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Awards Brunch Release (Winter 2022)

For immediate release – December 9th, 2022

Contacts: The Bolívar 

The Bolívar Network Celebrates its 25th Anniversary and hosts 2022 Award Brunch at Alumni Hall honoring three undergraduate students and one graduate student with the annual Book Scholarships, Frank Valdez with the Pablo J. Davis Award, and Zachary Rios with the First-Year Scholarship 

On Saturday, December 3 at 11:00 am, the Bolívar Network, the University of Virginia’s (UVA) network for Hispanic/Latinx/Latino alumni, hosted its annual Awards Brunch at the Manning Pavilion in Alumni Hall honoring the recipients of the annual Book Scholarship Awards, the Pablo J. Davis Award, and the First-Year Scholarship. This year’s Awards Brunch coincided with the Bolívar Network’s 25th Anniversary. In line with this momentous occasion, the Bolívar Network launched a new logo earlier this year marking its commitment to the Network’s mission. Marked by a feather, a symbol of cultural significance to our Hispanic and Latino communities, the emboldened lettering solidifies the Network’s dedication to the past, present, and future strength of alumni at UVA. In tandem with the rebrand, the Bolívar Network also launched its $25,000 Anniversary Campaign. Alumni, administration, faculty, families, and community members can make a campaign donation online

The morning’s Awards Brunch was kicked off with remarks by Claudia Quintero, the Bolívar Network’s Board Chair followed by presentations by Mariana Brazão, Vice-Chair for Social Media & Communications; Claudia Bonilla, Vice-Chair for Alumni Community Engagement; Alejandro Nava Moncada, Vice-Chair for Professional Development; and Gina M. Flores Stumpf, Vice-Chair for Fundraising & Development. Professor Ricardo Padrón from the University of Virginia’s Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese gave a talk on the history of Fernando Bolívar and the Bolívar legacy at the University. Vice-Chair for Scholarship & Awards, Hannah “Mel” Borja, opened the Awards portion of the evening by thanking her Scholarships & Awards committee and presented the Pablo J. Davis Award. Previous Bolívar Network Board Chair, seed funder of the First-Year Scholarship, and current Scholarship & Awards Committee member Hernando Herrera (‘89) presented both the Graduate and Undergraduate Book Scholarships. Long-time supporter of the Bolívar Network and seed funder of the First Year-Scholarship, Jenny Willier Murphy (‘89), presented the First-Year Scholarship Award. Prior to the Awards Brunch, the Bolívar Network’s Board met in Alumni Hall’s Board Room to strategize for the upcoming year. 

The Bolívar Network is excited to announce that this year, four Latinx students, three undergraduate students and one graduate student, received the Bolívar Network Book Scholarship for the 2022-2023 cycle. In 2008, the Bolívar Network Board expanded the Book Scholarships to graduate students. In both 2009 and 2010 two graduate students were awarded a book scholarship. We successfully revived the graduate student Book Scholarship again this year. 

Congratulations to our Undergraduate Book Scholarship Recipients: María José Corvalán Cabañas, Class of 2023; Anthony Guevara, Class of 2023; and Paola Linares, Class of 2023. Congratulations to our Graduate Book Scholarship Recipient: Fernando Casarotti, Darden Class of 2024.

The Bolívar Network’s annual Pablo J. Davis Award seeks to identify a UVA staff member, alumnus, faculty member, or Charlottesville resident whose work has contributed significantly to the advancement of the Latinx/Hispanic community. The 2022-2023 Recipient of the Pablo J. Davis Award is Frank Valdez

The Bolívar Network is also pleased to announce the second  recipient of the First-Year Scholarship, Zachary Rios, Class of 2026. The Bolívar Network’s First-Year Scholarship provides funds for an exceptional Hispanic/Latinx high school student from the Commonwealth of Virginia to incentivize them to attend the University of Virginia. Founded on the core principles of leadership and service to the Hispanic and Latinx community, this Scholarship recognizes the extraordinary talent of students in our community and their ability to create a lasting impact on the University, the surrounding Charlottesville community, and their future post-graduate plans. Currently a one-time scholarship awarded to an incoming student entering their first year, the scholarship committee plans to grow both the number of scholarships and amount awarded each year. 

For more information about the Bolívar Network and these awards please visit our website



Anthony Guevara  is a Salvadoran-Honduran member of the Class of 2023 majoring in Latin American Studies and minoring in Latinx Studies. His many organizational involvements include Central Americans for Empowerment at UVA (CAFE), the Latinx Peer Mentoring Program (PMP), and the Afro-Latinx Student Organization (ALSO). They also spearheaded change at the Native American Student Organization (NASU) by advocating for the inclusion of Southern Native students and their perspectives. Anthony is passionate about media representation. He hopes to work with Latinos in both the United States and Latin America – especially those often ignored by the general public such as Indigenous Latin Americans, rural-living Latin Americans, Black Latin Americans, etc. 

Paola Linares  is a Puerto Rican and Peruvian student of the Class of 2023. She is an Echols Scholar majoring in Political & Social Thought in the College and minoring in Public Policy and Leadership in Batten. She is currently working on a thesis about the sterilization of Puerto Rican women and how it is being remembered. In addition to being a Lawn Room Resident, she works as a Rotunda Student Ambassador and serves as the Co-President of the immigrant rights organization undocuUVA and the President of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – which she helped revive alongside four other strong women at UVA. Her goal is to eventually go to law school to pursue her interests in immigration, family, or entertainment law.

María José Corvalán Cabañas  is a member of the Class of 2023. She is majoring in Economics in the College, minoring in Foreign Affairs, AND she is ALSO pursuing her Master’s in Public Policy at the Batten School! MJ was born and raised in Paraguay, and came to the States when she was 13 years old. She serves as the Spanish Translation Editor for The Cavalier Daily, where she expanded the Spanish translation section so translators can also write original content articles in Spanish on topics exclusively relevant to the Latinx community that could later be translated to English for wider access. She joined the Cavalier Daily team because she is passionate about the importance of combatting disinformation in Latinx communities. She is also a Education Policy Associate at the Virginia Policy Partnership Collaborative, an Economics Tutor, a member of the Batten Latinx Network Executive team, and a leader in Kappa Alpha Theta. 

Fernando Casarotti  is a member of the Class of 2024 at the Darden School of Business, where he is pursuing his MBA. Fernando was born in the countryside of Brazil. In addition to serving as a volunteer professor in his home country, he also worked with incarcerated minors in Brazil. He also managed an initiative to produce and distribute 1,000+ masks to families in the Brazilian countryside during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is involved with the Latin American Student Association at Darden (LASA) and the Consulting Club. He is also highly involved with the Darden Admissions Teams, where he seeks to support his peers and enhance their Darden experience. 

Frank Valdez graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Global Development Studies in May 2021. He currently works at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville as a Youth Justice Program Organizer, where he works on a variety of issues including child welfare/foster care and parent representation, education access and school discipline, and youth incarceration and juvenile justice. In the Charlottesville community, he is also part of Creciendo Juntos, a Latinx based community organization, through their high school mentorship program. Throughout his time at UVA, he was heavily involved with a variety of organizations including the Alpha Epsilon Chapter of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., PLUMAS at UVA, the Hispanic/Latinx Peer Mentoring Program, and The Virginia Youth Solidarity with Migrant/Immigrant Workers.

Zachary Rios is a member of the Class of 2026 and  is a talented math student, guitarist, and athlete. A current first-year at the University of Virginia, Zachary plans to double major with mathematics and astrophysics and after graduating wants to pursue a PhD for graduate school. A dream job of Zachary’s is to become an aerospace engineer. In Zacahary’s free time, you can find him fishing, wrestling, playing soccer, or hanging out with friends.