Lopera Exemplifies Leadership, Academic Qualities of UH Bauer Students
Almost a decade after Ted Bauer’s historic $40 million gift to the University of Houston for what is now known as the C. T. Bauer College of Business, his legacy is evident in the achievements of the college’s brightest students.
Finance and marketing senior Brian Lopera was chosen as a leader among leaders as the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Ted Bauer Leadership Award, an accolade given every year during UH Bauer’s Leadership & Ethics Week Awards Dinner. Students from the college’s more than 20 active student organizations are considered for the award.
“When the committee selects the Ted Bauer Leadership Award recipient, the goal is to select a student that best embodies the skills, characteristics, traits, enthusiasm and the exuberance for leadership and learning,” Associate Dean Bob Casey said. “Brian Lopera exemplifies all of the skills and characteristics that the Bauer College inspires and imparts. He represents all of the Bauer College graduates who graduate each year.”
Lopera, who is the son of immigrants and the first in his family to attend college, is involved in many extracurricular activities, including the Hispanic Business Student Association, Student Government Association, Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Association, Bauer Ambassadors, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Bolivian American Student Association and MEADgroup. In addition, he is a featured blogger on MyBauerBlogs, a website that challenges UH Bauer students to answer questions about business topics in the news and ethical issues.
“A leader is a person that can inspire and motivate at least one person to accomplish something,” Lopera said. “I define leadership this way because throughout my life and during the years I have spent at the University of Houston, I have come to realize that a leader does not need to be an individual with a following of hundreds of people to be considered a leader but rather can be someone that has just has one person following them.”
He also serves as President of Phi Gamma Delta, Academic Affairs Chairman and Bauer College Senator for SGA, Founder and President of the Bolivian American Student Association and Activities Funding Board member for UH. Lopera previously served as the Vice President for HBSA and was a committee member for the International Education Fee Scholarship (IEFS) Scholarship Review Committee in 2008.
“Being a student leader at the University of Houston has been invaluable in ensuring that my collegiate experience be a successful one,” said Lopera. “It has given me the insight to understand the importance of taking full advantage of all the opportunities available to me on campus and within the organizations I have been involved with to better myself as an individual and a student.”
In his spare time, Lopera volunteers in the Houston community as part of what he considers his civic duty. “The reason I have always been committed to giving back to the community is because as a child I was the beneficiary of others doing so, and as a way of repayment and thanks, I seek to help others,” he said.
“It is simply the idea that the only proper way to truly thank those individuals that volunteered their time and talent to help me as a child is to do the same thing for other children and individuals in need,” Lopera added.
He has been an after school tutor at the Barrio Student Center since 2007 and is a student member in organizations that focus on community service, including the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Hispanic Professional Organization.
“A lot of people measure success in different ways. The goal of the Ted Bauer Leadership Program is to acknowledge the student that not only develops and learns those skills, but also gives back to others,” Casey said. “What he has been involved with in his efforts is serving others.”
After graduation, Lopera will begin working for Amegy Bank as part of its Officer Development Program.
“Receiving the Ted Bauer Leadership Award was an indescribable experience that even now is difficult to express in words. Its meaning, though, is much easier for me to describe in words,” Lopera said. “The award to me simply means one thing. It means that I fully took advantage of the opportunities given to me while a student of both the University of Houston and Bauer and the reaffirmation that I was able to successfully apply what I learned to the benefit of my fellow Cougars.”
By Hannah Eastham