(May 10, 2010)--John Leno, a May graduate with a B.S. in kinesiology, and Gloria Ruedas, also a May graduate with a B.A. in marketing, are both winners of the spring 2010 UTSA Office of Information Technology Laptop Award. The winners are selected from graduates of the Academic Development Program (ADP) in the UTSA Tomas Rivera Center for Student Success. Both students received a Dell laptop computer, a Dell printer, a backpack and an award certificate.
Leno was highly involved on campus while completing his degree. A member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, he also was an active member of the Air Force ROTC and participated in community service projects such as Alternative Spring Break, which aided victims of Hurricane Katrina. Leno also worked in several positions on and off campus. He was employed at the UTSA Recreation Center and campus bookstore and presently is employed by the Roy Maas Youth Alternative Center.
Ruedas was involved in the American Marketing Association and worked in various departments across campus. She worked for the UTSA Annual Fund drive, Advancement Services and currently is employed with the University Career Center.
"With high hopes, a positive attitude and low SAT score, I applied for admission to three separate universities," said Leno in his award application essay. "Three weeks later, I received two notices of rejection from the universities in which I applied for. The University of Texas at San Antonio was the first and only school that was willing to give this unfocused and slightly misguided high school student a chance."
Ruedas wrote in her essay, "Words just do not do justice for expressing my feelings toward this school. Without UTSA, I could not have made it this far. UTSA gave me the opportunity that no one else was willing to give me. The people of this university devoted time and effort into refining me and helping me to become a better and more successful person."
"This is what this award is all about. It is about the growth and achievement that our students accomplish during their time at UTSA," said Cynthia Rodriguez, ADP director. "I can honestly say that when we receive news that our former ADP students will be graduating, we know as a staff and a university that we did something right."
The awards were presented to Leno and Ruedas by Lee Gildon, chief operations officer of the UTSA Office of Information Technology, and John Moder, executive director of development for the Hispanic Association of College and Universities (HACU). The laptop program was co-founded by UTSA and HACU, but now is sponsored by the UTSA Office of Information Technology and the UTSA Tomas Rivera Center for Student Success.
A winner is selected each fall and spring semester from ADP students who apply for the award. This spring, there were two winners because no winner was selected in fall 2009. ADP students are admitted to UTSA on a provisional basis; laptop awardees are selected from participants in the program who have developed their academic standing and will graduate with a minimum 2.50 G.P.A. Applicants must submit an essay detailing their academic and work experience.
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