Posted on April 18, 2021 by Amanda Cerreto

April 19, 2021 — The UTSA Graduate School has announced their end of year Awards, and several HCaP faculty, staff, and students have won honors.

Stephanie Hernandez Outstanding Dissertation
Stephanie Hernandez (Demography)

"I am honored to receive the Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award. I am thankful to my dissertation chair and mentor, Dr. Johnelle Sparks, and the rest of my committee (Dr. Corey Sparks, Dr. Lloyd Potter, and Dr. Karin Brewster) for their support. I could not have succeeded at UTSA without them!"


Derek Plantenga Outstanding Graduate Advisor of Record
Derek Plantegna, Masters (Social Work)

“Serving as Graduate Advisor of Record for the Department of Social Work within HCaP is an honor. It gives me the opportunity to walk alongside of our incredible students from their time as prospective students–just considering the idea of graduate school, all the way through to graduation. I get to work in a program that I believe in, alongside of amazing colleagues as we move toward the shared goal of transformative, culturally competent social work. It's a great place to be!”


Corey Sparks Corey Sparks, Doctoral (Demography)

“Being selected for the Outstanding Graduate Advisor of Record award for HCaP is a great honor for me. I try to open doors for our students, be that by helping them get into our program, or being present when they have difficult decisions to make while with us. Seeing them succeed is my greatest accomplishment in this role and I hope to continue doing this.”


Michael Baumann Outstanding Graduate Mentor

Michael Baumann (Psychology)

“I’ve been lucky enough to advise a lot of great grad students over the years, some formally, others informally. Many of them have gone on to do impressive things. I’m touched to learn so many of them think the discussions we had / advice I gave helped them to do that.”


Johnelle Sparks Johnelle Sparks (Demography)

“Working with and mentoring students in the demography doctoral program is the best part of my job! My students make me a better scholar by teaching and challenging to think in new and different ways. I love to celebrate my students' successes and see them become independent researchers! I am thankful that many of my former students remain colleagues, but more importantly they are friends. This recognition means a great deal to me, because serving as a mentor is a core part of my professional identity.”


Janice Marshall Outstanding Graduate Program Coordinator
Janice Marshall (Psychology)

"I truly love working with our students, and watching them succeed is so rewarding. Knowing that I had at least a small part in helping them along the way is satisfaction enough, but to be honored for doing so is certainly a delightful bonus."


Colton Daniels Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant
Colton Daniels (Sociology)

“Words cannot express my gratitude to everyone who has motivated and guided me along this new stage in my life. The overwhelming support for my research and teaching has pushed me to become a better academic. I sincerely thank everyone who was always been there for me.”


Corby Sidebottom Outstanding Thesis
Corby Sidebottom (Kinesiology)

“Winning this award was very unexpected and I am elated. It is very rewarding knowing that others noticed the efforts I put into this thesis.”

— Amanda Cerreto