Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 OLÉ Awards Recipients

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2014). The University of South Florida’s College of Education held its 10th annual OLÉ Awards ceremony on October 17, 2014. The dinner was attended by nominees, their families, and USF faculty and staff. This year’s recipients are a diverse and inspirational group. Each recipient received an award and a scholarship to further their studies.

This year, 10 students were nominated for the OLÉ Award by professors and instructors who recognized their outstanding talent. Nominating faculty spoke of each of the nominee's unique characteristics and contributions to education. Based on documentation of faculty nominations, OLÉ Awards recipients and honorable mentions were selected at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral level.

Undergraduate Award Recipient 

Michelle Lopez is an undergraduate student in Elementary Education. She is a senior in the Urban Teacher Residency Program, where she reaches out to Latina/o families and encourages students and parents to embrace their native language and culture.

Undergraduate Honorable Mention Recipients

Brittany Carrillo is an undergraduate student in Social Science Education. Brittany is not only an exceptional teacher in training, but is incredibly giving of her time and energy to worthy causes such as Surfer's for Autism, Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Boca Helping Hands, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Women in Action, and the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Jessica Franco is an undergraduate student in Social Science Education.  Jessica consistently displays remarkable insight and professionalism in classes and professors comment that her work is always impeccable.

Master’s Award Recipient

Julia Sarmiento is a master’s levels student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Julia is a student success specialist at Beth Shields Middle School, where she identified students at risk of failing or leaving school early and works intensively with school personnel, parents, and community agencies to promote student success.

Master’s Honorable Mention Recipients

Rachel Marrero is a master’s level student in Science Education. Rachel is a Robert Noyce STEM scholar, past president of the USF student chapter of the National Science Teachers Association, and active in Therabilities Performing Arts Center where she taught dance to children both with and without disabilities.

Oderay Ortega is a master’s level student in Social Science Education. Currently in her final (full-time) teaching internship at Barrington Middle School, Oderay is proving to be an excellent teacher of all students, including English Language Learners, with whom she demonstrates her exceptional skills.

William Rayo is a master’s level student in Social Science Education. William has joined the USF SCATTER honors program and has participated in multiple professional development opportunities in order to enhance his understanding of best teaching practices that support the development of all learners.

Doctoral Award Recipient

Rica Ramirez is a doctoral level student in Educational Psychology. She has worked with colleagues at universities throughout the United States in developing supports for early childhood dual language learners.  In addition, Rica has workedin two research laboratories, presented at prestigious national conferences, taught multiple courses in the College of Education,  and is currently working on several manuscripts for publication.

Doctoral Award Honorable Mention Recipients

Michael Frank is a doctoral level student in School Psychology. With a particular interest in being able to serve Latino/a youth and families knowing that the Latino/a population is growing in the U.S. and that these youth are often underserved in schools, Michael has taken the initiative to pursue learning Spanish and participate in a cultural immersion program in Ecuador during his three years in the doctoral program.

Walter José Rosales-Mejia is a doctoral level student in Measurement & Evaluation. Walter has participated in several research and evaluation projects in which he had the opportunity to work directly with Latino Communities in the Greater Tampa Bay area through Head Start and several Informal Science Education Programs, such as Aquariums and Zoos.

Below are some pictures of the event.