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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 12, 2012 ) – A new award recognizing a University of Central Missouri student’s noteworthy efforts in support of initiatives which enhance the relationship between the university, the community, and the United States military will be presented during 2012 fall undergraduate commencement exercises. Mauricio Alejandro Arias, the first-ever recipient of the Mike Carter Award for Exceptional Service to the University, Community and Military, will be recognized during graduation ceremonies planned for undergraduates at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Multipurpose Building. The presentation is part of a busy commencement weekend that also includes graduate commencement at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the same location.
Mauricio Alejandro Arias
The award is named for Warrensburg resident Mike Carter, professor emeritus of health education, who established a 50-year record of outstanding service to the university as a teacher, mentor and role model, while also being a longstanding and faithful supporter of the U.S. military services. Carter’s strong involvement in the university and Warrensburg communities’ efforts to support and assist Whiteman Air Force Base and its personnel, have included his service on the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, Warrensburg-Whiteman Military Affairs Committee, the Whiteman Air Force Base Community Council and the WAFB Command Council Board of Directors.
Featured in a recent issue of Today, UCM’s alumni publication, Arias is in his second year at UCM seeking a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He currently serves in the 1-135th Aviation Army National Guard Reserve at Whiteman Air Force Base, and has a brief military career that also includes tours of duty in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2010. In addition to his military service, he is a recent graduate of UCM’s Police Academy, and also serves as a police officer in LaMonte, Mo.
A tremendous source of support for UCM students who have served in the military, Arias has voluntarily assisted with activities hosted by the Office of Military and Veteran Services since its inception in January 2011. On Veterans Day 2011, he assisted with the opening of the new Military and Veterans Success Center, located on the first level of the Elliott Union, and was part of the community-wide Veterans Day Celebration in the Multipurpose Building.
Arias has also been involved in campus-wide events that include Get the Red Out, an annual street fair which takes place in conjunction with the first home football game each fall, and has been a participant in Homecoming activities as a member of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO). As a part of the organization, he was most recently involved in the Military Appreciation Blood Drive during Veterans Day 2012.
According to the Mike Carter Award’s nominating committee, Arias epitomizes today’s student veteran and is a “true face of SVO’s motto: Yesterday’s Warrior, Today’s Scholar, Tomorrow’s Leader.”