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Two Communication Alumni Named Outstanding Young Texas Exes

AUSTIN, Texas— Dec. 12, 2011—Two College of Communication alumni have been selected by the Texas Exes to receive the 2012 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.

Ben De Leon BA '01 (Spanish), BS '01 (Communication Studies), JD '04 (Law) and Laura Wilkinson BS '01 (Public Relations) are among four under-40 alumni who are distinguished in their fields, and have demonstrated a continuing interest in The University of Texas and the Texas Exes.

De Leon is vice president and managing partner of De Leon & Washburn, P.C. He has been extremely involved in community service and was selected as the "2009 National Big Brother of the Year" by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America out of more than 250,000 mentors nationwide.

Wilkinson is an Olympic and World Champion platform diver. She became the first woman in history to win all three coveted world titles in platform diving when she took home the Olympic gold medal in 2000, the World Cup in 2004 and the World Championship in 2005.

This year's other recipients are:

Lee Bagan, BA ’05, MA ’07 is a Middle East and Central Asia specialist with the Naval Special Warfare Command, where he advises on the tribes, history, cultures, religions, geo-political dynamics, and insurgent groups in operationally relevant locales throughout the Department of Defense’s Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. He has received many awards for his service, including the the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Richard J. “Rich” Reddick, BA ’95, is an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Administration and coordinator of the M.Ed. program in College and University Student Personnel Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. Histeaching and research focuses on diversity in higher education, the sociocultural adaptation of Black families, and qualitative research methods. He was recently honored with a spring 2009 Eyes of Texas Excellence Award.

All four alumni will be honored at a ceremony to be held at the Alumni Center in May. For more information on this year’s honorees, visit the Texas Exes website at

About the Texas Exes

The Texas Exes is one of the strongest and most active alumni associations in the country. Established in 1885, the organization's primary function is to promote, protect and preserve The University of Texas at Austin through scholarships, teaching and advising awards, advocacy efforts, student relations and alumni outreach. The Texas Exes strives to connect its 96,000 members to each other and to the University through communication, local chapter engagement, events, career counseling, travel and advocacy in support of higher education. Learn more about the Texas Exes or become a member today by visiting


Contact: Erin Huddleston, Texas Exes (512) 471-3805

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