The first CSU-Pueblo International Students’ Association Awards took place Friday in the Occhiato University Center, Aspen Leaf room, and more than 90 people attended. Students, staff members and faculty of CSU-Pueblo along with community members came to the ceremony to honor those who have made an impact on international students at the university.
Several individual honors at the ceremony were presented, including the “International Excellence Award,” “International Collaborator of the Year Award,” and gold, silver, and bronze recognitions for levels of support to the international community at CSU-Pueblo.
The gold recognition was presented to 18 individuals for their support of the International Students’ Association and especially with the 77th Annual International Food and Cultural Extravaganza.
The recipients of the gold recognition included Jose Lopez, Ana Salcedo, Sarah Zarr, Pratik Desai, Julie Armstrong, Jessica Warren, Daniel Potter, Heidi Laino, Marissa Munger, Soondo Hong, Anais Escobar, Linqian Fan, Jinessa Rutt, Samia Elghair, Isabel Quintero, Marion Destaminil, Harshita Ojaha and Qiubin Sun.
“I believe that this event was extraordinary, simply because the 2015 extravaganza volunteers were recognized,” said Lopez, president of CSU-Pueblo International Students Association. “All the people who made that event happened were recognized, and this was a very good sign of the importance of teamwork and cooperation at CSU-Pueblo.”
A total of 70 awards were given in the silver category. These silver winners included the fashion show models, event performers, and hair and makeup artists from the extravaganza.
Ten individuals were awarded the bronze recognition for their significant support of international students during the 2014-2015 school year.
Several individuals, campus departments, and community organizations were also recognized for their valuable support of the International Students’ Association and the 77th Annual International Food and Cultural Extravaganza. They included Dr. David Free, Lisa Vigil, the CSU-Pueblo TODAY, IntelliTec College-Pueblo, REV89, Tundra and the Hickman family.
“I just want to thank Talha Qureshi and everyone at CSU-Pueblo for allowing IntelliTec cosmetology students to be a part of the international extravaganza,” said Billee Conci, an IntelliTec College-Pueblo staff member. “It was a true honor to be recognized at Friday’s event. I hope we can be a part of this for years to come.”
The highest honor of the evening, “The International Excellence Award,” was presented to the director of the Center for International Programs and adviser of the CSU-Pueblo International Students’ Association, Annie Williams. Williams was honored for her more than 30 years of service to the international students at CSU-Pueblo.
Williams was presented the award by Roosevelt Wilson, the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Title IX coordinator, Cora Zaletel, director of External Affairs, and Marissa Munger, administrative assistant of the Center for International Programs.
“During my time at CSU-Pueblo, I have seen Annie serving the international students’ community at CSU-Pueblo with dedication, love and honesty, and she is truly deserving of this award for her 30-plus years of service to the students on campus,” Wilson said.
Munger added, “Annie is just not only an international director and club adviser, but she’s a mother, sister and family. These are the terms with which many international students refer to her, as these students come all the way to CSU-Pueblo and to a new country, leaving their friends and family behind.”
Williams received a standing ovation from the audience, and after receiving the first major recognition of her career at CSU-Pueblo, she ended up in tears and was unable to make an acceptance speech.
The second highest recognition and last award of the evening was the “International Collaborator of the Year Award.” Williams presented the award to M. Talha Qureshi, a student from Pakistan who has been instrumental in working with organizations across campus and in the community to benefit international students.
“With such a huge success in terms of the turnout from all over the campus and community, I am sure these first annual International Students’ Association Awards will continue over the years at CSU-Pueblo,” Munger said.