Karina Marquez Headshot

Karina Marquez

Academic Excellence Is My Ambrosian Value

Psychology, Class of 2022

"They did all they could to make sure I could afford tuition by encouraging me to consider a few different options, including work study. And with their help and guidance, I am maintaining an income level that allows me to stay here. It feels really good to be able to afford my St. Ambrose education."

Her admissions counselor knew Karina wanted to attend SAU, and most importantly, she knew Karina would thrive here. That connection is our motivation to do everything we can to make your St. Ambrose education an affordable option.

karina marquez

What's the value of exploring something new?


Work study is more than a way to pay for college; it's an opportunity to explore your interests and talents, jump into a new situation, and contribute and build your skills. Karina's first work study position was as a referee. "It was a very fun learning experience," she says. Now as a house manager for the Galvin Fine Arts Center, Karina gets to be part of artistic culture, hosting exhibitions, musical performances, and theatre productions for campus and the community.

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The value of community?

When Karina was recognized as the 2019-20 Resident Assistant of the Year, it was a surprise – to her. But not to the students who nominated her! Her support and presence made a difference in their lives. The position covered housing and tuition costs, but the job became more about building community. "I could relate to the students in Davis Hall and I tried to make it the most comfortable location to live. It's nice to be noticed and given this attention," she says. Karina's leadership was also recognized by the university: she was promoted to hall staff member and will be a hall advisor next year.

The value of an SAU experience?

Karina has diverse interests, and here, she pursues them with tenacity and zeal. She's a Psychology major with three minors: English, Communication, and Painting. "I am someone who likes variety in my life and here, I've had so many different experiences. I've lived in California, Chicago, and the suburbs, and never thought I'd live in Iowa. But SAU is very welcoming, and I appreciate that. I've met a lot of people I would not have met under different circumstances, which is of value to me."

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karina marquez

The value of a St. Ambrose education?

A solid edge

"My education is already paying off through the experiences I've had at St. Ambrose," Karina says. "I've participated in the Undergraduate Summer Research Institute for the past two years. I researched on my own and with a team, and I was provided a grant for participating. SAU has given me so many opportunities to do, things that students at other colleges don't get a chance to do until they are in grad school. Serving as an RA, doing research, and the skills I've gained through work study will give me a good foot in the door in grad school."

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