Student Recognition Award Recipients

Trailblazer LogoOutstanding Trailblazer of the Year

The Outstanding Trailblazer of the Year recognition is determined solely by the recipient's peers. This year, the organization has selected two students, Shayla Armstrong and Florencio Olguin, Jr. Both individuals have demonstrated dedication and perseverance to make the organization successful.

Shayla Armstrong: Shayla leads our prestigious organization not only as our president, but also by example. She holds herself and the people around her to a higher standard, and pushes us all to be the best that we can be. She has proudly represented The University of New Mexico as well as Trailblazers at home but also at 3 national conferences. At the most recent conference (March 2010), Shayla went beyond her duties to ensure that Trailblazers was represented as an elite ambassadorial program. While Trailblazers as an organization has many outstanding individuals, without a doubt Shayla Armstrong stands apart from the rest.

Florencio Olguin, Jr.: As a second year member, Florencio has volunteered for many events from the time he was selected. In starting up a new student organization over the summer, Florencio spent several hours during his summer school class breaks to prepare packets for new members of SAA and helping to recruit the most new members while serving as a student orientation leader for CEOP (College Enrichment and Outreach Program). Florencio does many little things, too, that fly under the radar, but really add up to a big contribution to the group. He is very dedicated and positive. These are important qualities for the TB of the Year to have. This spring, Florencio was elected as VP of Programs for the Trailblazers. He attended the CASE ASAP District 4 Conference, recently, where he's already applied several ideas to improve the Trailblazers organization. He has shown true leadership skills and will continue to be an asset to the program.

Citizenship Award

This award recognizes endeavor, helpfulness, good spirit, and cooperation. It is given to select seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and have provided continued service to the University and the community.

Anna Vestling:

Anna is the Chapter Director of the American Medical Student Association, UNM Pre-medical Chapter and Undergraduate Representative to the Student Health Leadership Council and was recently nominated as Best Student Organization Leader by her student group advisor. According to Dr. Beverly Kloeppel, Director of Student Health and Counseling, "Anna demonstrates amazing initiative. She garners support from community, businesses and organizations to support health initiatives on campus. She organizes many charity events to benefit community health organizations and also volunteers at UNMH Trauma Center for 50 hours a semester. Anna clearly exceeds the expectation of the student's role. Her enthusiasm and event organizational skills encourage other students to get involved. Anna makes things happen. She is willing to take responsibility and risks for a positive outcome. She dedicates herself to many projects. Her consistent success speaks to her vision and drive." Her list of volunteer activities and academic honors are too long to list. Her devotion to the university and to helping others is why we are proud to honor her with the Alumni Citizenship Award.

Travis Maestas:

Travis has been described as a great leader who "displays an infectious zeal." His involvement at UNM started when he became a New Student Orientation leader which he stated, "exposed him to all that the UNM campus had to offer." Travis has taken an active role in mentoring pre-med students and serving as the Secretary for the BA/MD organization. He has been a Student Senator for the past two years, serving as Chairman of the Finance Committee, and leading the charge of the funding process that allocates more than $500,000 to over one hundred student organizations. Travis is also involved in the ASUNM Lobo Spirit and Community Experience, the Student Fee Review Board, Philanthropy Chair of the Greek Week Committee, tutor for the Center for academic Program Support, Trailblazer organization, and still finds time to take an active role in his fraternity, Sigma Chi.

According to Karen McGillvray, Academic Advisement Specialist for the BA/MD program, Travis "has proven himself to have the perseverance and initiative, and the intellectual creativity necessary to be a leader." Travis stated that he has not only contributed to the UNM community and left his mark, but by doing so has also contributed to his own personal development.

Wyndsor Yazzie:

Wynsdor describes his work as a student leader on campus as "small steps to the main task of being an effective leader for his people and family." He has made significant strides in that direction; first as the founding father of DINE of UNM and as President of the KIVA Club, using these opportunities to create support of the culture and activities of the Dine people on campus. Wyndsor has organized countless Native American events on campus so the Native population can feel more comfortable and welcome; as well as educate others to their culture. He has gained respect amongst his peers for his dedication to serve the Native community. According to Mary Alice Tsosie, Liaison and Outreach Librarian, "Wyndsor is so active in so many different organizations and clubs at NM. He makes an impact in all that he does and with whoever he works with. As a Navajo, I foresee Wyndsor in the future making a superb impact on the Navajo Nation and will be a leader everywhere he goes and in whatever he does." For this type of leadership and commitment, we honor Wyndsor.

Alexandra Roark:

Alexandra Roark is a prime example of "Living Our Values Everyday," which also happens to be the title of a scholarship game she organized for her sorority, Pi Beta Phi, helping lead the group to receive the highest GPA among fraternities and sororities for almost 18 years in a row. "Alex" as she is called, served as President of Pi Beta Phi and has recently been appointed as their Leadership Development Consultant where she will travel nationally helping Pi Phi continue to grow in its leadership, programming and event opportunities. In addition, Alex has devoted her summers as a New Student Orientation Leader where she presented developmental and leadership workshops for incoming freshmen and sits as a Student Representative for the Parent Association Board. Alex stated that "being involved has been a catalyst for her personal growth, lead her to job opportunities, and allowed her to contribute to Pi Phi and the university and has given her unforgettable experiences." For all your hard work, the Alumni Association presents Alex Roark with its Citizenship Award.

Ivan Miller:

As a musician, Ivan co-founded and co-directs The 505 Chorus (Young Men's A'capella) where he has served as President, director, Music Vice President, choreographer, chaperone; show chair, trip organizer and composer. In addition, he also serves as a section leader and soloist for UNM's Concert Choir and is very active in the Opera Theater. Ivan makes it a point to go above and beyond the call of duty to help other musicians reach their goals, often spending an enormous amount of time giving voice lessons and teaching notes and techniques to small ensembles and groups. Mario Hernandez-Gerety stated, "Many say it takes decades to truly learn the character of a man…I beg to differ. Some men, through the sheer virtue of their actions, and their willingness to improve the world around them, allow you a glimpse of their raw personal character within months of meeting them...and I have the privilege of knowing such a man." Ivan has been instrumental in ensuring other students have an equal chance to succeed. As a Resident Advisor, Ivan went out of his way to provide resources to those students struggling with issues such as drug abuse and suicide, and has worked hard to make the university a safer place. Ivan stated it best when he wrote, "I have filled my college life trying to create as many memories as possible, having as much fun as possible, and trying to help others as much as possible." It is for those reasons, we are proud to honor Ivan with the Alumni Association Citizenship Award.

David Medrano:

David's organizational and time-management skills have lead him to reach new heights, serving as President of the BA/MD Organization, President of the Student Health Advisory Committee, President of the Student Union Building Board and Founding Father and Treasurer for the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. David is involved in other activities as well, serving as ASUNM Senator and Senior Justice for the ASUNM Student Court where he was instrumental in organizing the ASUNM Mock Trial—the first one in over two years—and organizing the Student Court's budget. His academic adviser stated, "David's above average performance is a direct result of his hard work and strong focus as he rises to any challenge set before him." Debbie Morris, Director of Student Activities said, "Every organization David has been a member of has felt his presence." For all these reasons, the UNM Alumni Association is pleased to honor David with a Citizenship Award.

For questions or more information:

Alumni Relations Office
O: 505-277-5808
800-ALUM-UNM (258-6866)