Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards 2023

The College of Liberal Arts Honors Three Outstanding Alumni with Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Headshot of Erika Aguilar

Erika Aguilar

Ms. Erika Aguilar is the Executive Producer Morning Edition and Up First on National Public Radio NPR. Ms. Aguilar earned her B.A. in History and Journalism in 2007.

Ms. Aguilar has held various editorial positions during her 15-year career in public media including reporting for KPCC in Los Angeles and KUT in Austin where she covered national breaking news events for the network. She also worked a short stint on the assignment desk for the local CBS TV news station in Austin. Ms. Aguilar is an alumna and mentor with NPR's Next Generation Radio Project, a program that trains and coaches young journalists of color. She has also taught a class in audio story telling at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. 

Heashot of Pablo Mercado

Pablo Mercado

Mr. Pablo Mercado is the co-founder of Vox Media where he is currently the Head of Research and Development. Vox media began in a small basement in 2007 and Mr. Mercado has spent the last 15 years leading technology efforts at Vox Media, first as a start-up founder and engineer and then as Chief Technology Officer. Before founding Vox Media, Mr. Mercado worked as a tech lead on political campaigns, built wayfinding systems for MD Anderson Cancer Center, and engineered E-Commerce and Commerce Supply Chain solutions for Sony Latin America. Mr. Mercado is a third-generation Mexican-American and was privileged to be an executive sponsor of the Hispanic and Latinx Employee Resource Group at Vox Media. Mr. Mercado earned his B.A. in English from Texas State University in 1996.

Headshot of Tomas Morin

Tomas Morin

Mr. Tomas Morin is an award-winning author and currently an Assistant Professor for Creative Writing at Rice University. Mr. Morin earned a B.A. in Spanish in 1998 and an M.F.A in Creative Writing in 2003 both from Texas State University. Mr. Morin is the author of the poetry collection Machete (Knopf, 2021) and the memoir Let Me Count the Ways (Univ. of Nebraska, 2022). His first collection of poetry A Larger Country was the winner of the American Poetry Review/Honickman Prize and runner-up for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil.