UW Student from Evanston Named to USA Today's College Academic First Team

June 9, 2010
Student sitting on Ben Franklin statue
UW student Rey Fuentes submitted this photo to USA Today after being named to the newspaper's All-USA College Academic First Team. (Rey Fuentes)

University of Wyoming student Rey Fuentes of Evanston was among 20 students named today (Wednesday) to USA Today's All-USA College Academic First Team.

Selected by a panel of judges from among hundreds of college juniors and seniors, Fuentes, who graduated last month with a degree in political science, received a $2,500 cash award.

"Yes, they study hard, serve their communities and are role models on campus," the newspaper said in announcing this year's team. "But at their core, they are solution-oriented thinkers who aren't afraid to dare. And in defying standard notions of what it means to be a student, they set a high bar for what the undergraduate experience looks like."

USA Today cited some of Fuentes' accomplishments, including his service as deputy executive director of the Good Mule Project, an initiative that inspires action on sustainability, diversity and social justice. It also mentioned his work as the field organizer for the 2008 Trauner for Congress Campaign in Wyoming, in which he recruited volunteers, reached out to undecided voters and managed get-out-the-vote operations.

It is the latest in a series of honors for Fuentes, who was one of 35 students named to receive a Marshall Scholarship, which he will use to study comparative politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science beginning next fall.

Having previously received a 2009 Truman Scholarship, Fuentes is committed to a life of public service. He was a finalist for the Tobin Award recognizing UW's outstanding graduating man, and was also named one of the top 20 graduates in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"We're once again impressed by the ambitions and accomplishments of these dedicated students," says Susan Weiss, managing editor of USA Today's Life section. "We look forward to seeing great things from them as they move forward in their lives and careers."

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