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.  

2022 Recipients

Ashka Dighe 

Majors:  Plan II Honors; Health & Society; Neuroscience

Senior Ashka Dighe has spent her extracurricular time on the Forty Acres advocating for others. After learning about the negative social and academic effects that come with experiencing sexual violence, she joined It’s On Us to promote better access to resources for survivors at UT. Her sophomore year, she took initiative and planned and hosted a UT Title IX Round Table, a process that demonstrated the additional stress that befalls survivors during and after investigations. Dighe proposed amendments to Title IX- and higher-ed-related bills during the 2019 Legislative Session to advocate for more resources for sexual violence survivors, even testifying in front of House and Senate committees on Higher Education. She did the same as an opinion columnist for The Daily Texan—as well as promoting inclusive housing and arguing to expand health accessibility on campus. Because of these contributions, she was named Abbot of The Friar Society. There, Dighe uses her platform as spokesperson to communicate with the entire alumni network, as well as managing finances and budgets from the group’s endowment. 

Additional activities: Texas 4000 for Cancer rider; Deeds Not Words student advocate; Bill Archer fellow. 

Benjamin Mathew 

Major: Canfield Business Honors; Computer Science Honors

At the top of Benjamin Mathew’s list is helping his fellow Longhorn. A talented programmer and business mind, Mathew has used his gifts as a mentor and guide on the Forty Acres during his first two years on campus. As project manager for Texas Product Engineering Organization, he develops curriculum in conjunction with other club leaders to teach new fellows product management fundamentals. Still only a sophomore, Mathew has already made a name for himself, developing the Austin Product Conference, where he led a team that booked a successful event filled with industry thought-leaders from Slack, Facebook, and Airbnb. Because he wants to enhance the UT student experience, as freshman representative for Computer Science and Business Association, he organized collaborative events between the CSBA and Turing Scholars Program and solicited and presented student feedback to program directors. 

Additional activities: intramural basketball point guard; Product@TX fellow. 

Chris Wang 

Majors: Business Honors; Computer Science Honors

Chris Wang is a Forty Acres Scholar from Houston who stands out even among a crowded field of talented peers. A gifted programmer and ardent leader, Wang earned coveted internships at UBS and was selected as a student leader in the Accenture program. On campus, Wang is the Vice President of Corporate Relations for Texas Computer Science and Business Association, where they expanded corporate partnerships by more than 300 percent and club funding by more than 240 percent. This elected position is just one example of Wang’s commitment to the ongoing success of Texas student organizations, the admiration of their cohort, and their call to lead. 

Additional activities: Business, Unraveled podcast production director and co-host; Genesis deal flow analyst; Honors Business Association vice president. 

Krisha Tripathy 

Major: Biochemistry Honors

For junior Krisha Tripathy, food is much more than nutrition. The Houston native comes from generations of farmers who nourished the land in Punjab, and her family taught her that food promotes togetherness and displays love. For those with food allergies or experiencing food insecurity, however, Tripathy understands the complicated relationship and wants to help. As founder and chair of the UT Food Insecurity Action Team, she created an organization from scratch with the approval of Student Government, one that designed a comprehensive data analysis report that found a drastic increase in food insecure students. She serves on the President’s Student Advisory Committee to transform this data into advocacy for food insecure UT students. Aside from her sky-high aspirations, Tripathy believes that even small-scale contributions and acts of kindness and charity—she grows food for her neighbors in a food desert, for one—can make a world of difference.  

Additional activities: Natural Sciences Council membership director; Orange Jackets special events committee member; organic chemistry teaching assistant; An Anti-Dough and Dairy Cookbook co-author; UT Outpost volunteer/independent project lead; Women in Natural Sciences Program program assistant. 

Logan Eggleston 

Major: Management

Logan Eggleston is proof that stellar athletes can be world-changers both inside and outside sports. As a member of the UT volleyball team, the outside hitter is captain of the team, an All-American, and a winner of a number of academic awards, including being named Big 12 Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2021. She also leads off the court, as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and L.E.A.D. Initiative president and cofounder, where she helps allocate funds from athletics to community resources. In 2020, she helped craft a letter to the university asking for changes needed during that tumultuous summer. She was consequently named to the Eyes of Texas History Committee, which was tasked with examining the alma mater song and sharing those findings with Longhorn Nation. In being part of that initial conversation and speaking her mind, she leaves a legacy beyond her incredible accomplishments as a student-athlete. 

Additional activities: Black President and Leadership Council member; Developing Neighborhood Longhorn Fund Committee cofounder and member. 

Tien Nguyen 

Major: Biology Honors

The person who most inspired senior Tien Nguyen is her mother, a working class woman who worked in a nail salon. Coming from a humble background, Nguyen arrived on the Forty Acres with imposter syndrome—was she really meant to be here? As she finishes her undergraduate degree, the answer is clear. In addition to her stellar work in the biology department, Nguyen has made a name for herself as an excellent communicator, shown in the creation of her UT Chatty Gal website, which she uses to synthesize her immense knowledge into easily digestible blog posts focused on women’s health. She leads a team of writers there, and has formed discussion groups among readers to help foster a sense of community on campus. Nguyen was awarded a student research award from the Office of Undergraduate Research to support her thesis study, an examination of prenatal and birth doulas, particularly surrounding the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Nguyen reaches the end of her undergraduate years on the Forty Acres, her leadership and intellect prove that the future of health care is in good hands. 

Additional activities: Texas Orange Jackets member and settlement home director; Wright Lab undergraduate research assistant; UT Center for Health Communication Father’s Playbook intern; Microbe Hackers Lab Freshman Research Initiative researcher and student mentor. 

Past Recipients

2021

Brianna McBride   
BS ’21, BA ’21, Life Member 

Pranav Jayaraman 
BSA ’20. Life Member 

Samantha Bryant 
BBA ’21, Life Member 

Grace Farley   
Class of 2022, Social Work; Plan II Honors Program, Hicks School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts 

Ethan Jones 
Class of 2022, Business Honors and Public Relations, McCombs School of Business and Moody School of Communication 

Jiarong Joyce He 
Class of 2023, Honors Computer Science, Business Honors, College of Natural Sciences, McCombs School of Business 

 

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