Fall 2019 John Jay Fellow
Hometown: Rosenberg, TX
College: St. Edward’s University
Degree: B.A. Political Science
Alesondra Cruz was born and raised just outside of Houston, TX. She recently graduated summa cum laude from St. Edward’s University’s Honors Program with a B.A in Political Science. Blessed to experience college in the Capital City, Alesondra was able to explore the rich and storied tradition that is Texas politics. She enjoyed working with a myriad of influential institutions, including the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Speaker’s office in the 86th Legislative Session. These opportunities introduced to her both pragmatic policies and rich intellectual traditions, ultimately culminating in her senior thesis examining the collapse of diversity under state-based institutions.
While Alesondra sees the importance in erudition, she agrees with Pope Francis that “knowledge is empty unless it leads to love.” She is cognizant that our true purpose is a perfect happiness that nothing short of God can provide. By far, she has felt this “perfect happiness” most when creating moments spent in service and intentional community. She was a participant in her university’s campus ministry service programs and one of her most memorable experiences was spending a semester in Rome. Throughout her time in the Eternal City, she researched refugee policies of the Schengen territory and developed deep friendships with men at the local refugee center. The experience cemented in her the importance of community, and the ways in which scholarly research can impact people’s livelihoods.
Throughout her residency at the John Jay Institute, Alesondra is eager to explore perennial questions from ecumenical, Christian perspectives. After her time at the Institute, she hopes to attend law school to allow others the opportunity to live in the freedom to do what they ought, and to pursue their own “perfect happiness.”