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Excellence in Education Student Scholarship

After consideration of outstanding applications from graduate and undergraduate candidates throughout the South Central Region, three winners were awarded the Excellence in Education Scholarship. These winners demonstrate excellence in academic pursuits as well as their professional and personal lives.

The award selections are based on accomplishments in human resources, academics, campus and community involvement and recommendations from professors, advisors and/or employers. Their achievements deserve congratulations!

The scholarship recipients each receive a $1,000 grant plus the proceeds from The HRSouthwest Conference silent auction and an honorarium given by HRSWC in honor of the educational session speakers. We wish these students and all of the candidates who applied for this scholarship continued success in both educational and professional endeavors.

2016 Excellence in Education Scholarship Recipients


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Charles Adams, PHR, SHRM-CP

Tarleton State University

Charles is pursuing a Master of Science in human resources management from Tarleton State University. He is a member of SHRM, as well as the Fort Worth Human Resource Management Association. Charles previously served as president of the Tarleton SHRM student chapter during the 2015-2016 academic year. In addition to his studies, Charles works full-time as the human resource office manager at Walmart eCommerce in Fort Worth, Texas.


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Jessica Lightfoot

University of Texas at Dallas

Jessica Lightfoot is an honors student in the Davidson Management Honors Program at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), studying organizational behavior and human resources. She plans to graduate with her bachelor’s in December 2016 then pursue a Masters of Business Administration. She currently serves as the president of her school’s SHRM student chapter and has been a member of DallasHR for the past two years, where she has an active role within its Young Professionals Group. This past summer, Jessica was an HR intern at Texas Instruments. She now works part-time as a co-op intern in the recruiting department at Nokia, previously Alcatel-Lucent.


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Lori Long PHR, SHRM-CP

Capella University

Lori is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management with an emphasis on human resources management. She plans to graduate in May 2017. She has served in the HR field for more than 20 years and is continuing to grow by gaining an advanced degree. She currently works full-time as an HR generalist with Texas Health Resources, where she is a Blue Zone Ambassador and past recipient of the Mosaic Pin Award. She is a member of SHRM and Fort Worth HRMA.


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Johana Zavaleta-Sigala PHR, SHRM-CP

St. Edward’s University

Johana Zavaleta-Sigala has been a member of the Austin Human Resources Management Association since 2015 and currently serves on the organization’s Membership Committee. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a graduate student at St. Edward’s University, pursuing a Master’s of Science in leadership and change. She currently works at El Buen Samanritano, a non-profit in South Austin as an HR specialist.

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