|Sonia Diaz and Michelle Robinson accepting the symbolic|
OLE Award presented by Victor Hernandez,
OLE Committee Chair
The OLE Awards are given annually to students who have demonstrated exceptional performance and great potential in the areas of teaching, research, and service. One award is given at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level; and an honorary mention is also given in each category. The OLE Awards have become highly regarded and they are a source of pride for recipients, their families, faculty, the college, and for the community supporting the educational advancement of Latinos. For this year’s recipients you may visit a related posting about the 2011 Award Recipients.
This year, the OLE Awards Committee decided to also recognize the Verizon Hispanic Support Organization (HSO) for supporting the OLE Awards and for promoting Latino education in the greater Tampa Bay area. During the earlier years of the OLE Awards, there were times when the OLE Committee had difficulty securing sufficient support for the OLE scholarship awards. In recent years, this has not been an issue thanks to the continued commitment of the Verizon Hispanic Support Organization to sponsor the OLE Awards. This year—in particular—in a demonstration of its strong commitment to supporting the OLE Awards, in addition to funding the scholarships for the Awards, the organization also invited all nominees and OLE Committee members to a Hispanic Support Organization Banquet to celebrate the Hispanic heritage in the community and recognize outstanding Latinos and Latinas in the area. This is quite an investment in the Latino community, and the OLE Committee felt it was important to recognize that commitment.
This is even more remarkable given the fact that, although the group is associated with Verizon, the organization is an employee-funded endeavor. HSO is a grassroots Verizon employee resource group seeking the advancement of Hispanic employees and improving their communities. And the OLE Committee wanted to show its appreciation to HSO for supporting the advancement of Latino education in the College of Education at USF. To that end, the OLE Committee also presented the organization with a symbolic award for the group’s work in promoting Latino education in the community. Michelle Robinson, President; and Sonia Diaz, Treasurer, received the award on behalf of HSO.