JUNE 23, 2021 – UTSA Honors College is pleased to announce the Fall 2021 Cohort of Top Fellows and Terry Fellows. Together, these programs make up the university’s Special Scholarship Programs – highly competitive programs for outstanding students from across the state of Texas that offer dedicated support, specialized programming, and a full four-year scholarship at the last dollar that includes funding for tuition, fees, room and board.

the UTSA Best Scholars Program welcomes its ninth and most diverse cohort, with 40% of its new scholars identifying as first-generation students and 60% identifying as Hispanic or African-American. In addition, the program recruited its first researcher in El Paso.


FALL 2021 TOP RESEARCHERS COHORT


Jordan burchfield

• From: El Paso
• Major: biology
• Career plans in medicine

Aliyyah Busari

• From: Houston
• Major: Cybersecurity
• Planning to become a cybersecurity analyst

Catherine De Guzman

• From: Edinburgh
• Major: Neurosciences
• Planning a career in medicine

Edith Estrada-Contreras

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Civil engineering
• Plans to be an environmental engineer

Caroline González In a way to

• From: Laredo
• Major: Biochemistry
• Planning a career in pathology

Josh klopfenstein

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Computer Science
• Plans to be a software engineer

Samantha lugo

• From: Houston
• Major: psychology
• Plans to be a clinical mental health counselor

Emily nguyen

• From: Houston
• Major: Biochemistry
• Plans to be a dentist

Alana schwartz

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Biochemistry
• Planning a career in medicine

Kayla trujillo

• From: Laredo
• Major: biology
• Planning a career in medicine

“Joining a tight-knit community that fiercely supports and empowers each other definitely makes me happy to be a Top Scholar, De Guzman shared. “I am delighted to begin this chapter surrounded by like-minded people. “

the UTSA’s Terry Scholar Program welcomes its 15th cohort this fall. The Terry Foundation, which funds first-year and transfer scholarships at 13 public universities in Texas, has supported more than 300 researchers at UTSA since 2006.


FALL 2021 SCHOOL COHORTE


Ali M. Azzam

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Computer Science
• Planning a career as a computer engineer

Hy X. Chu

• From: San Antonio
• Major: biology
• Plans to be a dentist

Brook M. Ellerbe

• From: Aubrey
• Major: biology
• Planning to be a doctor

Amanda Escalante Tamayo

• From: Del Valle
• Major: Cybersecurity
• Plans to be an information security officer

Zenetta A. Hinojosa

• From Corpus Christi
• Major: biology
• Shots by a psychiatrist

Toan mon le

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Architecture
• Plans to be an architect

Emily A. Leon

• From: El Paso
• Major: Microbiology and immunology
• Plans to be a clinical geneticist

Emmanuella O. Mbajiofor

• From: Houston
• Major: Biochemistry
• Planning to be a pediatrician

Gabriela C. Palacios Martinez

• From: Pleasanton
• Major: interdisciplinary studies
• Plans to be a university professor

Jesse torres

• From: Dallas
• Major: biology
• Plans to be a dentist

Christian J. Villarreal

• From: San Antonio
• Major: biology
• Plans to be a pediatric anesthesiologist

Layla M. Villarreal

• From: Corpus Christi
• Major: Public health
• Planning to be a doctor

Both programs seek candidates who demonstrate a commitment to leadership and service. Due to the pandemic, this particular group of students has had to demonstrate their resilience and commitment to leadership and service in unprecedented ways. Rather than allowing the pandemic to stunt their progress, they simply changed the way they provided service.

For example, Top Scholar Edith Estrada-Contreras designed, built and set up tables for a local daycare center so that children can distance themselves properly. Emily Nguyen supported her local pharmacy by creating personalized labels for COVID-19 vaccination cards, which saved pharmacy staff time and, as a result, vaccinated more people.

“I am delighted to be working with this new group,” said Kristi meyer, Senior Director of Honors College Special Scholarship Programs. “This is a special class of uniquely talented young students. They could have gone anywhere, but they chose UTSA because we offer a high caliber, experiential, personalized program with a proven track record. We are family, and they can trust the community they join.

The UTSA Top Scholar program is a leading, well-known and highly regarded academic program throughout the state for developing award-winning, academically talented and exceptional servant leaders. Top scholarship recipients receive dedicated support and the opportunity to personalize their studies, leadership, study abroad, and engage in community service experiences that best match their academic and professional goals. They value intellectual camaraderie, close and lasting friendships with other students, and professional relationships with faculty, and they are encouraged to gain a broad perspective through service experiences that merge their academic interests with community issues.

The UTSA Terry Scholar program offers its students many of the same benefits as top scholars. Unlike other scholarship programs, the selection of a Terry Fellow is not simply based on financial need, test scores, or cumulative grade point average. Instead, the Terry Fellows are chosen because they exhibit a well-rounded personality, rooted in the desire to succeed, and have demonstrated a history of community leadership.