Undergraduate Studies alumna and former UGS Council President Emily Smith was awarded the Edward S. Guleke Student Excellence Award in a ceremony on April 11. Each year, Texas Exes and the Friar Society recognizes one student at the junior level or higher for their academic achievements, character, and contributions to the university community.
“In the two years I have known and worked with Emily, I have found her to consistently display the academic integrity, intellectual curiosity, and community engagement that is worthy of such a distinction,” said Zach Ward, academic advisor for the Texas Success Initiative and former staff facilitator for UGS Council. “She truly cares about the lives of her fellow students and I look forward to seeing what she does with the remainder of her time on the Forty Acres.”
Smith received 20 nominations from faculty and staff across campus.
“I feel like this award is less a reflection of me as it is of the amazing amount of organizations, resources, and people that UT offers to students if they are willing to reach out and pursue those opportunities,” Smith said. “I am truly grateful for having started out in UGS as a freshman. I believe that beginning my journey undeclared enhanced my UT experience by giving me the space and providing me with the resources that helped me discover what I really wanted out of a college experience.”
Smith is a junior majoring in sociology. She is a member of the UGS Council, a current LCCE-City Hall Fellow, and a member of the Voices Against Violence student organization. She served as an orientation advisor, is the associate editor for the student-run Sociological Insight journal, and has acted in several student theatre productions. Smith will study abroad in London this summer as part of the School of Social Work’s Roots of Economic and Social Justice program.