The University of Texas at Austin celebrated School of Social Work students among the extraordinary undergraduates who have distinguished themselves through a combination of talent, hard work, and intellectual endeavor. The celebration took place at the annual Honors Day program, held on Saturday April 13th at the Frank Erwin Center.

Each spring for this occasion, the university designates outstanding students as College Scholars and Distinguished College Scholars. During the ceremony, all honorees receive honor cords that they can wear at commencement ceremonies in May. Distinguished College Scholars are also presented with a medallion on stage by their academic deans.

Celebrations started earlier for the honored Social Work students, at a special dinner held by the School on Thursday April 11th.

“The stories of our honored undergraduates are truly inspiring,” said Vicki Packheiser, the School’s Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs. “I am very proud of their academic success, hard work, and commitment to make this world a better place.”

The university ceremony featured one of the Social Work students, Jose Mariscal, with a  photo and description on the stage screen during Provost Steven Leslie’s speech. “Jose has been in school since 1998, slowly chipping away at his degree” said Packheiser. “After coming to UT in 2008, he realized that his heart was in social work. He has been taking a course or two each semester all the while working full time as a state trooper. Jose’s GPA, a reflection of his hard work and persistence, qualified him to be a College Scholar. He is currently completing his field placement at the Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care, and is thrilled to be graduating in May.”