STUDENT AWARDS

President’s Leadership Award

The President’s Leadership Awards were created in 1985 with an endowment from past Texas Exes president Frank Denius.

These awards recognize undergraduate students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership within the student community at The University of Texas. One sophomore, two juniors and three seniors receive the award annually. 

The 2022 nomination period has closed.  

2021 Recipients

Brianna McBride  

Majors: Communication and Leadership; Government  

Senior Brianna McBride is a leader in all that she does. In her time on campus, the Houston native has served numerous student organizations. As a Student Ambassador for the Texas Tour Guides Association, McBride’s love for UT shines through and her enthusiasm has led many students to attend the university. Awarded the Heman Sweatt Student Legacy Award by the Division of Diversity and Community, McBride is passionate about her role mentoring students of color and has been instrumental in New Black Student Weekend events, serving in the roles of team leader, programming chair, and executive chairperson. This summer, she was part of the cohort of students, faculty, and alumni who consulted with President Jay Hartzell about the importance of diversity and inclusion at UT, serving as one of the representatives of UT’s Black student organizations. 

Additional activities Black President’s Leadership Council co-director; Big XII Council on Black Student Government executive chairperson; African American Culture Committee chair/president; Afrikan Amerikan Affairs New Black Student Weekend co-chair; UT Austin Friar Society initiate

Pranav Jayaraman 

Major: Neuroscience; Business of Healthcare Certificate 

Senior Pranav Jayaraman’s demonstrations of leadership go above and beyond. During his freshman year, Pranav’s close friend was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Pranav, who was raised in Katy, Texas, witnessed firsthand how his friend became bedridden and how his academic performance suffered, eventually leading him to temporarily withdraw from UT. Pranav was inspired to co-found the Texas Crohn’s and Colitis Initiative, a student organization that strives to raise awareness and funds for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He is also committed to helping the environment, serving in a leadership position for the Campus Environmental Center’s Half-Pint Prairie, a pocket Blackland prairie located on campus. 

Additional activities: Texas Student Media’s Longhorn Latenight cast member and writer; University Health Services Sustainability in Healthcare Research student assistant; Environmental Justice and Ecotherapy Group general member 

Samantha Bryant 

Majors: Business Honors; Marketing 

In her four years on campus, senior Samantha Bryant has left an indelible mark on campus. The Austin native has proven herself to be a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion through her role as director for the Canfield Business Honors Program, helping more than 200 first-year students adjust to the college experience. She was selected to participate in the newly created Canfield BHP Diversity and Inclusion, creating support and programming that allows all voices from the program’s various student groups to be heard, promotes inclusivity, and encourages ally-ship. She also served as president of the Student Advisory Board Leadership for the new Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial and Leadership Institute Committee, overseeing a 22-member board that empowers women and underrepresented groups through community-created events. 

Additional activities: Ignite Texas co-chair; Texas AMA content committee member; Texas Bluebonnets philanthropy director 

Grace Farley  

Majors: Social Work; Plan II Honors Program 

Junior Grace Farley’s leadership practices are nothing short of personal. As a first-generation Latina student from Keller, Texas, Farley has committed herself to helping other first-generation students on campus. She piloted a First-Generation Student LLC with 51 students that has now grown to serve 100. In this role, she led hour-long workshops every other week, with topics varying from life-skills to impostor syndrome to career exploration. She has also helped to improve first-generation students’ visibility on campus through her work serving on the UT Senate of College Councils, the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center Student Advisory Committee, and on the Plan II Honors First-Gen Task Force.  

Additional activities: Socks for the Sole fundraising director; Steve Hicks School of Social Work Committee for Diversity and Inclusion student representative; Plan II Honors Mentorship Program peer mentor 

Ethan Jones 

Majors: Business Honors; Public Relations 

Hailing from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, junior Ethan Jones couldn’t be more committed to serving UT Austin as a recruitment ambassador for Canfield BHP, recruiting hundreds of students through weekly information sessions, student tours, and personal meetings. He also served as the student representative of the Canfield BHP Alumni Advisory Board and executive vice president of the Honors Business Association, where he connected dozens of alumni with current students through professional and mentorship events. In the summer of 2020, he became the leader of Canfield BHP’s Black Affinity Group and served on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the university and becoming an amplifier for Black voices at UT and beyond. 

Additional activities: Student Government financial director; Neighborhood Longhorns Program advisory board member; Honors Business Association executive vice president; Silver Spurs member 

Jiarong Joyce He 

Majors: Honors Computer Science; Canfield Business Honors 

Sophomore Joyce He never hesitates when called upon to serve her Longhorn community. In her short time on campus, the sophomore from Plano, Texas, He serves on the Canfield BHP Diversity and Inclusion Committee where she provides direct feedback to the program director about issues facing students. She is also a member of Code Orange where she mentors local students about computer programming and sits with prospective students via coffee chats to walk them through the college application process and why UT may be a great fit for their future. She currently serves as Head of Development and Operations for Cumulus, a student organization focused on demystifying the tech industry for students of color.  

Additional activities: Texas Computer Science and Business Association vice president of operation; University of Texas Computer Science Ambassadors ambassador 

Past Recipients

2020

Mamdou Balde 
BS ‘20, Life Member  

Oscar Lopez 
Class of 2022, Business Honors and Government, McCombs School of Business College of Liberal Arts 
Life Member  

Josefina Salazar Morales 
BS ‘20, Life Member  

Shilpa Rajagopal 
Class of 2021, Biology Honors and Marketing, College of Natural Sciences, McCombs School of Business 
Life Member  

Brooke Reaves 
Class of 2021, Business Honors and Plan II Honors, McCombs School of Business, College of Liberal Arts 
Life Member  

Tyson Smiter 
BS ‘20, Life Member  

 

2019

William Acheampong 
Class of 2021, Business Honors Program, History  
Life Member 

Colton Becker 
BS ‘19, Life Member  

Siji Deleawe 
BBA ‘20, BA ‘20, Life Member  

Javier Granados II 
BS ‘20, Life Member  

Kelsey Mumford 
BSA ‘19, BSN ‘19, Life Member  

Mehraz Rahman 
BA ‘19, Life Member  

 

2018

Valarie Cardenas  
BBA ‘18, Life Member  

Caroline “Gabby” Crank 
BBA ‘19, BA ‘19, Life Member  

Jacqueline C. Gibson 
BA ‘19, BSA ‘19, Life Member  

Karan Kathuria 
BSA ‘18, Life Member  

Matthew “Micky” Wolf 
BBA ‘18, BA ‘18, Life Member  

Emily Yang 
BS ‘20, Life Member  

 

2017

Sofia Aranha 
BFA ‘18, BA ‘18, Life Member  

Jade Jackson 
BSA ‘17, BS ‘17, Life Member  

Seth Krasne 
Life Member  

Amber Magee 
BSPH ‘17, Life Member  

Garrett Maples 
BS ‘17, Life Member  

Mayra Sharma 
BA ‘18, BSA ‘18, Life Member  

 

2016

Imani Boyette 
BBA ‘16, Life Member  

Jon Burstain 
BBA ‘18, Life Member  

Kevin Helgren 
BSA ‘17, BS ‘17, Life Member  

Rachel Huynh 
BA ‘16, BBA ‘16, Life Member  

Robbey Orth 
BS ‘18, Life Member  

Bethany Rolan 
BA ‘17, BBA ‘17, Life Member  

 

2015

Lauren Caton 
BS ‘16, Life Member   

Ignacio Cruz 
BS ‘15, Life Member  

Amy Enrione 
BBA ‘16, Life Member 

Madison Gove 
BBA ‘17, MPAFF ‘19, Life Member  

Neal Makkar 
BBA ‘15, Life Member  

Coleman Tharpe 
BS ‘15, BA ‘15, Life Member

  

2014

Charlie Adkins 
BBA ‘16, MPA ‘17, Life Member  

Elyssa Klann 
BA ‘14, Life Member  

Holland Finley 
BA ‘14, BBA ‘14, Life Member  

Jeffrey Li 
BS ‘15, BBA ‘15, Life Member  

Michael “Ugeo” Williams 
BS ‘14, BA ‘14, Life Member  

Tara Sharma 
BS ‘15, Life Member  

 

2013

Armiya Humphrey 
BBA ‘15, MPA ‘16, Life Member  

Robert Belanger 
BA ‘14, BBA ‘14, Life Member  

Steven Macapagal 
BA ‘13, Life Member  

Rosaura Estrada 
BS ‘13, Life Member  

Julie Fogarty 
BS ‘13, Life Member  

James Salazar 
BS ‘13, Life Member  

 

2012

Michael Daehne 
BS ‘12, BBA ‘12, Life Member  

Jordan Metoyer 
BA ‘16, Life Member  

Ana Laura Rivera 
BA ‘14, Life Member  

Rebekah Sosland 
BA ‘13, Life Member  

Bhargav Srinivasan 
BA ‘12, BBA ‘12, Life Member  

Rebekah Thayer 
BBA ‘13 

 

2011

Shelby Carvalho 
BA ‘11, MGPS ‘15, Life Member  

David Forinash 
BS ‘12, Life Member  

Derin Kiykioglu 
BA ‘12 

Audrey Najera  
BATD ‘12, BA ‘12 

Jimmy Talarico 
BA ‘11, Life Member  

Eugene Wood 
BA ‘11, Life Member 

 

2010

Erica Brody 
BBA ‘12, Life Member  

Erik Eyberg 
BS ‘10, Life Member  

Charles “Bud” Franck 
BAR ‘10, Life Member  

John Kidenda 
BBA ‘09, Life Member  

Cecilia Lopez 
BA ‘10, MED ‘12, Life Member  

Berenice Medellin 
BSW ‘11, BA ‘11, JD ‘16, Life Member  

 

2009

Jacob Marcus Bintliff 
BA ‘10, Life Member  

Natalie Butler 
BA ‘12, BS ‘12, Life Member  

Liam O’Rourke 
BA ‘11 

Abraham Pena 
BS ‘09, Life Member  

Keshav Rajagopalan 
BS ‘10, BA ‘10, Life Member  

Rebecca Reid 
BS ‘09 

 

2008

William P. Bacon 
BA ‘08, Life Member  

Katie Brehm 
BBA ‘09 

Nathan Vidal Bunch 
BA ‘11, Life Member  

Stephen Lang Myers 
BA ‘08, JD ‘11, Life Member  

Nicole Elizabeth Trinh 
BS ‘08, MPAFF ‘10, Life Member  

Mechiel Johannes Van Der Walt 
BA ‘08, Life Member  

 

2007

Sarina Hickey 
BA ‘07, BBA ‘07, Life Member 

C. Melvin Ike 
BS ‘07 

Ryan Miller 
BJ ‘07, PHD ‘15 

Keshav Rajagopalan 
BS ‘10, BA ‘10, Life Member  

Monica Richards 
BS ‘10 

Danielle Rugoff 
BA ‘09, Life Member  
 
James Tolleson 
BM ‘08, MED ‘17 

 

2006

Matthew Garrett Ashbaugh 
BBA ‘08, BA ‘09 

James Mahoney Burnham 
BA ‘06, Life Member  

Mansai A. Deshpande 
BA ‘07, Life Member  

Zachary Charles Hall 
BA ‘09 

Andrew R. Lara 
BA ‘07 

Sheena Paul 
BA ‘07, BBA ‘07 

Kan Yan 
BA ‘06, Life Member  

 

2005

Salome Balderramme 
BS ‘06 

Tara Buentello 
BA ‘07, MS ‘10 

Jesus Castillon 
BS ‘05, BJ ‘05, Life Member 

Ellen Chen 
BS ‘06, MS ‘08 

Lauren Gilstrap 
BA ‘06, BBA ‘06, Life Member  

Matthew Hardigree 
BA ‘05, Life Member  

Vivek Sakhrani 
BS ‘08, Life Member  

 

2004

Jesus Castillon 
BS ‘05, BJ ‘05, Life Member  

Monica Villasenor Culver 
BBA ‘06 

Kevin Curry 
BA ‘05, BBA ‘05, Life Member  

Steven Hardt 
BSPR ‘07 

Rusty Ince 
BS ‘04, BA ‘04, Life Member  

Jake Ward 
BS ‘06, BA ‘06, Life Member  

Wendy Wheless 
BS ‘04, MBA ‘08, Life Member  

 

2003

Andrew Brummett 
BA ‘03 

Derek Deas 
BBA ‘05, Life Member  

Katie King 
BA ‘03, JD ‘06, Life Member  

Sly Majid 
BA ‘04, Life Member  

Omar Ochoa 
BBA ‘07, BA ‘07, MPA ‘07, JD ‘11, Life Member  

Clint Tuttle 
BBA ‘03, Life Member  

 

2002

Dimi Aldridge 
BS ‘02 

Erin Dominguez 
BA ‘03 

Andrew Friedberg 
BA ‘02, BBA ‘02, Life Member  

Jon Mureen 
BS ‘03, Life Member  

Sonia Nezamzadeh 
BJ ‘03 

Tim Taliaferro 
BA ‘05, Life Member  

Phu Tran 
BS ‘02 

 

2001

Zaina Nabil Al-Mohtaseb 
BA ‘04 

Colleen Davies 
BBA ‘02, BA ‘02, Life Member  

Andrea Greene 
BBA ‘03, Life Member  

Chris Harlan 
BBA ‘01, BA ‘01, Life Member  

Nils Marchand  
BBA ‘02, Life Member  

Jake Olcott 
BA ‘01 

Daron Roberts 
BA ‘01, Life Member  

 

2000

Hector Eduardo De Leon 

Parisa Fatehi 
BA ‘01, MPAFF ‘07, JD ‘07, Life Member  

Milam Newby 
BA ‘00, JD ‘03, Life Member  

Sebastian Paige 
BS ‘03, Life Member  

Carlos Luis Rodriguez 
BA ‘00 

Mollie Sultenfuss 
BA ‘03 

Randy Thompson 
BBA ‘01, BA ‘02 

 

1999

Vanessa Cooksey  
BS ‘99, Life Member  

Kiesha Curtis 
BSW ‘00 

James Hwang  
BS ‘02, BA ‘02 

Atisha Patel 
BA ‘00 

David Sanchez 
BS ‘02 

Demetris Williams 
BA ‘99 

Krissah Williams 
BA ‘01, BJ ‘01 

 

1998

Christina Allen 
BA ‘98, JD ‘01, Life Member  

Nina Bhatia 
BA ‘00 

Troy Daniel 
BBA ‘00, Life Member  

Lisa Henken 
BA ‘98, Life Member  

Annie Holand 
BA ‘99, JD ‘04, Life Member  

Daron Roberts 
BA ‘01, Life Member  

Marlen Whitley 
BA ‘98, JD ‘01 

 

1997

Dee Campanella 
BJ ‘99, Life Member  

Emily Johnson 
BA ‘00, Life Member  

Tyson Brice King 
BS ‘97 

Candice Marchland  
BBA ‘98 

Kat Murray 
BA ‘98, Life Member  

Ryan Phelps 
BA ‘99 

Anthony Rosette 
BS ‘97, Life Member

 

1996

Carl Harvey Jr.  
BS ‘97 

Sam Jacobs 
BA ‘00, Life Member  

Jake Margo 
BA ‘97, Life Member  

Yvette Mirabal 
BA ‘96, Life Member  

Jennifer Monday  
BS ‘99. Life Member  

Ronnye Vargas 
BA ‘96, Life Member 

 

1995

Alex Eastman 
BA ‘96, Life Member 

David Henderson 
BA ‘98, JD ‘01 

Mirshish Massey 
BJ ‘99 

Brian Siegal 
BA ‘95, JD ‘98, Life Member  

Ronnye Vargas 
BA ‘96, Life Member  

Julie Zelman 
BA ‘95, JD ‘99, Life Member  

 

1994

Joshua Aruh 
BBA ‘95 

Deana Dittmar 
MPA ‘96, BBA ‘96, Life Member 

Katherine Dunphy 
BS ‘98 

Lisa Epifani 
BA ‘94, Life Member  

Jennifer Goldman 
BA ‘96, JD ‘00, Life Member  

Chad Young 
BS ‘96, Life Member 

 

1993

Heili Allee 
BA ‘96, Life Member  

Glenn Brown 
BA ‘96, Life Member  

Kip Dixon 
BBA ‘94, Life Member  
 
Howard Nirken 
BA ‘93, MPAFF ‘97, JD ‘97, Life Member  

Sean Petrie 
BA ‘93 

Stephen Shang 
BS ‘94

 

1992

Stacie Baker
BBA ‘93, Life Member  

David Gomez 

Sean Mast 
BBA ‘92, BA ‘92, MBA ‘93, Life Member  

Howard Nirken 
BA ‘93, MPAFF ‘97, JD ‘93, Life Member  

Laura Schaulat 
BS ‘95 

Meredith Spiekerman
BA ‘93, Life Member

 

1991

Julie Ballard 
BA ‘91, MPAFF ‘94, MBA ‘94, Life Member  

Sarah Louise Biddle 
BFA Art History ‘95, Life Member  

Jennifer Bradley 
BA ‘92 

Jackie Lain  
BA ‘91, JD ‘94, Life Member  

Marty Meekins  
BA ‘93, JD ‘97, MBA ‘97, Life Member 

Jennie Molz 
BA ‘92, Life Member 

 

1990

Meredith Byers 
BA ‘93, Life Member  

Jackie Lain  
BA ‘91, JD ‘94, Life Member  

Marty Meekins  
BA ‘93, JD ‘97, MBA ‘97, Life Member  

Teri Pinney 
BA ‘90, Life Member  

Anneke Schroen 
BA ‘90, Life Member  

Charla Serbent
BA ‘92, BS ‘92 

Cliff Vrielink 
BA ‘90 

 

1989

Jennifer Bradley 
BA ‘92 

Debbie Knupp 
BS ‘89, Life Member  

Mark Murdock 
BA ‘91, Life Member  

David Antonio Perez 
BBA ‘91, BA ‘91 

J.C. Rozendaal  
BA ‘89, JD ‘97, Life Member  

Paul Schweizer  
BA ‘89, JD ‘94, Life Member  

Christine Warden 
BBA ‘90, Life Member  

 

1988

Dina Castranova 
BBA ‘91, Life Member  

James Delk 
BS ‘89 

Deanna Dewberry 
BJ ‘92  

Bill Dorland 
BS‘88, Life Member  

Mike Hulbert 
BS ‘89, Life Member  

Randi Shade 
BA ‘88, Life Member  

 

1987

Steve Barrett 
BBA ‘87, JD ‘91, Life Member  

Julie Beckham 
BS ‘87, Life Member  

Archie Holmes 
BS ‘91, Life Member  

Blair Schlossberg 
BA ‘88 

Mark Strain 
BA ‘89, JD ‘92, Life Member  

Michael Whellan 
BA ‘87, JD ‘90, Life Member  

 

1986

Dean Carter 
BS ‘88, Life Member  

Dorina Trevino Clarke 
BBA ‘87, Life Member  

Patricia Jeffrey 
BBA ‘86, JD  ‘90, Life Member  

Marc H. Muchnick 
BA ‘88 

John Scott  
BA ‘88, MPAFF  ‘93, Life Member