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 Taryn Levels. Taryn has demonstrated dedication and perseverance to make the organization successful.

Taryn came to UNM from Corona, CA. From the time she set foot on campus, she was involved. She served as a resident advisor at Cases del Rio, a liaison between UNM and General Mills, an intern for Sandia National Laboratories, and an advertising representative for the Daily Lobo. Taryn is described by the Trailblazer advisor as a Lobo through and through; a strong leader for the organization and currently acting president. As president, she has implemented programs to increase membership recruitment and retention. She has established a rapport with the alumni community through her participation in many of the Alumni Association events. She encourages success among her fellow Trailblazers and lends support whenever needed. She is energetic, personable, professional, and always has a smile on her face. Taryn will receive a degree in Business Administration.

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.

Amelia Linde:

Amelia Linde's student advisor, Gregoria Cavazos, describes Amelia's personality as one of a diverse and driven leader. She is organized, personable, a highly effective communicator, a pleasure to be around. Her thoroughness and follow-through is indicative of a maturity level that exceeds her chronological years. As the Marketing Director for Student Service Agencies' Student Special Events Committee, Amelia was responsible for informing the student body about 80+ events and programs for the year. Ryan Lindquist, Associate Director of Student Activities, considers Amelia the best marketing director and one of the top 5 Student Special Event staff members in the 15 years as the group's advisor. He considers Amelia one of the most well rounded young women he has had the privilege of knowing. After returning from an international exchange in Sweden, Amelia was selected as the Executive Director of ASUNM's Community Experience Committee. She reenergized the organization by creating a lively volunteer committee of dedicated students and created an office space that was welcoming to student volunteers. Amelia was Lobo Lucy for a year and was awarded the UNM Spirit Team Newcomer of the Year by UNM Athletics. She will hopefully continue to represent the University and New Mexico as the future Miss New Mexico. Amelia will receive her degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Arturo H. Lozoya III:

Of Arturo H. Lozoya III, Brian Colon writes, "First generation college student, student leader in philanthropy, visionary in fraternal leadership, community minded, family oriented, academically motivated". But, more than these admirable qualities, Colon goes onto to shine a spotlight on Arturo's heart; "a heart of gold; a servant's heart; a heart open to sharing with others. He has a passion to provide advocacy for those who often lack a strong voice in the community; a passion to make sure his peers embrace the opportunities in education that he has found to be invaluable. Arturo has a strong support system not of resources but a network of family and friends who shower him with love because of his heart and his ability to touch lives in a very personal manner." Arturo's father, who passed away suddenly, instilled in his son that education is a door to better opportunities. Arturo sees every moment at UNM as a reminder of how lucky he is; as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than himself; as a chance to be a student leader; to be involved; to make lasting friendships; and most importantly, the chance to make a difference. What a tribute to his father. It is no wonder that Arturo was named Knight of the Round Table by the Omega Delta Phi fraternity; an award that no undergraduate from UNM has received to date and selected as the 2016 Greek Man of the Year. Arturo will receive his degree in Business Administration.

Stephanie Mladinich:

Stephanie Mladinich's interests are diverse and all encompassing: biology, psychology, geography, conservation, human rights, language, arts, cultures, global, interdisciplinary. These interests have given her a broad vantage point from which to view the world. Through her studies and travels, she has learned how to find and utilize resources while creating valuable connections and building strong relationships with groups and individuals. Her interests are deeply rooted in conservation of health and the environment in the pursuit of maintaining and establishing human rights and improving people's quality of life. She is fueled by curiosity and attributes her access to education as the steam that fuels her engine. One of her professors writes, "I have worked with more than 200 undergraduate students in the Museum of Southwest Biology, my genetics laboratory, or in the field of ecology work over the past 2 ½ decades. Across that group, Stephanie ranks at the top for her combination of her work ethic, research skills, academic potential, interest in outreach to others, and her grasp on how she might contribute to important societal issues. This student will become a leader of her generation." Stephanie will receive her degree in Biology and Latin American Studies.

Andres Olguin:

Andres Olguin was heavily involved during his high school years so it was natural for him to continue his involvement at UNM. He was instrumental in reestablishing the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity on campus. That experience taught him perseverance and discipline. As an officer in the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPHA), he had the opportunity to guide and inspire business students to develop professionally by obtaining internships, passing a class, or helping to discover their passion. On the Board of the Student Union Building, Andres served as the chair of the Retail/Marketing Committee which managed all of the retail space in the SUB. As a follow on, he was appointed the chair of the SUB Space Allocation Committee which manages the office and storage units for student organizations. That experience afforded him the opportunity to work with a much larger group faced with challenging projects. Nick Flor, a professor at Anderson School of Management, places Andres in the top 5% of all students he has known in his 20 years in academia. But when you factor in his leadership skills, Flor places him in the top 5 overall. Andres will receive his degree in Business Administration.

Michael Salazar:

Michael Salazar considers his campus and community volunteerism as a key component and value to his life especially when working with elementary and high school students in traditionally underserved communities. Michael grew up in a rural community of 20 where college was not a top priority and was seen as a luxury unaffordable to most. Fortunately for him, his parents saw the value in education and provided the means to attend UNM. Professor Jamie Gomez describes Michael as "methodical, pays attention to detail, and a conceptual thinker". Additionally, he is personable, works well with others, and a leader both on and off campus. His peers consider him genuine, a visionary, and inclusive. Michael is active in the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, and the Hispanic Engineering Science Organization where, again, he tutors middle and high school students on a weekly basis. Through that work, he encourages students to realize that college is an option especially in the field of engineering. Michael will receive his degree in Chemical Engineering.

Diane Sun:

Diane Sun was days away from freshman orientation at the University of the Pacific where Diane was awarded a scholarship to play Division I water polo, she was involved in a head-on car collision where she sustained life threatening injuries to her abdomen and spine. After a year of recovery, Diane enrolled in UNM for her freshman year. She had lost her Presidential Scholarship and her parents were saddled with astronomical medical bills. Diane financed her education as a water polo referee. It was during her recovery, Diane had discovered her true passion – medicine. Her positive experiences with her medical doctors and caregivers prompted her to help people by giving back to the community. She serves as coordinator for the Healers of Tomorrow (HIT) program where she mentors high school students who are contemplating careers in the health field. One of her mentors considers her level of leadership and responsibility among the best she has ever seen. Diane is not afraid to ask for help because she values "getting it right" over "getting it done". Work at HIT is love funded and Diane brings that intangible to her life and work. Consequently, she received the organization's highest honor, the Loving Service Award in 2014. Diane will receive her degree in Bio Chemistry.

For questions or more information:

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