D. D. Hachar Honors Program Scholars Selected at A&M International

The first class of students selected for Texas A&M International University's D. D. Hachar Honors Program was recognized in a special reception for students and their families at the University Sunday, April 30 in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Great Room.

A&M International president Charles Jennett welcomed the 27 members of the D. D. Hachar Honors Program and President's Scholars who begin their honors classes this Fall at the University. Refreshments were provided and the University's Mariachi Internacional provided entertainment.

"You are a remarkable group of our city's and region's finest minds and we have great hopes for you and the futures you will forge. We know that among you are future presidents, scientists, artists, educators and great thinkers all," Dr. Jennett noted.

Vidal Trevino, consultant to the D. D. Hachar Charitable Trust which funded the creation of the city's first four-year Honors Program, said the students were the best Laredo and Webb County has to offer and said that D. D. Hachar would be pleased by their success.

"You are the crema pura here and we are proud to take stock in your future. We believe in you and we are here for you. This University will help you to become the great leaders you are destined to be. Mr. Hachar would be proud of your success," he said.

Dr. Ray Keck, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the program is an important addition to the University's academic program.

"All great universities share a tradition of honors programs. With this program our hometown University clearly asserts its commitment to academic excellence and brighter student futures. The Program is highly innovative and enables students and faculty to forge a remarkable dynamic that seizes challenges, synthesizes innovation and creates powerful learning opportunities," he explained.

Dr. Carlos Cuellar, A&M International associate professor of history, is the program director and introduced members of the University's Honors Faculty.

"This is a place where your dreams and aspirations will come true," he assured students, "there is no glass ceiling here, nothing will stop you from reaching your goal."

The Honors Faculty includes Dr. Sean Chadwell, assistant professor of English; Dr. Jay Stubblefield, assistant professor of English; Dr. Jana Pisani, assistant professor of history, and Dr. Deborah Blackwell, assistant professor of history.

Students selected for the program and their respective high schools include:

United South High School: Rebecca Buckley, Nancy E. García, María del Rosario González, Lesley Rodríguez, Claudia Suarez.

Nixon High School: Saul Caballero, Adriana Espinoza, Brenda González, Marco A. López, Melissa Mendiola.

Alexander High School: Marissa Fermín, Laura E. García, Rocío E. Martínez, Erika Tijerina.

Martin High School: Veronyka Flores, Gregory P. García, Jackie L. Herrera.

Cigarroa High School: Nicolás Gallegos, Georgina García, Janet Gutiérrez, Luis Lauriano, Luis H. Ramos, Julián Robles, Dinorah Sepulveda.

United High School: Raquel García.

Students who were named President's Honor Scholars, meeting the same criteria as D. D. Hachar Scholars, include Lonnie Lee Gignac of Alexander High School and Felipe J. Pantoja of Cigarroa High School.

Criteria for selection for the D. D. Hachar Honors Program includes that students present a minimum SAT score or 1100 (24 ACT) with a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher or an SAT score of 1200 (27 ACT) with a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

In addition, students must be Webb County residents, be in the top 5 percent of their high school graduating class, complete a program application with recommendations and an essay and participate in a personal interview with the Programs Application Review Committee.

The D. D. Hachar Honors Program provides for student tuition, books and fees for all four years of the student's undergraduate program. The program begins in the Fall of 2000 with this initial class of 27, but will grow to 100 students by 2003 with a maximum gift from the D. D. Hachar Charitable Trust of $300,000.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Cuellar at 326.2626, visit his offices in Killam Library room 421C, or email to ccuellar@tamiu.edu

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu