GOOD NEWS: Sul Ross names man, woman of year

ALPINE Cassandra Sandoval of Odessa and Vince Apodaca of Anthony were named the 2018 Sul Ross State University Woman and Man of the Year at the annual Honors Convocation, held April 30 in Marshall Auditorium.

Sul Ross President Bill Kibler presented the awards. The Man and Woman of the Year award is the top honor Sul Ross seniors can receive.

Sandoval, who will graduate later this month with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, was nominated for her scholarship, leadership and advocacy for students. “She is involved in many clubs and organizations (and) is selfless and dedicated to this university,” the nomination stated.

“She has held many leadership positions and enjoys giving back to the community … Not only is she dedicated to the students, but focuses on her school work as well.”

Sandoval has been named to the Dean’s List during each of her seven completed semesters, was named the 2017 Psychology Student of the Year and to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.” She is an Honors Program member and Honors Club president, volunteered at the Permian Basin Mission Center and for Domestic Violence Awareness activities, is a TLC peer mentor, Student Government Association parliamentarian and Student Ambassador.

While at Sul Ross, she has also belonged to Sully Productions, Psi Chi and the Spanish Club.

Apodaca, who will graduate in December with bachelor of business administration degree, has been active in athletics and extra-curricular activities throughout his four years, and presently serves as President of the Student Government Association and Chair of the Texas State University System Student Advisory Board.

“He has dedicated all of his time and effort to making this university a better place,” his nomination stated. “This student focuses on making sure students have a place to express their opinions. (He) puts others before himself.

“(Apodaca) participates in school functions and does community service,” the nomination continued. “He has helped coordinate and host event on campus … Not only does he work for the students, he excels in his courses. He is able to balance his time without jeopardizing anything.”

Apodaca has been named to the Dean’s Lists for each of his seven completed semesters, has been recognized as a Sul Ross Distinguished Scholar Athlete and has been named to two American Southwest Conference Academic Honor Rolls as a member of the Lobo cross country team.

While at Sul Ross, he has served on numerous committees, volunteered for numerous causes, is captain of the Cheer Team, a member of Sully Productions, a McNair Scholar, Student Ambassador, vice president of the Honors Club and peer mentor for the Tutoring and Learning Center (TLC). He has been named to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

The following departmental awards were also presented at the convocation.


  • Outstanding Agricultural Education Student: Kayleigh Coleman, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Animal Production Student: Itzel Soto, El Paso.
  • Outstanding Pre-Veterinary Student: Hope Flint, Baytown.
  • Outstanding Science Student: Makayla Yantis, Monahans.
  • Outstanding Animal Science Graduate Student: Brittany Perron, Los Alamos, CA.


  • Distinguished Scholar Athlete Awards: Darrian Doederlein, Lamesa; Victor Garcia, Tornillo; Hailey Pace, Oakley, CA; Joseph Parker, Burnet; Trent Pearson, Lubbock; Nyria Sanchez, Uvalde; Steven Savedra, El Paso; Breeann Sturges, Woodlake, CA: Shannon Villanueva, San Ramon, CA; Xavier Webb, Riverton, WY.


  • Clifford B. Casey Book Award: Asia Saucedo, Horizon City.
  • Outstanding History Major, Phi Alpha Theta History Award: Andrea Bode, Georgetown.
  • Outstanding Psychology Students of the Year: Alexis Amancio, Presidio; Hannah Flores, Fort Stockton.


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Biology Student Award: Adrian Maldonado, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Graduate Biology Student Award: Alexandria Hassenflu, Alpine.
  • Julius Dasch Outstanding Undergraduate Geology Student: Amanda Barrera, San Antonio.
  • Lance Forsythe Memorial Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Samuel Burch, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Non-Traditional Geology Student: John E. Faught, Midland.
  • Outstanding Student in Introductory Chemistry: Jonathan Carrasco, Presidio.
  • James G. Houston Organic Chemistry Award: Katherine M. Mancha, San Antonio.


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Business Administration Student: Gabriela Tarango, Valentine.
  • Outstanding Master of Business Administration Student: Diana Wood, Gainesville.
  • Outstanding Master of Business Administration Online Student: Kala Brock-Stevens, Dallas.


  • Outstanding Freshman in Computer Science: Geoffrey Calderon, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Senior in Computer Science: Lance Goarin, San Marcos.
  • Outstanding Freshman in Mathematics: Alesi Hernandez, Odessa.
  • Outstanding Seniors in Mathematics: Adrian Maldonado, Alpine; Dominic Carrillo, Midland.
  • Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Gilley Mathematics Excellence Award: William Serrano, Pecos.


  • Education Excellence Awards: Stephanie Dunlap, El Paso, Counseling; Anthony Agundiz, Fort Stockton, Educational Diagnostician; Maria Armstrong, El Paso, Educational Leadership; Aaron Clevenger, Omaha, General Education; Karina Rodriguez, Kermit, Outstanding Intern Teacher; Rebecca Garcia, Alpine, Outstanding Student Teacher.
  • Albert B. Tucker Reading Specialist Award: Jill Tamborello, San Antonio.


  • Charlotte Senneff Art Supply Award for Outstanding Art Major: Allison Smith, Stanton.
  • Big Bend Arts Council Art Supply Award for Outstanding New Art Major: Vicki Rios, Del Rio.
  • Outstanding Freshman Theatre Student: Cierra-Brittney Grier-Keener, Houston.
  • Outstanding Instrumental Music Student: Timothy A. Dzida, Midland.
  • Outstanding Music Student: Nicolas R. Westerlink, El Paso.
  • Outstanding Communication Student: Chani E. Spear, Alpine.


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Criminal Justice Student: Linda Padilla Cruz, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Homeland Security Undergraduate Student: Guillermo Loera, El Paso.
  • Outstanding Criminal Justice Graduate Student: Kimberley Vannaman, Midland.
  • Outstanding Homeland Security Graduate Student: Joseph Barragan, El Paso.


  • Honors Program Graduates: Jesus R. Guerrero, El Paso; Athena Gundy, Pflugerville; Sandoval; Gloria Villanueva, San Antonio.


  • W.H. Perryman Outstanding Kinesiology Major: Aubrey Simon, Georgetown.


  • Outstanding English Major: Michelle Ramos, Alpine.
  • Outstanding English Graduate: Carlos Ruiz, Presi


  • Outstanding Underclassman Student in Natural Resource Management: Katherine Haile, Boerne.
  • Outstanding Upperclassman Student in Natural Resource Management: Zach Vaughn, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Conservation Biology Graduate Student: Cheney Taylor, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student in Range Management: Carolina Medina-Nava, Alpine.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student in Range and Wildlife Management: Kaitlyn Williams, Aledo.
  • Outstanding Field Volunteer: Hunter Hopkins, Gruver.