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Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala

Liberal Arts honors 3 Distinguished Alums for contributions to literature, public service, conservation

April 2nd, 2022, the College of Liberal Arts hosted the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Gala. The DAAA award recognizes exceptional contributions of Texas State University Liberal Arts graduates to society, the arts and humanities, and the environment.

This year’s recipients include an award-winning author, a judge and Director of the White House Fellowships program, and a water conflict mediator responsible for protection of the Edwards Aquifer.

Ms. Diana López, the Honorable Rose Vela, and Dr. Todd Votteler are this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

Honorees reflect the diversity of contributions the Liberal Arts provide to the world.

Congratulations to the DAAA recipients!

Photo of Dr. Todd Votteler; Dr. Brennan; Diana Lopez, MFA; and Dr. Gelato

Ms. Diana López, Award-Winning Author

Photo of Diana Lopez, MFA

Ms. Diana Lopez is an award-winning author who earned her M.F.A. in English from Texas State in 1999. Her works include an adult novella, several middle grade books, and the novel Choke, which the Lifetime Movie Network adapted for a film in 2014. She is also the author of the novel adaptation of the award-winning Disney/Pixar film Coco. She is currently the Vice-President of the Texas Institute of Letters.

The Honorable Rose Vela, Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships

Photo of the Honorable Judge Rose Vela

Judge Rose Vela is a retired Texas State District Judge and Appellate Justice with a 32-year career in both law and politics. She is the current Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. She earned her English with a minor in Political Science in 1985 from Texas State.

Dr. Todd Votteler, President of Collaborative Water Resolution LLC and Water Opinions LLC

Photo of Dr. Todd Votteler

Dr. Todd Votteler is the President of Collaborative Water Resolution LLC and Water Opinions LLC. He has 30 years of experience in Texas water policy, dispute resolution, and science. He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Geography from Texas State University in 2000. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Water Journal, a Fellow of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and an advisory committee member for the Permanent Forum of Binational Waters.