Dean's Dozen Award
The Dean's Dozen Award recognizes thirteen 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.
2020 Award Winners
Meet these truly outstanding Longhorns whose positive contributions to our community and dedication to enhancing the student experience have earned them a spot among this year's Dean's Dozen.
Mary Brinsko, a Fall 2019 UTeach Liberal Arts graduate with a B.A. in History, served as president of the University Panhellenic Council and chaired UPC's Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. She drove the council's efforts to infuse social justice into the UPC community and spearheaded the recruitment and election of UPC's first ever Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. Mary always maintains a positive attitude and is also known to serve the community by mentoring at-risk high school students through Austin Partners in Education. She is described as being an exceptional representation of what it means to be a Panhellenic woman and a Longhorn leader.
Chelseaia Charran, graduating with a Ph.D. in Special Education, has contributed outstandingly to our campus and the surrounding community by working tirelessly to create equitable and inclusive opportunities for college students with disabilities. She represented UT Austin on the inaugural City of Austin College Student Commission, which addressed affordable housing, transportation, safety, and immigration by directly impacting policies and contributing her voice to short- and long-term solutions. In addition, Chelseaia worked as a GRA in the Office of the Dean of Students Research Institute and is an award-winning Ph.D. graduate of the College of Education's Equity and Diversity in Special Education program.
Christina Ciaburri is graduating from the Moody College of Communication with B.S. in Communication and Leadership and the College of Liberal Arts with a B.A. in Psychology. She currently serves in an executive role in the LEAP program housed in the Leadership and Ethics Institute, and has been a strong advocate for civic engagement among her peers. Always looking for ways to grow and develop as a leader, Christina's ability to continually seek improvement is bolstered by her initiative to create new programs and help develop her peers.
Suzett Fernandez, graduating with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences, has played a crucial role in the Leadership and Ethics Institute as a member of the Student Leadership Team. Along with being an incredible resource to the office and managing her fellow teammates, Suzett has striven to create a better world for her community through her leadership abilities and her focus on healthcare. She is described as playing a critical role in helping the LEI office prepare for a busy semester in the midst of staff transitions, and has been an impressive asset not only to LEI but to the Forty Acres and greater Austin community.
Evana Flores, a Fall 2019 graduate of the Moody College of Communication with a B.S. in Advertising, has demonstrated care and dedication to others through her student leader experience. During her term as President of the University Panhellenic Council, she coordinated the council's creation of the Diversity & Inclusion statement outlining action items for the future and acknowledging historical and contemporary issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the UPC community. Evana also spearheaded planning for an Interpersonal Violence Peer Support fundraising concert and organized giftbags for college-bound students experiencing homelessness. She has been described as modeling authentic leadership and going above and beyond to connect the UPC community with the UT community and Austin.
Lillian Ford, graduating with a degree in Supply Chain Management, has been an exceptional Safety Education Peer since her arrival on the Forty Acres. She has dedicated countless hours to educating fellow students about the importance of creating safe communities within student organizations, and skillfully discusses difficult topics with large groups of students. She's been described as a natural-born leader at the forefront of implementing new ideas and initiatives for Safety Education Peer Educators. Her curriculum improvements and creation of peer education materials will have a lasting impact in the program for years to come.
Camron Goodman, graduating with a degree in Finance, has served as Student Body President for the last year and is an outspoken advocate for populations that might not be in a position to speak out about their needs. Camron served as a tour guide for Guides of Texas, treasurer for Texas Transfer Students, and has also lent his voice to Austin City Council on rezoning issues affecting UT students. As a first-generation student, he has made it a personal goal to assist other first-generation and transfer students with their transition to UT. He is described as action-oriented, compassionate, quick-witted, and willing to use his persuasive voice for the benefit of others.
Amie Jean, graduating with a degree in Finance, has served as Student Body Vice President for the last year and was instrumental in launching a HornRaiser campaign to raise funds for racing chairs at Longhorn Run. Along with helping host campus-wide recruitment events, Amie has also completed tax training to be able to serve at tax centers in underserved areas. An extremely personable student, Amie has received many honors on campus and is noted for her disability advocacy and ability to bring valuable perspectives to large campus audiences.
Taylor Lujan, graduating with a degree in Finance, has been described as one of the most influential student veterans that Student Veteran Services has seen since they first opened in 2011. During his leadership as president of the Student Veterans Association, Taylor led the organization to national recognition, expanded the veteran network with off-campus collaborators, and increased development dollars used to fund veteran programs and scholarships. Known to also tutor his fellow veterans and assist SVS with various projects, future Longhorn veterans will benefit from Taylor's legacy and vision to foster a welcoming community on the Forty Acres.
Rwendy Luna, graduating with a degree in English, has been an integral asset to Sorority and Fraternity Life at UT and is known to be the rock of the department. He is always eager to provide excellent customer service and has proven himself as a professional, mature, and reliable leader among the student support team and his fraternity. Rwendy is known to go above and beyond to support all units in the Office of the Dean of Students and is described as being very dedicated to the Sorority and Fraternity Life mission.
Mirka Mendez is graduating with a degree in Petroleum Engineering and is an active member of the Horns Helping Horns program in New Student Services for students who are financially independent. Mirka is an advocate for those experiencing housing instability and has raised awareness for the education of homeless youth. Her advocacy has led her to become involved with policymaking in Texas and Washington, D.C. to pass bills that give more opportunities to students experiencing housing instability. Along with serving as an engineering ambassador, Mirka is quick to share opportunities with her peers that will make their college experience easier.
Emily Millican, graduating with a Master's of Science in Social Work, has helped the UT Outpost grow into a better resource for our Longhorns. Emily found ways to improve and push the program forward, using her social work background to create a positive experience for students utilizing the Outpost. Her drive to support her peers was always apparent and she is noted for assisting with Outpost shifts, even in inclement weather. She has encouraged a shared sense of ownership with the Student Leadership Board and never failed to make SLB staff and Outpost student shoppers feel valued.
Donovan Perez is graduating from the Moody College of Communication with a B.S. in Public Relations. Having served as a student graphic designer for the Office of the Dean of Students since his freshman year, he has been instrumental in creating inclusive, thoughtful, and interesting pieces to connect students to the office. A valuable asset to the Communication team, Donovan has lent his design skills to projects such as Evening of the Stars, promotional materials for LEI, SVS promo cards, and flatscreen ads for the Student Conduct Board and Horns Against Hazing. Donovan has shown amazing growth while creating beautiful and transformative designs for every unit in DOS.