May 16, 2021

Bernal receives Sister Catherine McAuley Award

Mount Mercy University graduate Alma Apolonio Bernal received the Sister Catherine McAuley Award during Mount Mercy’s 2021 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 16. Apolonio Bernal, a native of Iowa City, Iowa, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in social work.

The Sister Catherine McAuley Award is presented to the graduate who, in addition to a high scholastic ranking of a 3.0 or above, has attended MMU for all four years of their undergraduate studies and has exemplified to a marked degree cooperation with administration, faculty and students and leadership and loyalty in furthering the ideals of Mount Mercy. The award is named for Sister Mary Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831.

Apolonio Bernal graduated with the highest academic honors, was a member of Somos MMU, student ambassador in the Office of Admissions, and most recently, partnered with the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission as an intern promoting social justice in our community.

“Like Catherine McAuley, Alma’s spirit comes from her compassion, sincerity, hope, and willingness to spread love to all those around her,” said Interim President Tim Laurent during the ceremony. “For those blessed to be part of Alma’s community, you quickly realize the type of person she is. Alma is a servant, always willing to put those around her and her community above all else.”

Apolonio Bernal is exploring work opportunities in social work and higher education.

Congratulations, Alma!