Students, Faculty Honored at Student Leadership Banquet

Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University honored several outstanding students and faculty April 3 at the 14th annual Student Leadership Recognition Banquet.

 “The Student Leadership Banquet is one of the most visible vehicles we have for recognizing outstanding leadership, academic ability, accomplishments and honors among our outstanding students, and campus community,” said Margaret Gonzales, director of the Office of Campus Life, which organizes the event.

Sebastian Medina
Sebastian Medina

Sebastian Medina, a biology major from Mora, N.M., was named Student of the Year. He was also named outstanding biology senior.

“Throughout his academic career, Sebastian has excelled as a student researcher, in the classroom, and as a supplemental instructor in the Achieving in Research Math and Science (ARMAS) Center,” said natural resource management professor Edward Martinez in his nomination letter for Medina. “Sebastian has conducted research in my lab for over two years on a variety of projects, including a water quality study of streams in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. He submitted a manuscript of his research findings to the scholarly journal River Research and Applications.

“Sebastian is also a student leader. In fall 2011, he was the cofounder of the Highlands University Conservation Club, which is very active at Highlands and the surrounding community in sponsoring activities related to environmental conservation,” Martinez said. ]

Other awards were:

Professor of the Year— Ronald Maestas is a management information systems (MIS) professor emeritus in the School of Business, Media and Technology. During his decades-long tenure at Highlands, Maestas has served as the dean of the School of Business and was a legendary cross country coach.

Club of the Year— MEChA de NMHU, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan.

Outstanding Biology Undergraduate Student— Clint Barnard

Outstanding Biology Graduate Student — Daniel Delgado

Outstanding English Student  — Melanie Cordova

Outstanding General Chemistry Student  — Esther Lovato

Outstanding Graduating Chemistry Student— Bhupinder Kaur Sandhu

Environmental Geology Earth Science Spirit Award— Marine Foucher

Environmental Geology Outstanding Senior— Andrew Romero

Sigma Xi Scientific Research — Christina Muniz

Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society— Starla Begay, Cynthia M. Gallegos, Jessica Garza, Ashley Russell, and Jessica Gomez.

National Society of Leadership & Success— Destiny Torres, Sebastian Flores, Dawnique Savala, Jonathon Monte Parker, Analyssa Garcia, and Pamela Mora.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges(Undergraduates) — Biyi Zhang, Jessica Gomez,  Robert Talanehzar, Brisenth Escobar,  Jessica Gonzales, Roxanne Avalos, Crystal Trujillo, John Paul Martinez, Shanoaleigh Roseby, Derek Gold, Julio Garcia, Sheryl Easley, Elizabeth Gomez, Lisa McBride, Tad Harmon, Frances Tweed, Request Sigdel, Varlene Peterson, Jacoba Dewi Tapiheru, and Richard Delmolino.                             

Associated Students of New Mexico Highlands University— Chris Burns, Desiree Ulibarri, Stephen Salas, and Desmond Taku.

ARMAS in Education — Clint Barnard, Juan Jauregui, and Esther Lovato.

Career Services Students — Martin Chavez, Freshman Student Career Preparation Award; Geno Castillo, Optimal Resume Award; Chris Burns and Jessica Gomez, Student Career Development Award.

Career Services Outstanding Faculty Ambassadors— School of Business, Media and Technology professors Jim Peters, accounting, and Bill Taylor, economics; and Gil Gallegos, computer science professor and chair of the Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department. 

Student Support Services— John Paul Martinez

MEChAde NMHU Club — Aaron Bernadac, Gabriella Hernandez, and Cynthia Lopez.               

Rugby Football Club Vatos — Scotty Soto (captain), Adrian McDuff (officer), and Estevan Martinez (former Captain.)