TAMIU Students, Faculty and Staff Recognized at First-Ever Celebration of Community Engagement


Texas A&M International’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement hosted its first-ever celebration of community engagement, recognizing the accomplishments of TAMIU’s students, faculty, staff and community partners.

The following people were honored at the ceremony:

Mel Arambula, Juan Barrera and Jose Pérez received their Trailblazer patches. Trailblazer Patches are awarded to students after completing several opportunities for engagement in five different dimensions of learning, including career development, civic leadership, global perspective, health and wellness, and personal enrichment.

This year’s outstanding community engagement leaders were Martha Laura Medina, Financial Specialist II; and Dr Lourdes Viloria, associate professor of education.

Coaches from the university’s athletics department also named a student-athlete from each sport who exemplified service to their community. This year’s outstanding community engagement leaders were Briana Arredondo (softball), Mackenzie Catalina (volleyball), Aurora Chapa (dance), Sierra Clarke (women’s football), Jose Esqueda Jr. (men’s cross country), Gabriel Gacovicaj (men’s football), Robert Steven Grimes (baseball), Eva Langton (women’s basketball), Carolina Mendez (women’s golf), Gray Parrish (men’s basketball) and Faith Kiprotich (women’s cross-country).

Several student organizations and departments were also praised for their efforts to help Dusty’s Food Pantry, the university’s resource for students facing food insecurity. Through the pantry, students can receive a temporary additional supply of non-perishable items.

The American Medical Student Association, Global Medical Brigades, Omega Delta Phi, Sigma Delta Lambda, Student Government Association (SGA) LOVE Committee, and Office of Student Advisory Services were commended for their support of Dusty’s Food Pantry.

Additionally, Dusty’s Food Pantry advocates who were instrumental in the pantry’s success were also recognized, and included Dr. Peter F. Haruna, professor of public administration; Mario López, student; and Diana Valdez, Director of the International Engagement Program (staff).

Students participating in this semester’s community work-study program were also commemorated. These students were Michelle Canales (Laredo Literacy Volunteers), Jatziry García (NeighborWorks Laredo), Leslie Garza (Children’s Advocacy Center), Karina González (Dusty’s Food Pantry), Miriam Jimenez (Junior Achievement of Laredo), Lucia Macias (Keep Laredo) Beautiful), Rosa Salinas (Laredo Crime Stoppers), Cynthia San Miguel (Cultural Institute of Mexico) and Daniela Vargas (United Way of Laredo).

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes students for earning over 100 hours of community service. This year’s winners are Amanda Amador, Mel Arambula, Jay Arriaga, Juan Barrera, Alynna Benavidez, Jose Chong, Dalia Esquivel, Angelica García, Katia Gómez, Abigail Jimenez, Vanessa Kennion, Lucia Macias, Alyssa Martínez, Yaritza Mendoza, Nancy Ramos , Juan Rocha, Corina Rodríguez, Sara Rodríguez, Alyssa Salazar, Anahi Saldaña, Destiny Sanchez, Maria Vasquez, Astrid Veliz, Ashly Villareal and Nurya Villasenor.

This special distinction was also awarded to Stéphanie Martínez, Academic Success Coordinator.

Student organizations whose members have collectively accumulated over 100 hours of community service also received special mention. This semester’s recipients were AR Sanchez School of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Council, Gen One, Laredo Webb County Bar Association Pre-Legal Chapter, Student Conquering Unlimited Achievements through Determination, SGA LOVE Committee and TAMIU Psychology Organization.

Yaritza Mendoza, a senior specialist in business administration with a concentration in marketing, this semester won the Lifetime Achievement Award.

As part of the university’s annual Make A Difference Day, several individuals who played a crucial role in the success of the university’s annual day of service received special recognition. These students were outstanding civic leaders: Vanessa Kennion and Lucia Macias; Outstanding Team Leader: Jose Chong; and Audience Award: Araceli Vasquez.

Community partnerships were also celebrated throughout the event. These included existing partnerships with the following organizations: the Office of the Director of the City of Laredo, the Department of Parks and Recreation of the City of Laredo, the Public Works of the City of Laredo, the Solid Waste Management Services of the City of Laredo, the Environmental Services Department of the City of Laredo, Keep Laredo Beautiful, the Rotary Club of Laredo and the Rio Grande International Study Center.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Engagement at 956-326-2265, email [email protected], or visit the Student Center offices, suite 226.


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