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November + December 2023 Team Leader of the Month: Mark Saxiones, University of Texas at Dallas

From Richard Simon, Assistant Director of the Military and Veteran Center, University of Texas at Dallas: “Mr. Saxiones has exemplified what a team leader is. His devotion to being a Peer Advisor has reached the eyes and ears of all active military, veterans, and dependents here at the University of Texas at Dallas. His selfless acts of encouragement towards incoming freshmen and his genuine character to help new veterans students assimilate to their environment goes above and beyond what a Team Leader for PAVE is called to do. Mr. Saxiones is more than deserving of this award.”

From Marijke Gray, Director of the Military and Veteran Center, University of Texas at Dallas: “Mark Saxiones is an outstanding Team Leader who excels in various aspects of his role. Firstly, he stands out for his creative ideas, consistently bringing fresh and innovative concepts to the team. Whether brainstorming new projects or finding unique solutions to challenges, Mark’s creativity helps his team stay ahead of the curve. Furthermore, Mark is highly skilled in team initiatives and organizational skills. He effectively delegates tasks, sets clear goals, and ensures everyone on his team has a sense of ownership and responsibility. This approach fosters a collaborative and productive environment. 

Mark’s ability to keep his Peer Advisors engaged is another testament to his exceptional leadership. His interpersonal skills enable him to build strong relationships with his team members and the students they serve. Through open dialogue and genuine empathy, he fosters a sense of trust and collaboration. Mark’s commitment to maintaining academic excellence is evident in his approach. Mark consistently finds ways to engage students and make the program more significant and accessible. He actively seeks student feedback and adapts the program to meet their evolving needs.

Mark is an outstanding Team Leader who excels in creative ideas, team initiatives, organizational skills, keeping his Peer Advisors engaged, recruitment efforts, connecting with others, maintaining academic excellence, maintaining an open dialogue with his Peer Advisors, finding ways to engage students, and expanding the program’s accessibility. His exceptional leadership qualities make him an invaluable asset to the team.”

From Mark Saxiones: “Here at UTD, the academics are quite rigorous, and I love making the PAVE experience smooth and natural for both Peer Advisors and our peers. They have a lot of studying demands, and anything I can do to make their life easier constitutes a success in my book.

I am proudest of my team’s commitment to making new student veterans feel welcome here. Specifically, they have sent resource lists, come up with social events, and we have even created a Discord chat for people in the PAVE program: peers and Peer Advisors!”