UNM Alumni Association Honors 2020 Student Awards Winners


Honorees were recognized during a virtual celebration.

The UNM Alumni Association is proud to announce the winners of their 2020 Student Awards. Four exceptional students – Jorge Rios, Enrique Cruz Torres, Brendon Gray and Victoria Peña-Parr – were recognized during a virtual awards ceremony broadcast on YouTube by the Student Activities Center on May 6, 2020.

Jorge Rios is the Alumni Association’s Trailblazer of the Year. Trailblazers are student ambassadors for the Alumni Association and the University. They volunteer their time at alumni functions, and participate in special projects and fundraising activities.

Outstanding Trailblazer of the Year

Trailblazer LogoThe Outstanding Trailblazer of the Year recognition is determined solely by the recipient's peers. This year, the organization has selected Jorge Rios. Jorge has demonstrated dedication and perseverance to make the organization successful.

During his time at UNM, Jorge Rios double-majored in Psychology and Spanish, and minored in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. After graduation, he is moving to Washington D.C. and joining Teach for America as a Secondary Spanish Teacher while attending Johns Hopkins University to earn his Masters in Education. Jorge was born in Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico, and grew up in Dallas, Texas. While at UNM, Jorge served as an ASUNM Senator, Residence Hall Association President, IACURH Regional Board of Directors as Coordinating Officer for Presidential Relations and RHA Development, TFA Accelerate Fellow and Campus Campaign Coordinator, member of Phi Delta Theta NM Alpha, and he was an active member in other student organizations.

Trailblazers are our student ambassadors for the Alumni Association and the University. They volunteer their time at alumni functions, and participate in special projects and fundraising activities.

Citizenship Award

Citizenship Awards are given to seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and provided continued service to the University and the community through their endeavors, helpfulness, good spirit and cooperation. This year’s Citizenship Award recipients are Brendon Gray, Enrique Cruz Torres and Victoria Peña-Parr.

Enrique Cruz Torres

With a deep respect for his Mexican heritage, and as a first generation Mexican-American college student, Enrique has always strived to give back to his community. An avid leader at UNM, Enrique served almost every corner on campus from the resident dorms, to El Centro de la Raza and the Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS), to the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM). Enrique is grateful for his time at UNM, and specifically his time engaging students.


Brendon Gray

Born and raised in Albuquerque, Brendon is graduating with degrees in Economics and Political Science, and is entering a Master of Public Policy program. Brendon found his career passion through civic engagement and community service. He co-founded ServeABQ, a community service organization, and served in leadership positions in student organizations, worked in student government and wrote for the student newspaper. Brendon enjoys reading, writing, and eating #9 burritos from Golden Pride.


Victoria Peña-Parr

Victoria Peña-Parr is graduating with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish. During her time at UNM, Victoria served in multiple roles in ASUNM, and worked in the University Communications and Marketing Department. Victoria serves as one of the Mayor's Select Interns at the City of Albuquerque and mentors incoming students through the Emerging Lobo Leader program and Honor's Pathmakers Program.

For questions or more information:

Alumni Relations Office
O: 505-277-5808
800-ALUM-UNM (258-6866)
E: alumni@unm.edu