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 nomination period for the 2023–24 President's Leadership Award is closed.

2024 Recipients

Nolan Watson

Majors: Business Honors, Accounting

Nolan Watson is a second-year Canfield Business Honors and accounting double major with plans to minor in national security and international business. He hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in corporate law. During his time at UT Austin, he has been involved in student organizations and on-campus jobs that allow him to help other students. In the spring semester of his freshman year, he served as Vice President of Academics for the Texas Honors Business Association (HBA), where he helped organize dinners with Canfield Business Honors students and professors. Then, in April 2023, he was elected as President of HBA.

In this position, he oversees HBA’s eight internal committees, helping manage the organization’s event schedule, budgeting, and marketing activities. One of his proudest accomplishments has been revitalizing HBA’s Big-Little Program in which incoming freshman students are matched with older students in Canfield BHP. Nolan is also proud of creating new social events for our members, such as pickleball and basketball tournaments.

Additionally, he works as a grader and TA for BA 324: Business Communication, where he enjoys meeting with students during office hours and helping them refine their writing and public speaking skills. Elsewhere on campus, he works as a tour guide for the Covert Admissions Welcome Center, where he showcases the Forty Acres to prospective students, answers their questions, and demonstrates his enthusiasm for UT. He also works as a blog writer for the Canfield Business Honors Program, allowing him to interview students and share their school and work experiences online to help promote Canfield BHP.

Outside of the classroom, he enjoys playing pickleball, cheering on the Longhorns at DKR, spending time with his black Labrador retriever, and trying out new restaurants with friends.

Marley Gomez-Olivas

Majors: Business Honors & Finance

Marley Gomez-Olivas is a third-year Canfield Business Honors and Finance major with a minor in Management Information Systems from Laredo, Texas. As a first-generation college student, her focus throughout her time at UT Austin has been to help incoming freshmen through their transition into college. She is committed to making The University of Texas at Austin a welcoming community for all. 

Her role as Secretary General of Central Texas Model United Nations reflects her passion for global affairs, where she has helped build platforms for high school students to feel empowered to engage in real-world issues while fostering consensus-building and developing their public speaking skills. Marley's dedication to mentorship is evident through her positions as a Peer Advisor at the Canfield Business Honors Office and as a Transition and Success Coach at the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity, where she offers guidance and support to first-generation freshmen, enhances the student experience, and fosters inclusivity. 

As a Teacher Assistant in Management 101, Marley further contributes to the University community by aiding incoming freshmen in their transition and instilling leadership ethics. Her membership in the Texas Orange Jackets has allowed Marley to become a part of meaningful service, scholarship, community, and leadership activities throughout the University and beyond.

Neha Yawalkar

Majors: Biochemistry Honors

Neha is a Polymathic Scholars student in CNS Honors who cares deeply about her community and her advocacy at UT Austin. She serves as the Public Relations Committee Chair and Amber House Head for the Polymathic Scholars Student Leadership Panel and is a scriptwriter for the Polymathic Scholars’ original podcast, The Unfinished Mind. 

Neha was a co-founder of the Polymath Creative Collective art organization, where her team has raised over $1,000 for local Austin nonprofits. She also led nonprofit collaborations with Keep Texas Beautiful and Kind Clinic through her involvement with Project Advance Austin. Neha cares deeply about advancing health equity for gender and sexuality minorities. She has done research developing an affordable at-home HIV diagnostic tool in her DIY Diagnostics lab and serves as a Research Assistant in the SOGI: Health and Rights lab. She volunteers regularly at Kind Clinic and Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and hopes to write her honors thesis on bridging the gap between legal and structural health equity for LGBTQ+ communities in India.

Additional Activities: Mentor in the Polymathic Scholars program, DIY Diagnostics Lab, and Gender and Sexuality Center GEMS program. Student staff at Liberal Arts Career Services and Texas Leadership Education and Development in the Office of the Dean of Students. Member of Kappa Rho Pre-Health Honors Society.

William “Will” Florer

Majors: Radio-Television-Film, Plan II Honors

During his time on the Forty Acres, Will Florer has demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedicated service in various roles. As Vice President of the Moody Honors Council and an appointed member of the Moody Dean’s Advisory Committee, he worked to enhance and promote his academic institutions. In Greek Life, he served as the Vice President of Finance for the Interfraternity Council and as the Philanthropy Chair of Delta Tau Delta, consistently providing meaningful opportunities for Greek students. 

Florer's commitment to improving the UT student experience reached its pinnacle as the Straw Boss (Vice President) of the Texas Cowboys, with the unique opportunity to shape the culture of this new iteration of UT’s most historic service organization—hopefully leaving a legacy that will benefit UT and Austin for decades to come. Additionally, he actively engaged in disabilities advocacy through a four-year commitment to Capernaum, a disabilities youth engagement group, and his Plan II Thesis on "Disabilities Representation in Film & Media." 

As a recipient of the prestigious Forty Acres Scholarship, Will was afforded the opportunity to travel to the Israel and Palestine regions and spend a summer in the UTLA program. He also wrote and produced several short films, including a Stephen King short story adaptation called The Man Who Loved Flowers, an animated original called The Drama Ventriloquist, and another original titled Pace Yourself. Post-graduation, he aspires to work at the intersection of business and media while also dedicating his life to advancing disabilities inclusion and representation.

Scott Fonseka

Majors: Business Honors, Finance

Scott Fonseka has shown leadership through his involvement with the Canfield Business Honors Program and the Tejas Club. As a sophomore, he served as the Executive VP of the Honors Business Association and planned events to connect students and alumni. 

His most successful event was a field trip to Phil Canfield’s downtown Austin apartment. Also in this role, he served as the student representative on the CBHP Advisory Board. In his junior and senior year, he served as a Peer Mentor, guiding CBHP freshmen through their fall semesters. He is passionate about giving back to CBHP, as it has given him so much, and passing on any knowledge. 

During the fall semester of his senior year, he served as the Vice President of the Tejas Club where he was responsible for bringing influential community members to speak at Tejas Coffees, a weekly speaker series open to all UT Austin students. In this role, he was able to expose the UT student community to speakers like Jay Hartzell and Lance Armstrong in an informal setting. This event allows UT students incredible access to speakers in a diverse range of fields. Additionally, he is a member of the UT Silver Spurs and Wall Street for McCombs, and several other McCombs organizations.

Michael “Mike” Lane

Majors: Business Honors, Finance

Michael Lane is a New Jersey native and senior at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a double major in Canfield Business Honors and Finance, with a minor in Management Information Systems. His standout achievements include winning a $75,000 scholarship from the Toyota/Rainbow PUSH Jesse Jackson Foundation, and the Martin Taylor Leadership Award, which he received for his work with the Heman Sweatt Center. That award led to a sponsored 10-day trip to Ghana. He is also a recipient of the Canfield Business Honors full-tuition scholarship. 

Michael has held key leadership roles on campus, including Co-Chair for Discover CBHP, Vice President of the Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males, and President of the BlackHP Affinity group. He is also the treasurer for the Epsilon Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. In addition to his academic success, Michael works on campus as a peer advisor and senior student recruiter for the Canfield Business Honors Program. Michael is dedicated to academic excellence and community impact, leaving a legacy at The University of Texas at Austin.

Past Recipients


Arjana Almaneih  
Class of 2023, Communication and Leadership, Moody College of Communication, Life Member  

Hadis Askari  
BSA ’23, Life Member 

Isabella “Bella” Candanosa  
Class of 2024, Speech/Language/Hearing Sciences, Audiology, Moody College of Communication, Life Member 

Justin Zhang  
BBA ’23, Life Member 

Nicole “Nikki” Hammond  
BS ’23, Life Member 

Nikita Kakkad  
Class of 2024, Biomedical Engineering; Plan II Honors, Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, Life Member 



Ashka Dighe   
BA ‘21, Life Member 

Benjamin Mathew
BS, BBA ’23, Life Member   

Chris Wang
Class of 2023, Honors Computer Science; Canfield Business Honors, College of Natural Sciences; McCombs School of Business 
Life Member 

Krisha Tripathy
BSA ’23, Life Member  

Logan Eggleston
BBA ‘22; Life Member 

Tien Nguyen 
BSA ’22, Life Member 



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

Pranav Jayaraman 
BSA ’20. Life Member 

Samantha Bryant 
BBA ’21, Life Member 

Grace Farley
BA ’22, BSW ’22, Life Member 

Ethan Jones 
BSPR ’22, BBA ‘22, Life Member 

Jiarong Joyce He 
BBA, BS ’22, Life Member  



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 
BSA ’21, BBA ’21, Life Member 

Brooke Reaves 
BA ’21, BBA ’21, Life Member 

Tyson Smiter 
BS ‘20, Life Member  



William Acheampong 
BA ’21, BBA ’21, 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  



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  



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  



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  



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



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  



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  



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 



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 



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  



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 



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  



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 



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  



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  



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  



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  



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 



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  



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 



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 



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 



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



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 



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  



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 



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



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



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 



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 



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  



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  



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  



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