The Sammys: Through The Years

The Junior Fellows organization was founded in the fall of 2005, with Emily Johnson being the “founding mother” of the organization.  She served as President for two years, and helped it transition from being an ad-hoc organization into a mature organization with a long-term vision.

The Junior Fellows were first nominated for a Sammy in 2007.  The organization won the award for “Outstanding Academic / Honors Organization.”

Amy Jacks, Emily Johnson, and Ademide Adedokun

Emily Johnson also won for “Outstanding Student in the CHSS.”

In 2008, Ademide Adedokun also won the “Outstanding Student in the CHSS” award, as well as the Sammy–the award for the outstanding student at SHSU.  The organization was again recognized as the “Outstanding Academic / Honors Organization” on campus.

State Representative Lois Kolkhorst, Ademide Adedokun, Megan Bryant, Blake Holub

In 2009, the organization was building up its membership and had developed a core of students that were mainstays–particularly, Justin Veillon, Megan Bryant, Laken Jenkins, and Cameron Goodman.  That year, the organization again won for “Outstanding Academic / Honors Organization,” and Megan Bryant won for Outstanding Junior at SHSU.

Justin Veillon, Megan Bryant, Laken Jenkins, and Cameron Goodman

In 2010, the organization grew to its largest size, and the extra manpower paid off.  The organization won “Outstanding Honors / Academic Organization” for its fourth straight year, and also won for “Outstanding Overall Organization at SHSU,” the smallest organization to ever win the award.  Daniel North also won for “Outstanding CHSS Student.”

Janette Uribe, Dana Angello, Megan Bryant, Daniel North, Laken Jenkins, April Russell, Robert Loughran

Of course, we should add that a “Junior Junior Fellow” got in on the action that year.  Ryan Brim attended his first Sammys that year, and he’s been coming back ever since–for reasons that should be obvious…

Laken Jenkins, Ryan Brim, Megan Bryant

2011 was another good year for the Junior Fellows, with the organization winning for “Outstanding Honors / Academic Organization,” the fifth year in a row to win that award.

Junior Fellows Accepting "Outstanding Academic / Honors Organization" for the Fifth Year in a Row.

This year, 2012, the organization again has grown a bit.  In fact, its seven members marks its largest size, although two of our officers will be graduating in the next few months.  Nevertheless, the increased manpower has again helped the organization, and this year the organization won a slew of Sammys: (1) “Outstanding Public Service Project,” (2) “Outstanding Overall Organization,” (3) “Outstanding CHSS Student” (Melva Gomez), (4) “Outstanding Student at SHSU” (Christian Bionat), and (5) “Outstanding Faculty / Staff Member at SHSU” (Stephanie Brim).

Ryan Brim, Justin Veillon, Justin Beiser, Annel Gonzalez, Cameron Goodman, Christian Bionat, Melva Gomez, Mac Woodward, Stephanie Brim, Leanne Woodward, Santiago Casas, Ralph Pease, Deanna Tyler, Linda Pease, and Hellieth Pedroza

This ceremony was particularly gratifying because we were able to have one of our largest assemblages of friends, prospects, members, alumni, and advisors.

It’s been a great seven years.  Our alumni have been very successful.  Emily Johnson is working for the Texas Legislature; Blake Holub, Ademide Adedokun, and Amy Jacks are all working in Washington, DC; Megan Bryant is the marketing coordinator for a large law firm; Laken Jenkins is a 2L at South Texas; Brandon Reese (not pictured) is a 2L at Texas Tech; Cameron Goodman is working on his Masters at the Bush School of Public Policy; Justin Veillon is working for Congressman Kevin Brady; Daniel North is working for the Claire McCaskill reelection campaign; and Dana Angello is working on her Masters Degree at the University of Missouri.  Blake Roach is working for the City of Huntsville and is working part-time on a campaign.

We’re sure that our latest bunch of Junior Fellows will also do well. Justin Beiser, who graduates in May, has been accepted to the University of Arkansas–Little Rock and to South Texas.  Christian Bionat, who will graduate this summer, has some exciting opportunities.  And Melva Gomez, Will Phillips, Santiago Casas, Annel Gonzalez, and Hellieth Pedroza also have bright futures!




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