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Stephanie A. Flores Endowed Scholarship in Natural Sciences


The Stephanie A. Flores Endowed Scholarship in Natural Sciences honors the memory of Stephanie Flores and was provided to The University of Texas at Austin by her family. The scholarship supports students in their second year of study with a 3.25 grade point average or better, with preference given to students who demonstrate leadership skills both in academia and in the UT community and have an interest in rugby.

Stephanie was born on May 15, 1988, in San Antonio. Her family remembers her as a quick learner and an apt leader in her childhood. Growing up in a military family enabled her to experience parts of the world that further nurtured her passion for learning and adventure. She lived in Japan from 1994 to 1997 before moving to Illinois and eventually back to San Antonio in 2001. She spoke with joyful excitement anytime she told stories about the people she had met in Japan, especially of her time learning to play the piano. Stephanie had a passion for music that continued all throughout her life. She played saxophone in high school for the marching band, all the while keeping her piano skills sharp, often playing songs such as “Moonlight Sonata” or “Für Elise” during study breaks or late at night to help organize her thoughts.

In 2006, Stephanie graduated from Sandra Day O’Connor High School and was accepted at The University of Texas at Austin. She loved the university and the city of Austin. From the annual Crawfish Boil to music festivals — she immersed herself in the culture. She enjoyed kayaking on Lady Bird Lake, exploring the local parks, and sampling unique restaurants around town. While studying in the College of Communication, she was awarded membership in two national honor societies, Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma, and in the course of four years earned two bachelor’s degrees in radio-television-film and English.

Stephanie wrote stories and movie scripts in her spare time and was often seen around campus taking pictures for her many projects. It was during this time that she began to explore other interests such as medicine, scientific research, and a variety of extracurricular clubs. Amidst taking more than 20 hours per semester, she served as a research assistant for the Section of Integrative Biology as well as the Center for Perceptual Systems. She routinely volunteered at St. David’s Medical Center to further her knowledge of hospital systems and procedures. She also became the captain of the UT women’s rugby team, a sport and team that she grew to love. She would go on to join the Texas Rugby Union Under-23 women’s team in 2010 and 2011. Through all of this, she decided to complete a third degree, in biology, with aspirations of going to medical school.

In the pursuit of her third degree, Stephanie stayed active with her research programs as well as the rugby team. She was highly regarded by the rugby team and many viewed her as not just the captain but as a close friend.

Lyliana Gonzalez met Stephanie freshman year while she was recruiting for the rugby team.

“She could do anything,” Gonzalez said. “She was just that type of person. It was not if she was going to succeed but when she was going to succeed.”

At the age of 22, Stephanie left this world too early for her family, friends and teammates, due to complications from a head injury sustained during a rugby match in 2011.

However, her family said she left it playing the game she loved, with the teammates she loved, and surrounded by her family, and that she has left behind a legacy of compassion, love, intelligence, kindness and a passion for life that continues to inspire all that knew Stephanie.

Her family notes:

The Stephanie A. Flores Endowment Scholarship in Natural Sciences is offered in memory of an aspiring and inspiring young lady who had the will to do anything. Stephanie was a daughter, sister, aunt, scholar, athlete, teammate, friend, and leader. This scholarship is served with the intention to not only support but to encourage anyone to rise to the challenges placed before them and achieve every goal they have set for themselves without fear or hesitation. That is the legacy of Stephanie A. Flores.”

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