When Manhattan College president Brennan O'Donnell wanted a student to describe a typical student's life to the Manhattan College alumni at the college's 2011 De LaSalle Award and annual fundraiser, he turned to chemical engineering senior and Manhattan College SHPE president, Ana Avila. This year's audience at this year's dinner at the Pierre Hotel included New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Coned CEO Eugene McGrath, Chairman of the Board and CEO and President of Valero Energy Bill Klesse, and various other current and former CEO's of major companies. Following her introduction by former FOX-TV anchor Jim Ryan and Mr. O'Donnel, Ana spoke gracefully as she described her personal and educational experiences as a Manhattan College student. Ana kept her composure despite being under the pressure of speaking in front of over 600 alumni, the press, CEO's, and a malfunctioning audio system. Kudos to Ana for a well received speech, and for giving thanks to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers for being positive influence on her life."
On the reason as why Ana was chosen to speak at this event:
"The reason as to why I was chosen is because I had already spoken at a past event for the Fall Open house. The school liked the way I spoke, and I was told I spoke very naturally in front of parents and prospective high school students. This is something that honestly I marvel at, because all I can feel when I get in front of a crowd is the obnoxious pounding of my heart. I was the girl in high school that would turn tomato red whenever she needed to speak in class, but now with the help of SHPE and the Manhattan College family, I am able to speak to people, on a one to one basis, or in a large group."