Moralez Named WTAMU's 2016 Intern of the Year

Nov 10, 2016

CONTACT:    Steve Sellars, 806-651-2345,

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129,


CANYON, Texas—For more than a year, West Texas A&M University student Magali Moralez has been reconciling bank accounts and reviewing daily cash reports for the City of Amarillo and on Tuesday, Nov. 15, she will be recognized as WTAMU’s Intern of the Year for 2016.

Moralez, a graduate student in accounting from Friona, will receive a $750 scholarship for the spring semester, courtesy of Phillips 66, at a special reception at 3 p.m. Nov. 15 in the College of Business. Her name also will be submitted for the national Cooperative Education and Internship Association’s Academic Intern of the Year award.

This year’s award marks the fourth time 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. Moralez was selected for the honor from a field of 21 nominees.

Moralez has been working for the City of Amarillo since June of 2015 as an intern in the accounting department. She has been assigned a variety of projects and assisting other accountants within the department. The experience has given a greater understanding of governmental accounting and the relationship between various funds.

"This has been an extraordinary experience that has made me grow as an individual," Moralez said. "Being able to connect all that I have learned in the classroom to real life situations finally makes sense. It is one thing to study a subject and another thing to get hands-on experience. This internship is the beginning of my career as an accountant."

The internship has given Moralez invaluable experience in all facets of accounting. She is getting hands-on experience in everything from bank reconciliations and daily reports to learning accounting software and the ability to use it for research. The internship has sparked her interest in the work so much that she is currently taking a graduate course in governmental accounting.

"Magali has been a great asset to the department," Valerie Kuhnert, city auditor for the City of Amarillo, said. "She is always eager to take on new responsibilities and maintains a positive attitude throughout. She prioritizes her work and is eager to try anything that is given to her."

Moralez plans to complete the master’s program in accounting and pass her CPA exam. In addition to classes and the internship, Moralez is active in Mortar Board, Gamma Beta Phi, Alpha Chi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Enactus and the Accounting and Finance Association. Volunteer activities include Amarillo Food Bank, Patsy’s Home, Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House. She is the recipient of several scholarships including the Amarillo Area Foundation Scholarship and the Student Endowment Leadership Scholarship. In spring of 2016 she was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

"Being the first member of my family to attend a university and attaining a master’s degree has set the bar high in aspirations," she said. "Aspirations of those much like me that come from a family where English is not spoken in the home; a home that by socioeconomic standards is low income. Aspiration of becoming anything that they set their minds to be, I’ve become that example in that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. I am forever grateful to be a Hispanic and even more grateful to be able to represent my race as a proud, successful accountant."

The 21 nominees for the 2016 honor are listed by major and internship.

Nicholas Ahring, computer science—Fidelity Investments
Xavier Campbell, mechanical engineering—Audi of America
Brooke Davis, mass communication/advertising/public relations—Amarillo Parks and Recreation
Brianna Hogg, equine industry and business—Fults Ranch
Kelsey Hutton, animal science—Seaboard Foods
Raju Karki, M.B.A./marketing—JBS USA
Kelsey Knight, corporate communication—Make-A-Wish North Texas
Chelsea Koester, music—Texas Children’s Hospital
Kristin Lien Le, public relations/advertising/applied communication—Vietnam Satellite Digital Television Co.
Daisy Maciel, M.P.A./accounting—Lovelady, Christy & Associates
Codi Miller, agricultural media and communications—Colorado State University, Tri River Area Extension
Dustin Minich, engineering technology—Western Builders
Yelithza Morales, accounting—First Financial Bank
Magali Moralez, M.P.A.—City of Amarillo
Corbyn Rains, criminal justice—Tisdell Law Office
Kelly Ramos, public relations/advertising/applied communication—NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Valeria Rodriguez, computer science—Visa
Laura Schulze, biology—College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Stetson Smitherman, biology—Growing Leaders
Blake Washburn, mechanical/civil engineering—Phillips 66
Morgan Young, animal science—Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Association