Buena Vista University senior Rolando Zamago has been named the first recipient of the Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis, Jr. Minority Achievement Award at Iowa private colleges and universities.
This new award will be presented annually to honor outstanding scholarship and community service of a minority undergraduate student enrolled in business administration, economics or engineering at one of the 24 member private institutions of the Iowa College Foundation (ICF).
Rolando, who is majoring in International Business and Spanish, is the son of Raymundo and Hermelinda Zamago of Britt. The $2,500 award was presented to him at a special luncheon at BVU's Harold Walter Siebens School of Business on Jan. 26.
"In a way, this award reopened my eyes to what my parents have always taught me - that you reap what you sow," says Rolando. "I have never expected anything for what I have done in my life. Just knowing that I was able to help others, or have a positive impact on someone else has always been reward enough for me.
"It is a real honor and a privilege to receive this award," he said.
Rolando has been active in a number of student service projects and organizations at BVU, including RAICES, a campus organization that sponsors events to celebrate the Latino heritage, mentors students at the local schools, and provides translation services in the community.
He and other BVU students participated in an alternative spring break trip to Jamaica in spring of 2006, where they worked at an orphanage for special needs children. He was also a BVU wrestler before being sidelined by illness his junior year, but has continued to be involved with the team as a student manager. He also was a student supervisor for the university's successful "Phone-a-thon" alumni fundraising campaign.
Rolando, who has a brother, Raymundo, Jr., 25, and a sister, Crystal, 18, will be the first generation in his family to graduate from college. Following graduation in May, he plans to do some traveling and eventually work for an international company.
"This award recognizes the many important contributions that students from diverse populations are making at Buena Vista University and other college campuses throughout Iowa," says BVU President Fred Moore. "Rolando is a role model not only for our diversity students, but for all students. He has demonstrated outstanding dedication and commitment to achieving his dream of a college education."
Jack D. Jones, president of the ICF, says "Rolando exemplifies all of the qualifications considered for this award. His success in the classroom and his involvement in the community have brought him the respect of his classmates and the faculty at BVU. He is exactly the type of person that Alliant had envisioned when the award was established."
The award was endowed by Alliant Energy in honor of Erroll B. Davis, Jr. for his 30 years of service to the utility industry and for his leadership as president, CEO and chairman of the company. After retiring from Alliant, Davis was appointed in February 2006 as chancellor of the University System of Georgia.