A former university president, the late Everett Derryberry, established this award upon his retirement. He wanted an award of merit to be given “to a senior who has exhibited scholastic attainment arising out of moral and intellectual integrity; successful campus activity where participation indicates a commitment to good citizenship, interest in one’s fellow persons, and instincts for leadership; and physical vigor as shown by fondness for and success in sports.”
Carbajo, the daughter of Theresa and Juan Carbajo of Oak Ridge, will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in biology. Achieving a 3.99 grade point average in the Honors Program, she has been on the Dean’s List every semester since fall 2002 and has been awarded numerous scholarships for both her academic success and as a pianist.
She received the National Guild of Piano Players Scholarship and the highly competitive Morris K. Udall Scholarship, only awarded to 80 undergraduate students nationwide.
Carbajo has been highly active in committee work as well for the Associated Scholars Guild. She was the former chair of the Ecology Committee and currently is active on both the Intramurals and Publicity Committees. Also denoting her academic standing is membership in six honor societies, including Phi Kappa Phi and the Tri-Beta Professional Biological Society.
Carbajo is also active with TTU's Music Department, accompanying music majors and performing solos and chamber music ensembles. She also participates with the University Spanish Club and the Ballroom Dance Club. Carbajo has numerous research studies accredited to her.
The Derryberry Award selection process involves soliciting campus nominations from every department, school, college and administrative division as well as from Student Government Association Executive Officers. Four finalists were also nominated, Patrick O’Malley of Hixson, Jessica Seyfert of Hurst, Texas, Caleb Waddle, also of Oak Ridge, and Alan Barker of Maryville.