Alex Salgado graduated with a BA in both Story and economy. He is the recipient of the SBS Excellence in Leadership and Community Engagement Award, which recognizes a senior graduate who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills through involvement on and off campus and impacting the lives of others.
“Alex has contributed through his leadership and commitment to raising awareness and visibility for the LGBTQ community on and off campus,” said Michelle Berry, a teacher at Department of History and Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. “In every setting, whether it’s the classroom, a volunteer position, or a social justice workplace, Alex comes across as a thoughtful, passionate, and committed leader.”
A Hispanic Scholar of National Merit, Alex was vice president of Navajo Pinal’s Residence Hall Council and he organized Carnivida 2019, a campus-wide program that taught students about the dangers of climate change related to ocean acidification. .
Alex identifies as a Latinx, a gay activist, and he constantly pushes for justice and understanding, Berry said.
Alex served as Secretary of the Eller School of Business LGBTQ+ Advisory Council, where he helped raise awareness and promote inclusivity in the school by presenting information sessions on concerning and interesting LGBTQ+ topics.
As part of his internship at USAID, he analyzed data from six countries, identifying interrelated factors affecting women, LGBTQ+, and residents with disabilities in the Pacific Islands. He then collaborated with other interns to create recommendations for best practices for USAID to use when engaging with queer communities on the islands.
“What I enjoyed most about my SBS and History experience was the freedom,” Alex said. “There are so many classes that each student comes away with a different understanding of the world. The teachers encourage us to adapt the lessons to our interests, which allowed me to dedicate my experience to the history of sexuality and gender.
Berry said Alex honors the spirit of the Leadership and Community Engagement Award and “embodies the future of social justice and educational leadership.”
“After I graduate, I plan to pursue a future in law and advocate for people like me,” Alex said. “Some pretty great people have allowed me to pursue my personal definition of success, and it’s important to pay it forward.”