April 22, 2021 — HCaP student Karel Padilla won the prestigious Outstanding Undergraduate Student award as part of the University Life Awards for 2020-21. A committee comprised of Undergraduate Advisors of Record from across HCaP graduate programs reviewed all applicants and selected Karel as most deserving.
Karel is pursuing a Criminal Justice degree and she exemplifies an outstanding determination and passion for education. This is evident by the obstacles, cultural and language barriers, she has overcame to be successful. She has excelled in her academics and is the President of Alpha Phi Sigma, an honor society for criminal justice at UTSA. Her passion for success does not only reside in her academics but with her community. She has done transformational and influential work with the efforts that she spearheaded that delivered hygiene health bags in the Project Transformation, a nonprofit organization that aims to engage children, college-aged young adults, and churches in purposeful relationships. She also has volunteers in the Texas Rising, an organization that reforms policies in Texas, and encouraged future students to continue their education at an education fair. Her passion to succeed is evident in her efforts and commitment to her academics and community. We are very proud of Karel and would celebrate with her and her family as she becomes the first in her family to graduate.
“Thank you to the committee who awarded me such a prestigious award,” Karel said. “As my journey at UTSA comes to an end, I am grateful to see all my hard work be reflected in this award. Thank you to Professor Meade for being my mentor. This award is dedicated to my parents, grandparents, and siblings who are the reason why I am who I am today, and whose love and support motivated me to continue each day.”