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CSU-Pueblo Announces Top Four Students for Threlkeld Prize for Excellence

Release Date: April 13, 2017

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


CSU-Pueblo Announces Top Four Students for Threlkeld Prize for Excellence

PUEBLO - Colorado State University-Pueblo has selected four students as candidates for the prestigious Threlkeld Prize for Excellence. The finalists were selected from a pool of candidates compiled from nominations by CSU-Pueblo faculty and staff from various University departments. The winner of the Threlkeld Prize for excellence will be announced at the Student Involvement and Leadership Awards ceremony at beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 in Hoag Recital Hall.

Named for the late Budge Threlkeld, a former administrator and professor, the award is presented to a graduating senior who demonstrates excellence in academic and co-curricular activities as well as in service to the University and to the community. The Threlkeld winner will receive a stipend as well as the first diploma during Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 6 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.

The finalists for the Threlkeld Prize for Excellence include:

Destiny Campa Meza, Pueblo, will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 grade point average) in May with a degree in English. While attending CSU-Pueblo, she was president of the English Club and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, editor and author of the CSU-Pueblo Tempered Steel Literary Magazine, and founded two programs that encourage literacy and academic success for Pueblo youth. Destiny created partnerships with El Centro Del Quinto Sol and Belmont Elementary School that pairs Pueblo adolescents with CSU-Pueblo English-major students and elementary school students to help with homework, resumes, and scholarship applications. 

Shawn King, Colorado Springs, will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) as a dual major with degrees in math and mechatronics. Shawn served as an Associated Students’ Government Senator, the chapter president for Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success, and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Golden Key Honor Society. He volunteers many hours tutoring students and is an intern with United Technologies Aerospace Systems, where he does research and development on material properties, mechanical testing, and chemical analysis. Recognizing the importance of a tutoring center exclusively focused on the success of STEM students, he was critical in the mobilization of student support for institutionalizing the Science Learning Center on campus.

Ursaline Paradiso, Pueblo, will pursue a career as a first-grade teacher after she graduates summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) in May with a degree in Liberal Studies. Paradiso has thrived in and out of the classroom as a three-year member of the CSU-Pueblo Cheer Team, two of those years as captain. She coaches the Varsity Dance Team at Pueblo County High School and works in the CSU-Pueblo Center for Academic Enrichment. Paradiso also was a Kane Family Foundation Scholar during her career at CSU-Pueblo.

Heather Riganti, Colorado Springs, will graduate summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) with degrees in history (secondary education emphasis) and psychology and a minor in sociology. Riganti is a veteran of the U. S. Army, active from 2011-2013, a mother to a young child, and spouse of an active military service member, who has been deployed often during her time at CSU-Pueblo.  Heather devotes many volunteer hours to the Fort Carson community.  Most recently, she was awarded the Order of St. Joan D’ Arc for her significant voluntary contributions to the morale, spirit, and welfare of the Calvary and Armor communities. She is as an active participant in the Student Veteran Association, Psi Chi National Honor Society, and Phi Alpha Theta.  

Colorado State University - Pueblo is committed to excellence, setting the standard for regional comprehensive universities in teaching, research, and service by providing leadership and access for its region, while maintaining its commitment to diversity.



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