Student Leadership Center commemorates Student Leadership Awards

Nicole+Aguilar%2C+director+at+Student+Engagement+and+Leadership+Center+kicked+off+UTEP%27s+annual+Student+Leadership+Awards+on+May+5+via+Zoom.

Nicole Lopez

Nicole Aguilar, director at Student Engagement and Leadership Center kicked off UTEP’s annual Student Leadership Awards on May 5 via Zoom.

Nicole Lopez, Contributor

The Student Engagement and Leadership Center (SELC) held its annual UTEP Student Leadership Awards ceremony on May 5 

The ceremony, held via Zoom, recognized student leaders and student organizations for their contributions and academic excellence throughout the year.   

“Collectively, these students worked together towards their academic achievements,” said, Nicole Aguilar, director of SELC, as she commenced the ceremony. “This hard work has led them to the recognition of their efforts on campus and in the community and we are honored to celebrate all of them here tonight.”  

Travares Peterson, SELC’s coordinator for student organizations, presented the first set of awards for student organizations.  

Some of the student organizations that were recognized and awarded were the Women in Business Association, Medical Professions Organization, Terry Scholars Student Organization, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, the Society for Neuroscience Sun City Chapter, Student Alumni Association, and the Institute of Cardiology at El Paso.  

The Institute of Cardiology at El Paso honored Artemio Munoz, co-founder, as a special note in their application. 

“While the passing of our co-founder, Artemio, is a tremendous loss, his indelible legacy will live on in perpetuity through his countless achievements, the passion that he poured into everything he accomplished throughout his life, and the immeasurable impact he made in our organization,” the institute said.  

On May 5, at the UTEP Student Leadership Awards, the Institute of Cardiology at El Paso remembered Artemio Munoz, co-founder of the organization, who passed to COVID-19 earlier this year.

The awards for the 2021 Top Ten Seniors were then announced by Sandra Aguirre-Covarubbias, director of communications and alumni partnerships.  

“This year’s top ten seniors are great examples of individuals who have leveraged UTEP experiences into amazing opportunities,” Aguirre-Covarubbias said.  

The top ten seniors include: 

Sabrina Bustillos, Communication Studies 

Luis Gustavo Hinojos, Economics/Political Science  

Jessica Marie Martinez, Political Science  

Andrea Danielle Mata de León, Sociology 

Diana Laura Moreno, Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry  

Danielle Saedeh Narimissaei, Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry 

Alejandra Isabel Nevarez, Media Advertising 

Carla Marie Rodriguez, Organizational and Corporate Communication 

Flor Alejandra Urbina Araiza, Mechanical Engineering  

Sara Zareei Chaleshtori, Biological Sciences  

Sandra Aguirre-Covarubbias, director of communications and alumni partnerships at UTEP, announced on May 5 the top ten seniors who will be graduating and participating in the May 2021 commencement ceremonies. (Nicole Lopez)

Anthony Vincent, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life at SELC, introduced the individual leadership awards presented to students who have excelled through campus engagement. He presented the first set of these awards, Agent of Change, earned by student leaders who see a problem and take action to create change. 

“This award recognizes student leaders who have led their student organization through change brought on by COVID-19, while still meeting the mission and vision of their organization,” Vincent said.  

Barbara Bueno was the first recipient of the Agent of Change award.  

“My call for service has allowed me to meet amazing people and help them discover traits and skills for further development as leaders,” Bueno said.  

Jennifer Sims was the second recipient of the Agent of Change award.  

“I strongly feel that student engagement, especially through this pandemic, helps keep students engaged through their learning and college experience,” Sims said. “This helps keep students motivated throughout this year.  

Stacy Huhn was the last recipient of the Agent of Change award.  

“As a first-generation college student, she (Huhn) wanted the most out of her UTEP experience,” Huhn said. “Stacy Huhn is a prime example of a leader who impacts the El Paso community.”  

Austin Stephens, vice president of external affairs for the Student Government Association (SGA), proceeded with the ceremony by moving onto the set of awards honoring SGA.  

“I have the privilege of honoring the hard work of two of our members of our student government association,” Stephens said.  

The first award was presented by Stephens, the Judicial Member of the Year, awarded to Keira Thomas, Supreme Court Associate Justice Chairperson for the SGA Outreach Committee.  

Matthew Garcia, vice president of internal affairs for SGA, recognized Samantha Morales, senator-at-large, as Senator of the Year.  

Matt Crouse, SGA advisor, closed the SGA awards by thanking the SGA executive team, including Jessica Martinez, president, Garcia, Stephens, and Yasmeen Abugalyon, executive assistant.  

“Despite the challenges, it has been a true joy to work with the team as they collaborate to represent the student voice in these unprecedented times,” Crouse said.  

According to Crouse, the SGA executive team will be working to bring student life back to campus as classes transition to in-person this summer and fall 

Vincent introduced a new set of awards to proceed with the event.   

“I am honored to be able to serve this community this year by presenting these awards,” Vincent said as he commenced the Fraternity and Sorority Life awards.

The Sorority of the Year Award was presented to the Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc.  

Travares and Aguilar concluded the ceremony by announcing the top remaining awards honoring student organizations, with the Student Organization of the Year presented to The Collegiate Entrepeneur’s’ Organization, The Society for Neuroscience Sun City Chapter and the Terry Scholars Student Organization

“It is no surprise that our UTEP miners are student leaders who were so resilient during one of the most trying years that we’ve ever experienced in our educational careers,” Aguilar said. “We know that you will continue to represent UTEP across the globe in the same outstanding manner that you have displayed through your achievements we recognized tonight.”  

Nicole I. Lopez can be reached at [email protected]; @nicoleilopez on Twitter.