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Dean's Dozen Award

The Dean's Dozen Award recognizes 12 students for their service to programs or departments within the Office of the Dean of Students, and for positive contributions they have made to our campus community. The Dean's Dozen Award celebrates graduating seniors, masters or doctoral students who are committed to and involved in enhancing the quality of The University of Texas at Austin student experience.

2023 Dean's Dozen Profiles

Photo of Jenny Ainsworth Jenny Ainsworth, a Liberal Arts Honors student graduating with degrees in both Government and Health & Society, has been an active and passionate member of the Election Supervisory Board for four years. Jenny has served as Chair or Vice Chair during much of her time serving on the ESB and is said to be a trusted resource for student election candidates, a respected mentor to fellow ESB members, and consistently aids in promoting a fair student election process. She demonstrated critical leadership skills by helping election stakeholders navigate postponement of election activities during the February 2021 freeze and has trained ESB chairs while guiding them through new roles. Through her participation in Senate of College Council committees, Jenny has also helped pass legislation to enhance the academic experience for her fellow students. She has served as a student assistant within the Student Governance Organization portfolio, participated in the DoS Deans Research Institute, and has left an admirable mark within the Office of the Dean of Students during her time on the Forty Acres.

Photo of Pearl Akonnor Pearl Akonnor is graduating with a BS in Psychology from the College of Liberal Arts. Her time at the university has been distinguished by enhancing the campus experience for underrepresented students and giving back to past, current, and future Longhorns. Pearl has served as a Texas Student Recruiter with the Office of Admissions, offering personalized and individual engagement with prospective UT students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, along with serving on the executive boards of Black Student Alliance, Association of Black Psychologists, African Students Organization, Black Health Professionals Organization, and many more. Committed to revitalizing the Black student experience once campus returned to in-person operations, Pearl co-chaired the first in-person Texas Black Homecoming since the start of the pandemic, helping to plan a week's worth of events and activities for her peers and Black alumni. A dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pearl has served as Vice President and Service Chairman, and during her current tenure as President, initiated the first in-person AKA membership process since 2018. Pearl's devotion to strengthening community and cultivating a welcoming environment for historically underrepresented students will leave a legacy for years to come.

Photo of Lindsay Bond Lindsay Bond is graduating with a BA in Government from the College of Liberal Arts and has been an innovative and dedicated leader within the University Panhellenic Council (UPC) community. A member of Alpha Xi Delta, Lindsay also served a two-year position as Vice President of Internal Recruitment and was tasked with heading the first in-person recruitment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She educated and prepared over 3,000 active UPC members for a recruitment process that none had experienced before, along with introducing schedule changes and opting to retain virtual elements. Lindsay coordinated with student leadership teams, chapter advisors, the City of Austin; and kept equity and inclusion in mind when making decisions. Lindsay is said to have integrated a values assessment for all UPC members, along with informing chapters about rules and regulations required during the recruitment process. On top of her demanding role within UPC, Lindsay served as a Platoon Sergeant and Executive Officer within the UT Army ROTC program, mentoring and leading other cadets on campus. She is an excellent example of an outstanding leader whose actions and roles will leave a lasting impact with UPC and ROTC.

Photo of Emma Brinsden Emma Brinsden is graduating with a BS in Public Relations from the Moody College of Communication. She is a member of Alpha Phi and has been an active member of the University Panhellenic Council (UPC), including serving as the Vice President of External Recruitment for two years. In this role she trained and mentored almost 100 recruitment guides who are integral to the Panhellenic formal recruitment process. She prioritized the mental and physical well-being of recruitment guides by facilitating guided wellness sessions, along with coordinating attire, food, housing, and entertainment prior to and during recruitment week. During the transition of the Sorority and Fraternity Life UPC advisor, Emma additionally took on many of the summer responsibilities that support behind-the-scenes operations of recruitment, including auditing all potential member applications and emailing hundreds of parents and students. Outside of UPC, Emma has functioned as an officer in her chapter of Alpha Phi, served on the Kendra Scott Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute Student Advisory Board, and has been active with Spark Magazine.

Photo of Jackie Guo Jackie Guo, graduating with a BS in Chemical Engineering, has made a lasting impact on the Sorority and Fraternity Life community and student organizations on campus. As member of Sigma Phi Omega, Sorority, Inc., Jackie is affiliated with the Texas Asian Pan-Hellenic Council (TAPC) and has served on the TAPC executive board as the Vice President of Service. During her tenure, Jackie was a continual source of support for her fellow officers and served as a reliable member of the team to support the goals of TAPC. Additionally, Jackie served for two years as a Safety Education Peer Educator, presenting countless workshops to connect student organizations to safety and risk management resources on campus. She has gone and above and beyond to embrace new members to the Safety Education team by coaching them on logistics, presentation content, and making them feel welcomed. Jackie is the embodiment of being a reliable, consistent, and caring student leader who has gone out of her way to look out for her fellow Longhorns.

Photo of Zion James Zion James, graduating with degrees in both Sociology and African and African Diaspora Studies, has served in and chaired multiple organizations during his time on the Forty Acres, such as Black Student Alliance, Big XII Council on Black Student Government, New Black Student Weekend, Texas Black Homecoming, Student Government, Black Presidents Leadership Council, and many more. With his extensive involvement, Zion has made it his purpose to uplift and empower BIPOC students, while aiming to create an equitable and fair community for his fellow Longhorns. Zion developed and executed the first ever Black Inauguration, in which 35 presidents of Black student organizations were installed as incoming leaders. He also served on the inaugural Texas SpringFest Committee, helping orchestrate a week of events dedicated to fellowship and networking among the Black student community here at the university. In every space he occupies, Zion is said to aim for equity and equality.

Photo of Ezequiel Lozano Ezequiel Lozano, graduating with degrees in Biochemistry and Government, has been a valued Student Consultant with the Vice President for Student Affairs office during his entire tenure at UT, giving critical feedback on campus culture, student life, programs, and policies that have helped VPSA maintain a good pulse on student needs. He has gone above and beyond the call of duty as a consultant, taking part in VPSA events with campus stakeholders, as well as embedding himself in the fabric of the university with additional pursuits. As a representative of Student Government, Ezequiel was asked to serve on the university's First-Generation Commitment Working Group, where the objective has been to make clear and achievable the goal of both access and timely graduation for first-generation students. Along with participating in campus organizations and initiatives such as Texas Blazers, Project MALES, Freshman Research Initiative, and the University Leadership Network, Ezequiel has made it a point to mentor other first-generation STEM students and be a strong voice for the first-gen community on UT's campus.

Photo of Legacy Miller Legacy Miller is graduating with a degree in Marketing from the McCombs School of Business and has been a dynamic student leader within the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) community. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and served as NPHC Vice President in 2021, later serving as NPHC President in 2022. While these leadership roles naturally require a lot from those elected, Legacy's terms were more complex in that she first assumed leadership within NPHC just as the Sorority and Fraternity Life NPHC advisor transitioned away from the university. Followed by a semester of interview panels and support for hiring a new SFL coordinator, Legacy's ability to stay positive and work seamlessly with interim NPHC advisors and SFL staff was encouraging to everyone. She played a critical role in the hiring process, remaining steadfast and willing to lend assistance even as the search went on longer than expected. In addition, Legacy's NPHC leadership span saw the revival of cherished NPHC events, two returning NPHC member organizations, and increased interest in NPHC Greek life. Legacy is an excellent example of resilient student leadership.

Photo of Caroline Seyer Caroline Seyer, a Polymathic Scholar graduating with an honors degree in Biology, helped to increase campus-wide collaboration during her time as a summer intern for the Hazing Prevention and Education Committee. Caroline forged new partnerships with SHIFT, the Longhorn SHARE Project, Living the Longhorn Life, and BeVocal to develop a creative and comprehensive week of events for National Hazing Prevention Week. In addition to her hazing prevention work, Caroline is a member of Kappa Delta and served as a Recruitment Guide to support incoming students throughout the University Panhellenic Council's formal recruitment process. She's also served as a SHIFT maker and has been a legislative aide within Student Government. Caroline is said to embody "Living the Longhorn Life" through her passion for serving others, her effortless ability to collaborate, and her capacity to embrace new opportunities to make the most of the Forty Acres experience.

Photo of Brinn Strenger Brinn Strenger, graduating with a Master's in Higher Education Leadership, has provided instrumental aid and foresight to the Vice President for Student Affairs office during her time as a graduate student. Her ability to recognize the specialized needs of student athletes have led to increased connection between the VPSA office and UT Athletics, paving the way for future partnerships between the two to ensure student athletes are connected and plugged into campus outside of their sport. Brinn was a key player in managing the VPSA Student Consultants program, an ongoing initiative where 50 students from around campus provide their feedback regarding campus and student life-related programming that shapes their UT experience. Brinn conducted onboarding and orientation for these students, as well as consistently brainstormed ways to keep them connected and engaged with the VPSA office. Brinn's insight into current student issues, her dedication to ensuring the office sustains the needs of students who are often overlooked, and her consistent support have helped ensure the Division of Student Affairs remains committed to enriching the student experience, remaining inventive in response and programming, and influencing students to live the Longhorn life.

Photo of Inbar Turjeman Inbar Turjeman, a Liberal Arts Honors student graduating with degrees in Economics and Sociology, has been a champion of reducing food insecurity among UT students, as well as an integral part of bolstering the experience of Jewish students. A multi-year university-wide representative in Student Government, Inbar initiated a campaign to measure food insecurity among students living off campus and advocated for easier access to fresh grocery options. Inbar has also been a pivotal part of Texas Hillel, serving first as a Community Engagement Intern and rising to Vice President of Leadership. She has been dedicated to introducing students to the Jewish community at UT, and under her management, student-led organizations at Hillel have helped to facilitate a safe space for students to learn more about their background, take pride in where they come from, and find their second family. Inbar is said to exemplify UT's core values, such as making the most of individual opportunities through her advocacy in Student Government, taking responsibility in making sure students who walk into Hillel feel at home, and encouraging freedom of students to be true to who they are.

Photo of Maria Yasir Maria Yasir is graduating with a Master's in Public Health, and her work with Texas LEAD has been nothing short of transformative. She has singlehandedly changed the culture of the Texas LEAD office by celebrating holidays and staff birthdays, along with creating thoughtful teambuilding activities for both professional staff and undergraduate students in the office space. Her ability to pivot at a moment's notice, her infallible eye for detail, and capacity to bring fresh ideas to the office are said to have been invaluable during a time when the office lost critical full-time staff members. Maria filled in these gaps and independently ran a three-part leadership workshop sequence, served as backup for a summer internship workshop series, and facilitated career development training that supported 42 office interns with bettering their resumes, cover letters, and social media during the job search. Additionally, Maria developed a quality training program that allowed student staff to develop necessary skills to support the work of the office, along with learning and growing as leaders. Maria's consistent resourcefulness, ever-present voice of reason, and subtle humor has created a joyful learning environment that has kept the Texas LEAD office fresh, fun, and impactful.