DENVER - Evan Salazar, a sophomore on the Johnson & Wales University cross country and track and field teams, has been selected as the SCAC Character & Community Male Student-Athlete of the Week for the week beginning December 9.
The SCAC Character & Community award honors the efforts of student-athletes who excel in the field of athletics, and also serve their campus and community.
Evan made an agreement with his parents that he would only do cross country and track his freshman year at Johnson & Wales University.
The clubs and organizations could wait. It was more important to focus his time on making a successful transition from high school to college.
As well-intentioned as that plan was, it didn't last long. Evan just couldn't help himself.
Discovering he had a little free time on his hands after getting settled in at JWU, he first became a member of JWU's Collegiate Ambassador Team, giving tours for prospective students and families for the admissions department.
Being a tour guide naturally put Evan in contact with a lot of different people on campus, and before long, doors were opening left and right.
In his words, his involvement "snowballed" from there.
Now a sophomore, the Chicago area native is the Student Government Association Financial Vice President, Campus Activities Board Finance/Chair, Community Service Network Treasurer and a Green Dot Ambassador.
"It's a similar parallel to what I did in high school when I did 12 clubs by the time I graduated," Salazar says. "I'm a very big fan of involvement and giving back to the community in any way, shape or form. I just enjoy the concept of always being busy and just doing anything productive."
To make sure he stays on top of all his commitments, Evan has four calendars – one on a whiteboard, one on his phone, one on his computer and another in his notebook. Although conflicts are inevitable with so much going on, he's gotten pretty good at organizing his time and making sure all his clubs and organizations are aware of everything else he's involved with.
Keeping everyone in the loop is a bit easier when you're part of tight-knit community like JWU Denver, which is a big reason why Evan chose to become a Wildcat in the first place.
"I enjoy the concept of being able to know everyone," he said. "Especially being able to walk around campus and know most of the people you see."
Although a lot of what Evan does on campus involves financial oversight, his passion is in the kitchen. The food service management major hopes to one day own his own brunch restaurant in his hometown of Mundelein, Illinois.