Alumni share inspiring life stories

Jan 12 2024

Alumni share inspiring life stories

This year’s Alumni Day showed once again that a Keystone education empowers students to achieve in any number of fields.

This year’s event brought graduates who are making significant contributions in finance, entrepreneurship, law, tech, medicine, mental health, biological research, media, and art.

Alumni shared stories from their days at Keystone, discussed how their Keystone experiences contributed to their college experiences, explained how careers change, and gave life advice.

This year’s presenters:

Azfar Sonny Abbasi ’88 – Currently Associate General Counsel at Freddie Mac, he has focused on housing, mortgage, and real estate law during his career. Sonny has contributed substantially to housing policy having been appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development. During his four-year term, he was elected Vice Chairman and Chairman twice by his colleagues. Sonny graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Washington University and received his law degree from The American University, Washington College of Law.

Evan Cofer ’12 – A postdoctoral research fellow in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Systems Biology, his research broadly focuses on regulatory genomics and machine learning. He is particularly interested in transcriptional regulation and developing cutting edge deep learning models to identify disease-causing variants in whole-genome sequencing data. He received his Ph.D. in Quantitative and Computational Biology from Princeton University in 2023, where he was also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from Trinity University in 2017.

Travis Howk ’13 – A DevOps Engineer for Apptegy, an ed-tech communications platform, he graduated in 2018 from Hendrix College as a Hays Scholar with degrees in Mathematics and Physics. His day-to-day includes defending and provisioning the company’s infrastructure against various attacks and serving as one of the primary on-call engineers for production issues.

Tommi Hurme ’04 – The owner of Olympian Fencing Club, he started fencing while in middle school at Keystone and rose to the top of the sport. After captaining Princeton’s Varsity Fencing Team, he lived, trained and competed in Budapest, Hungary, where he also served as a dedicated member of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. When he returned to the US, he moved into online advertising in New York and Austin, while continuing to train, compete and coach. His fencing club includes some 80 members, and he runs an afterschool fencing enrichment here at Keystone.

Laura Padilla ’06 – The creator of Alumni Day, she earned a BFA in Drama from New York University in 2010 and a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX in 2016 and now has a private practice that works with individuals, couples, and families. After leaving New York, she returned to San Antonio and served as Alumni Coordinator at Keystone. She currently lives in Poquoson, Virginia, with her husband, two children, 2 dogs, and a cat.

Patrick Seaworth ’03 – A financial analyst with Victory Capital, he earned a BA in Political Science and History from Washington University in St. Louis, an additional BA in Finance, then an MS in Finance from UTSA. Seaworth became interested in finance after his freshman year in college when he started investing the money he made in tips as a waiter. During graduate school Seaworth was awarded the distinguished Business Student Award which honors the top 1.5% of business students annually.

Sammy Stevens ’98 – After graduating with a degree in theater and creative writing from Northwestern University, he bounced around doing odd jobs including working as a housekeeper and dishwasher at a dude ranch in Wyoming, an actor at the Edinburgh fringe festival, a production assistant for Saturday Night Live’s fake commercials, a personal assistant for a Macy’s marketing executive, a genetics lab assistant, a rehabilitation aide, and a waiter. Later, he attended medical school, residency, and fellowship in San Antonio; he is board-certified in anesthesiology and chronic pain and has published articles in genetics and chronic and interventional pain.

John Tindall ’84 – After a decades-long career in retail management, he decided to dedicate his professional life to public service by ministering to people through nursing. He received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2004, and has served as a critical care nurse in the intensive care unit at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital, Medical Center. He is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, and has received numerous awards for his nursing work. Right after Keystone, he earned his bachelor’s in history from UT-Austin.

Several other alumni participated in the professional networking panel. They were:

Emily Baucum ’04 – After more than 15 years in television news — most recently as an anchor and investigative reporter at News 4 San Antonio — she changed careers and now serves as Public Relations Manager at the Alamo. After Keystone, she received her bachelor’s from Northwestern.

Ray Flores ’90 – A member of Keystone’s Board of Trustees, he serves as Senior Vice President of Strategic Design, Development, Constructions & Delivery at Port San Antonio. He earned his bachelor’s from Harvard University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

Mia Lopez ’03 – After holding curatorial positions at DePaul Art Museum in Chicago and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, she returned home to San Antonio to serve as the inaugural Curator of Latinx Art at the McNay Art Museum. She holds a BA in Art History from Rice University and dual MAs in Art History and Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Also on the professional networking panel:

Beto Altamirano, Co-founder & CEO at Irys. He’s an experienced entrepreneur and leader in organizational transformation, technology, social innovation, and the future of cities. He graduated from the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2022 with a Master’s in Public Administration and holds a BA in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

After the alumni presentations and networking panel, students met with representatives of different organizations visiting during the Internship/Volunteer Fair (photo above). Among the organizations:

  • Girls on the Run
  • HEB
  • Special Reach
  • World Affairs Council

What an amazing day!

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