Lopez chosen for Most Promising Multicultural Student award

Lopez chosen for Most Promising Multicultural Student award

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 11:00am
Monica Lopez headshot
Monica Lopez was chosen by the American Advertising Federation as one of 50 students to receive the 2016 Most Promising Multicultural Student award.

by Savanah Baker

Monica Lopez, a senior advertising and public relations, French and geography student, was awarded the Most Promising Multicultural Student award from the American Advertising Federation. Lopez, a first generation college student, comes from Hastings, Nebraska.

“(Professor Sriyani Tidball) told me about the award since last year, and since I’m also majoring in advertising she thought I’d be a good fit for this,” Lopez said. “So I worked on my resume to see if I could apply and hopefully win.”

According to the AAF website, Most Promising students must be of senior standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better, while also representing the top of their class and passionately demonstrating their potential for future success in the industry through internships, leadership activities, community service, innovation and creativity.

“At first I didn’t know what it meant (to be the Most Promising)…but after I got to thinking I realized…representing University of Nebraska–Lincoln and my culture, as a Hispanic woman, is a huge honor,” Lopez said. “Getting this award and getting the recognition is just an amazing deal because there are so many people striving to make the industry more diverse and if I am eligible to be one of those people, then I am so ready.”

Tidball spoke highly of Lopez.

“I see (Monica) as very hard-working, very responsible and creative,” Tidball said. “More than her skills, though, is what she’s done with them. She is very committed to making a difference in the world but also making a difference in her own generation.”

Lopez said that much of her success stems from her parents, who have always encouraged her to pursue her dreams and her education.

“My parents are the hardest working people in my life,” Lopez said. “Although they didn’t get a chance to go to college, they always put my education first…. My parents have always supported me along the way, and I don’t think I would be where I’m at without them.”

Lopez’s parents come from El Salvador, and she hopes to one-day return there to shed light on the social injustice of human trafficking. Lopez serves as president of Nebraska University Students Against Modern-day Slavery, a club that works to bring attention to the problem of human trafficking.

“Once you know about human trafficking, you can’t go back,” Lopez said. “You have to do something about it and I thought ‘one person can make a difference.’”

As a light for human trafficking and multicultural students alike, Lopez encourages those who are in the minority to pursue their passions regardless of societal expectations.

“Don’t question (if you should go to school). Just go…. It always seems harder for a minority or first generation because of money, but there are so many resources out there to help you succeed.”

Lopez started her education at Central Community College and came to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln after a year and a half at CCC. Since then, she has grown fond of school and learning which has led to three majors and seven years of higher education. Lopez expects to graduate in May 2017.