Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Student leaders, organizations honored on awards night

KINGSVILLE - May 02, 2006

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

Students and student organizations were honored with the top awards for the year during the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Student Leadership Recognition Awards Dinner. All individual winners received a $500 Presidential Scholarship.

Lilia Gonzalez, a senior political science major from Corpus Christi, was named Woman Leader of the Year and Tereso Mora, a senior civil engineering major from Driscoll, was named Male Leader of the Year.

Gonzalez not only demonstrates her leadership in the Pre-Law Society and the American Democracy Project on campus, but also shows her commitment with community work in Kingsville and Corpus Christi. Over the past year, she has organized and participated in several important events including the Frontier Justice Forum, the 2006 Candidate Forum, the voter registration campaign, a student paper presentation forum and the Cesar Chavez Walk.

Mora exemplifies all the positive qualities of fraternity membership and has served admirably in other duties. He is an orientation leader, a member of the Campus Activities Board and the Interfraternity Council and a member of the university track and field team.

The Student Organization of the Year Award was given to PEP Talk. The mission of the Peer Education Program (PEP Talk) is to actively promote peer education as an effective component for health education and wellness efforts. For many years, this group has been actively teaching, sharing and empowering peers to view their lifestyles in order to make healthier and more responsible decisions. PEP Talk sponsors programs like Tropical Temptations, Relay for Life, National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week and the Great American Smokeout.

PEP Talk also received the Program of the Year Award for their Tropical Temptations Safe Spring Break Fair. The goal of Tropical Temptations is to encourage students to make healthy, responsible decisions during Spring Break.

The American Democracy Project was given the Impact Award by demonstrating a commitment to positive social change. The group organized events like the Frontier Justice Forum to discuss the legality and civility of the Minuteman Project, supported an on-campus voter registration drive and assisted with the Cesar Chavez Walk.

The Excellence in Diversity Award also was given to the American Democracy Project, specifically for the Frontier Justice Forum.

The award for the Outstanding Collaborative Effort of the Year went to the Pre-Law Society and MEChA for their work on the second annual Cesar Chavez Walk. They worked together this year to make the second walk even more successful than the one last year.

Cynthia Vera, a senior political science major from Portland, was named Greek Woman of the Year and Derrick Escobedo, a senior business management major from Donna, was named Greek Man of the Year.

Vera is president of Psi Theta Upsilon, a Presidential Ambassador and an orientation leader. She is a member of the American Democracy Project, the Criminology Club, the Pre-Law Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, the Intersorority Council and Women’s Soccer Club.

Escobedo is a member of a new Greek organization, Sigma Lambda Beta. Members of this group helped raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief, participated in Project Pumpkin and provided salsa lessons during Hispanic Heritage Month. He also is manager and coach for the Rockies, a 9- and 10-year old pony league baseball team.

Theta Phi Alpha was named Greek Chapter of the Year. They have participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and the Relay for Life. The sorority members are involved in the Campus Activities Board, the Student Government Association, the Life Science Club, Pre-Professional Agriculture Society and many others.

Some of their events this year included a Play with the Penguin’s Day, an Easter Egg Hunt, highway clean up, a self-defense class for students and a clothing drive for the Corpus Christi Women’s Shelter.

Roy Arredondo, a senior animal science major from Brownsville, was named Outstanding Student Organization Member. Arredondo is active in his fraternity, Omega Delta Phi, and has proven incredibly reliable. During fall 2005, he organized one of the finest rush programs Omega Delta Phi has ever seen. He has gained the knowledge and experience that comes from working as a group to accomplish tasks efficiently and successfully.

Tammy Leal, a freshman animal science major from Lyford, received the Emerging Leadership Award. Although Leal is a freshman, she has already shown great potential as a future leader as she helped organize philanthropy and community service events for Delta Phi Epsilon.

The Honors Student Organization received the Academic Achievement Award. The group grade point average is 3.49, which is expected for an honors organization, but this group is actively engaged in leadership development for its members. Their members hold leadership roles in other student organizations, tutor students at Bishop Elementary School and participate in beach clean ups, Relay for Life and the Adopt-A-Highway program.

The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity received the Outstanding Community Service Award. This organization brought a new event to campus this year. They organized a charity basketball game involving almost the entire Greek community. The event raised more than $2,600, which was donated to the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

Several resident advisors from Residence Life also were honored with awards. Alex Lopez received the Outstanding Social Program Award for his Dodge Ball Night. Lopez is a sophomore pre-engineering major from Mission.

The Outstanding Educational Program Award was given to Diego Saenz, Albert Olivo and Jon Otto for their Alcohol Awareness Program. Saenz is a senior chemical engineering major from Lake Jackson; Olivo is a senior general business major from Brownsville; and Otto is a junior computer science major from La Feria.

Lisa Marie Gonzales, a junior social work major from Harlingen, received the Outstanding Community Development Award and Chelsea, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Halletsville, received the Outstanding Resident Advisor of the Year Award.

The recreational sports department also presented awards for outstanding service and leadership. Award winners include Robert Teague, a junior kinesiology major from San Antonio; Katie Salinas, a senior education major from Harlingen; and Kiveli Camarena, a senior nutrition major from Zapata.

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