2021 Centennial Achievement Masters Awardee
During the fall of 1987, the Graduate College and the Division of Campus Life established awards to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions of graduate students at the University of Arizona who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic, or educational obstacles. In years past, the award was presented to two students at the Master's level and two students at the Doctoral level. Beginning in 2018, due to the philanthropic commitment of past Master’s Award recipient, Dr. William Broussard (MA, ‘02, and Ph.D., ‘07—Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of the English Language) we are excited to share that six graduate students are now selected and awarded the Centennial Award.
Leo Montiel Corrales
Leo Montiel Corrales is currently pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Science in family studies and human development with a thematic minor in Spanish and education.
Leo was born and raised on the south side of Tucson, Arizona. Both his parents were hardworking immigrants with little education. His father worked as a bricklayer, and his mother as a housekeeper/caregiver.
After graduating high school, Leo pursued a degree in engineering from the University of Arizona, all while his mother battled cancer. After struggling to care for his mom, work and attend school full time, the university released him for poor academic standing. His mom died from cancer shortly after, and Leo developed an addiction to alcohol. He will celebrate eight-years of sobriety this December. The counseling Leo received following his sobriety helped influenced his decision in 2015 to begin classes at Pima Community College. Transferring to the University of Arizona, Leo received his bachelor's degree in 2019, graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
Leo has committed his time to his community, university and local organizations. He served as vice president of FSHD Ambassadors and as a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Peer Assistance for Leadership and Student Success peer mentor. Leo is an Arizona School Counselor Association member and received the Polly Elson Community Service Award. He has a graduate assistanceship with Early Academic Outreach, working with College Knowledge Initiatives, and has worked with programs such as the College Academy for Parents. Leo has helped facilitate the Young Men’s College Conference and College Knowledge for Counselors. In addition to these roles, he has been the caregiver for his elderly father.
After graduation, Leo plans on working for the Sunnyside Unified School District, his alma mater, as a school counselor, where he can be a mentor and prove that "¡Sí se puede!"
Hunter Lohse is a Master of Landscape Architecture candidate at the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Hunter spent his childhood cultivating a love of the outdoors and a commitment to environmental preservation. Many of his earliest memories are the sunset rides he and his father took around the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge to spot wildlife.
Prior to attending the University of Arizona, Hunter served as a secondary education specialist with the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of the Philippines. He taught English at Sapian National High School and collaborated with community stakeholders to create a digital research hub and library with the assistance of a U.S. Agency for International Development Let Girls Learn grant. Hunter was accepted into the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship at the University of Arizona, which recognizes the continued effort of Peace Corps volunteers to work with under-served communities at home and abroad.
As part of the Coverdell Fellowship, Hunter worked as a community outreach assistant with two local nonprofit organizations: Mission Garden and Watershed Management Group. His concept design for a multi-sensory trail at Mission Garden won the Best Community Outreach Project award during the 2020 Coverdell Fellows Research Showcase. The concept was intended to strengthen community ties with the nearby Arizona State School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Hunter has been recognized for his leadership and academic excellence. He serves as a student representative on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and served on the COVID-19 Campus Re-Entry Committee. His research on the potential impacts of large-scale rainwater harvesting within the city of Tucson won second prize in both the Environmental Impact and Sustainability categories during the 2021 Graduate and Professional Student Council Student Showcase. Currently, his research under Dr. Ladd Keith focuses on extreme heat vulnerability mapping and the assessment of heat vulnerability indicators.
Hunter is currently interning with Norris Design in downtown Tucson. He recently earned professional accreditations from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the Sustainable Sites Initiative. His professional goals include obtaining licensure and designing sustainable, regenerative and accessible landscapes.
Zachary Scott Stout
Zachary Stout, who is earning a Master of Public Policy and Master of Legal Studies, was born and raised in Allen, Texas, moving to Arizona after high school. He is the first in his family to attend college, earning a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in philosophy, politics, economics and law. Zach overcame several obstacles to get to where he is today, enduring homelessness and an opiate addiction. In 2013, Zach’s addiction ultimately led to his incarceration, and after a 2 1/2-year prison sentence and felony conviction, experienced difficulties reentering society.
Today, Zach harnesses these experiences working as an advocate, speaking to legislators at the local, state and national levels in his pursuit to create a better justice system. His involvement with the Wildcat community includes being recognized as an endorsed leader and assisting the College of Social and Behavioral Science’s first Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion summer workshop addressing mass incarceration. In the community, Zach is both a scholar and ambassador with From Prison Cells to Ph.D. and serves on the board of directors for Just Communities Arizona.
Zach’s research focuses on the impacts of reform initiatives, identifying both their strengths and weaknesses. His ultimate focus is on how we, as a society, can better reform our justice system in a way that rectifies the disparate impacts felt by the poor and communities of color while maintaining public safety.
Zach has received several awards and recognitions, including the Kathryn Anne Governal Perseverance Award and the Richard Kissling Spirit of Inquiry Award. He received a fellowship from the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom and currently serves as a graduate assistant, teaching SBS 200: Introduction to Statistics for Social Sciences.
After earning his MPP and MLS, Zach will attend the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science, studying computer information technology. He seeks to synthesize his knowledge of policy analysis with data analytics to advance reform initiatives. Zach hopes to eventually earn a dual law degree and doctorate, engaging in research that helps create a fairer and more just society.