Our Alumni Spotlight Shines on the Extraordinary Celeste Riepe!

Celeste Riepe (St. Stephen's Student 1995-2005)

"Celeste Riepe came to St. Stephen’s at age four when her mother Diana became the school’s music teacher. Celeste was a part of the St. Stephen’s community for ten years, attending St. Stephen’s through the eighth grade. After leaving St. Stephen’s, Celeste went to Wimberley High School, where she graduated valedictorian of the class of 2009.

At WHS, Celeste participated in numerous academic teams. She won state placements in literary criticism, social studies, current events, and science at University Interscholastic League State Academic Competitions. In 2009, she was named the University Interscholastic League State Champion in Science. She also became the first National AP Scholar in the history of WHS by earning high scores on nine Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

For her undergraduate degree, Celeste attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. During her time at Rice, she conducted research to develop high-throughput assays and computer vision systems for toxicity studies and genetic screens with the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Her research culminated in a publication in PLOS ONE, and in 2013, she won 2nd place in Natural Sciences at the Rice University Undergraduate Research Symposium for her research project. As one of the top three graduates in her department, Celeste received the James B. Walker Award for Outstanding Senior in Biochemistry and Cell Biology when she graduated in May 2013. 

At St. Stephen’s, Celeste received a liberal arts education that inspired her lifelong passion for music, visual art, and literature. She has played the violin for over nineteen years and has sung in numerous choirs at the regional and national level. In high school, her solo violin and voice performances earned her three Outstanding Performer Awards at the University Interscholastic League State Solo & Ensemble Contest—awards given to only one percent of state competitors. A voracious reader while she was a student at St. Stephen’s, Celeste occasionally writes fiction of her own. Her short story, “Kit,” was published in R2, Rice University’s literary journal for undergraduates.

After Rice, Celeste decided to pursue science professionally because she wanted an intellectually challenging yet creative career. She received graduate school offers from Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Caltech, University of California, San Diego, and University of California, Berkeley. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. Her ultimate goal is to become a principal investigator at an academic institution so that she can teach and mentor students in science."

Celeste Riepe is such a shining example and inspiration!  St. Stephen's is so proud to call her an alumnus!  

We want to hear about all our former students.  Please fill out the 25th Anniversary contact form on the Alumni page of our website: www.ststeveschool.org/alumni



Posted on February 6, 2014 .