A UH alumnus and former student regent was honored as one of five “Outstanding Young Houstonians” Tuesday at a dinner held at the InterContinental Hotel.
The Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce selected Andrew Cobos for the honor for his service as the fifth student regent at UH and his philanthropic work in the military.
Cobos was also awarded as an Outstanding Young Texan in August.
Cobos was appreciative of the award, but said his true fulfillment came from helping his alma mater advance in such a short time.
“It’s very special,” Cobos said. “I felt like I served a tremendous purpose. It’s very fulfilling to be recognized for my service to the University of Houston, but I’m passionate about our goal.”
The presentation for the honor included a video message in which UH President Renu Khator spoke proudly of Cobos and his service to the University.
“Throughout his term on the Board of Regents, Cobos has been an intelligent and energetic advocate for students and a passionate voice for the system,” Khator said in Cobos’ nomination application.
“Andrew redefined the role of student regent through his many contributions.”
Cobos served as student regent for the 2010-2011 school year while pursuing a juris doctor and master’s degree at the UH Law Center.
During his tenure, the El Paso native advocated for the University on numerous occasions and held a leadership role on the Tier-One Speakers Corps, a group commissioned by Khator aimed at promoting the school’s accomplishments.
Cobos also authored a guide for the position, helping current student regent Tamecia Harris transition into the role.
“Attending UH was the best decision I ever made,” Cobos said.
Before working on the Board, Cobos spent five years in the Army and was deployed twice to Iraq following his graduation from West Point.
Eventually rising to the rank of Captain, he helped acquire and manage resources for soldiers and Baghdad residents through charity programs.
He credits his training and responsibilities in the military for the discipline required to procure a J.D. and M.B.A. in only three years, as well as his success in working with UH administrators.
“My military office service shaped my experience at UH,” Cobos said.
“I led soldiers in combat, so I was prepared for the challenges.”
Since 1932, the Houston Jaycees have awarded men and women for their accomplishments and philanthropy throughout the community.
In 1980 the organization expanded the award to five recipients, and extended the nomination to Houstonians between the age of 21 and 40.
Previous recipients of the award include President George H.W. Bush, Attorney General Greg Abbott, former CBS anchorman Dan Rather, pastor Joel Osteen, Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon and Houston Astros Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio.
After working as an active participant for the University of Houston Political Action Committee, Cobos, who is now eligible to be named Outstanding Young American, remains energized and believes his work for the UH System is far from over.
“This is the most exciting time in the history of the University of Houston,” Cobos said.
“We are progressing faster than any other university in Texas. Soon students will be coming to Houston to attend one of the best schools in the nation.”