Roque Viera Selected as February Student Leader of the Month
Roque Viera has been selected for February's Student Leader of The Month
Roque Viera has been selected as the Student Leader of the Month for February. Originally from David, Panama, Roque came to the University of Arkansas to major in mechanical engineering. He currently serves as the president of the Panamanian Student Organization.
He stated that a large reason he became so involved was because he had a strong desire to share the best of the Panamanian culture with the entire campus. When asked what he thought a leader's most important qualities were, Roque said, "There are two qualities that are important to me. The first one is having a personal drive to be a good leader. It is what is going to push you through when things get difficult in the groups that you are leading. The second one is being someone with empathy. It is important because, in an organization or group, everyone wants to be heard, and having empathy is going to help you in making sure that everyone feels like their voice matters."
Roque's advice to other leaders is to "see how your leadership experiences impact the broader context of their lives. Leadership skills are very important for day to day living, so we have to take into consideration how these qualities and stories can make us better co-workers, friends, and family members." His favorite quote comes from Jordan B. Peterson and reads "The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it."
Roque details his most memorable Razorback moment when he was at a basketball game. The crowd showed their warmth to a first year rookie that scored who their first career points. There, he discovered the love that the Razorback family has to offer to everyone they encounter.
When asked about a mentor, Roque mentioned, "There have been many mentors in my life, but I will mention two Razorbacks that have been influential in it. First, my engineering peer-mentor and friend, Justin Ryan. Justin always gives his best in everything, so he was the one that pushed me to act with drive in everything that I do. The second one is Jossie Santamaria, a master's student in poultry science and a good friend of mine. Jossie is a very caring person. Through him, I learned that having empathy and being a good listener are very important characteristics for a leader."
The Student Leader of the Month award, sponsored by New Student & Family Programs, recognizes University of Arkansas undergraduate students for their excellence in leadership through campus involvement, leadership activities, or through volunteer and community service. More information about the award can be found here.
Whitney Kwamin, graduate assistant
New Student and Family Programs
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