SPC names winners of Vera Sue, Thomas Spencer Awards - FOX34 Lubbock

SPC names winners of Vera Sue, Thomas Spencer Awards

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News release:

South Plains College students Phoebe Rogers of Amber, Okla., and Marco Quinonez of Abernathy have been named recipients of the Vera Sue Spencer and Thomas Spencer, Sr. Awards for Outstanding Achievement. 

The Vera Sue Spencer Award is presented to a SPC female student who demonstrates the qualities of outstanding leadership and service to the college and community. The cash award was established by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Spencer in memory of their daughter, Vera Sue, who died while Dr. Spencer was president at SPC. The award was established by the Spencer Family in 1971.

Rogers is a sophomore animal science major. She is listed on the President’s Honor Roll for spring 2019. She also is listed on the Dean’s Honor Roll for fall 2018 and fall 2019 with a 3.65 grade point average. She is a member of the SPC Livestock Judging Team.

Rogers is the recipient of the Livestock Judging Team Scholarship, the G.F. “Buz” Poage Memorial Scholarship, the John L. and Vergie Bell Smallwood Scholarship, the SPC Livestock Alumni Scholarship, the Panhandle Grain and Feed Association Scholarship and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Scholarship.

"When I decided to attend SPC, I knew the livestock judging program was stout,” she said. “The team has an awesome coach in Conner Newsom and great people in the Ag Department in Dave Cleavinger and Ron Presley. Our team was supported on campus, by the president and the faculty as well as by people in the community. That made a great impression on me.

“I lived in the dorms and made a lot of friends,” she said. “I loved going to classes because they were very interesting, and I learned so much. Some of my friends dreaded going to class, but not me.”

In addition to her duties for the SPC Livestock Judging Team, Rogers volunteered countless hours with young people of Hockley, Lubbock and Cochran Counties. She helped young 4-H and FFA members improve their showmanship skills and other livestock judging activities. She also conducted tours for the SPC Agriculture Department to recruit students for the SPC Livestock Judging Team.

“I had a great academic experience here,” she said. “I appreciate the professors who would give me assignments to make up after our meets, and they were always helpful. I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. It’s been a great education.”

Rogers is the daughter of Justin and Shawna Rogers of Amber, Okla. After graduating from South Plains College, she plans to transfer to Oklahoma State University to study animal science for her bachelor’s degree. Rogers said she would like to be accepted into Texas Tech University’s Veterinarian School once its completed. She said she will pursue a master’s degree in reproductive physiology at Oklahoma State depending on how things work out at Texas Tech.

The Thomas Spencer Sr. Award is presented annually to an outstanding male student who demonstrates the qualities of leadership and service to the college and community. The late Dr. Thomas Spencer, Sr., played an important role in the formative years of South Plains College as its founding president. In recognition of his leadership at the college and later as president of the Texas Community College Association, the college established the Thomas Spencer Sr., award in 1998 in celebration of its 40th anniversary. A committee comprised of faculty and administrative personnel nominate and select the award recipient.

Quinonez is a sophomore psychology major. He is listed on the Dean’s Honor Roll for fall 2019 with a 3.8 grade point average. Prior to his arrival on campus, Quinonez had obtained 50 hours through dual credit.

Quinonez is the recipient of the John L. and Vergie Bell Smallwood Scholarship, the Valedictorian Tuition Waiver Scholarship and the Valedictorian Fee Scholarship. He is the recipient of the Excellence in Tutoring Award and an Honors College student. He worked as a tutor in the Writing Center which gave him the opportunity to combine two of his favorite past-times – writing and meeting new people.

“Being part of a big family helped me when I came to college,” he said. “In addition to my family influences, I was lucky to have a great batch of instructors and professors during my first semester.” 

Quinonez said he looked for educators who also had strong social personalities. He said Aaron Greene, assistant professor of geology; Alma Lopez, professor of mathematics; Hilary Nixon, instructor in speech; Christina Bearden-White, assistant professor of history; and Ryan Heth, assistant professor of kinesiology, kept their classes interesting.

“I’d taken online classes before, but I miss being on campus and seeing people,” he said. “The interaction with everyone and the trips to the library kept me motivated,” he said. 

Quinonez is a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honorary Society and the Geology Club. He served as president and vice president for STAR Center Student Organization. As part of the organization, he volunteered to be a server at the SPC Scholarship Banquet and the SPC Scholarship Gala.

He is a member of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church in New Deal where he volunteers as a Lector (10 years), Eucharistic Minister (three years) and for three years, he has served as a catechist where he teaches religion classes to fourth through sixth grade students. Quinonez is involved in the Youth Ministry where he helps with Vacation Bible School in the summers and sings in the choir for four years.

Quinonez is the son of Anthony and Maria Quinonez of AbernathyAfter South Plains College, he plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas to continue his education. He wants to earn a bachelor’s and a doctorate in clinical psychology. He plans to work with patients suffering from traumatic injuries, and one day look into private practice.

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