Celebrating Students With the Leadership & Service Awards


Photo courtesy of Sara Rodriguez

Sara Rodriguez, Tarleton student and ASL Club President, winner of the Freshman Leadership and Earl Rudder awards for the year 2020.

On Feb. 22, 2021 the applications for the Tarleton State University Leadership and Service Awards will close, kicking off the process of choosing the award recipients. The Leadership and Service Awards are a set of annual awards given to students who’ve shown exceptional leadership in the community and follow Tarleton’s core values. The core values are Integrity, Leadership, Tradition, Civility, Excellence and Service. 

The recipients of the Leadership and Service Awards will be celebrated in a banquet dinner on April 9, 2021 at 6:00pm in the Barry B. Thompson Student Center Ballrooms. 

“Tarleton State University’s Leadership and Service Awards Dinner and Ceremony is a banquet and award ceremony to highlight Tarleton State University Students, staff, faculty, community members and organizations who perform service and demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities that support the university’s Core Values of Civility, Integrity, Leadership, Tradition, Excellence and Service,” the Leadership and Service Awards Texan Sync profile said. 

The Executive Director of Student Affairs, Darrell Brown, is one of the lead personnel of the Leadership and Service Awards. To Brown the awards are a way to recognize students and thank them for their hard work, while also encouraging these students to continue to perform service on the campus community even after they graduate. 

“We hope that the student[s] realizes that they have made an impact on the university and from there they will hopefully be good alumni [by coming] back to help the university in some form or fashion. We want recipients to continue to provide service or civic engagement in their communities [after graduation],” Brown said. 

Traditionally, faculty or staff will nominate a student they believe deserves the award. Brown’s hope is that faculty and staff will see the Leadership and Service Awards as an opportunity to nominate students that truly deserve to be recognized.  

“It is our hope that we will have faculty and staff who have had interactions with students and will say this student is deserving of this award and I want to nominate them,” Brown said. 

You don’t have to be faculty or staff to nominate a deserving student though. Students can nominate themselves or their peers for these awards as well. Brown encourages students to nominate themselves because these awards are for the students and if you feel like you deserve a Leadership and Service Award then you deserve to apply for it. 

“We are just hoping that students will feel worthy and nominate themselves and say, I want to tell my story. I think what is exciting about this is being able to read the stories of these students and getting to know them much better, either from their peers, faculty, staff or even themselves,” Brown said.  

Striving to receive a Leadership and Service Award can bring a lot of opportunities to your college and future career. Desirae Garcia, a senior agriculture education and history major, received the Sophomore Leadership Award in 2020. Since receiving the award Garcia says there have been many positive effects on her career.  

“Having this award has effected me in a few positive ways. Firstly, it looks amazing on resumes. Secondly it has helped me gain leadership positions here on campus,” Garcia said. 

Like Brown said, receiving a Leadership and Service ward can mean a great deal to the recipients. Garcia explained how she felt appreciated by the university and that she finally felt like her hard work was paying off. 

“I was really honored when I won the Sophomore Leadership Award because it showed me that all my hard work that past year was noticed and appreciated. I felt like the university has noticed what I was putting into my time here,” Garcia said. 

Celebrating students is always a priority, but it’s even more so now. With a global pandemic attacking our communities and pulling us apart, taking time for the students helps us stay motivated. If you’d like to nominate yourself or another student for the awards you can visit the Leadership and Service information under the organizations tab on the Texan Sync website or visit texansync.tarleton.edu/organization/leadership-and-service-awards.  If you’d like to get more involved on campus and participate in acts of service you can visit Tarleton Student Affairs website at, www.tarleton.edu/studentaffairs/leadership/index.html