WTAMU Names 2014 Intern of the Year

Nov. 12, 2014

CONTACT:    Steve Sellars, 806-651-2345, ssellars@wtamu.edu

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Names 2014 Intern of the Year

CANYON, Texas—She spent six weeks digging in the dirt and planting and harvesting vegetables as a nutrition education intern for The Garden at the High Plains Food Bank and on Friday, Nov. 21, Mercedez Hernandez will be recognized as the 2014 Intern of the Year at West Texas A&M University.

Hernandez, a junior pre-med/health science major from Lubbock, will receive a $750 scholarship for the spring semester, courtesy of the Phillips 66, at a special reception at 2:20 p.m. at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on campus. HernaMercedez Hernandezndez also will be submitted for the national Cooperative Education and Internship Association’s Academic Intern of the Year award.

This is the second year for WTAMU to recognize an Intern of the Year. The award is designed to honor an outstanding student who has participated in an internship and made a significant contribution to the employer. She was selected from a slate of 25 nominees.

Hernandez spent six weeks with the High Plains Food Bank not only in the garden but also leading a nutrition education and organic gardening program at Amarillo’s Maverick Boys and Girls Club. Her gardening responsibilities ranged from planting and harvesting to weeding and pest control while  teaching 112 students five days a week at the Maverick Boys and Girls Club. Hernandez expanded a provided curriculum to meet the needs of the various age groups, created a composting program and turned the garden area into an outdoor classroom.

“Mercedez went above the responsibilities that were laid for her in several areas that make her qualified for this honor,” Justin Young, nutrition education director at the High Plains Food Banks, said. “I require much from our interns with very little oversight. I expect initiative, creativity and for our interns to take ownership of the program. To do this position exceptionally requires much of a person, and Mercedez exceeded my expectations in all areas.”

The Intern of the Year hopes to graduate in May 2016. She is active in the Attebury Honors Program, JAMP and is a Rogers LEAD WT scholar. She traveled to Bolivia as a Readership WT Ambassador and is the recipient of numerous scholarships including the WTAMU Student Government Scholastic Scholarship Award, the Hispanic Association Scholarship and the Allyson Ford Memorial Scholarship.

The nominees for the honor are listed by major and internship.
Emily Almquist, equine industry and business major—Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Elizabeth Braudt, accounting major—Brown, Graham & Co. PC
Kress Carson, agribusiness major—Happy State Bank
Lawrence Gregg, general studies major—BNSF Railway Company
Paydon Hales, agribusiness major—Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, Lamar Branch
Shelby Harriss, accounting major—Xcel Energy
Jaylin Henderson, graduate student in accounting—CNS Pantex
Caleb Hubbard, communication major—WTAMU Rogers LEAD WT
Bri Leeper, mass communication major—WTAMU Student Orientation
Chau Mai, graduate student in business—Walmart
Alex Montoya, mass communication major—Ringier Media Company (China)
Jessica Morrow, theatre major—The New York Musical Theatre Festival
Kendall Neill, mechanical engineering major—Phillips 66
Judith Papenfus, mass communication major,—Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Ashli Parkhurst, graduate student in accounting—Doshier, Pickens & Francis LLC
Avery Pinkerton, mass communication major—WTAMU Office of Student Affairs
Erica Radach, graduate student in accounting—Johnson & Sheldon PC
Steven Romo, wildlife biology major—Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Priya Salagundla, graduate student in business—BMC Software
Sidney Sanogo, sports and exercise science major—Verizon
Bradford Smith, computer science major—Walmart
Erin Springer, music therapy major—Hurst-Euless Bedford Independent School District
Nhan “Nancy” Tran, graduate student in business—Walmart
Gustavo Vega, computer information systems major—Sharyland Utilities

For more information about internship opportunities, contact WTAMU’s career services at 806-651-2345 or visit wtamu.edu/career.



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