Magazine Feature / People

Boettcher Scholar earns USA Today honor

No one can accuse Jordan DeHerrera of slacking his way through college. The MBA candidate was recently honored byUSA Today for commitment to scholarship and community service during his college career.

De Herrera received honorable mention status in the USA Today 2007 All-USA College Academic competition. Fellow DU student Alex Ruehle was named to the Second Team. Ruehle will graduate in June with an undergraduate degree in molecular biology and biochemistry and a master of business administration.

This marks the seventh consecutive year that DU students have been named to one of the USA Today All-USA College Academic Teams. Ruehle and DeHerrera were the only Colorado students honored from a field of 600 applicants.

DeHerrera will graduate in June 2009 with an undergraduate degree in economics and master’s degrees in business administration and accounting. He hopes to pursue a doctorate in economics and a career with a public-policy think tank.

DeHerrera grew up in Pueblo, Colo., and came to DU on a Boettcher Scholarship. His campus involvement resume is long: the Pioneer Leadership Program, DU’s Rotaract chapter, the Economics Club, Delta Sigma Pi, Lambda Chi, Greek Leaders Against Sexual Assault, Campus Crusade and the DU Programs Board. He also volunteers as a Big Brother mentor.

He is the founder of Students Engaged in Social Entrepreneurship, an international service-learning trip to Juarez, Mexico, offered through DU’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. Students have helped build a classroom, worked in an orphanage sponsored by Rotary International and met with experts to discuss immigration and economic issues.

“The trip allows students to realize how much need there is … and Juarez is just across the border,” DeHerrera says. “It’s all about accountability, thinking outside of yourself and realizing that we are all a part of a global economy.”

In October 2007, he was the only college student selected to attend the Denver Metro Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Exchange trip. The annual trip brings together prominent business and civic leaders to discuss the challenges and best practices of another city facing relevant issues. Mayor John Hickenlooper, Gov. Bill Ritter and leaders from area corporations were among the 150 attendees on the weekend trip to Phoenix.

Linda Olson, executive director of Learning Communities and Civic Engagement, nominated DeHerrera for the Leadership Exchange Program because of his commitment to leadership and service.

“Jordan’s energy and devotion to being an outwardly engaged student is more than admirable alongside of his academic success,” she says. “He has shown remarkable academic performance, leadership, community service and involvement that supports the University of Denver and our surrounding communities.”

Read about last year’s USA Today DU honoree.

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