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.



2018 Recipients

Emily Yang

Major: Biomedical Engineering

As a physics teaching assistant, sophomore Emily Yang tries to not only help students understand physics but to also make the subject less terrifying—and even fun. And she doesn’t stop with making science accessible for UT students: as a mentor in Student Engineers Educating Kids (SEEK), Yang volunteers at lower-income elementary and middle schools, teaching students about science and engineering through weekly projects.

Activities: Student Engineers Educating Kids (SEEK) mentor, Roden member, Texas Engineering World Health

Carolen "Gabby" Crank

Major: Business Honors, Plan II

As if being a student athlete enrolled in two rigorous honors programs isn’t challenging enough, junior Gabby Crank is a Business Honors Program peer mentor, where she brings her energetic and can-do attitude to helping guide mentees through the first year experience with small group activities and individual meetings. She is a scholarship athlete on UT’s track and field and cross country teams, a student leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and participates in many community service activities.

Activities: Business Honors Program peer mentor, UT Track and Field/Cross Country athlete

Jacqueline C. Gibson

Major: Computer Science (Turing Scholars), African and African Diaspora Studies

As a residential assistant in First Bytes, junior Jacqueline Gibson had the opportunity to mentor high school girls and introduce them to the potential of computing and the excitement of problem solving. She is the co-founder of the Association of Black Computer Scientists and served as co-president for its first year. She is an active member in the Texas Orange Jackets and serves as the organization’s Director of Scholarship and Service. Gibson has participated in the Senate of College Councils and used her time on the council to be an advocate for academic improvements, such as improving the affordability of technology in the classroom.

Activities: First Bytes Residential Assistant, Association of Black Computer Scientists, Texas Orange Jackets, President’s Student Advisory Committee

Karan Kathuria

Major: Biochemistry

Always enthusiastic and full of ideas, throughout his time on campus senior Karan Kathuria has presented this research at regional and national scientific meetings and held internships where he has developed apps for college student registration, set up a clinical database for anticoagulant drug therapy at MD Anderson in Houston, and worked as copy editor for scientific research manuscripts. He has held three offices on the Natural Science Council and has received numerous awards including the CNS award for Excellence in Molecular Biology Research, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) Undergraduate Research Award, and Senate of College Councils Undergraduate Research Grant.

Activities: Natural Science Council

Matthew “Micky” Wolf

Major: Business Honors, Plan II, Psychology

With three majors, three internships, and a study abroad experience, senior Micky Wolf has been a busy guy–but not too busy to be active on campus. Wolf served as 2017-18 Student Body Vice President, after serving as a University-Wide representative in 2016-17. He has chaired the Student Services Budget Committee (helping to allocate $43 million), directed campus-wide initiatives such as bringing back the A&M football game and requiring service-learning by all freshmen. He also created the first annual Improve UT Challenge, which garnered substantial student activity, and served on the City Relations Agency.

Activities: Student Government, Texas for Expanding Opportunities, Student Consulting Initiative, Texas Leaders, Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation, and Camp Kesem

Valarie Cardenas

Major: Supply Chain Management

Senior Valarie Cardenas has served as a McCombs BBA Student Recruiter for the past four years, helping recruit a talented and diverse class to McCombs. She volunteers to mentor incoming freshmen through the McCombs “As We Know It,” program and has served as a McCombs Camp Counselor for the McCombs High School Summer Program. Additionally, Cardenas is a member of Texas Darlins and Sigma Delta Lambda, has completed a leadership development program with Ernst & Young as well as two internships with AT&T and Target.

Activities: McCombs Leadership Program, Hispanic Business Student Association, McCombs Undergraduate Business Council


Past Recipients


Seth Krasne, Sofia Aranha, Mayra Sharma, Garrett Maples, Jade Jackson, Amber Magee


Jon Burstain, Robbey Orth, Bethany Rolan, Rachel Huynh, Imani Boyette, and Kevin Helgren


Lauren Caton, Ignacio Cruz, Amy Enrione, Madison Gove, Neal Makkar, and Coleman Tharpe


Charlie Adkins, Elyssa Klann, Holland Finley, Jeffrey Li, Michael "Ugeo" Williams, and Tara Sharma


Armiya Humphrey, Robert Belanger, Steven Macapagal, Rosaura Estrada, Julie Fogarty, James Salazar


Michael Daehne, Jordan Metoyer, Ana Laura Rivera, Rebekah Sosland, Bhargav Srinivasan, Rebekah Thayer


Shelby Carvalho, David Forinash, Derin Kiykioglu, Audrey Najera, Jimmy Talarico, Eugene Wood


Erica Brody, Erik Eyberg, Charles "Bud" Franck, John Kidenda, Cecilia Lopez, Berenice Medellin


Jacob Marcus Bintliff, Natalie Butler, Liam O’Rourke, Abraham Pena, Keshav Rajagopalan, Rebecca Reid


William P. Bacon, Katie Brehm, Nathan Vidal Bunch, Stephen Lang Myers, Nicole Elizabeth Trinh, Mechiel Johannes Vander Walt


Sarina Hickey, C. Melvin Ike, Ryan Miller, Keshav Rajagopalan, Monica Richards, Danille Rugoff, James Tolleson


Matthew Garrett Ashbaugh, James Mahoney Burnham, Manasi A. Deshpande, Zachary Charles Hall, Andrew R. Lara, Sheena Paul, Kan Yan


Salome Balderramme, Tara Buentello, Jesus Castillon, Ellen Chen, Lauren Gilstrap, Matthew Hardigree, Vivek Sakhrani


Jesus Castillon, Monica Villasenor Culver, Kevin Curry, Steven Hardt, Rusty Ince, Jake Ward, Wendy Wheless


Andrew Brummett, Derek Deas, Katie King, Sly Majid, Omar Ochoa, Clint Tuttle


Dimi Aldridge, Erin Dominguez, Andrew Friedberg, Jon Mureen, Sonia Nezamzadeh, Tim Taliaferro, Phu Tran


Zaina Nabil Al-Mohtaseb, Colleen Davies, Andrea Greene, Chris Harlan, Nils Marchand, Jake Olcott, Daron Roberts


Parisa Fatehi, Milam Newby, Sebastian Paige, Carlos Luis Rodriguez, Mollie Sultenfuss, Randy Thompson


Kiesha Curtis, James Hwang, Atisha Patel, David Sanchez, Demetris Williams, Krissah Williams


Christina Allen, Nina Bhatia, Troy Daniel, Lisa Henken, Annie Holand, Daron Roberts, Marlen Whitley


Dee Campanella, Emily Johnson, Tyson Brice King, Candice Marchland, Kat Murray, Ryan Phelps, Anthony Rosette


Carl Harvey Jr., Sam Jacobs, Jake Margo, Yvette Mirabal, Jennifer Monday, Ronnye Vargas


Alex Eastman, David Henderson, Mirshish Massey, Brian Siegal, Ronnye Vargas, Julie Zelman


Joshua Aruh, Deana Dittmar, Katherine Dunphy, Lisa Epifani, Chad Young


Heili Allee, Glenn Brown, Kip Dixon, Howard Nirken, Sean Petrie, Stephen Shang


Stacie Baker, David Gomez, Sean Mast, Howard Nirken, Laura Schaulat, Meredith Spiekerman


Julie Ballard, Sarah Louise Biddle, Jennifer Bradley, Jackie Lain, Marty Meekins, Jennie Molz


Meredith Byers, Jackie Lain, Marty Meekins, Teri Pinney, Anneke Schroen, Charla Serbent, Cliff Vrielink


Jennifer Bradley, Debbie Knupp, Mark Murdock, David Antonio Perez, J. C. Rozendaal, Paul Schweizer, Christine Warden


Dina Castranova, James Delk, Deanna Dewberry, Bill Dorland, Mike Hulbert, Randi Shade


Steve Barrett, Julie Beckham, Archie Holmes, Blair Schlossberg, Mark Strain, Michael Whellan


Dean Carter, Dorina Trevino Clarke, Patricia Jeffrey, Marc H. Muchnick, John Scott