By Chip Chandler

The West Texas A&M University Woman and Man of the Year were honored at an April 22 celebration, along with several other top students.

Hannah Scarborough, a senior ag media and communication major from Decatur, and Allan Baltazar, a senior criminal justice major from Houston, were given the respective honors during the All-University Honors Ceremony, held by the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership in Legacy Hall in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.

“These students have demonstrated leadership, succeeded academically and faithfully served the WT community,” said Kimberly Cornelsen, executive director of student engagement. “WT is a better place today because of their service to the institution they’ve called home for the past several years.”

Rachel Widder, a senior communication and media major from Galveston, and Joshua Worten, a senior animal science major from Lake Butler, Florida, also were finalists for the awards, which were selected by a committee of faculty and staff.

The ceremony also celebrated several other student, faculty and staff award winners.

Ireland Jade Kirkpatrick, a senior political science major from Amarillo, was given the WT Chancellor’s Century Council Award, winning a $1,000 scholarship to support leadership development opportunities related to the future of Texas higher education, rural community development and/or Texas public policy.

Three winners of the Presidential Order of the Silver Buffalo Award, presented to individuals and groups who have brought national or international recognition to WT, were announced.

Zada Swoopes, a senior sports and exercise science major from Whitewright, has won three national track and field championships in just the last year, and four total so far in her WT career. Benjamin Azamati, a junior animal science major from Ghana, qualified for the 2021 Olympics for his home country in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100 meter relay. He is one of the fastest sprinters in the world today. And the 2021 Lady Buff Softball team won the NCAA Division II National Championship on June 1.

Outstanding student organization president is Alexandra Wall, a senior general business major from Seminole, who served as president of service organization The Darlings of WT.

Finalists also included Stephanie Corralez, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from Friona, president of the Residence Hall Association; and Abby Kate Hays, a junior sports and exercise science major from Boyd, president of Students Assisting in Good Endeavors, or SAGE.

SAGE was named the outstanding student organization in recognition of, among other accomplishments, cooking a full Thanksgiving meal for WT student athletes and coaches.

Finalists included the Hispanic Student Association and the Student Government Association.

Outstanding student organization adviser is Dr. Emily Kinsky, who leads 1910 PR, the student-run PR firm, and is professor of media communication. Finalists were Dr. Dan Posey, clinical professor in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, director of student recruitment and professional relationships for VERO and adviser for the Pre-Vet Club; and Itzel Anett, hall director and adviser for the Residence Hall Association.

Dr. Enyonam Osei-Hwere, associate professor of media communication, was given the Student Engagement and Leadership Faculty Partnership Award.

University Spirit Recognition Awards were given to Ally McPhillips, sophomore dance major from Conroe, and Alexis Ayala, senior dance major from El Paso, for their work with the University Spirit Squad.

The Mary Ann “Molly” Goodnight Award, which recognizes an outstanding member of the Darlings of WT, was presented to Adriana Renteria, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from Andrews.

Hays and Scarborough were recognized as graduating 2021-22 Leadership Board members, along with Cayla Koak, a senior nursing major from Whitehouse.

The Daniel and Myrna Raffkind Scholarship for Single Parents was given to Audra Beatty, a junior education major from Amarillo; Cody Maxey, a freshman music major from Amarillo; Autumn Sanchez, a senior social work major from Amarillo; and Kimberly Gladney, a junior communication disorders major from The Woodlands.

Greek Woman and Man of the Year are Shalee Hargrove, a senior sports and exercise major from Canyon and member of Chi Omega; and Caleb Frausto, a junior sports and exercise science major from Canyon and member of Kappa Alpha.

Makenzie Williams, a junior sports and exercise science major from Amarillo, was named the winner of the President’s Community Service Scholarship.

“All of you today have worked for your recognition and accomplishments,” WT President Walter V. Wendler said during the ceremony. “You are contributing to something larger than yourself, and WT thanks you for that. Know that it is not just your family, your organization or your colleagues congratulating you. All of WT is celebrating you.”

Students also were recognized for completing a track in the Student Leadership Relay, a University-wide program designed to enhance leadership experience for all students. Those recognized April 22 included Baltazar, Kirkpatrick, Koak, Scarborough and Widder, along with Jess Avila, a senior sports and exercise science major from Amarillo; Wesley Browne, a junior animal science major from Waxahachie; JJ Castillo, a senior business management major from Amarillo; Dylan Cole, a junior plant, soil and environmental science major from Universal City; Reilly Dhaliwal, a senior equine industry and business major from Boulder, Colorado; Frey Diaz, a senior plant, soil and environmental science major from Sunray; Kaycee Ellenberger, a senior animal science major from Lamar, Colorado; Briss Graham, a senior sports and exercise science major from Amarillo; Ustina Guirguis, a senior ag media and communication major from Daytona Beach, Florida; EnRico Hawkins, a senior finance major from Carrollton; Kylee Henneberry, a sophomore agriculture business and economics major from Hartford, Wisconsin; Hannah Holt, a senior psychology major from Amarillo; Katelynn Kenyon, a senior ag media and communication major from Fort Sumner, New Mexico; Sarah King, a junior nursing major from Amarillo; Jillian Melendez, a junior equine industry and business major from Boerne; Grace Nyabatware, a junior political science major from Amarillo; Amber Page, a sophomore engineering technology major from Cypress; Courtney Reed, a senior nursing major from Littlefield; Tressa Reed, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from Fowler, Colorado; David Reyes, a senior sports and exercise science major from Ralls; Kelsey Shields, a senior animal science major from Newcastle; Arianna Stalder, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from Hooker, Oklahoma; Victory Suobite, a senior psychology major from Canyon; Holly Thomas, a junior animal science major from Templeton, California; and Lani Belle Vanlandingham, a senior nursing major from Canyon.