Campaign Profiles

Hannah Hausman
Third-year student at St. Catherine University, '24

This March, Hannah Hausman ’24 celebrated one of the biggest accomplishments yet in their college career. From a pool of over 5,000 college sophomores nationwide, Hausman was one of 1,267 STEM students selected as a 2023 Goldwater Scholar. Established by Congress in 1986 to honor the legacy of Senator Barry Goldwater, the Goldwater Scholarship is known as the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering in America. In their successful application, Hausman laid out their plan to pursue a PhD in molecular biology, specializing in biomedical regenerative sciences with a focus on the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases.

The road to Hausman’s latest achievement was paved by their experiences at St. Catherine University. In their own words, “My time at St. Kate’s has been marked by extraordinary opportunities to advance my career, develop lifelong skills, and pursue my passion while making a national impact.” 

Hausman first visited campus while still in high school, participating in seminar and discussion-based courses at St. Kate’s through Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO). In these classes, Hausman discovered how empowering the experience of learning surrounded by women could be — it actually felt like they learned material better in this environment than they could in others.

When college decision time arrived during Hausman’s senior year in high school, they narrowed down their final choice to between St. Kate’s and Macalester College. The two institutions share both a strong commitment to social justice and a neighborhood in Saint Paul, located just over a mile apart. However, in addition to its uniquely women-centered culture, St. Kate’s offered Hausman a more generous financial aid package. Upon their acceptance to the University, Housman was awarded a distinguished presidential scholarship providing $34,000 in scholarship funding each year for up to four years. 

As intended by the University’s commitment to student access and support in LEAD & INFLUENCE: The Campaign for the Next Level of Excellence, this meaningful financial aid pushed St. Kate’s to the front of the race for Hausman. Expanded scholarships and competitive financial aid make a crucial difference to potential students — especially those from marginalized and/or historically underrepresented communities — both affirming their value and providing the support they need to focus on their studies.

In their first year at St. Kate’s, Hausman found their home on campus in the lower floor of Mendel, the address of the biology department. Attentive, committed faculty and staff quickly identified Hausman’s strengths as a student and began suggesting opportunities for development and growth. One professor encouraged Hausman to apply to become a Katies for Aging Research and Equity (KARE) scholar, which would give Hausman access to an integrated, multi-year research education program that supports underrepresented minority students in studying, challenging, and reimagining systems to promote health aging and longevity for all. 

Housman applied and was accepted as a KARE scholar, gaining access to two funded research opportunities. The first of these was a ten-week biomedical internship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and the second involved studying regenerative therapeutics for an aggressive type of brain cancer at UCLA. 

In addition to the networking and career development opportunities that these internships opened up, Hausman credits these experiences not only with “teaching me technical and professional skills that will be invaluable to me in my field, but also helping me figure out that my true passion lies in the hospital setting conducting biomedical research.” 

Through LEAD & INFLUENCE faculty development initiatives and collaborative research support, extraordinary St. Kate’s faculty members continued to find ways to expand Hausman’s individual growth throughout their college career. Hausman credits their professors with jointly winning a grant to conduct bioinformatics research in microbiology, providing a close-knit and dedicated community for STEM students, and facilitating Hausman’s presentations at several national conferences (two of which granted Hausman monetary awards for their projects and presentations). Even Hausman's Goldwater Scholarship received campaign support, as the Office of Scholarly Engagement encouraged and promoted Hausman’s successful application.

As Hausman enters their third year at St. Catherine University, they want to thank “the faculty and staff [who have] been indispensable to me as educators, mentors, career advisors, research partners, and life coaches. …  The campaign funded resources that allowed me to access many of the opportunities that shaped my college experience, and it also funds development and support for the faculty members who guided me through it. Thanks to them, I am excited and prepared to launch my career in STEM after St. Kate’s.”