To Be, Rather Than to Seem

Stephanie Socias A'08 Inducted Into Athletics Hall of Fame

On November 12, AHN alumna Stephanie Socias A’08 was inducted into the AHN Athletics Hall of Fame. The Academy often uses the term Scholar-Athlete to describe our student athletes who excel in both academics and sports. Socias epitomizes the term Scholar-Athlete as no other inductee has done to date.

Socias distinguished herself during her junior year at AHN when she competed in three state championships in the same school year: the state basketball championship in Lakeland, the state track championship in Orlando, and the state cross country championship in Dade City. Never sacrificing her studies, Socias earned the distinction of Class of 2008 Valedictorian, and she was recognized as the Dads Club’s Athlete of the Year. The St. Petersburg Times named her the 2008 Hillsborough County Student-Athlete of the Year, the Athena Society named her a Young Woman of Promise and the Tampa Bay Sports Club presented her with their Best Effort award. Socias was also named to the FHSAA Academic All-State Team. 

After high school, Socias matriculated at the University of Notre Dame, where she was accepted as a walk-on athlete, joining the Notre Dame cross country and track and field teams. By the end of her second year, a stress fracture in her femur brought her running career to an abrupt end. Socias graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in software engineering and went to work as a systems engineer for Lockheed Martin. Despite her technological inclinations, her desire to study medicine and become a doctor proved stronger. Socias quit her job and traveled to Kenya, where she spent two weeks assisting the rural doctors of the Migori village. 

Upon returning to the U.S., Socias completed her organic and biology class requirements at USF. While in Tampa, she assisted head coach Ray Rodriguez with Academy’s cross country team. During the year before med school, Socias worked for the Sliz biology lab at Harvard Medical School in Boston. There she used her technical background to develop a software platform for academic researchers. In collaboration with her colleagues at Harvard, Socias was published in numerous academic papers, including a first author on one. 

Socias and her sister, Christina A'10, formed their own company, Cassie Innovations, in 2012. The sisters hired a developer, managed a few interns, and partnered with an investor. Their Cassie app was ultimately accepted by Apple and became available on Apple’s App Store.

When the University of Florida College of Medicine invited her to join the Class of 2019, Socias took to the pursuit of medicine wholeheartedly. While at the University of Florida, she continued to distinguish herself. In 2017 she founded a non-profit called GatorAid, formed to promote a greater quality of life to low-income elderly clients. 

Socias' biggest diversion from work and studies has always been running. She ran the 2018 Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 18 minutes and plans to compete in 2019. In May of 2019, she will receive her MD and start her residency in internal medicine. 

In the words of her nominator, “In everything, Stephanie attracts the esteem of her colleagues and friends. Her accomplishments are underscored by her kind demeanor and loving heart. A lifelong athlete and academic, Stephanie embodies the best of the Academy of the Holy Names.” 

Socias was joined at the induction by her parents, Alex and Luly A'77, her sister Christina, her aunt Ana A'78, her cousin Lizzy Socias Swanson A’06, her grandmothers Lourdes and Zenaida, and coach Ray Rodriguez.

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