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Smith and Dulakis Named Man, Woman of Year at WTAMU

May 11, 2017

CONTACT:    Kimberly Cornelsen, 806-651-2391, kcornelsen@wtamu.edu

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

Smith and Dulakis Named Man, Woman of Year at WTAMU

 

CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University’s top student accolades were presented during the University Honors Banquet Friday, April 28 at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Legacy Hall on campus.

Myles Smith and Shaina Dulakis were named WTAMU’s Man and Woman of the Year for 2016-2017, and two students were honored by inclusion in the prestigious Presidential Order of the Silver Buffalo.

Smith, son of Fancy Welch and Gary Smith, is a graduate student in communication from AmariMyles Smith and Shaina Dulakisllo. Smith’s participation in campus activities includes the Wesley Foundation, Maroon Platoon, Lambda Pi Eta, High Plains Storyteller Guild, National Orientation Directors Association (NODA), Student Government and Traditions Council. He has served on various committees including Homecoming, Communication Week and the Miss Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant.

The Man of the Year was recognized as the 2017 NODA Region 4 Outstanding Graduate Student, a 2014 Ronald McNair Scholar, Maroon Platoon New Member of the Year in 2013 and the 2015 WTAMU Homecoming King. In 2013 he received the Amarillo College Presidential Medal of Honor and an Outstanding Research Award at WTAMU in 2014. His volunteer work includes Snack Pak for Kids and Teen Leadership Amarillo Canyon, and he has participated on international mission trips to Costa Rica and Kenya.

Finalists for Man of the Year were Nick Ahring, a senior computer science major from Canyon, and Zach McMeans, a senior agricultural media and communication major from Gail.

Dulakis, daughter of Bill and Sandra Dulakis, is a senior mass communication major from Plainview. Dulakis is active in many campus activities. She is a member of the President’s Ambassadors, serves as secretary for Chi Omega and is a student activities consultant in the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership. She is a KWTS radio news director and staff member, a Peer Leader, campus tour guide and a Rogers LEAD WT Scholar.

The Woman of the Year was named the 2016 Homecoming Queen, 2016 Greek Woman of the Year and a 2016 Student Employee of the Year nominee. Dulakis is the recipient of a First United Bank Scholarship, the Dr. Leigh Browning Memorial Scholarship and a Rogers LEAD WT Leadership Certificate. She is a youth group leader at Hillside Christian Church and has participated in Shack-A-Thon and volunteers for Make-A-Wish and Evelyn Rivers Christmas Project.

Finalists for Woman of the Year were Madison Little, a senior marketing major from Amherst, N.H., and Natalia Molina, a senior graphic design major from San Salvador.

Silver Buffalo Awards are reserved for an elite group that includes only individuals, teams or organizations whose accomplishments have brought national honor and distinction to the University. This year’s honors went to Jonathan Espinoza and Bri Leeper.

Espinoza, a junior broadcast journalism major and advertising/public relations major from Friona, was recognized for making University history as the first WTAMU student to receive the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He is one of two students from Texas named as a Truman Scholar and the first one from a regional university in The Texas A&M University System to ever receive such an honor. As a Truman Scholar, Espinoza receives a $30,000 scholarship for graduate school and joins an elite group. Previous Truman Scholars include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, University of California President Janet Napolitano and This Week host George Stephanopoulos.

Leeper, who graduated in May 2016, was recognized as a great athlete and outstanding student who inspired many during her college career at WTAMU. She is a two-time recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing for championship finals at the national level. She also was recognized as the Lone Star Conference Outdoor Track and Field Academic Runner of the Year in 2016 and earned two CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2015 and 2016. 

 

—WTAMU—


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