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12th Annual Ursa Awards Recognizes Student Leaders at Phoenix College

April 18, 2014

In and out of the classroom, on and off of the field – Phoenix College student leaders make a daily impact on the college campus. Over 50 student leaders were recognized at the 12th Annual Ursa Student Leadership Awards Ceremony, held on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

The Ursa Student Leadership Award is named after the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, which are most commonly known as the Big and Little Dipper. “Ursa” is also the Latin word for “bear.” Phoenix College, whose mascot is the bear, has adopted the name URSA for the award to honor the “Bear Stars” of the campus. During the Spring Semester each year, employees nominate students who they feel demonstrate leadership in the classroom, on campus and in the community.

“The Ursa Awards are a great opportunity for our staff and faculty to recognize the outstanding students on our campus,” said Dr. Anna Solley, president of Phoenix College. “These students excel not only in their studies but also as members of our campus community.”

Each student was recognized for the award by having their nominator read what was submitted for their nomination. This year’s recipients, who were nominated by faculty and staff, are:

Patricia Acuna, AnaMaria Ayala, Carlo Barajas-Hernandez, Aliza Benitez, Rosina Cabanillas, Gregory Carr, Jerman Carrera, Ramon Chavez, Cristian Chavolla, Danielle Cipolletti, Amy Cooke, Makeni Dallas, Andrea Diaz, Melody Diaz, Matthew Doherty, Cecilia Duarte, Jose “Stretch” Estrella Redondo, Joseph Federico, Matthew Garren, Daesha Jackson, Francisco M. Lopez, Brenda Martin, Miranda Michaelson, Brianna Monet Olmos, Lirio Orozco-Chavez, Ami Perez, Brendon Pineda-Morales, Challis Roles, Christian Santana, Lawrence Sims, Ryo Sugihara, Gerraldine Tahere, Kaydee Turner, Paul Verrell, Navid Yazdani, Angelo Zacchio, Phoenix College Ambassador Program (Wendy Garcia, Ramon Chavez, Sarah Hernandez, Ebony Scott, Maha Jawad, Jose Carlos Ortega, Saul Lopez, Lola Dominguez, Jessica Perez, Aristotle Ocampo, Sergio Galarza), Student Life & Leadership staff (Jeremy Morrow, Lawrence Sims, Maricela Delahanty, “N21” Ehhtoo Wah, Ruth Tewoldemedhin, Jorge “Stanley” Reyes, Daelane “Shack” Shackleford, Sheila Shelton), and Student Leadership Council (Ramon Chavez, Genesis Cisneros, Erik Jacquez, Sarah Hernandez, Beatriz Rodrigues, Angelita “Lita” Guzman, Diana Lujan). 

Two students were also awarded the Paul J. Fannin Leadership Award by the Phoenix College Alumni Association. Gerraldine Tahere and Lawrence Sims were both recognized as winners of this award, which also includes a scholarship worth $250.

The ceremony included opening remarks from Dr. Anna Solley, president of Phoenix College; a keynote address from Phoenix College Alumnus Juan Mendez, who is currently serving as a representative for District 26 in the Arizona State House of Representatives; and closing remarks from Chris Haines, dean of Student Affairs at Phoenix College.