COLLEGE STATION - The Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees awarded graduating senior Mollie Lastovica with its second Outstanding Student Award during a dinner on Wednesday at Miramont Country Club in Bryan. Former Foundation Trustee Melbern Glasscock and his wife Susanne created the award in 2012 through an endowed gift to honor one exceptional student per year with $2,500.
Lastovica was drawn to Texas A&M University from an early age because of its agricultural heritage. Her family raises Angus cattle in Fredericksburg, Texas, and she was involved in 4-H and FFA growing up, serving as the Texas 4-H State Council president her senior year of high school.
“The agriculture industry became a big passion of mine, and I knew from the get-go that Texas A&M is where I wanted to go to school,” Lastovica said. “I was definitely an Aggie by birth. If there was an orange cup in our pantry when I was little, I wouldn’t drink out of it because I was such a die-hard Aggie fan.”
A political science and agricultural communications and journalism double major, Lastovica has been extremely involved in campus life. In 2012, as president of the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Student Council, she led the council to endow a $25,000 scholarship to support students in the college who have demonstrated leadership, involvement in extracurricular activities and service to the community.
She has also been active in student government, serving as a caucus leader and senator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as well as a student representative on the university’s Scholarships and Financial Aid Advisory Board. In addition, she is a member of numerous agricultural associations, professional societies and university and nationwide honor societies; has served as a Muster Host; and assists with recruitment efforts in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as one of its Aggie REPS.
Lastovica received the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award, the Buck Weirus Spirit Award, the Gathright Scholar Award and the Phi Kappa Phi University-Wide Outstanding Junior Award. She also won the 2013 North American Agricultural Journalists Student Writing Contest for her story “Farmers Fight,” a feature about a Texas A&M grassroots student organization dedicated to promoting agriculture.
“The trustees selected Lastovica for this award because of her inspirational story, dedication to academics and drive to succeed,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Charles Gregory. “It is a privilege to provide support for someone who has truly demonstrated the Aggie core values of leadership, excellence, integrity, loyalty, respect and selfless service in her everyday life.”
Lastovica has financed her college education through scholarships and part-time employment, working two on-campus jobs and two off-campus jobs during her four years at Texas A&M. Her lengthiest on-campus employment has been as a student worker in the dean’s office of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
“Mollie is so bright-eyed and interested in so many things, and that is something about her that I really love,” said Dr. Jeff Savell, a professor in the Department of Animal Science and head of its meat science section. “Few students here or elsewhere will have a résumé that will match Mollie's, all while achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Mollie will succeed at everything she does because she has the drive and grit to accomplish anything.”
She has accepted a position in Houston as assistant account executive with FleishmanHillard, a global public relations and communications agency. She will be working for their food, beverage and agribusiness sector clients. The award money will help her offset living costs while pursuing her passion in the communications field.
“This award is very humbling, and I’m so appreciative of the people who have supported me financially. I don’t have a dollar of debt to pay back, which is extremely awesome,” Lastovica said. “Hopefully, this money can be the foundation to allow me to establish savings so that I can one day endow a scholarship through Texas A&M University to benefit students as I have benefited from scholarship donors.”
Recipients of the Texas A&M Foundation Trustees’ Outstanding Student Award must have a minimum GPR of 3.0, demonstrate financial challenges, embody the university’s core values, and have served as a leader of one or more student organizations or service groups. To be eligible, applicants also must be a current or past recipient of a Foundation-supported scholarship.