Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 Award Recipients

TAMPA, Fla. (October 10, 2012) – The USF College of Education (COEDU) is pleased to announce the Eighth Annual Outstanding Latino/a Educator (OLÉ) Awards.  The awards are given annually to outstanding Latino/a COEDU students who demonstrate exceptional performance and potential in the areas of teaching, research, and service.  The criteria for the awards are posted on the section About the OLE Awards.

Congratulations to our OLE Award recipients. They are an impressive and inspirational group. Winners and honorable mention in the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level are listed below.

Undergraduate Level

OLE Award Winner: Jazmina Irizarry is completing her bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education. A student whose Cuban and Puerto Rican background is a source of pride, Jazmina is a certified lifeguard and gives back to her community by organizing swim events, family nights, and conducting in-service training and courses. She is currently completing her final teaching internship and will be graduating Summa Cum Laude in December.

Master's Level

OLE Award Winner: Luis Oliva-Ramos will be graduating with a master’s degree in Social Science Education in December.  A native of Cuba, Luis is a teacher in Manatee County at a school with large numbers of Latino/a students, many of whom are immigrants. He has a keen interest in the education of diverse populations and promotes a culturally responsive approach to teaching. He is also involved in a number of service organizations and projects such as Habitat for Humanity, the American Cancer Society, the Great American Clean-Up, and the Florida Blood Services.

Honorable Mention: Vanializ Agramonte is pursuing a master’s degree in Social Science Education. At USF, she serves as a REACH Peer Educator in the Wellness Education department, a data collector for the Teacher Coaching Project, a member of the Undergraduate Research Board, and as an assessor at the Center for Urban Transportation Research. Of Dominican and Puerto Rican background, Vanializ also volunteers at the YMCA Community Learning Center in Sulphur Springs, the Jump Start University Experience, and at Tropic Isles Elementary.

Doctoral Level

OLE Award Winner: Vanessa Vernaza-Hernández, a native of Puerto Rico, is pursuing her Ph.D. in Science Education with an interest in coastal areas, climate change, and the teaching of science. She has participated in a number of research projects and has presented her work in a number of important scholarly venues to great acclaim. Vanessa is also involved in several service projects that benefit not only Latinos, but the community at large as well.

Honorable Mention: Tara Payor is completing a Ph.D. in English Education.  Born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York, Tara taught Language Arts for several years at the high school level and has also taught composition and literature courses at the community college level. At USF, Tara has taught four different courses in English Education and recently traveled to Washington D.C. as a part of the Tampa Bay Area Writing Project’s (TBAWP) advocacy committee to meet with members of Congress and legislative aides.