2007 Leadership in Action and Unsung Hero Student Award Winners Selected

April 19, 2007

Texas Campus Compact proudly recognizes the work and dedication of several students with the 2007 Leadership in Action and Unsung Hero Awards. Student award winners will be presented at the Civic Engagement Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, April 20 in Austin, Texas.

The Leadership in Action Student Award recognizes students who are actively involved in promoting democracy on their campuses and in their communities. These students have raised their voices on issues of local and global importance through civic engagement efforts. Award winners exhibit a wide variety of experiences in areas addressing social, educational, environmental, health, economic and legal issues facing their communities.

Angelo Steinhardt-Keely is the recipient of the 2007 Leadership in Action Student Award. In 2006, Angelo created a proposal to begin a partnership between St. Edward’s University and the Abhayadhama Orphanage in Bangalore, India. This proposal seeks to establish scholarships for Indian students to study at St. Edward’s, allot funds for improvements and development of orphanage housing and structures, and initiate Service-Learning, study abroad, and summer immersion opportunities for students to focus on poverty issues in India. He has served in leadership roles for the St. Edward’s Religious Studies Club, Theta Alpha Kappa, and the Environmental Club. To increase interfaith dialogue, Angelo led SEU Awareness, which sponsored open forums for genuine discourse on campus.

Jennifer Chaparro, a junior Political Science major at The University of Texas at El Paso, was selected as the runner-up for the Leadership in Action Student Award. Jennifer has displayed valuable leadership and mentoring skills by addressing issues of domestic violence through the Ni Una Mas High School Presentation Program. Her nominator, Greg Schober, Program Coordinator for the Center for Civic Engagement, added that Jennifer has worked to “spread awareness of the dangers of domestic violence to approximately 125 local area teens.” Jennifer has also been actively involved with Vox Voices for Planned Parenthood, the Border Social Forum, and has served as the Student Coordinator for the Border Patrol Crew.

The Unsung Hero Student Award recognizes students who show passion for a civic cause and become actively engaged through giving of their time and skills. While doing service, these students are committed and focused on giving to and gaining from their experiences in Service-Learning courses, extracurricular programming, or through their own initiative.

David Castro, a senior Art major at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, is this year’s recipient of the Unsung Hero Student Award. David has been a part of the Gorgas Science Society for the past three years and now serves as a Vice President for the organization. He is regularly involved in all facets of Gorgas Science Society events and programming. David was also involved in publicizing Alternative Spring Break and TUNApalooza events on his campus. In his spare time, David lends his Web and graphic design skills to others in need while maintaining part-time employment.

Brianne Ashley Buerger, the Unsung Hero Student Award runner-up, has been “instrumental in helping Blinn’s Service-Learning program find its Sea Legs,” according to Dr. Greg Phillips, the Director of Service-Learning at Blinn College. In addition to assisting with Service-Learning workshops on campus, Brianne has donated her time and efforts to facilitating activities for microbiology students at Blinn College.

These award recipients, runners-up, and all student nominees will be honored at Texas Campus Compact’s Civic Engagement Appreciation Luncheon on April 20, 2007 in 8500 of the Multipurpose Hall at Austin Community College’s Eastview Campus located at 3401 Weberville Road in Austin, Texas. To join us in celebrating the achievements of these motivated and selfless individuals, please contact Ann Lewandowski, TXCC VISTA Leader, at (512) 233-1651.

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