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Villalba named Spring 2010 Jose Ronstadt Outstanding Undergraduate

May 06, 2010

When Victoria Villalba graduates this spring she will collect two diplomas and a special achievement award. Villalba, who is the Spring 2010 Jose Ronstadt Outstanding Undergraduate recipient, is graduating from ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies.

She also will be the first in her family to hold a college degree.

“I’m experiencing a collection of emotions because I have prepared for this moment since the seventh grade,” Villalba said. “It’s been difficult, exciting, challenging and yet ultimately rewarding.”

The 21-year-old credits part of her success to the ASU Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, which recruits university, bound Latinas by directly involving mothers in the educational process of their daughters. Students also receive advocacy and support from academic counselors, networking opportunities, internships and scholarship opportunities.

“The program really looked out for me by keeping me on track,” Villalba said. “I’ve also been able to give back by mentoring others in the program.”

In addition to the ASU Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program, Villalba has been active in the LINK@ASU program, which is a residential summer program designed to introduce incoming freshmen and transfer students to the Latino college experience.

Villalba said that after she returns from a road trip to Northern Arizona, she will continue her education in late June by attending a monthlong Study Abroad Program in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Education is a big part of who I am, and it doesn't end here,” Villalba said. “I’m ending one journey and beginning another.”