37 students inducted into UT Service Scholars program

March 30, 2011

UT Service Scholars

Austin, TX – The following thirty-seven University of Texas at Austin students officially became UT Service Scholars at an induction ceremony at the Mayor’s Balcony of Austin City Hall March 28:

Maria Araiza
Ashley Baker*
Doreen Balbuena
Tiffany Chen*
Sarah Classen*
Angelica Cuenco
Alyssa Davis
Katherine Eyberg
Paola Finol*
Crystal Guevara
Rosa Gutierrez*
Matthew Halpern*
Mario Hernandez
Paige Ingorsoll
Aaron Jackson
Diana Johnson
Rachel Loewenstein
Edilsa Lopez*
Stephanie Lopez
Katie Massey
Berenice Medellin*
Viridiana Medellin
Phuoc Anne Nguyen
Teresia Pham
Vicky Pham*
Sarah Pospisil
Ana Rivera
Jelisa Robinson
Catherine Rodarte
Lizzie Samuels
Rachel Sherman
Johnny Sompholphardy*
Paulina Sosa
Tommy Tran
Kelly Trong*
Lina Velandia
Susan Wilcox* denotes Founding Leadership
Team members.

The students are part of the inaugural class of Service Scholars, an interdisciplinary program launched in 2010 by the Volunteer and Service Learning Center to recognize students’ dedication to community service and challenge them to new levels of excellence in service and leadership. Eleven of the 37 students helped launch the program as part of the founding leadership team.

In order to become Service Scholars, the students went through a rigorous application process and completed 50 hours of community service. During their tenure in the Scholars program, they will continue to complete 100 service hours each year until they graduate, and will attend trainings in areas such as leadership, program management and community organizing. The program combines service learning with “an impressive set of resources around the campus and city,” said inductee Matthew Halpern, a sophomore electrical engineering major, and empowers students to “hone their leadership skills and broaden their technical skill set.”

The ceremony was led by Sarah Classen, UT Service Scholars Chair, and included a welcome by Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, who thanked the students for helping the university fulfill its mission to serve the people of Texas.

Austin councilmember and UT alumna Randi Shade, B.A. ’88,  gave the keynote address, telling the group about her own path of leadership in service. Shade, who served as UT student body president prior to her public service career, told the Service Scholars, “You’re on a great trajectory, and I thank you.”

Also on hand to congratulate the students were Andy Morman, Chief Service Officer for the City of Austin , Dr. Shannon Speed, Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, and several members of the UT Service Scholars community advisory committee.

Inductee Rachel Sherman, a sophomore double majoring in English and international relations and global studies, was pleased with the ceremony. “From the speakers, to the food, to the beautiful Austin City Hall terrace, it could not have been better,” she said. “It was great to receive recognition for our first 50 hours of service and finally be inducted as an official Service Scholars member.”

More information about the UT Service Scholars program is available from the Volunteer & Service Learning Center, vslc.org, (512) 471-6161.

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