Foundations of Excellence 2012
Foundations Of Excellence Committee Nathan McDaniel Gabriel Garcia Tyler Johnson Alyssa Macias Jackie Gress Emma Schaffrath
Dr. Margarita M. Arellano, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Erik D. Malmberg, Leadership Institute Coordinator, Student Foundation Co-Advisor Mary Ann Ortiz-Moerke Dean of Students Staff
Student Foundation Executive Council
W. Taylor Smith, President Shanna Schultz, Executive Vice President
Christopher P. Ramirez, Vice President for Finance Lindsey Hendrix, Vice President for Administration
Founded in 1978 and chartered by the Dean of Students Office, the Texas State Student Foundation was organized for the purpose of encouraging student leaders to be involved in campus, community and alumni activities; to provide enhanced leadership development opportunities; to enlist outstanding students at Texas State; and to promote the general welfare of the university. The Student Foundation hosted their first annual Foundations of Excellence ceremony on April 14, 2005. The purpose of the event was to allow members of Student Foundation to honor faculty and staff members who have served as an extraordinary foundation for studentsâ€™ academic, professional, and personal success while at Texas State. This event has since become of the organizationâ€™s signature events along with the Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony and Bobcat Pause Memorial Service.
Mrs. Lanita Legan Nominated by Jackie Gress
Associate Director, LBJ Student Center Through her leadership at Texas State, mentoring countless young adults, and full commitment to the University, Lanita Legan shows daily that she embodies every quality that Foundation of Excellence basis itself on. She is an incredible leader here at Texas State. Her official title is Associate Director of the LBJ Student Center. However, her list of jobs seems never ending. As Associate Director she is responsible for the Planning Assessment Leadership and Marketing office. She is also responsible for PAWS Preview, as the director of the program. Lanita’s position in the student center also allows her to sit on many committees, including Emerging Stars and The Leadership Institute. Beyond her actual job duties, Lanita has taken an extra step to help Texas State students. She is involved in Greek life as the advisor for Pi Kappa Phi, in graduate students’ lives as the advisor for GSAC, and students across campus as the advisor for CRU and PAWS Preview. Lanita also takes a special interest in new Bobcats as she has taught countless University Seminar classes. I was personally introduced to Lanita through PAWS preview. Since she was the director of the program, I did not get to know her well until I became a co-chair my sophomore year. That year, though, I quickly learned that Lanita was a wealth of information. I was able to approach her about anything from PAWS Preview to my personal life. She would always listen to what I had to say, and give advice where needed. As PAWS 2010 was drawing to a close, however, Lanita truly became a mentor to me. I was struggling to decide if I should apply for Student Manager due to the fact that I could not quit my other job and school had to remain a priority. In her own way Lanita told me that I needed to apply for the position, and the rest would fall into place. She was right, as always. Thanks to many meetings and discussions with Lanita, I successfully managed PAWS Preview, Head Lifeguard, and earned all A’s. Lanita listened to me laugh, cry, and panic no matter how long her “to do” list was that day. As my time at Texas State is drawing to a close, Lanita is still proving to be instrumental in my success. She has written incredible letters of reference for me, made time to listen to my life problems, and even made suggestions to foster my decisions. I am not the only student affected by Lanita’s caring nature. In Student Foundation alone there are several students who look to Lanita for guidance. Nathan McDaniel, Anyssa Bohanan, and Sammantha Jonson are just a few examples. I cannot tell you how many times I have passed another student leader leaving Lanita’s office on my way in for advice. Lanita’s open door policy and listening ears, along with her commitments to Texas State prove just how deserving she is of this award. She has shaped my experience at Texas State, as well as so many of my peers. I truly hope that I can give back everything Lanita has given me simply by paying it forward. Lanita will never accept a thank you in return for what she gives, instead she asks us to pay it forward. She expects her students to shape and, more importantly, support the leaders of tomorrow. I certainly plan to do so in every aspect, except for one. Lanita, I will never be able to find grammar errors on a fellow students final draft time and time again. I apologize for being unable to pay that quality forward and I hope that you understand.
Ms. Jonnie Wilson Nominated by Darious Jones
Assistant Director, Multicultural Student Affairs When I think of what a phenomenal woman of God is, the first name that first comes to my mind is Ms. Jonnie Wilson. My sophomore year of college I kept hearing the name “Mamma Wilson”, and I kept trying to figure out who this person is. When I came to the MLK Planning Committee meeting two years ago I finally met her. Little did I know what I was getting myself into when I decided to join this committee. Ms. Wilson was our advisor and told us that we basically ran the program. With those th th words we did exactly that and made the 26 and 27 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Commemorations some of the best Texas State University has seen. It wasn’t always easy, but Ms.Wilson made it a learning experience for me. From that day forward I knew why people called Ms.Wilson “Mamma Wilson”. She is always there to help students and go that extra mile to make sure things go accordingly. Sometimes she shows here love by filling up your Bobcatmail inbox, or she may even award you with here famous peach cobbler. Now Mamma Wilson is my advisor once again for Black Student Alliance and I’m sure she gets annoyed by my frequent un-announced meetings with her in her office., but she has a deep love for helping students I’m sure I make her day! Ms. Wilson has inspired me to further pursue my education into Student Affairs and work in the Multicultural Cultural Student Affairs Departmen. Ms. Wilson is more than worthy of a Foundation of Excellence award considering every student considers her as their second mom. She is a motivator, inspiration, and a mother to us all. There will never be another Jonnie Wilson. I live my life to help others because there was someone like Mamma Wilson to do the same for me.
Dr. Emily BalanoffJones Nominated by Andrew Henley
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science Throughout the years I have had several educators who have gone above and beyond for their students, and while here at Texas State there is one who has made a significant impact on my life. Dr. Emily BalanoffJones was my professor for Public Personnel Administration, the first class that I took after switching my major to Public Administration. Needless to say, her class would set the foundation for my introduction to my new field of study. Her overall personality and excitement about public administration was truly awe inspiring and after five minutes I knew that I was really going to enjoy her course. But, it was not just her excitement about her field, but also her charismatic attitude and unique teaching style. When any student hears that they wonâ€™t have any tests for a class their initial reaction is excitement, and I was no different. But that does not mean she did not challenge her students in other ways. Instead Dr. BalanoffJones had her students look at public personnel through a new prism. One way she did this was to have everyone in the class lead a discussion over an issue within public personnel; allowing students to venture from their comfort zone. When the semester came to a close we all had to turn in a final paper in where we analyzed a public organization, which gave her students a chance to put into practice all of the things we learned over the semester. Her course definitely challenged students in an innovative way, and her class, by far, ranks quite high amongst the classes that I have taken while attending Texas State. It is not just her teaching style that truly highlights why she deserves to be awarded a Foundation of Excellence award, but also her character. In the fall of 2011 I applied for membership into Student Foundation, and when it came to the letter of recommendation I turned to her. She was more than willing to write the letter on my behalf, and even printed a copy for me to read. I can honestly say that it was one of the best letters of recommendation anyone has ever written me. Upon hearing of my acceptance into Student Foundation I made sure to thank her because I feel that her letter truly aided me in becoming a member. Although she has helped me immensely, I am not the only student whom she has helped. She works very hard to aid all of her students in developing their potential, and challenging them to become leaders within our campus community. I have spoken to several of my former classmates and they too view Dr. Balanoff-Jones as a mentor, and it is these students who are willing to take time out of their schedules to go to her office and just talk about their life, education, future plans, organizations, or just to catch up. Even though I am no longer in any of her classes, she still is playing a major role in my education here at Texas State. I am the president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and I have asked Dr. Balanoff-Jones to be one of the guest speakers at one of our meetings this semester. I am quite excited that our members will get a chance to see an amazing professor who is excited about enriching students. Also, I am honored and privileged to have a mentor like Dr. Balanoff-Jones to go to for any questions or advice. I am currently taking part in the Housely Principled Leadership Program, where I was challenged to find a mentor. That person for me was Dr. Balanoff-Jones. It is because of the impact she has left on me and to all of her students that I believe she truly embodies what Foundations of Excellence stands for; as well as, what Student Foundation stands for. Dr. Balanoff-Jones is an Ambassador of this university, a Leader to her students, and Loyal to developing leaders on this campus. She is a true educator, whose teachings will forever go beyond the classroom, and will impact the lives of current and future Bobcats for years to come.
Mrs. Dusty Vaught Nominated by Anyssa Bohanan
Coordinator, Marketing and Promotions, LBJ Student Center From the moment I was brought into the LBJ Student Center marketing office as a staff member last January, I felt at home. I took one look and knew it was no ordinary workplace, and it wasn’t just the laid back atmosphere, the incredible work ethic instilled in the staff, or that we eat our weight in food in the office every day with seemingly no effects on our overall weight gain. In all honesty, it’s none of these small quirks that make the difference each day that I go in to work. One of the main reasons I love my job so much is my boss. Let me preface this by saying that Dusty Vaught is not your average supervisor, but more like a mom away from home. She’s more concerned with whether you’ve had lunch and how stressed you are with school than how much work you’ve gotten done. Always there for you to vent to on your bad days and there to celebrate your successes on a good one, Dusty has always been the first one to tell me that I could do it and the last one to give up on any idea. For this, she’s one of the biggest inspirations for my own personal leadership group. She has taught me that being a leader is more than just having the ability to tell other people what to do. It’s not about being able to guide others in my footsteps. I’ve learned just from watching my own leader that leading is about teaching others to successfully guide themselves. Those of us who work with her know best, but Dusty an amazing mentor because often I don’t think she even knows that’s she doing it. As a student leader I’ve often admired the number of students who seem impacted by Dusty’s cheerful “Can-Do” spirit on a regular basis. She’ll drop anything and everything to help anyone with a problem, especially students. It doesn’t matter what she’s in the middle of: preparing the office or working on something for herself, as soon as anyone walks through the door she’s sure to take care of whatever you need. Working in the student center Dusty sees many different students from every organization, department, background and place come through her door a day, and is always considered with their welfare and how best to help them. Dusty has the want, and ability, to take on other people’s dreams and make them her own so that she’s not just affecting the student center, but all of the students in it who will then go on to affect others whom they meet, just like the amazing mentor she is. Like Batman on a dark night when his signal goes into the sky, as soon as Dusty hears the call she springs into action. She’ll always go above and beyond so that if she doesn’t know the answer she’ll be the first to get someone on the phone, send out a text or make a trip down the hall (and even down the elevator) to find it. This one trait if nothing else has seemed to rub off on our office, including myself, the most, like ‘Office Osmosis’. Whether it’s Office Osmosis or not, Dusty Vaught has changed my leadership ways and perspectives in ways that she probably doesn’t even know, and now is my time to thank her for all the ways she’s done it. Thank you Dusty! You have been another mom for your staff, philanthropist for students everywhere, superhero for the rest of the world, and role model for me.
Mr. Robert Severance Nominated by Olivia Birkhead
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Accounting At the end of my freshman year I decided, like most students, to change my major. I went from a Journalism major to an Accounting major overnight and was already double guessing my decision. I entered my first accounting class not knowing what to expect, was I going to hate it, love it? My professor was Severance and I knew absolutely nothing about him besides the fact that he fit my schedule. During the course of the first class I realized that it was going to be something that I would thoroughly enjoy because of the one simple line that Professor Severance said “Accounting is Common Sense.” I quickly realized the importance of attending class every day and the second that I did not understand something I found myself in Professor Severance’s office asking him for help. He was always more than willing and I quickly began to respect this professor. I found myself wanting to get the highest grades on the test, so that he would know how serious I was. He was someone that I wanted to impress and have proud of me. I made it out of his class with a high “A” and with a mentor that I would come to lean on whenever I needed help. Even after I made it out of his Intro to Financial Accounting class I was going to him with questions from my other classes. He was/is more than willing to help and he always makes time to see me. He has written numerous Recommendation letters for me and I can always count on him when it comes down to the deadline to get one out fast. He is the kind of professor that puts himself into the students shoes. He tells us what to expect when we enter the world and he has answered countless questions for me about internships, scholarships, and even what professors to take. He is the kind of professor that wants his students to succeed. Being a graduate of Texas State himself he knows what it means to make his University proud and show his bobcat pride. He is also a professor that I can go complain to when I am having a rough day, or even a rough semester. He never loses faith in you, he just says “You can do it.” There is a difference though, when he says it you know that he means it. Professor Severance is quite possibly one of the best professors at this University and he is definitely my favorite. He is proud of his students, his profession and most importantly, his University. He has taught me to put my whole self into whatever I am doing and to not give up even when the road is getting a little bumpy. Professor Severance also made me want to help others with accounting. Unfortunately, accounting is usually one of those things that either clicks, or it just doesn’t. I like to tutor students using the tricks that he taught me and telling them that they made a huge mistake in not taking Professor Severance. I still to this day enjoy going to his office and telling him that I don’t understand how other people don’t understand! Tutoring accounting to other students has definitely made me respect him even more for being so patient and understanding of students and their lack of accounting knowledge. Whenever I am trying to explain something to them, I use my favorite line and remind them that “Accounting is Common Sense.”
Mrs. Rocio Ortiz Nominated by Shanna Schultz
Sales Assistant, University Bookstore Since the formation of Student Foundation, our organization strives to find and recognize the best of Texas State University. We seek out students with exceptional ethics, outstanding leadership and extraordinary pride of our university. 'Foundations of Excellence' is no difference. My nominee, Mrs. Rocio V. Ortiz meets our high standards and more. She embodies the very nature of ducis, fides, and legatus. Fides or loyal. Rocio is faithful to all who she surrounds herself with. As my manager at the University Bookstore, she strives to maintain confidence and loyalty with all her students. She fosters an atmosphere that encourages students to come to her for anything. Additionally, she understands the importance of being loyal to her student’s goals. As a student, I am concerned with my education and she not only respects it, she enhances it. I cannot name the amount of times Rocio has endured my broken Spanish to help me learn or told me personal accounts of what it’s like to be a Hispanic woman living in the United State to help me understand the language of Spanish I am trying to learn. She has shown me how critical being loyal and inspiring confidence is to being an effective leader. Ducis or leader. Considering Rocio’s position as my manager, leadership is something she takes very seriously as a part of her management style. There have been days where she and I would sit to discuss methods of leadership; exchanging ideas and personal experiences about our success and failures. She incorporates equity in our working environment for all of her students. In addition to being a leader, she practices the principles of servant leadership. Even when she has her own tasks to complete, she makes times to work with me and the other students on the floor; folding shirts, tagging merchandise and restocking the floor even though it’s not part of her job description. Each day, she teaches me that you never forget the people who support you, regardless of a title or position. Legatus or ambassador. Rocio isn’t just a manager; she is also a buyer for the University Bookstore as well. Rocio sits in hours worth of vender meetings, making sure to pick the very best merchandize to represent Texas State University. Additionally, she incorporates students in her meetings to immediate feedback about what Texas State students want. She carries the pride of the Hill Country to expos and conventions, always quick to correct skeptics that were are not UT, but better. Aside from Rocio being a great manager, she is also a dedicated graduate student and a wonderful mother and wife. Everyday, I see her balance school, work and family. She is not just an ambassador of our university but of women. Her life shows me that you can have a fulfilling career, a wide social circle, advanced education and a brilliant family. She is a statement of success. When I’ve lost my confidence, she is always quick to encourage me and build me back up with her words. With her actions, I see how successful women can be regardless of gender, class, ethnicity or background. As my time as a student at Texas State comes to an end, I find the world beyond to embrace of San Marcos daunting and intimidating. When I share my fears with Rocio, she inspires me with personal stories of what she’s overcome and all that she has gained. Being a woman in our world can be difficult, trying to respond to pressures of family and careers. However, I find no woman more inspiring that a woman like me can balance my dreams and my responsibilities. In the barest truth, Rocio shows me I can achieve anything. I am so proud to call her my manager and grateful to call her my friend. She reminds me every day of important it is to be an ambassador of my choice. She is loyal to her friends and a leader in her community. She mirrors the ideals of Student Foundation and each day builds foundations of excellence.
Mrs. Kimberly Porterfield Nominated by Tyler Johnson
Director of Community Relations You did a great job tonight” Kim said to me as we both stepped down from the dais after a late night city council meeting. We were both fighting for the city to adopt single stream recycling throughout single and multifamily housing. The measure had passed the city council and it would soon be implemented. The feeling of accomplishment could be seen in Kim’s eyes. This was an overwhelmingly large accomplishment for all residents of San Marcos. Kim Porterfield, a member of the city council and Director of Community Relations for Texas State University, is one of the most genuine, caring, and giving people that I have known at my time in San Marcos. Often we look down upon politicians as self-interested and arrogant. Kim is just the opposite. Her impact on the community and the student body is by far colossal. I first met Kim nearly three and a half years ago when I was a freshman. I was a Senator in the Associated Student Government and it seemed as if Kim spent all of her free Monday nights, Senate meeting night, soliciting students to help with community relations projects, speaking to community elementary students, and organizing educational events for community members. Her relentless perseverance in ensuring that students and community residents are able to see eye to eye and live harmoniously is truly a foundation of excellence—selfless service. She never gave up on anyone or anything and I wouldn’t realize this until years later. The next year I served with Kim on the city council, she was re-elected to the council and I was serving as the student representative. We sat on the dais listening as local residents berated students week after week for being too noisy, disrespectful, and awful. I’m most certain that Kim and I heard every word in the book about the student body coming from disgruntled residents. This never discouraged Kim. I remember meeting with Kim for numerous lunch dates as we discussed matters coming up on the city council and how the public would react. She was never once worried that her decisions would not get her reelected, all she knew was that she was going to do the right thing. Kim would defend the student body at community meetings and would propose solutions to building a better relationship. She would even volunteer her time at block walks for the Achieving Community Together initiative knocking on doors telling residents about the principles of coexistence. Her charisma and charm is warm and an example to anyone that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to. Kim has been a mentor not only to me but many students as she founded the Students for Community Relations organization on campus. Anytime I needed help Kim was there willing to help. I can say that she consistently displays another pillar of the foundation of excellence—mentorship. It is my opinion that a great leader inspires those around them to work for a higher purpose. Kim does just that, she inspires students and community members alike to invest in building the strongest community in the nation. Kim’s unequivocal display of leadership is something that I hope to someday achieve. I have seen her pour her heart into this community and that compassion shines above all; it is simply contagious. I have learned a valuable lesson from Kim that being a public servant is never about yourself it’s about ensuring that you take care of those around you. I will always keep this lesson with me forever. Her selfless service to both the student body and the San Marcos community is unchallenged. She is a gem to the city of San Marcos and Texas State and thus placing her as a true Foundation of Excellence.
Dr. Rebekah Fox Nominated by Emma Schaffrath
Associate Professor, Dept. of Comm. Studies When first presented with the task of nominating a professor for the Foundations of Excellence award, I hesitated for all of a minute before coming to the obvious conclusion of Dr. Rebekah Fox as my nominee. Dr. Fox is what I consider the best-kept secret and greatest ally for the students of the Communication Studies department, perhaps the entire population of Texas State. With a professional career that put most people twice her age to shame and countless articles and achievements with her name on them, she is without a doubt one of the most accomplished people I’ve ever known. Her work at Texas State alone, as co-advisor to the Lambda Pi Eta honors society and as a judge, presenter, and member of various committees, has been inspiration to anyone who knows her and the University we are fortunate she calls home. Although all that would be enough to earn the award for Dr. Fox, she is so much more than what makes up her Vita. She is personable, hilarious, and one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. She makes being in her class a treat, something to look forward to in your day and one that you would be heartbroken not to attend. As a student in her environmental communication class, I have already learned more in those hours in her classroom than some learn in the entire semester of a class. She keeps her students on their toes, rapt with attention and eager to her stories of her dogs, husband, or the funny people she’s met in her rather illustrious career. It’s easy for any professor to tell a story about their life, but only the select few like Dr. Fox, teach you something with that story of a grad school class she had years ago. Despite only being at Texas State for a couple of years, Dr. Fox has already become a favorite among students within the Comm Studies department, with her classes next to impossible to get into come registration times and hearing nothing but how much her past students have loved her class. With her courses of Persuasion and Environmental Communication, she is bringing together many different majors, from Geography, to Political Science to Business majors, simply because the courses she teaches knows no bounds. She is an inspiration for not just one department, but many, because she is the type of professor who brings something different to the classroom, to the campus, and the San Marcos as a whole in any way she can. You would be hard-pressed to find a student who didn’t have a story about how Dr. Fox had been an excellent professor, one who pushed them hard to in the classroom while genuinely caring about whether or not they succeed. While to many this has become a rarity in professors, for Dr. Fox, you can just tell it is the only way she knows how to teach, something that at Texas State, we more than lucky to have.
Mr. Corey Wheeler Nominated by Andreina Calzada
Resident Director, Dept. Housing and Residential Life When I came to Texas State, I never expected for a faculty member to make such a huge impact on my life. As a current junior at this university, I have had the opportunity to meet amazing friends, classmates, advisors, and professors. However, it was not until this past semester that I met Mr. Corey Wheeler, who has not only been my boss, but also a mentor and role model to me. As a Resident Director, Corey’s passion for student development shows every day when he interacts with his staff and residents. He truly cares about helping students achieve their fullest potential at Texas State. A Texas State Alumni, Corey has a tremendous amount of school spirit that easily rubs off to anyone he encounters. He loves Texas State and he loves his job. As a first year Resident Assistant, I was extremely excited and nervous about starting my job. I was not completely sure what I had gotten myself into, but I trusted that I could handle it. I’m so blessed to have Corey as my Resident Director because he constantly motivates and encourages me and my fellow staff members. This past fall semester was by far the busiest semester of my Texas State career. I was constantly overwhelmed with classes, organizations, and my job. There were times when I just felt like I couldn’t handle it. Corey listened to me vent and watched me cry a few times. In previous jobs that I have had, I would have never been comfortable enough to talk and cry to my boss. However, Corey is not only my boss and mentor, but he is also a friend. I know that I have his support. Corey treats me and each resident assistant as if we were his own kids. He wants what is best for us. Corey has willingly worked some of mine and some of the other RA’s desk shifts whenever we have had schedule conflicts or simply because we were stressed and needed that extra hour or so to study for a test. It is in the small things that he does for us that I truly see how much he cares about his staff. He is also flexible with us and works with our schedules to ensure that none of our RA duties conflict with our academics. He always reminds us that we are students first. Any RA can attest that he is constantly offering to help in any which way to help keep our stress levels stay low. Corey also cares deeply about each of his residents and always helps them if they ever need anything. You can find him in the lobby hanging out with the residents in the middle of the day. He not only asks them how their day is, but actually holds conversations with them. I have seen Corey on numerous occasions helping residents with their homework. He takes time out of his busy schedule to do that because he wants students to succeed. I cannot say enough about how much Corey has influenced me. He has helped me develop as a leader and as a mentor. He has been there for me every step of the way in my new job experience as an RA. I know that I can always count on him if I ever need anything. He is truly an admirable individual.
Mrs. Nina Pereira Nominated by W. Taylor Smith
Coordinator for Leadership Development, Dept. of Housing and Residential Life Some people say that leaders are born; others say leaders are made. I’m not sure which is right, but I know who gave me the foundation I needed and made me the student leader that I am today: Nina Pereira. Nina Pereira is the Coordinator for Leadership Development for the Department of Housing and Residential Life at Texas State University. She is also the staff advisor for the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and was my advisor for two years, and most deserving of the coveted Foundations of Excellence Award. Rewind to 2009, I was the secretary/treasurer-elect for RHA and students were asked to sit on an interviewing panel for a new position within Housing. I was told that I would be sitting in on Nina Pereira’s interview and I was given one bit of insight from an old mentor of mine, Mel Ferrari. She said, “Just close your eyes and listen to her voice. I swear it isn’t what you’d expect;” and she was right, it wasn’t. Nina’s voice is the first thing you’ll notice about her; it’s a part of her personality: it’s fun, bubbly, optimistic, and has a can-do spirit about it. If you don’t believe me, just ask her to say, “Yeah, we can make that work!” She was coming to us from the University of Arizona, and, apparently the rest of her interviews went well, because she was hired. She was hired at the end of spring ’09; however, we didn’t get to work with her until officer training in August. My first impression of her as an advisor was “who is this woman; who does she think she is; she’s much too organized; we are not going to get along.” I was a careless student leader at that time, I ran for the title because I wanted just that, the title, and I think she could tell; but she still worked with me. Nina instilled everything she knew about student leadership in me: good communication, punctuality (which at the time was not a strong point of mine), professionalism, responsibility, ethics, and integrity. I always felt supported by Nina during my most trying times as a student leader, especially when I was denied membership to Student Foundation the first time. This was all within her first year of advising me. I had the fortunate opportunity to be elected RHA President my junior year, and an even more fortunate opportunity to be advised by Nina once again. This time she was extremely pregnant the first semester of my presidency; but that’s just a part of Nina’s charm: she doesn’t let anything get in her way. While Nina instilled in me those great leadership qualities: good communication, punctuality, professionalism, responsibility, ethics, and integrity my first year on the executive board, she made sure those qualities resonated and shone brightly during my second year. After all, the advisor of an organization works with the vice president and the secretary and/or treasurer of an organization on one level, but the level on which the advisor works with the president is double that, maybe even triple. We had weekly one-on-ones; but they might as well have been daily—she never refused to meet with me as long as it wasn’t interfering with her other scheduled obligations. I received advice from her on a daily basis, advice that I tried my hardest to live by when dealing with all things RHA. She was also nothing but supportive when I originally was running for student body vice president, and when I decided to step down from that position and run for executive vice president for Student Foundation. Even though that year on that executive board had its rough times, some more fun than the others, she was always by my side and made me feel appreciated and supported. Another great thing about Nina is the way in which you feel you’re the only student that she advises, when in fact, she advises two executive boards, residence directors, and countless students who wish to improve on their leadership development. Nina never turns down a student, no matter what is on her schedule, which truly shows that she is fully committed to a University that boasts a student-centered environment. The motto of Student Foundation is Legatus-Ducis-Fides, ambassadors-leaders-loyal: Nina fits all of these perfectly. She is an ambassador to the Department of Housing and Residential Life, she is a leader among leaders, and she is loyal to her students and the organizations she advises. I look up to her in every way and she has made an impact on me that no faculty or staff member at this University has had.
Nina Pereira is a role model in everything that she is: an advisor, a professional, a mother, and friend. She doesn’t get much recognition for what she does so I nominated her for Foundations of Excellence last year; unfortunately, she wasn’t chosen. I’m so very happy that you were chosen for this year, Nina. You are everything anyone would ever hope for in an advisor, which truly makes you a Foundation of Excellence for this great university.
Congratulations Dr. Emily Balanoff-Jones Dr. Rebekah Fox Mrs. Lanita Legan Ms. Jonnie Wilson Mrs. Rocio Ortiz Mrs. Nina Pereira Mrs. Kimberly Porterfield Mr. Robert Severance Mr. Corey Wheeler
The 10 aforementioned faculty and staff members represent what it means to be a true Foundation of Excellence. We thank you for everything youâ€™ve done and your nominators have been impacted by your mentorship more than youâ€™ll ever know.
STUDENT FOUNDATION LBJ STUDENT CENTER, SUITE 4-12.1 PHONE: 512.245.3469 WWW.SFOUNDATION.DOS.TXSTATE.EDU