McCombs students recognized for vision and leadership

Bharath Lavendra

Eight students and two organizations in the McCombs School of Business were recognized for their leadership and service to the school on Monday.

The George Mitchell Student Leadership Award, which distinguishes business students for their service to the business school and their work toward a unique vision, is given to two freshmen, sophomores and juniors in McCombs. In addition, the Barbara Jordan Senior Legacy Award, is presented to two seniors who have had a significant impact on the business school. Two McCombs-affiliated student organizations, or MASOs, are also recognized, with the Most Outstanding Award and Most Improved McCombs Organization Award. All of the awardees were selected by a committee of students within the Undergraduate Business Council and were announced Monday.

David Lopez, management information systems junior and one of six winners of the George Mitchell Student Leadership Award, said he wanted to strengthen the philanthropic element of his organization, Hispanic Business Students Association, when he was elected to its executive board.

“I think community outreach is important, and the act of giving is one that is not comparable to much,” Lopez said. “So I sought organizations for HBSA to work with to make that impact and found Texas THON. I used the stories of impacted kids and families to motivate my team and, because of a collective effort, we were able to raise $7,600 for the cause.”

Business honors and finance senior Dana Hwu, who led the selection committee, said HBSA won Most Outstanding MASO because of the support system they create for their members.

“HBSA constantly fosters a family culture of inclusion and support for its 180-plus members through countless social events and ASPIRE mentorship program,” Hwu said. “This year, it hosted a variety of professional events including its diversity panel featuring Goldman Sachs and also strengthened its philanthropic pillar through a Texas THON event.”

Niraj Parekh, business honors, finance and economics senior, also served on the selection committee and helped select UT’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, for the award of Most Improved MASO.

“AMA has hosted 95 events thus far this year, ranging from company visits and guest speakers to education marketing and design workshops, and has achieved a stable membership with strong underclassmen engagement,” Parekh said. “Through these events and its vision, AMA has become an organization that does not just appeal to its own marketing majors but instead empowers marketing for everyone.”

The winners of the Barbara Jordan Senior Legacy Award are Gabriela Padua and Gabriel Rueda. The winners of the George Mitchell Student Leadership Award are Margaret Berno, Phoebe Lin, Rachel Diebner, Rachel Downs, Vishal Bhat and David Lopez.