U.T. El Paso announces its Top Ten Seniors: Scholars every one of them
By Joe Olvera ©, 2012
Narges Kalantarian, of the College of Science, is a 4.0 G.P.A. Honor Student who is also a Spanish translator and pharmacy helper at the El Paso Baptist Clinic. As a mentor for young women in the Latinitas Group, and an organizer of the Little Sister Group at the Al-Mahdi Islamic Center of El Paso, she is the recipient of several scholarships to further her education.
Adam Sebastian, College of Liberal Arts, has volunteered more than 40 hours a week at Emmanuel Children’s Home in Cd. Juarez. There, he has counseled children, trained caregivers, educated leaders on psychological principles, and conducted research on behavior management strategies. Maintaining a 4.0 G.P.A. despite his grueling schedule, Sebastian has also provided awareness of neglected children and abused women.
Mercy Uwakwe, College of Science, has a fitting name for someone who grew up in Nigeria, who struggled with poverty, health obstacles, and losing her mother when she was a child. Despite her burdens, she has been a summer intern at MIT through the Amgen Scholar Program and his been involved in the YWCA residential housing program.
These three graduating seniors, all of them Honors students, have had the distinct recognition of being the recipients, along with seven other outstanding students, of the Top Ten Senior Awards presented by the UTEP Alumni Association. These ten exemplary young men and young women will be feted during a banquet hosted by the Student Government Association. Beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. Friday, April 13 at the Camino Real Hotel, 101 S. El Paso St., the event culminates with dinner at 7 p.m. “Every year, as we near commencement, we announce a select group of graduating seniors who have achieved tremendous success at UTEP,” said Richard Daniel, Ph.D., associate vice president for university advancement and special projects and executive director for alumni relations. “We expect that these future alumni will continue to elevate the visibility of their careers and the reputation of UTEP.”
The seven other students named to the Top Ten all have unique stories to tell about their individual accomplishments and educational quests. These students are:
*Jacob Barde, College of Liberal Arts, participated in a summer study abroad program in Indonesia where he studied environmental campaigns in rural areas;
*Anna Martinez, College of Liberal Arts, is an honor student who served as an intern for the White House Council on Environmental Quality;
*Diego Rico, College of Business Administration, interned at Goldman, Sachs and Company on Wall Street in New York the past two summers. While on campus, he co-formed Wall Street Talk, where he helped prepare students for interviews on Wall Street and other Fortune 500 companies;
*Kimberlin Schnittker, College of Engineering and the College of Science, participated in a Secret Santa Program for the La Posada Home, raising money to build hospitals in India and cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for an orphanage;
Patrick Shindo, College of Engineering, has completed technical internships at the U.S. Army Research Lab and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. He is the co-author of five published papers in technical journals;
Pablo Padilla, College of Science, has been a troop leader and mentor for the Girl Scouts, a Shriner’s Hospital volunteer, a Project MOVE volunteer, and a translator and medical assistant for the El Paso Baptist Clinic;
Samantha Ungos, College of Health Sciences, has dedicated herself to improving the health of El Pasoans. Besides her work as a student health educator, UTEP has afforded her several opportunities to work as a research assistant with the Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center, and she has done it all while maintaining a 4.0 G.P.A.