Dr. Leilani Valdes was named a Health Hero by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) for her commitment to improving the health of her community. One of only four physicians honored with the award, she was praised for demonstrating leadership and participation with various TMA programs.
As a pathologist, Leilani has served on national committees for the College of American Pathologists, was president of the Victoria-Goliad-Jackson County Medical Society, and is a delegate to the TMA House of Delegates, the association's policymaking body. She is currently a member of TMA's Council on Health Promotion and the TMA HPV Working Group.
She received her Bachelor of Arts from Emory University. After a brief career in marketing and public relations, she attended the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She currently serves as laboratory director for the RPA Anatomic Pathology Laboratory, Cuero Community Hospital, Jackson County Hospital, and Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital.
January 2018 Spotlight
Gabrielle Salazar Alpha Epsilon/Brown
Gabrielle is a Fulbright Scholar in photography, a National Geographic Explorer, and a member of the Emerging League of the International League of Conservation Photographers. She has served as the president of the North American Nature Photography Association and has had her work featured in several museums, including the Smithsonian. Gabrielle has designed nature education programs and has always gone the extra mile to capture the magic of nature on film. She seeks to connect others to the natural world through images in an effort to help people understand—and desire to protect—the wild.
Currently, Gabrielle is pursuing an MS in conservation science at Imperial College in London. She was named one of the top ten college women in the country by Glamour Magazine, and awarded the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award by BBC in 2004.
Gabrielle was recognized as one of Kappa Alpha Theta's 35 Under 35 winners in 2017.
The Laurie McGregor Connor Award of Leadership was announced last month to honor the achievements and service of Laurie McGregor Connor, Gamma deuteron/Ohio Wesleyan. The award will be given annually to a Gamma deuteron senior who demonstrates character, integrity, grace, compassion, and inclusiveness.
Laurie is a longtime Theta volunteer. After serving as an educational leadership consultant after graduation, she served in many roles, including advisory board chairman, alumnae chapter officer, alumnae district officer, Theta Foundation trustee, and director of government relations, her current position.