. “It was extremely meaningful for me to have the opportunity to recognize a mentor that has had a profound impact on my time here, Dr. Tim Randolph, a faculty member that does incredible work on campus and through Randolph World Ministries.”

A very unique mascot, the Billiken means many different things to many different people. Yacim had the chance to explain what being a Billiken meant to her.

“After almost four years as a student here, I have discovered the Billiken is a transformative figure. It develops and grows within us as we discover what being a student at SLU means,” Yacim said. “I believe the Billiken represents someone who is willing to take the lessons they learned from SLU to implement change locally, nationally and internationally, essentially leaving the Billiken’s footprints everywhere they go.”

Clinical Health Sciences Associate Professor, and Yacim’s faculty mentor, Tim Randolph, Ph.D., MT(ASCP), thought Yacim was very deserving of this prestigious award.

“Mana has proven herself to be a scholar, a leader and a servant; the attributes we look for and hope to develop at SLU,” Dr. Randolph said. “As a scholar, Mana has been the recipient of multiple prestigious scholarships and has performed well in a rigorous pre-med curriculum while conducting research in my lab. As a leader, Mana has held formal offices in numerous organizations while being an active member in others. Lastly, Mana has served society both in her home town of Jefferson City and here in St. Louis through a handful of organizations such as hospitals and tutoring services. Mana truly represents the ‘Spirit of the Billiken’.”

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of more than 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.