Campus Life

Students Recognized For Embodiment Of Texas A&M Core Values

Aggies were honored this week for displaying characteristics comparable to the awards' outstanding namesakes.
By Texas A&M University LAUNCH May 9, 2024

Aggie students walk near the Academic Building on the Texas A&M campus
LAUNCH encourages all Aggies to expand their minds, take on challenges, dare to dream and get involved.

Cody Hitchcock/Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications


Four Texas A&M University students have been recognized by LAUNCH for their outstanding contributions to the university community. The awardees were honored at a ceremony this week.

Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Memorial Outstanding Student Award

Clayton Elbel and Christopher Barron

The Brown-Rudder award was established in 1970 to honor outstanding students who exemplify “the leadership, patriotism, fortitude, courage, humility, love of Texas A&M University, and willingness to uphold the principles for which Texas A&M stands as vividly exemplified by James Earl Rudder during his lifetime.” No more than two Brown-Rudder awardees are selected each year.

Elbel is a University Honors student who was previously recognized with a Phi Kappa Phi Freshman Dean’s Excellence Award. LAUNCH officials say he took on significant leadership roles in his department and college as well as the MSC, and found his calling working with the Farmlink Project to recover over 50 million pounds of surplus produce for food banks. He has interned in the Office of the President of the United States, ExxonMobil, the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, and twice with the State Department where he became the U.N. delegate to the Food and Agriculture Organization World Food Forum. His many accomplishments led to his selection as a finalist for both the Truman and Mitchell National Fellowships.

Barron is a double major who began as an Innovation[X] researcher and has earned the Sophomore Gathright Dean’s Excellence Award and the Undergraduate Research Scholar distinction. He has done research internships with the Agtegra Cooperative and Corteva Agriscience and held numerous leadership positions in both the TAMU Agronomy Society and the National Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Science organization culminating in the role of president for each organization. His research focuses on the challenges of climate change and drought on agricultural production in Africa, producing insights also applicable to agricultural efforts in Texas. His previous honors include the 2023 Goldwater and the 2023 Astronaut National Fellowships for research excellence.

Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award

Angelina Baltazar

The Robert Gates-Muller Family Outstanding Student Award was established in 2007 through a gift from the Muller family of Galveston “to provide public recognition to an outstanding senior graduating from Texas A&M who has demonstrated those qualities of leadership, patriotism, courage, and service to country, school, and nation so clearly exemplified by Robert M. Gates. Dr. Gates served as president of Texas A&M university from 2002 until 2006, when he was named U.S. Secretary of Defense.”

Baltazar is a University and Engineering Honors student, a Freshman and Sophomore Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Dean’s Excellence awardee, an Undergraduate Research Ambassador and Scholar, and a Buck Weirus Spirit award winner. She served in numerous Student Government leadership positions including as a representative to the Student Success Operations Committee and the Hispanic Serving Institution Guiding Committee. She has published and presented on her research investigating stem cell therapies in spinal cord injury and done summer internships at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and at the University of California-Berkeley. Additionally, say LAUNCH officials, her exceptional research skills and leadership made her a finalist for the Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholarship.

Class of ’80 Core Value Award for Selfless Service

Kade McAdams

The Class of ’80 Core Value Award for Selfless Service was established in 2019 to honor the graduating senior who most exemplifies the Texas A&M Core Value of Selfless Service during the student’s undergraduate career at Texas A&M. One awardee is selected at each year. The award “represents the quintessential Aggie —honorable, loyal and willing to serve no matter how dire the circumstances seem.”

McAdams is an Honors student, undergraduate researcher, and Maroon Coat. He has received the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Gathright Phi Kappa Phi Dean’s Excellence awards and has taken on leadership roles in the Mays Business Fellows as service Coordinator, Global Medical Brigades as Secretary, Student Government as Programs Executive and Fish Aide, the PreMed Society as Treasurer, and Business Honors as a Peer Leader and Coordinator. For his Signature Work he founded the Seymour Pre-Health Fellows to increase awareness of healthcare careers in a rural, medically-underserved community. His interest in accessibility of medical care led to a research project on using public libraries as community centers for medical care and preventative health information.

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