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Dean of Students Leadership Award

UTSA boast many students who lead, serve and inspire. Nominate students deserving of this recognition. Nominees must meet these criteria to be considered for the award: 

  • Be currently enrolled at UTSA 
  • Have a UTSA GPA of 2.5 or higher 
  • Be in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing with the university 
  • Be nominated by either another UTSA student or a UTSA faculty/staff member  

The Dean of Student Leardership Award nominations can be submitted through the Leadership and Volunteer Services Rowdylink page. Nominations are due at midnight on the 15th of every month with winners being announced the first day of the following month 

October 2021 Winner - Zina Helal


Zina is currently a Senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering, boasting a 3.8 GPA. Zina is very involved in the UTSA community, she is an undergraduate assistant for the Rising Researchers Pre-Research Program and dedicates time to the prestigious Research Experience (REU) around the county. Nominator Dr. Taylor stated “She is always seeking ways to help others and promote STEM accomplishment of others, particularly women and other underrepresented people. At the same time, she is humble, kind, and compassionate towards those she assists”. Zina is also an Honors College student and allocates her time to be a peer mentor for the First Year Experience to help students with resources and support in their first year at UTSA. 

Dr. Taylor stated, “Zina is always willing to step up and help others in the campus community to succeed in their academics and educate them about opportunities as a biomedical researcher”. Way to go Zina! We love how you Lead, Serve and Inspire those around you! 

September 2021 Winner - Ikram Ahmad


Ikram is currently a Junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Ikram is heavily involved in UTSA, having served as the co-founder and Historian for UTSA Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society as well as the Vice President for the UTSA Power and Energy Society. He is also an undergraduate research assistant for the Chemical Engineering organization. Nominator Kabir stated “Ikram is a great helping hand when another student may be falling behind and is always willing to look out for his peers.” Outside of campus, he has served as the Co-Founder and Director for STEMulate, a non-profit organization in San Antonio. 

When asked what makes Ikram stand out from his peers, nominator Sherry stated, “Ikram should be recognized as the winner for this prestigious award as he is an excellent representative of what it means to be a leader in the Roadrunner Community. He does not hesitate to serve others, and step up to lead those who are in need of help!” Way to go Ikram!


April 2021 Winner - Rachel McCauley


Rachel McCauley is currently a senior majoring in Public Health. Along with keeping up with her rigorous studies, Rachel is involved in Honors Alliance as a service chair where she strives in encouraging others to lead and volunteer. Additionally, Rachel has be a part of Rowdy VOTES Initiative and a volunteer deputy registrar. Nominator Charlin Jones-Chavez states, “Through these leadership efforts, she seeks to educate and empower students and citizens of the community to foster a greater sense of well-being, civic involvement, and service to others.”

When asked what makes Rachel McCauley stand out from their peers, nominator Charlin stated, “She demonstrates compassion and kindness in all her interactions with others. Rachel strives to encourage and support her fellow students through the wellbeing activities she hosts for the members of Honors Alliance and gives back to the entire university community.”

February | March 2021 Winner - Kennedy Caskey

fab-march 2021 winner

Kennedy is currently a sophomore majoring in English boasting a 3.93 GPA. Kennedy is also involved with the UTSA Student Government Association and The Paisano newspaper. Additionally, with her UTSA involvement Kennedy has managed to create a more accepting campus environment by securing a commitment for a sensory room on campus creating a judgment free space. She also brought awareness to the Proctorio resolution process to ensure the needs of all students are met virtually and when returning to campus. Nominator Allison Sommers states, “As both a senator and committee chair, Kennedy has produced quality, impactful legislation that has made UTSA a better place for the next 50 years and beyond.”

When asked what makes Kennedy stand out, nominator Allison Sommers stated, “Kennedy ropes others into working harder and serving more joyously with her intentionality, kindness and willingness to learn.”

January 2021 Winner - Ariana Eads


Ariana is currently a junior majoring in Global Affairs boasting a 3.90 GPA. Along with keeping up with her rigorous studies, Ariana also holds a part time job and is involved with UTSA Study Abroad and even traveled abroad to Urbino, Italy, in fall 2019. Additionally, through her UTSA involvement Ariana now serves as a Conversify coach for native Spanish speakers. Nominator Taylor Helmcamp echoed this stating, “Ariana acts as a leader by inspiring those around her to take accountability and do their part while recognizing their worth and capacity to leave a positive impact on the world.”

When asked what makes Ariana stand out from their peers, Helmcamp elaborated by stating, “Ariana is a hardworking, humble, and earnest student, a stellar teammate and source of encouragement.  She is a dedicated student, loyal friend, and somehow brings light to the room and is more than deserving of this award. It is my honor to nominate her.”

November 2020 Winner - Lindee Fiedler


Lindee is currently a junior majoring in Actuarial Science boasting a 3.95 GPA. Lindee is involved with Adopt-A-Grandparent, American Statistical Association, the Top Scholar Student Organization Board of Directors and the UTSA Orchestra. Despite the pressures of both her academic and involvement demands, Meyer states that Lindee , “is a caring and motivated student who takes initiative to make a difference in her community on and off campus”.  

When asked what makes Lindee stand out from their peers, nominator Kristi Meyer stated, “Lindee truly embodies the spirit of service. She is exactly what I hope all of our UTSA students will be: well-rounded, caring, academically astute, and motivated to make her community a better place.”

October 2020 Winner - Christian Strong


Christian is currently a senior majoring in Chemical Engineering boasting a 3.98 GPA. Christian is currently involved with many organizations on campus such as the UTSA chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the College of Engineering Dean’s Council and the Honors College Advisory Council to name a few. Additionally, Christian has participated in numerous alternative spring break programs throughout their UTSA tenure. However despite the high demands of involvement, student life and working in a lab Meyer states that Christian remains “…very humble, and never complains about tasks being too big or too small”.

When asked what makes Christian stand out from their peers, Meyer stated, “Christian is dedicated, humble, and uniquely talented. Not only is he an outstanding academic and researcher. Christian is consistently looking for ways to be a positive influence on those around him and is the epitome of a caring servant leader representing UTSA at the very highest level.”

September 2020 - Trinity Schaefer


Trinity is currently a junior majoring in Civil Engineering boasting a 3.9 grade point average. In addition to her rigorous academics, Trinity serves as a UTSA and College of Engineering ambassador. Additionally, Trinity is an active member of several student organizations. She is an officer in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has been instrumental in the Steel Bridge Competition Team. McDaniel detailed that Trinity is always up for a challenge and has found a way to creatively problem solve with COVID-19 related issues.  

When asked what makes Trinity stand out from her peers, nominator Jennifer McDaniel stated, "Trinity always goes the extra mile in assisting our prospective students and their families in seeing and experiencing the very best UTSA has to offer. She demonstrates that an engineering student can excel academically while also giving back to her university and community. UTSA has many student leaders but few are as dedicated and as passionate about UTSA as Trinity Schaefer.”