02:23 PM

Freshmen Win Awards and Prizes for Outstanding Convocation Essays

The Freshman Convocation Committee announced the winners of the Freshman Convocation Essay Competition at an awards ceremony Tuesday featuring UHD President Bill Flores.

UHD's incoming freshmen read the book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," wrote essays and discussed the book at the convocation Aug. 20 in groups that included faculty, staff, alumni and current UHD students. The committee also sponsored an essay competition and students could win prizes and book vouchers provided via a grant from Walmart.

Maria De Leon won first place and a $500 cash prize. Tracey Thomas won second place and a $350 book voucher. David River received the third place award and a $250 book voucher. Shane Carter and McRandall Tran tied for fourth place and will receive $150 book vouchers.

The committee also recognized 32 students whose essays earned "awards of excellence."

Kimberly Adolph Bria Anderson

Estefani Arellano Amanda Bermudez

Mariah Carthon Sonya Cisneros

Raymond Clark Mariana Cortes

Gustavo Davalillo Bianca De La Rosa

Mauro Douohou Ezell Frazier

Agenais Ferguson Darlen Galicia

Alex Gipson Alison Godwin

Brenda Henderson Carlon Johnson

Samantha Mata Yolanda Melendez

Miranda Mendieta Mariah Monconduit

Jasmine Morris Kieu-Van Nguyen

Bianca Payne Jennifer Perales

Jibri Pimento Gerardo Rios

Desiree Rodriguez Tracy Iliana Rodriguez

Marisol Ruiz Lonnie Vance Jr.

Erick Vasquez

The essay judges were Sergiy Koshkin, assistant professor; Mary Jo Parker, Scholars Academy director; Paula Doan, UHD student, and Tammis Thomas, professor and Convocation Committee chair. The committee has planned activities throughout the year designed to enhance students' freshman experience.