A&S Student News
Montanez Graduates With Legacy of Character
Jonathon Montanez, a graduating senior in kinesiology, attributes the world of opportunities now ahead of him to the one he passed up back in high school: a spur-of-the-moment act of selflessness that grabbed the attention of Texas Tech's then-Chancellor Kent Hance, who was so impressed he offered Montanez a scholarship, according to an Aug. 8 feature in Texas Tech Today. It happened like this: It was February 2013, the last basketball game of the regular season, and El Paso's cross-town rivals Coronado and Franklin high schools were playing one another. It also was senior night for Coronado, an already emotional final game for team manager Mitchell Marcus, who has a developmental disability. And that was before his coach put him in the game with 90 seconds remaining. "I kind of knew him growing up because we'd go to basketball camps and he'd be there—he was one of those familiar faces," said Montanez, who played for Franklin. "He was just the heart of Coronado's basketball team." Thirteen seconds later, the Franklin coach put Montanez in, since it was also his last game. Coronado led, but not by so much that the game was out of reach. "Coronado was playing 4-on-5 defense, trying to give Mitchell the ball," Montanez recalled. "He missed, I think, four shots, and with seconds left it bounced off his shoulder and went out of bounds."Inbounding the ball, Montanez did something unexpected. Instead of passing it to one of his teammates to try to score, he yelled, "Mitchell!" and passed the ball to his rival. "It was like a movie," Montanez laughed. "I didn't think on it. It was just this feeling of, 'This is his moment—it's his time to shine.'" Marcus made a basket and Coronado won by 15, but Montanez didn't feel like a loser. "Back in El Paso, it's one of the biggest rivalries, so the local news stations were there for the sports report," he said. "I thought it was just going to be local news, and they came the next day for an interview. But from there, I got calls from CBS headquarters and things like that to schedule more interviews." After a video was posted on Facebook, the story spread like wildfire. "It was a great way to end senior year," Montanez said. When Hance saw the story on TV, he said to himself, "That's the type of young man we want at Texas Tech." Hance said. "He went out of his way to be nice to someone who was disadvantaged, and I was very impressed with his action. That's the kind of kid that I love—I wanted him to be a Red Raider, and he turned out to be a great one." As Montanez graduates with his bachelor's degree in kinesiology, he hopes the right doors will open in the future so he can attend physical therapy school. To read the complete story, follow this link.
Bonorden and Calandrini Recognized by Grad School
As it does every year, Texas Tech University's Graduate School recognized work displayed in students' theses and dissertations for its annual awards, according to an article published July 20 in Texas Tech Today. Students are nominated by their faculty representatives. Those winning from the College of Arts & Sciences for 2018 are:
- Alyssa Bonorden, from the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, who won 1st Place in the Social Sciences for her master's thesis.
- Sara Calandrini, from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, who won 2nd Place in the Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering category for her doctoral dissertation.
The Graduate School recognizes theses and dissertations of mathematics, physical sciences, engineering and social sciences in even numbered years, and biological life sciences, humanities and fine arts in odd-numbered years. The awards are funded by the Helen Jones Foundation.
Williams & Father Both Win Fulbrights
Gretchen Williams, a pre-doctoral researcher in the Department of History, has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship. The award takes Williams to Seville, Spain, for her studies. "My proposal has to do with the Roma people, sometimes referred to as 'Gypsies,' but that term is offensive in English," Williams said in a June 15 Texas Tech Today article. "I want to focus on the 16th and 17th centuries here in Spain, specifically the provinces of Seville and Cadiz. I want to contribute to my field by being able to explain exactly what this community looked like here, what they were doing and what their neighborhoods were like. So many books on the Roma in Spain are vast and cover almost four centuries and the entire Iberian Peninsula. My dissertation will be more of a micro-historical approach, and I hope it will help us to better understand the community at that time." Williams, who holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology and a master's degree in dance history from the University of New Mexico, also wanted to learn more about the Roma people because of her love of flamenco dancing. She also enjoys the distinction of congratulating her father, Jeffrey Williams, professor of ethnology and linguistics in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, on being named, in the same year, a Fulbright specialist in anthropology. "Gretchen applied for a Fulbright and got it on the first try," Professor Williams said. "The funny thing was, she and I got a Fulbright in the same year in two different kinds of programs, and the odds of that happening are astronomical." Being named a Fulbright specialist puts Professor Williams on a list with others in his field, with the possibility of being chosen to work on projects overseas sometime in the next five years. To read the complete story, follow this link.
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