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A Week to Recognize and Celebrate

I can’t find better words to describe last week but it being a week of recognitions, awards and celebrations.

As the semester comes close to an end–crunch time to end as strong as possible in classes, write the last few papers, take the last few quizzes, the last exams, attend the last few meetings, and of course, look forward (not) to those not so very pretty finals, as if that wasn’t enough to remind us that the semester is ending, most award ceremonies, times to recognize, and special celebrations are beginning to take place around campus.

Last week was definitely one to remember…want to know why? Read some more!

Appointed and Confirmed!

Last week I was offered a position by our SG President (which I had applied for) as the Student Government Underrepresented Student Recruitment and Retention Agency Co-Director. Then on Tuesday, the assembly confirmed my appointment, after a couple of questions that I did survive! Along with Chad, my co-director, we will be working on initiatives to do exactly what the name of our agency implies. I really can’t wait to get started (or wait, we actually already started!), this is something that I’ve loved doing through the mission of the Hispanic College Fund each summer, promoting higher education among Hispanics, and I can’t wait to work on initiatives with Chad to bring students like us, from underrepresented communities, to UT and help them make UT the place they can call home.

Jean Holloway Excellence Award in Teaching

This semester I served on the Jean Holloway Excellence Award in Teaching in the College of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. After reading numerous nominations speaking on some of the very best professors that these two colleges have the pleasure to have and visiting classrooms, we had to come to a final decision as a committee and selected our award recipient: Dr. Alan Cline in the Department of Computer Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences. On Thursday, we surprised Dr. Cline in the middle of his class to announce that he was the recipient of this prestigious award. As soon as we saw his reaction to the news, I realized that we had picked the right professor to award- he was incredibly humble, in disbelief, and always thinking of his students as he asked us whether we had anything he could share with the class (aside from the $4,000 he will be awarded). Here are some pictures from our surprise and a short video to see how it all happened (and to see that yes, we are college kids although we don’t look like it…)

Evening of the Stars

After a month of reviewing applications from some of UT’s best student organizations, the Leadership and Ethics Institute, which I am a part of, announced the Swing Out Awards winners last week at the annual Evening of the Stars Awards Dinner at the Centennial Room. I was incredibly inspired by many of the student organizations that applied and by the passion and devotion that the student leaders put into the work that they do. I think that it was a very humbling experience for all of us who read the applications and got to interview the leadership from each group. There is so much that UT students are doing, forming new student organizations, volunteering around Austin and beyond, as well as providing students a a niche depending on the focus of the organization. Awards were given in a variety of categories from service, to recreational, to professional as well as special categories which included the most outstanding student organization among others. Shameless plug but to also learn more about the organization where I continue to grow as a student leader and to which I devote multiple hours each week….Learn more about the LEI and the Swing Out Awards!

Members of the Leadership and Ethics Institute at the Centennial Room

While we had a sit down dinner for a limited number of student leaders from each student organization that was selected as finalists, we also held a Watch Party in the Texas Union Ballroom where we had a Live Feed from across campus. We had a great crowd out there, music, food, T-shirts, and great excitement as students found out who the winners were. Kezia, Anika, Jiacheng, Sharda, Jimmy and I were leading that effort. The Swing Out Awards are really a true example of how committed UT is to not only educating students in the classroom but also providing that other 70 percent that I mentioned earlier in my blogs that you learn outside the classroom through student leadership and activities.

Leadership Coordinators Team get together after Evening of the Stars

After Evening of the Stars, the LEI Leadership Coordinators Team got together at Trudy’s to celebrate the conclusion of our biggest event of the year- which mainly thanks to Kelly and Mykel was as successful as it could have been- and to celebrate our year together. I can’t say enough about them all, our relationship went beyond simply attending meetings together, being student leaders, and working together on LEI programming- they have become a really special group of people to me, who share that same equal passion for serving students and a passion toward leadership. I couldn’t have pictured our team any other way. The pictures below can go to show you that finding a community on campus, a student organization, a place where you can follow your interests and passions can lead you to meet some of the most special people you’ll meet during your college career that you know you can always count on.

Karina and Jimmy

Mykel, Kelly and Arnell

Mykel and me--since Spring 2007. I can't say enough about Mykel but I never thought that we would come this far since a retreat we attended as freshmen! And I can't wait until next year when we'll spend our last year of college together again! He might not know this but he is one of my peers that I look up to the most when it comes to serving the university and being a student leader!

Proof that you can have the best of both worlds... in case anyone wonders that I am, too, involved and that's all I talk about...and where does school come in? This is proof of me, at the library, taking care of what's important, school, after our get together. So, yes, it is possible to find balance! :)

Look for more about this week on a separate entry on Orange and White Ball and the unveiling of the Barbara Jordan Statue!

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May 1, 2009 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Cecilia