Humbled is the word Ruben Delgado used to describe the emotion he felt when he was named "Student Leader of the Year."
"It was never my goal to receive individual recognition as president of ALPFA. My goals were always to accomplish our goals as a team. My leadership style was always to put my team first and do as much as I could for my organization," Delgado said. "It is humbling because I did not expect to be recognized for my contribution to my University through ALPFA of which I was passionate about and loved to do."
The Office of Student Development at UT Pan American recognized student organizations and individuals recently at the annual Tribute to Success. The reception was held at the UTPA Student Union Theatre.
"It was a very exciting experience since I had never received an award of this magnitude before and being in a room full of student leaders all clapping for you is a memory I will never forget," Delgado said.
The Accounting Society at UTPA received the "Service Project of the Year" award for the "Make it Count 5k Run/Walk."
The Student Alumni Association was named "Organization of the Year" for its contribution to the University and the community. Dr. Michael Faubion, associate professor of history, was given the "Adviser of the Year" award for his dedication to Tau Kappa Epsilon, a campus fraternity.
Michaela Flores, an intern with Community Service and Involvement, helped to organize the awards ceremony. She said the atmosphere was a cloud of excitement, joy and pride.
"It is important for the University to celebrate student achievements and the accomplishments of our organizations because they are taking on leadership roles and building their skills, integrity and résumés," said Flores. "Our organizations are so unique in the sense that they govern themselves. The student leaders raise their organizations' standards of achievement every year."
Delgado said the Tribute to Success is a unique opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of individual students and campus organizations because people sometimes forget that their contributions to the University are all done on a volunteer basis.
"Having student-led organizations is exceptional because they are self driven and governed. They (organization leaders) do all this while still being full time students and they have other responsibilities," he said.
To learn more about the more than 100 student organizations on campus and how you can get involved, contact the Office of Student Development at (956) 665-2260.