2015-2016 Collegiate Advisory Board
Anthony “AJ” Cortez
Our Lady of the Lake University
Nursing and Social Work
AJ was also a member of the Teens in the Driver Seat Teen Advisory Board and has worked in his community to spread the message about safe driving and healthy living. He has taken on several leadership roles in organizations and believes his experience will prove beneficial in his future career in the medical field. AJ is a certified peer educator and looks forward to using this skill with the UDS Collegiate Advisory Board.
“I feel I can be efficient and successful with other members who share the same passion as me.”
Ms. DeGrate is currently the Vice President of the Ranger College Peer Educators where she coordinates and plans activities and assists the President in common goals of the group. She works to inform Ranger students of the importance of drinking responsibly and strives to learn more so she can share the information to peers.
“My goal is to lower DUIs in my community.”
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Hunter is a member of his campus ITeam, a peer educator group that promotes healthy habits along with drug and alcohol prevention. With ITeam, Hunter has been involved in a variety of activities, including a focus group of peers to collect thoughts and opinions on alcohol and drug use on campus, promotion of healthy living, National Smoke Out Day, and giving presentations to campus Greek life to prevent binge drinking and driving while intoxicated.
“I feel very strongly about preventing drinking and driving. When I shadowed in the hospital, I witnessed the damage it can cause people and want to be part of something that teaches me ways to prevent this on my campus.”
Sara believes strongly in impaired driving prevention and that students. Her goals with joining the advisory board are to give students drug and alcohol information to help keep them safe and host alcohol-free social options.
“While I cannot keep others from drinking, I hope to at least give them the knowledge they need to convince them to stay off the road.”
West Texas A&M University
Plant, Soil & Environmental Sciences
Zahra has taken on leadership roles with several organizations, including PULSE, African Student Association, and International Student Organization. She has helped organize events and strives to share ideas and be supportive to peers while also being a great role model. She believes in events that are positive to her peer’s future. Zahra is a certified peer educator.
“I want to encourage groups to participate in activities that are beneficial, instead of “just a party.” I also want to continue to be persistent in peer education and safety all around campus.”
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Kimberly is currently chair of the campus peer educator ITeam and is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. As chair of ITeam, Kimberly is responsible for coordinating topics covered in weekly meetings, upcoming events, and volunteers. Ms. Smoots wanted to become a board member because she believes this issue is personal to almost everyone and wants to make a difference through her ideas.
“[I want to] make the alcohol culture be more about safety as opposed to binge drinking and blackouts.”
University of the Incarnate Word
Lupe is currently President of the UIW STARS (Students Teaching Advocating Responsible Self-Growth) and is responsible for organizing and planning projects to help spread messages to the UIW students. She is passionate about preventing impaired driving since there have been drinking and driving crashes involving UIW students and wants to continue bringing more awareness to the issue.
“I understand the importance of this program. I can make a great contribution to the team and I believe this will be an excellent way to develop my leadership skills.”
Mr. Thomas’ leadership skills are proven within the Ranger College Peer Educator group spreading the message of responsible driving to peers and also on the court, where he is the Captain of the Ranger College Basketball team and works towards a winning team that does not give into peer pressure when it comes to destructive decisions.
“I want to make sure all of my peers understand how important it is to be the DUDE and find ways my athletic peers do not give into peer pressure.”
Ms. Thompson joins the CAB with two years of leadership experience in the Ranger College Peer Educators, including being a founder of the group. As a member of the CAB, she strives to steer her college and its students in the right direction of drinking responsibly by informing students and creating alcohol-free events.
“I have learned that it can be fun to be the DUDE for someone. Planning to be safe is different or foreign to most people but it alleviates the stress caused on issues such as not having a ride, fighting people over their keys and being exposed to negative situations. I always encourage my fellow peer educators and teammates to be the DUDE.”