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Excellence in Service

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Hugo Guerra: Making a difference by the hour

Hugo Guerra after receiving his award at the 2016 University Life Awards. Photo Courtesy of Hugo Guerra

Hugo Guerra after receiving his award at the 2016 University Life Awards. Photo Courtesy of Hugo Guerra

Hugo Guerra is the UTSA 2015-2016 Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. Originally from El Salvador, Guerra came to the U.S. at age 13. Despite the language and cultural barriers, Guerra graduated from high school and now pursues a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Volunteering changed his life, and gave Guerra opportunities to attend out-of-state leadership conferences and events.

“I was really shy and this made it difficult to make friends," said Guerra. "It was until my junior year of high school when I decided to join an organization, since my first volunteer event I have been able to network with the kindest and friendliest people around the country.”

Today, Guerra participates in more than 10 campus organizations, including VOICES, student government and the Hispanic Students Association. In 2015, Guerra accumulated more than 300 hours of community service and he plans to join two more organizations in the fall. He received the Sandra Cisneros Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year. This impressive list of accomplishments is beyond a resume builder for Guerra.

“No matter who you are, where you are from, your gender, race, or religion, you can make a difference,” he says, “The time and the kindness you put into a project can inspire someone to be better. This feeling is truly priceless.”

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Jill Fleuriet: A lifetime commitment to community

Jill Fleuriet: A lifetime commitment to community

Jill Fleuriet: A lifetime commitment to community

Jill Fleuriet is UTSA’s 2016 recipient of the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Community Engagement. In 2003 she joined the Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Fleuriet has a lifetime commitment to community engagement: “It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, I come from a family who serves their community…it’s an expectation that you will volunteer.”

Fleuriet implements two clear strategies to support the local San Antonio community: first, as a public anthropologist she helps organizations deliver content or curricula in relation to her field. Second, she helps develop program evaluations or curriculums for non-profits across the city. In total, Fleuriet has conducted 15 probono talks that connect anthropology to community needs, to an array of organizations and institutions.

She has developed new curriculum design, trainings and program evaluation to organizations the Children's Shelter, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Bihl Haus Arts and the San Pedro Playhouse theater. Her impressive dedication has advanced UTSA’s commitment to serving beyond the San Antonio community and continues to be an enriched experienced for her as an individual. “I get excited when my skills and expertise as an anthropologist can help my local community in immediate ways.”