Alumni Spotlight: Class of ’19 Alum is Now a Published Scholar

Sep 8, 2023 | Alumni Spotlight

Cristo Rey alumnus from the class of 2019, Andy Estrada, has recently earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University Chicago, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. He has also accomplished the remarkable feat of securing a Research Assistant position at Northwestern University. Adding to his impressive achievements, Andy has contributed to collaborative research that was published in an article by The American Journal of Cardiology. Andy’s notable contributions to the field of medicine underscore his ambition to advance his education further, with aspirations of attending medical school someday.

Andy Estrada’s initial fascination with Neuroscience was sparked during his time at CRSM when he was confronted with his grandfather’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Spending considerable time translating for his grandfather at the hospital until his unfortunate passing, kindled Andy’s zeal for aiding individuals grappling with neurological disorders. This poignant experience marked the beginning of his journey towards his eventual accomplishments after graduation.

Andy’s journey as an undergraduate at Loyola was not without challenges. He recalls struggling with Chemistry as a freshman, a subject notorious for its difficulty within Loyola’s curriculum. Freshman Biology and Chemistry at Loyola are renowned as demanding “weed out classes,” designed to rigorously test first-year students. Andy commented that his initial struggle with Chemistry, combined with the adjustments to college life, fostered feelings of being “out of place” and doubting his fit within the academic program. However, his affiliation with a Cristo Rey program, particularlyBrothers for Excellence,’ equipped him with the confidence to withdraw from the challenging Chemistry course and later master its content. Andy acknowledges Cristo Rey for providing him with a sense of belonging and mentorship, which proved pivotal in his academic journey.

Through the unwavering support of the Cristo Rey Network and his own tenacity, Andy triumphantly graduated from Loyola University Chicago. More recently, he participated in a summer program sponsored by the University of Chicago, collaborating with Cardiologists on Myocardial Bridges research. The results of this research were subsequently published in The American Journal of Cardiology. Andy, along with his research team, had the opportunity to present their findings in New Orleans last year.

The entire Cristo Rey Community extends its best wishes to Andy as he embarks on his continuing voyage in research and the pursuit of higher education!

Read Andy’s collaborative piece in The American Journal of Cardiology Here.