Alex Salgado is graduating with a B.A. in both History and Economics. He is the recipient of the SBS Excellence in Leadership and Community Engagement Award, which recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills through their involvement on and off campus and their impact on the lives of others.
“Alex has contributed his leadership and engagement to raise awareness and visibility of the LGBTQ community both on and off campus,” said Michelle Berry, instructor in the Department of History and assistant professor of practice in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. “In each setting, be it the classroom, a volunteer position, or a place of social justice employment, Alex emerges as a thoughtful, passionate, and committed leader.”
A National Merit Hispanic Scholar, Alex was vice president of the Residence Hall Council in Navajo Pinal and he organized Carnivida 2019, a campus-wide program that taught students the dangers of climate change related to ocean acidification.
Alex identifies as a Latinx, gay activist, and he is consistently pushing for justice and understanding, Berry said.
Alex served as secretary of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Board in the Eller School of Business where he helped to spread awareness and promote inclusivity in the school by presenting information sessions on LGBTQ+ topics of concern and interest.
As part of his internship with USAID, he analyzed data for six countries, identifying inter-related factors affecting women, LGBTQ+, and disabled residents of the Pacific Islands. He then collaborated with other interns to create recommendations for best practices for USAID to employ when engaging with the queer communities of the Islands.
“What I enjoyed the most about my SBS and History experience was the freedom,” Alex said. “There are so many courses that every student will come away with a different understanding of the world. Professors encourage us to tailor the courses to address our interests, which has allowed me to dedicate my experience to the history of sexuality and gender.”
Berry said that Alex honors the spirit of the Leadership and Community Engagement Award and “embodies the future of social justice and educational leadership.”
“After graduation, I intend to pursue a future in law and advocate for people like me,” Alex said. “Some pretty great people have made it possible for me to pursue my personal definition of success, and it is important to pay that forward.”