2017 Outstanding Raiders Who Rock

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The purpose of the Raiders Who Rock program is to recognize outstanding students, faculty, and staff who make Texas Tech a better community for all of its members. The contributions of these individuals can range from exemplary accomplishments to small gestures, but each one positively impacts the quality of life for members of the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities.

Oftentimes these students, faculty/staff and organizations are involved in activities within the Lubbock and Tech Communities, and do the work that they do because it is fulfilling to them, not for recognition. With this understanding, we would like to recognize these Texas Tech community members through this program and in a way that allows someone else to initiate the Raiders Who Rock stories.

All Raiders Who Rock nominees and their nominators are honored at the Raiders Who Rock Banquet, and the top nominee from each category will be announced and will receive a special award. The Raiders Who Rock Banquet is an opportunity to publicly honor and reward students, faculty, staff and organizations who make a positive impact on the Texas Tech community.

Congratulations to all of our 2017 Raiders Who Rock!

Featured below are the top nominees from each category


Strive for Honor

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Aida Gutierrez was nominated by Laura Thomas.

The Student Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Strive for Honor award is Aida Gutierrez.

Aida currently works for the Department of Recreational Sports as a Sport Club Student Director. She leads by example and is always up for a challenge. Aida takes initiative to complete tasks that fellow staff members maybe haven’t gotten to, or have forgotten about. She never asks for individual credit or appreciation, and is always first to use language like “we” and “the team”.

The Department of Recreational Sports has over 1000 student athletes in the program, and her nominator believes it is because of Aida’s passion for the direction that has spread positivity so far throughout the program. Aida doesn’t use the word “leader” to describe herself, but you can tell that all other students and professional staff that work with her respect and appreciate everything she does while striving for honor.

Kathryn Nelson

Kathryn was nominated by Olivia Ross, Michael Ross, Marie Reinke, Thanh Tran, Natalie Campbell, Garrett Blackwell. Amanda Gunter, Megan Hatcher, Henry Oliver, and Kelly Aaron.

The Faculty/Staff Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Strive for Honor award is Kathryn Nelson.

Mrs. Nelson is currently a professor in the Landscape Architecture Department. She is multi-faceted in her professionalism, whether it is in her formal role as classroom instructor and academic advisor, or informally as a mentor and cheerleader for her students and coworkers. Kathryn takes initiative, and is known to be committed to doing the right thing. She is always supportive, dependable, helpful, and patient.

Some of her students say Kathryn is the epitome of an extraordinary instructor. She displays a commitment to treating all students and coworkers in the department with respect regardless of her work load, stress level, or any negative factors involved in her day. She understands the obligation that faculty have to students and, in turn, realizes that they deserve high value for their educational investment. She naturally is extraordinary even in, what would otherwise be, ordinary circumstances.

Unsung Hero

Dr. Kimberly Sparr

Dr. Kimberly Sparr was nominated by Nasr Sheikh and Jordan Kirksey.

The Faculty/Staff Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Unsung Hero award is Dr. Kimberly Sparr.

Dr. Sparr is currently the professor of viola in the College of Music. As a distinguished musician, with a resume that is flooded with conservatory and professional orchestral experience, she is one of the most sought-after violists in the nation. One of her many goals as a teacher is to cultivate her students’ own thinking and decision-making as musicians.

The most unique thing about Dr. Sparr, in regards to her teaching and performing is her unparalleled energy. As a person, Dr. Sparr carries a wave of contagious energy that marks her presence wherever she goes. Faculty, staff, and students become different people by interacting with her.

In the fall of 2016, Dr. Sparr was diagnosed with cancer. It was an early stage of cancer, and there was no damage done to the body. However, the treatment she received would take a toll on her. While remaining a full-time teacher, performer, and faculty member, she underwent a series of chemotherapy treatments that left her weaker. Despite undergoing a huge battle, Dr. Sparr continued to work some concerts with the Lubbock Symphony and teaching as many of her students as she could, remaining a rock star to the people who she gracefully inspired with her sheer presence.

Chad Campbell

Chad Campbell was nominated by Dr. Aliza Wong.

The Student Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Unsung Hero award is Chad Campbell.

Chad has been part of the Bayless Mentoring Program in the Honors College for the past three years. He even gave up a prestigious internship because he believed that the socioeconomically challenged children of this local elementary school needed him more.

Chad has been a constant, dependable, encouraging, hopeful presence for several children in the program. He can also be described as the quiet person in the back of the room who always provides support, who always encourages, who gives strength, inspiration, courage, hope in the endeavor. Chad tirelessly works behind the scenes to improve the projects he is involved in.

Pursuit of Excellence

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Farah Mechref was nominated by Dr. Aliza Wong.

The Student Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Pursuit of Excellence award is Farah Mechref.

Farah is currently a pre-med student whose contributions to, and achievements at, Texas Tech embody what it means to pursue excellence. She is committed to academic excellence, social justice, global vision, campus safety, human rights, and honor evermore. Dr. Wong describes her as having been at the forefront of Texas Tech.

Farah was one of only six women WORLDWIDE to participate in the Women’s Global Leadership program at the Andi Institute. Along with two American students, and three from places such as Kuwait and Lebanon, Farah was one of the six women who lived, breathed, and spoke with some of the most amazing female leaders of our age in Washington D.C.

Farah is also a senator for our student government, a member of President’s Select, a mentor for freshman, and is an ambassador in the Honors College. Her dedication and drive to make a positive impact on the lives of others, especially those here at Texas Tech, attest to her passion to make the world a better place.

The Faculty/Staff Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Pursuit of Excellence award is Dr. David Rivera.

Dr. Rivera is currently the Associate Chairperson for the Hospitality & Retail Management Department at Texas Tech. Dr. Rivera has only been a Tech employee for a few months, but has already impacted many students in the department. He is consistently meeting with students to discuss their education and career goals, and has a way of connecting to students. He works long hours, does not complain, and goes above and beyond expectations.

Dr. Rivera illustrates a productivity level that is considered to be unmatched. His enthusiasm and commitment to work are unquestioned, and his excitement for life is evident in all he does. Dr. Rivera’s passion for helping others, education and student development, along with his ability to lead, shows his determination to be the best for himself and others.

Community Service & Leadership

Kyle Jay

Kyle Jay was nominated by Maggie Gilchrest.

The Faculty/Staff Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Community Service & Leadership award is Kyle Jay.

Kyle is currently an instructor within the National Wind Institute. He measures his success by students who grow in personal and professional capacities, not by the number of A’s his students are able to obtain in his coursework. He cares as much for the C+ student that grows in knowledge and professional skills as he does for the students that excel easily in his coursework and garner A’s. He demands as much of himself as he does his students, and is always the first faculty member within the wind instructor group to attend professional development training in the TLPDC or other conferences.

Kyle embodies the Community Service & Leadership Award most through his work with the Grace Campus Project. Kyle created a student organization made up of wind students whose primary goal is to find clean energy power solutions for a non-profit homeless shelter in East Lubbock. He meets with Grace Campus administrators to discuss options for clean energy, opportunities for community service for his students, and logistics of wind power at Grace.

Rather than looking to promote our department, Kyle has decided that wind is not an economically feasible solution for Grace Campus and its inhabitants. Regardless, he and his students continue to meet at Grace Campus to volunteer, hoping that while they wait for the market to shift and clean energy to more affordable to non-profits, they can provide some relief and aid to the inhabitants of Grace Campus.

Bimali and Adhikary

Roshan Bimali was nominated by Sagar Adhikary.

The Student Outstanding Raider Who Rocks to receive the Community Service & Leadership award is Roshan Bimali.

Roshan is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering. His academic success has led to several achievements, including being elected for membership in Mortar Board. He has demonstrated a great work ethic and leadership skills during his time at Texas Tech.

Through his involvement and presidency of the Nepal Student Association, he has had a remarkable impact on the organization and its members; one of which was raising $21,000 through a four-day fundraiser to support the 2015 earthquake victims in Nepal. Roshan has served as the chairman of the Diversity Committee through Student Government, as a senator for the College of Engineering, and a member of Engineers Without Borders. His service, both on and off campus, demonstrates his passion to help others in any way that he can.

Cooperation & Communication

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The Tech Gay Straight Alliance was nominated by Zack Madrid and Allison Cattell.

The Outstanding Raiders Who Rock to receive the Cooperation & Communication award is the Tech Gay Straight Alliance.

The Tech Gay Straight Alliance is a student organization focused on encouraging other students to be open about who they are and to be accepting of others. They effectively communicate with other organizations to also demonstrate acceptance across campus.

The students who serve as officers have been extremely proactive in working together to orchestrate a number of high-impact events that serve the Texas Tech community. Through their phenomenal leadership and collaboration with other organizations, they were able to raise money to offer scholarships to students on campus, along with educational lectures. This organization’s efforts continue to enrich both Texas Tech and the surrounding community by bringing people together as they serve to educate and benefit all students at Texas Tech, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Outstanding Raiders Who Rock!

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The Raiders Who Rock program recognizes students, faculty, staff, or student organizations that exemplify the TTU Ethical Principles through their actions and services within the Lubbock and Tech communities.

Oftentimes these students, faculty/staff and organizations are involved in activities within the Lubbock and Tech Communities, and do the work that they do because it is fulfilling to them, not for recognition. With this understanding, we would like to recognize these Texas Tech community members through this program and in a way that allows someone else to initiate the Raiders Who Rock stories.

Nominators submitted a nomination telling us the TTU Ethical Principle these students, faculty, staff and organizations demonstrate through their activities and services.

All Raiders Who Rock nominees and their nominators were honored at the Raiders Who Rock Banquet, and the top nominee from each category received a special award.

 

Congratulations to all of our 2016 Raiders Who Rock! 

Click here for a list of all nominees and nominators

Featured below are the top nominees from each category


Mutual Respect

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Christine Self accepting award on behalf of Alyssa Carry. Alyssa nominated by Parent & Family Relations Staff.

Alyssa Carry is currently a student assistant in the Office of Parent and Family Relations and is pursuing both an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in Accounting. One of the things highlighted about Alyssa is that “She is eager to learn and is selfless in all aspects of her life as a Red Raider.”  This is evident through her willingness to approach each situation and each family she encounters with the same level of respect. She can be seen regularly with a smile on her face while interacting with parents and families who need support in their transition as a family in the Texas Tech system. She always goes out of her way to help parents and family members feel at ease during events like Red Raider Orientation and Sibling Weekend while also helping them become more excited about becoming Red Raiders.

 

 

Cooperation & Communication

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India Student Association accepting award with nominator, Lisa James.

The India Student Association is a student organization here at Texas Tech. They frequently partner with the Ethics Center to host and coordinate events. The India Student Association strives to welcome and support new students in assimilating to life at Texas Tech and in Lubbock while offering continued support to current students. This support comes in the form of housing new students from India while helping them find accommodations and resources to be successful. Annually, they fund five to seven competitive scholarships for needy Texas Tech Indian students. Their focus, however, spreads beyond campus and into the community. They partner with several other organizations such as the South Asian Student Association and the Baptist Student Ministry to increase community engagement and promote cultural education. Their efforts continue to enrich both Texas Tech and the surrounding community by bringing people together.

 

Creativity & Innovation

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Noella Vela accepting award with nominator, Geoffrey Graybeal.

Noella is currently a student in the College of Media and Communication and has participated in an array of activities in the past twelve months. Amongst some of her accomplishments are becoming president of the student-run Media Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, taking part in the university Appathon, participating in the Texas Tech Pop Up Coding Academy, traveling to two national hackathons, and representing Texas Tech in the Scripps International Innovators Cup challenge to name a few. She is also currently working on developing an app that will engage high school age Hispanics in the 2016 presidential election. Beyond this, Noella constantly seeks out opportunities to learn additional skill sets that will enhance her active learning. One of the things said of her was “Noella has seized every opportunity to not only learn innovation and creativity, but lead by doing….Noella is a leader, learner, and doer who is a fine representative of Texas Tech.” She sets a standard for her peers being involved in her education and by using forward thinking to enhance learning opportunities.

 

Community Service & Leadership

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Campbell Roper accepting award with nominator, Bill Dean.

Campbell is currently a double major in Communication Studies and Classics. His academic success has led to several achievements including being elected to membership in Mortar Board, gaining membership in Phi Beta Phi Honors Organization, and being elected to Golden Key. At this time, Campbell is also working as a teaching assistant for Interpersonal Communications and is involved in undergraduate communications research. Beyond his academic success, Campbell also participates in organizations that give back to and support the community. In his fraternity, he has participated in events such as the Iron Man triathlon in order to raise funds for research on ALS Disease. In addition to this, he frequently volunteers at the Lubbock Food Bank Farm. Campbell also has participated in internships as the Assistant Youth Director for junior high and high school students at First United Methodist Church in Midland and Kingwood United Methodist Church. As a part of his service, Campbell also has turned some of his focus to supporting and organizing events for students on campus. This past year, he has served as the president of Greek Wide Bible Study. His service both on and off campus demonstrates his passion to be involved with the community.

 

Pursuit of Excellence

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Shannon Bullard accepting award. Nominated by Katarina Bleier.

Shannon is currently a professor in the College of Education and the Tech Teach program. Her students highlighted that she “Strives for honor in everything she does! And goes above and beyond for anyone and everyone!” As a professor, she constantly reaches out to students in order to ensure that they feel supported and have access to the resources they require. She pushes her students to set high standards for themselves. She makes herself available to her students outside of the classroom and provides additional information and resources to her students when they need extra guidance in their work. In addition to this, she takes extra time to provide each student with detailed and meaningful feedback so that they can continue to improve with each assignment. Her dedication to provide a learning experience in which students can constantly thrive inspires those students to do well.

 

Public Accountability

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Dr. Rebecca Ortiz accepting award. Nominated by Zachary Rocha.

Dr. Ortiz currently serves as assistant professor of advertising in the College of Media and Communication. In addition to this, she is the faculty advisor for Define Your Line. In both of these roles, Dr. Ortiz works tirelessly to encourage students to challenge social norms and develop their own opinions. She challenges her students to think critically about their actions and how they can impact their fellow students. Her efforts to create a safe campus environment help to spur on the efforts of the students involved in Define Your Line and increase communication to change the culture. Her desire to educate students in communication and the enhancement of social justice also inspires them to seek new and unique ways to share their message. At this point, her efforts, along with the effort of the students involved in Define Your Line, have begun to expand beyond Texas Tech and have created a community of students at other institutions that all seek guidance from our program here. These efforts and actions continue to inspire many to act ethically and uprightly.

 

Diversity

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Evelyn Reategui accepting award with nominator, Julie Isom.

Evelyn is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Environmental Toxicology. She is actively involved in several organizations on campus including The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Llano Estacado Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the Society for the Advancing of Chicanos/Hispanic and Native Americans in Science, and the Hispanic Association of Women in Lubbock. Many of the organizations she works with dedicate their efforts to supporting Hispanics, single mothers, and women. Evelyn is passionate about setting an example for young girls to pursue a career in science and has participated in events such as “Science: It’s a Girl Thing” and “Shake Hands with Your Future”. Her dedication to enhancing female learning is part of her efforts to increase the diversity of thought in the sciences with new innovations.

 

Academic Integrity

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Estefania Camarada accepting award with nominator, Bertha Munuku.

Estefania is currently majoring in Accounting. She frequently visits the Learning Center in order to receive guidance in subjects she is not familiar with. Originally from Angola, her native language is Portuguese. She began seeking help with her writing techniques at the Learning Center in order to improve her work. Estefania takes pride in her work and makes conscious efforts to ensure that she is completing the assignments herself and does not ask for anyone else to do the work for her. She constantly asks for explanations on how to avoid plagiarism and how to proper cite her resources. She takes each new piece of information and applies to her future work in order to ensure that she is always improving. She takes advantage of the resources available on campus in order to enhance her learning experience. One of the things said of Estefania was “Her constant vigilance and self-awareness in ensuring that she strives for honor even in the smallest assignments makes her stand out….” Her efforts to better herself also help challenge her peers to strive for honor in their academic pursuits.

News Release – 2016 Raiders Who Rock

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2016

Contact: Nicole Terrell
Email: nicole.terrell@ttu.edu

Nominations for 2016 Raiders Who Rock Open

rwr-instagramLubbock, Texas – Transition & Engagement opened nominations for 2016 Raiders Who Rock on Feb. 2. Nominations can be made for students, faculty, staff, or student organizations that exemplify the Texas Tech University ethical principles through involvement within the Lubbock and Tech community.

Rachel Jackson, assistant director of Transition & Engagement, said the program has existed for several years to show Tech’s commitment to its ethical principles.

According to Transition & Engagement’s website, the TTU Ethical Principles are as follows: mutual respect, cooperation and communication, creativity and innovation, community service and leadership, pursuit of excellence, public accountability, diversity, and academic integrity.

Jackson said that oftentimes the students, faculty, staff, and organizations that are nominated are involved in activities within the Lubbock and Tech communities, and do the work they do because it is fulfilling to them, not for recognition.

“Through the nomination process, Tech students, faculty and staff members can recognize others whose acts of kindness and ethical decisions might go unnoticed by the overall community,” she said.

Jackson said Texas Tech faculty, staff, advisors and currently enrolled Tech students can submit a Raiders Who Rock award nomination. Nominees must be currently enrolled students, employed faculty or registered student organizations and must exemplify at least one of the TTU Ethical Principles.

“Raiders Who Rock will be recognized in each of the eight Strive for Honor TTU Ethical Principles,” Jackson said. “We expect to receive anywhere between 75 to 80 nominations.”

Jackson said electronic nomination applications can be found online at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/studentengagement/raiderswhorock/nomination.php and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on March 15.

“After all nominations are in, a Raiders Who Rock committee will review the nominations and select the recipients,” Jackson said. “All nominees and nominators will be invited to the Raiders Who Rock Banquet.”

Jackson said the Raiders Who Rock Banquet will be held on April 5, 2016, in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The dress for the banquet is business casual and all nominees and nominators will be sent a formal invitation.

Texas Tech Transition & Engagement strives to provide a collaborative collection of programs and services that assist students in the transitions inherent to college and academic life and provides opportunities to help students engage in the academic community and navigate successfully to graduation. Transition & Engagement creates opportunities for students to connect to support offices on campus and engage with leadership and involvement opportunities through a number of programs. For more information, visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/studentengagement/. Follow the office on Twitter or Instagram: @TTUengagement or become a fan of “TTU Transition & Engagement” on Facebook.

 

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Raiders Who Rock Banquet

We had a wonderful time getting to recognize these Raiders Who Rock through their hard-work, dedication, and services within the Lubbock and Tech communities. These students, faculty, staff, and organizations truly exemplify what “Strive For Honor” means.

CONGRATULATIONS!


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Raiders Who Rock

Do you know any Raiders Who Rock? Do they possess qualities like, mutual respect, creativity and innovation, cooperation and communication, pursuit of excellence, or academic integrity? Nominate any outstanding Texas Tech student, staff, faculty member, or student organization for Raiders Who Rock by March 15!


The purpose of the Raiders Who Rock program is to recognize students, faculty, staff, or student organizations that exemplify the TTU Ethical Principles through their actions and services within the Lubbock and Tech communities.

Oftentimes these students, faculty/staff and organizations are involved in activities within the Lubbock and Tech Communities, and do the work that they do because it is fulfilling to them, not for recognition. With this understanding, we would like to recognize these Texas Tech community members through this program and in a way that allows someone else to initiate the Raiders Who Rock stories.

All Raiders Who Rock nominees and their nominators are honored at the Raiders Who Rock Banquet, and the top nominee from each category will be announced and will receive a special award. The Raiders Who Rock Banquet is an opportunity to publicly honor and reward students, faculty, staff and organizations who exemplify the TTU Ethical Principles.

Questions? Email us at: RaidersWhoRock@ttu.edu