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Medal of Hope

Medal of Hope

Medal of Hope
Medal of Hope
Recipients of the Medal of Hope are students who have demonstrated a commitment to their personal development as a student leader at Texas State University by participating in a comprehensive set of activities designed by the Leadership Institute/Dean of Students Office. The recipients of this recognition receive the “Medal of Hope” the semester they graduate. These student leaders represent “The Hope” we have in the next generation of Bobcat Leaders and our confidence on the impact that they will have in their communities after graduation. Any Texas State student can participate in reaching this goal. 


Deadline for December 2018 graduates to apply: November 15, 2018

Medals will be awarded at a the Student Leadership Board meeting on November 29 at 5:00 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center, room 4-1.6. 

***please note: Medals may not be borrowed for graduation pictures prior to being awarded on November 29.  Thank you for your cooperation. 

Medal of Hope Criteria

In order to be considered as a recipient for the Medal of Hope students must complete and submit the following:
  • Application
  • Co-Curricular Transcript - Obtained through iCAT
  • Letter of Support from a Texas State full-time Faculty or Staff member (excluding Dean of Students staff)
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0
  • Completion of Medal of Hope involvement grid (see below)
Applications will only be considered for students graduating at the upcoming graduation ceremony. Medals will be distributed 1-2 weeks prior to graduation. Selections will be made by Leadership Institute and Dean of Students staff. All applicants will be evaluated using the following Medal of Hope Involvement Grid. Please note that involvement is not limited to this grid nor do all student applicants have to participate in every program or service listed.


Points/Event (Max)

Leadership Institute Involvement

60 Pts Required

Leadership Institute Annual Conference


Leadership Institute special projects


Texas State Leadership Capstone Program


Leadership Workshop Series


Leadership Film Series


Student Leadership Board Member


Pathfinder: Emerging Leaders Program


LeaderShape® - Texas State


Attend state/national leadership conference


Attend LBJ Presidential Library and Museum Trip


Immersion Experience


Texas State Involvement

20 Pts. Required

Hold an officer position in a student organization


Distinguished student awards


Serve on university/division committee


Minor in Leadership Studies


Ally of Texas State


Equality University


Student Government Officer/Senator


Other (as approved by the DOS staff)



20 Pts. Required

Complete 30 service hours on campus or in the community


Complete 20 service hours with the Leadership Institute



Have questions about your eligibility or need help identifying ways to get points? Contact the Leadership Institute!

Expand or Collapse all.

    Danielle Callaway


    Danielle Callaway
    When I met Danielle, I immediately noticed that she is a very passionate individual and is constantly looking for ways to learn and share knowledge with those around her. Danielle has extensive volunteer experience and participates in numerous extra-curricular and professional activities. This upcoming semester Danielle will be attending the School of Pharmacy at Texas Tech University, where I know she will influence others positively and expand her leadership skills. Her work at Texas State is a testament to her passion for helping others and contributing with important knowledge to society. I recommend her without reservations for the Medal of Hope.

    Abigail Candalor


    Abigail Candalor
    As someone who has been mostly responsible for keeping the Leadership Institute alive (much less helping it to thrive!), Abigail is absolutely deserving of the Medal of Hope. Her expansive knowledge and background have helped her to serve so many areas of the Dean of Students Office and Texas State University. She is a servant leader, and provides stability, structure and an eye for the big picture as well. Her character and integrity are unquestioned, and I often find myself asking when faced with a dilemma, 'What Would Abigail Do?' She approaches her work with students with knowledge and understanding of her privilege, and uses this knowledge to serve and advocate for those who are underrepresented and whose voices are often unheard. She will continue to develop and support college students in her future roles, and her impact on our campus and department will be felt long after she graduates.

    Danyelle Ellsworth


    Danyelle Ellsworth
    I have had the pleasure of knowing Danyelle through my time as a faculty members, and during this time, I have been able to observe the growth of Ms. Ellsworth's leadership and academic skills. Danyelle is a joy to teach and a student with whom I am currently blessed to interact. She embodies everything one would hope for in a college student and future community member. Between her academics, activities, GPA and volunteer work, Danyelle has demonstrated the desire and strength to set a lofty goal and achieve it. She is one of the most creative, intriguing, intelligent and diligent young women that I have had the pleasure of teaching. She definitely exemplifies Texas State University as a place where not only ideas but also successful young adults grow. She is a most deserving recipient of the Leadership Institute's Medal of Hope Award.
    Loren Franke Loren Franke
    Loren has shown her dedication through participation in a variety of community-based programs that have encouraged leadership skills. I have seen Loren demonstrate great work ethic and a desire to commit to her dreams and goals. I believe Loren would be a great recipient for the Medal of Hope at Texas State University.

    Sydney Gillums


    Sydney Gillums
    It gives me great pleasure to recommend Ms. Sydney Gillums to be a recipient of the Medal of Hope. She is very deserving of this recognition and honor. As soon as I met Sydney, I knew she demonstrated a commitment to be a student leader at Texas State University. I saw her join Student Foundation and then continue to flourish and lead in so many events and activities on campus. I continued to see her develop as a student leader as she became a Peer Mentor. I personally have seen Sydney represent her student leadership by reaching out to new students and asking them questions to help them grow and mature. She definitely represents "hope" for the future in our Texas State Alumni.

    Baley Helton


    Baley Helton
    Baley has been my Instructional Assistant for two semesters, and I could not be more pleased with his performance. I have observed Baley interacting with his class; he is inclusive of all students, he is respectful, and he is professional. Baley leads by example and takes time to connect with his students. He takes the initiative and does not wait to be told to do something. When he sees work that can be done, he is quick to jump in and do it. His expertise in the subject matter and the fact that he treats everyone equally garners him respect from his students, and he has no problem leading and instructing them. It gives me great pleasure to recommend Baley Helton for the Medal of Hope Award. I sincerely believe he would be a well-deserving recipient.

    Sean Hembrick


    Sean Hembrick
    Sean is a strong advocate for students and social justice while mentoring undergraduate students. I have watched his work in action as he tirelessly volunteers with student programs, organizations and mentoring first generation college students. Mr. Hembrick is a person I depend on as he accomplishes everything with diligence and humility. Sean has a great personality and always has a smile on his face. He is an ambassador for Texas State University, and an example of success and leadership for the Texas State Black community and for groups who historically have been left out in higher education. He has gone through many hardships, but is able to withstand every barrier with grace and dignity.

    Cynthia Jacobo


    Cynthia Jacobo
    Cynthia has been an extremely involved and driven student over her time at Texas State. She is personable and has made a significant impact on the students whom she has touched. She is an excellent student, maintaining Dean's List achievement every year. She has been recognized for her scholarship and leadership by numerous scholarships and awards as well as offices held in student organizations. There are very few corners of campus Cynthia hasn't touched, and I strongly recommend she receive the Medal of Hope.

    Megan Maldonado


    Megan Maldonado
    I am fortunate to have supervised Megan as Vice President of the Undergraduate Exercise and Sports Science Organization this past year. She demonstrates exceptional qualities as a leader and handles responsibilities with confidence. She is an excellent student and has an abundance of volunteer opportunities that help expand her knowledge and experience in various aspects of the field. Megan continually attends professional development opportunities to enhance her personal and educational development. She is very intelligent, creative and is an outstanding leader. Among her many accomplishments, I feel she is an excellent applicant for the Medal of Hope.
    Samantha Martinez Samantha Martinez
    Samantha has always shown herself to be extremely resourceful, intelligent, self-motivated and committed in all phases of her life while at Texas State University. In her time here, Ms. Martinez has had an overwhelming commitment to advancing the brand of Texas State and has worked in a variety of capacities to elevate the student experience. She is an excellent communicator who operates with professionalism and grace as a leader that is routinely counted on to be the cornerstone of the project or program. Based on her work ethic and character, I would highly recommend her.

    N'Deye Ndiaye


    N'Deye Ndiaye
    N'Deye is a student who is socially conscious, civic-minded and politcally astute. She understands issues of social justice and works hard to promote inclusion within the student population with whom she works. She takes advantage of every opportunity and constantly challenges herself to grow as a person, a role model and leader. Passionate, relational, concerned, ethical, caring advocate and mentor for students, values-centered, utmost professional, sees the big picture, and one who empowers others are more ways to describe N'Deye. I want you to know that N'Deye's leadership potential is limitless. She is in the top 5% of students I have had the pleasure to work with during my tenure in higher education. I fully support N'Deye's application and know she will wear the Medal of Hope with pride.

    Jose Palacios


    Jose Palacios
    Jose distinguished himself as a leader in our class from the very first day. Not only was I impressed with his high GPA, but he was outgoing, enthusiastic, and highly involved in a diverse variety of campus activities. Jose is extremely dependable, competent and excited about new opportunities to learn, and I am hopeful that he will consider attending law school after graduating. Knowing Jose as well as I do, I can say with confidence that he is highly deserving of this recognition.

    Amanda Phillips


    Amanda Phillips
    Amanda has demonstrated a commitment to her personal development as a student leader at Texas State University. She represents "The Hope" we have in the next generation of Bobcat Leaders, and has already proved to have an impact on students within the Texas State communities. The knowledge and skills gained through her involvement in the Leadership Institute is complemented by a compelling engagement history on and off campus. From extensive investment in her leadership and personal development to significant serve at the university, in her hometown and on the state-level for her field, Amanda exemplifies the character and dedication that is expected of a recipient for the Medal of Hope recognition.

    Tess Raven


    Tess Raven
    Tess has always demonstrated a sincere love for their family, friends and the Texas State University community, where they have tirelessly served as a leader within the Dean of Students Office. Their sense of purpose and duty has allowed them to earn my friendship and admiration because of their intense passion to serve others. It is these qualities, along with their friendly, enthusiastic demeanor that led me to endorse their future endeavors and provide guidance in their pursuits. Tess is an outspoken and courageous leader who shares their thoughts and encourages their peers to speak up when they have an opinion that may differ from their own. I whole-heartedly endorse Tess Raven for the Medal of Hope and encourage you to recognize this outstanding leader for their contributions to Texas State University.
      Rashad Salters
    Rashad is a bright student, respected student leader, advocate for underrepresented students including student veterans and an excellent role model. Rashad has displayed a commitment to becoming an advocate for social justice issues. He took a pledge and became an ALLY for the LGBTQIA community, an in many cases, has advocated for supporting veterans in their multiple and intersecting identities. Rashad actively seeks opportunities by immersing himself in conferences and workshops that help him become a better and more informed student, leader and advocate. He is a humble student leader who mentors, encourages and connects his friends and peers to resources and support services at Texas State. Just as importantly, he is a great role model who champions the success of others including underrepresented students and community members. He absolutely exemplifies all the qualities and attributes of a recipient of the Medal of Hope.
    Haley Tucker Haley Tucker
    I believe that Haley is an ideal candidate for the Medal of Hope, having dedicated herself to assisting new students and peers, as well as serving in positions of leadership to make Texas State a better space for everyone. She is truly an exceptional student and leader, and she has become a role model for other students to become peer mentors at Texas State. Haley has demonstrated repeatedly through her time on campus that she is one of this university's finest students - setting examples for her fellow students and for those who will follow in her footsteps, positively impacting the academic paths of numerous students on a daily basis. It has been a privilege to have her as a student and to know her as a young professional. Frankly, Haley Tucker embodies everything we hope to see in an ideal student at Texas State.

    Kelly Vargas


    Kelly Vargas
    I have had the opportunity to observe Kelly as a student and also as a leader amongst her peers. She consistently puts herself in situations that will help her grow as a student and future professional. Kelly is a clear leader and distinguished herself as a bright student with excellent work ethic. Her leadership style combines charisma and confidence with poise and competence to effectively achieve group goals. I have also interacted with Kelly during a capstone course that examines the intersection of social justice issues with recreation and therapeutic recreation issues. She contributes insightful and relevant perspectives, but is also open to and respectful of the perspectives of her classmates. Kelly represents Texas State University well, and is deserving of the Medal of Hope award.


  • Crystal Akanwa Crystal Akanwa
    Crystal is one of the most dedicated and hardest-working students we have had the pleasure of employing. She is extremely personable, intelligent and always thinking "outside of the box." She is committed to involvement in our community, bringing her unique personal warmth and enthusiasm.
    Alezandra Aleman Alezandra Aleman
    Alezandra has excelled in going above and beyond the standards of an employee and as a student. As she has taken advantage of amazing opportunities, even our conversations have changed as has her character, integrity and leadership. She is highly qualified for the Medal of Hope.
      Anisah Y. Ali
    Anisah demonstrates a commitment to the development and enhancement of her personal growth, the organizations she is a part of, and the overall campus community. It is my strong belief that she will uphold the principles of the Medal of Hope through her desire to create responsible and positive social change within her community through her advocacy work and service to others.
    Bekah Araujo Bekah Araujo
    Karah Beavers Karah L. Beavers
    Karah is one of the most outstanding undergraduates I've worked with in over 30 years of college teaching. She works well with peers and inspires dedication. She brings innovation and vision to her responsibilities, and I'm sure these same characteristics and values will follow her into her career.
      Naiha Asuncion Campos
    I have been extremely impressed with Naiha because she is such a positive individual that constantly inspires those that are around her despite her challenging history. I can only imagine the positive impact that she is going to make as she graduates from this university and moves into greater positions of influence.
    Lashantynia Clayton Lashantynia J. Clayton
    Ms. Clayton is an unassuming leader who works well alongside her coworkers who share very distinct cultural backgrounds. I have been grateful to witness the blossoming of relationships with her professors, peers and other faculty and staff members which have allowed her to become the proactive leader I know.
    Alyson Crowley Alyson Crowley
    Aly has tremendous work ethic, is remarkably persistent, demonstrates ingenuity and is highly effective in using her strong interpersonal skills. Alyson epitomizes enthusiasm and optimism, is extremely culturally competent, and is a very diligent worker academically who gets amazing results.
    Janelle Garza Janelle Garza
    Janelle is definitely someone who is socially conscious, open-minded and civically astute. She has taken advantage of every opportunity presented to her and constantly challenges herself to grow as a person, as a role model and as a leader.
    Shantel Garza Shantel Garza
    Shantel is an absolutely amazing young lady who has gone above and beyond in her endeavors as a student and citizen of her community. I have known Shantel for several years, and I've seen her mature into a wonderfully responsible and well-educated young woman who has dedicated her life to helping others.
    Drew Gonzalez Andrew (Drew) Gonzalez
    Drew has grown to be a well-respected, knowledgeable, thoughtful student leader. He has the respect of his peers, his advisors, faculty and younger students who seek him out for advice. He is well spoken and has a heart for students.
    Juan Carlos Hernandez Juan Carlos Hernandez
    Ryan Kessinger Ryan Kessinger
    I have very high level of respect and reverence for Ryan. I am truly in awe of their ability to lead, think creatively, persist, and create change. Where there is a need, Ryan can be counted on to stand up for what is right and good. I admire and applaud their altruism, ability to lead, grit to create effective institutions, willingness to dare, hope that inspires and labor of love.
    Stefanie Maldonado Stefanie Maldonado
    As a transfer student, Stefanie has shown extraordinary commitment to leadership and to Texas State University as a Bobcat. She challenged herself to become involved to earn the medal, but also has learned and grown as a leader along the way, while graduating with honors.
    Mariela Martinez Mariela Martinez
    I've found Mariela to be a hard worker and diligent student. Mariela has been involved in many activities while at Texas State and she has held leadership positions in many of them. She is eager to learn, sets high standards for herself and is highly motivated.
    Tamara Merritt Tamara Merritt
    I would first describe her as a passionate person. Her passion is infectious, inspiring others to take interest in higher education, sociology, aging issues, and community service. It is simply astounding that she completed 200 hours of community service in her first year at Texas State, while adjusting to a new campus environment as a transfer student.
      Malik M. Mingo
    Malik has dedicated himself to contributing to multiple facets of this university, just like he will do wherever his career takes him next. His extracurricular involvement has granted him the opportunity to meet a plethora of students, faculty and staff. For all those he has met and interacted with, he has been an outstanding representation of what it means to be a Bobcat.
    Karina Ogunlana Karina Y. Ogunlana
    Karina is a strong advocate for students and is known on our campus for her work with ALL students! Words that best define Ms. Ogunlana are dedication, ambition, and passion. Her motivation is second to non, and her character is pristine.
    Paola Olvera Paola Olvera
    Paola has been incredibly active with her service and volunteer work, with a focus on both youth and underrepresented minorities. Through her service, she helps girls with homework, and speaks with them about women empowerment, hygiene, self-love, and educational opportunities. Balancing all of these activities with her academics is a testament to her time management skills, motivation and dedication to the wider community.
    Paige Pelletier Paige Pelletier
    Paige has embodied structure, enthusiasm, and sacrifice for the last three years. Paige promotes unity and has been an active contributor to the Leadership Institute. She definitely deserves the Medal of Hope as she sacrificed all of herself to engage in servant leadership for her peers to follow.
    Dyhanara Rios Dyhanara Rios
    Dy is an invaluable asset to the Meadows Center, our university and our student community; she is extraordinarily helpful and always willing to pitch in, regardless of the circumstances. She is respected by her co-workers and fellow students, and is viewed as a leader and a generous friend. Her willingness to learn, and her ability to improvise, prioritize and work under pressure are skills not often seen.
      Denise K. Salters
    She serves others for the greater good, not because it will benefit her in any way. She is a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with, always wants to help out in any way she can, and is such an inspiration. One thing I can say for certain, she is going to make a difference in the world, because she already has for so many people.
      Gina M. Segura
    Kara Solis Kara M. Solis
    Kara is an independent thinker who puts a lot of thought and effort into her work. She is willing to voice her opinions and ideas, and actively seeks out feedback, consistently striving to improve and challenge herself. She is extremely conscientious and hard working.
    Lauren Tyler-Smith Lauren Tyler-Smith
    Isell Varela Isell J. Varela
    Isell represents the best that Texas State has to offer. Her dedication to our community and social justice is apparent through her words and her actions. Isell is inspiring the next generation as, I hope, we have inspired her.
    Lexus Wren Lexus Wren


  • Michelle Arreguin
    Mackenzie E. Carhart
    Ruth Flores Carrillo
    Valeria Carrillo
    Elizabeth Cruz
    Audrey Cull
    Cynthia Garza
    Andrea L. Gordillo
    Mayson A. Hornsby
    Tumilara O. Idowu
    Ramces Luna
    Katherine M. Martin
    Samuel Myers
    Gabriela Perez
    Taylor T. Polanco
    Joshua N. Quinn
    Mackenzie (Davidson) Reiter
    Aja L. Rodriguez
    Kelly L. Salas
    Samantha K. Sheffield
    Ashley Shoemake
    Chelsea C. Thompson
    Storm Inez Monteiro Tyler
    Alexis N. Velasquez
    Samantha M. Wimberly
    Amanda N. Zanella

  • Bailey P. Albrecht
    Drake J. Allen
    John-Patrick Blackard
    Haley A. Bunnell
    Tiffany J. Burr
    Emily E. Cardenas
    Hallie Casey
    Leigh Ann Clemons
    Chad Higdon
    Madelon Leigh Hillegeist
    Jennifer M. Lirette
    Yolany Melgarejo
    Adam Odomore
    Elijah Serena
    Katharine N. Sobel
    Mae L. Strang
    Clancy Taylor

  • Samantha E.R. Blondell
    Jessica L. Cline
    Francisco Cruz Mendez
    Jordan Ashton Gass-Poore'
    Kristina A. Graves
    Elizabeth N. Grothaus
    Jaime L. Hollingsworth
    Warren B. McAdams
    Stephanie Lauren Moore
    Aaron Noon
    Vanessa M. Rivera
    Cassandra Trevino

  • Goretti Acevedo
    Nancy Alvarado
    Nakeria Lynch
    Nathan McDaniel
    GiGi McDowell
    Jasmin McDuffie
    Brenna Murphey
    Jesus Palacios
    Victoria Paris
    Marie Rivera-Diaz
    Roberto Sanchez
    Sarah Smallwood
    Diana Soria
    Marjea Wheaton