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Staff Appreciation

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Award Certificate IconYu Ning, Software Systems Specialist III, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for October 2019.

October 2019 Winner

Yu Ning has been a long-serving member of the research community and currently serves as a Software Systems Specialist III. Ning has worked on and developed many software applications for the research community at UTSA, including the Proposal Routing Form, Research Awards and Proposals Dashboard, and Payroll Confirmation System. Most recently, he developed and deployed an amazing online software application called ‘Research Staff Portal’. Yu's supervisor, Arya Singh, said that Yu is, "extremely professional and a knowledgeable asset for UTSA." Congratulations Yu! Your diligence, self-motivation, and dedication have been a source of inspiration for the rest of us. You are a true rock-star on our team! Thank you once again for all your effort. -UTSA Staff Council

Award Certificate IconHeather Walleck, University Police Sergeant, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for March 2019.

March 2019 Winner

Sgt. Heather Walleck is recognized for her exemplary attitude and wealth of knowledge that have helped her colleagues gain insight into and a better understanding of department operations. Sgt. Walleck’s colleague, Sgt. Eric Weber, describes her as his mentor, saying Walleck leads him to “strive to be better because of her examples.” Both are members of the PD’s Administration section. Walleck works in Operations and Weber in Professional Development and Evidence. Her colleagues continuously marvel at her positive attitude at work, even when she faces new challenges. She recently was asked to convert a Chevrolet Tahoe into a working patrol unit. She coordinated the ordering and installation of all necessary components, such as the cage, weapon mounts, emergency lighting, and much more. Congratulations, Sgt. Walleck! UTSA Staff Council appreciates your hard work, dedication, and significant contribution to the UTSA community.

Award Certificate IconJenaia Alcantar, Academic Advisor I, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for February 2019.

February 2019 Winner

Jenaia Alcantar, Academic Advisor, has provided quality academic advising to each UTSA student that she has met and is one of their biggest champions. Jenaia has cared for our team’s student assistants, who have also felt fully supported during stressful times and appreciated for achievements they have earned. In her professional role, she is the heart of her team, but she has also been a morale booster for the whole advising community, says, co-worker Yolanda Williams, Academic Advisor. Jenaia has been a co-coordinator for a department tournament that has brought many advising staff from various offices together to rejuvenate and get to know each other better. Also, advisors from different teams that have come to our area to share office space have testified that our team, under this advisor’s leadership in hospitality, has made them feel welcomed and a part of our work family. Jenaia has taken the lead by ensuring that we rally around each other during difficult times as well as celebrate one another on special occasions. Sabina Kapoor, Advising Director, says “Jenaia has ensured that comradery is no limit to our full-time staff.” Congratulations Jenaia, and thank you for service to our UTSA students and staff employees. Your leadership is extraordinary and appreciated. – UTSA Staff Council

Award Certificate IconScott Swetnam, Safety Specialist II, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for January 2019.

January 2019 Winner

Manager for Environmental Health Risk and Life Safety, John DeLaHunt, explains that their department hired Scott for his attitude about safety and inspection. He described Scott as “our kind” of an inspector. One who identifies engages corrects and refers to safety concerns while working enthusiastically and volunteering for projects outside of this primary duties and responsibilities. Each MONTH, Scott inspects 1,860 fire extinguishers, 550 fire sprinkler valves, 50 fire department connections, 27 fire suppression systems, and 40 AED. He also issues Hot Work Permits and identifies other safety concerns on campus. His quality of work, loyalty, and contribution have secured UTSA to maintain a 100% compliance rate. DeLaHunt raves that Scott “achieves his mission while helping others achieve theirs.” The UTSA Staff Council is proud to recognize Scott's excellent service to the UTSA community.

Award Certificate IconDennis Layman, BIS Business Analyst II, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for December 2018.

December 2018 Winner

Dennis troubleshoots a range of challenges presented in the systems managed by Business Information Services (BIS) and their users. He patiently serves clients and develops innovative solutions to streamline their workdays. Dennis is one of more than 100 members of Business Affairs who are telecommuting. “When we began the transition to telecommuting, BIS made it a point to try to exceed our level of customer service and has set the bar for our team by continuously exceeding customer expectations and going the extra mile,” said Carlos Gonzales, Director of Business Information. Working from home, Dennis continues to make a huge contribution to the UTSA community. He has effectively maintained collaboration with departments and individuals by utilizing resources offered by UTSA in his home office like Skype for business. Dennis is a perfect demonstration of how a diligent and committed worker can continue to deliver exceptional service while telecommuting. Congratulations Dennis, we genuinely appreciate all that you do for the UTSA Community.

Award Certificate IconBrian Flores, Maintenance Leader, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for November 2018.

November 2018 Winner

Brian Flores, Maintenance Leader, has delivered excellent service and leadership for the new Facilities Construction Team (FCT). Brian’s leadership skills help lead his team to meet and exceed its stated objectives. His knowledge of construction and renovations clearly defined the scope of work, which resulted in meeting construction schedules and completing over 1.2 million dollars in renovations and facility improvements. These projects were also completed under budget, saving The University of Texas at San Antonio money. Brian’s knowledge and skills earned him the respect and admiration of his team and the highest level of satisfaction from customers. The average customer satisfaction score for the fiscal year 2017 was 96%, and many of the comments provided are raving reviews for customer service, timely work, and attention to detail. For instance, Roy Garza states, “Employees like you make my job all the more rewarding and enjoyable.” On behalf of UTSA Staff Council, thank you for all you do for the Facilities Construction team and your contribution to the UTSA community!

Award Certificate IconAndrew Goodenough, Facilities Project Manager, received the UTSA Staff Appreciation Award for October 2018.

October 2018 Winner

The October Staff Appreciation recipient is Facilities Project Manager Andrew Goodenough for his strong work ethic and personal integrity. Colleague Elyse Danielle, who nominated him for the award, cited the excellent client service he provided after stepping in to take on her projects during her three-month maternity leave. “We recognize Andrew for his tremendous contributions to the Department of Facilities Engineering and Project Management,” said Mary Alice Morizen, a Facilities colleague and member of the Staff Council. Mary Alice was one of the five Staff Council members who presented the award to Andrew at the November 7th meeting of the EPM team. “Every day he demonstrates his exceptional leadership and project management skills along with his dedication and loyalty to his co-workers. He serves as a wonderful example for others at UTSA to follow. Congratulations Andrew!

Award Certificate IconAndria Cox receives September 2017 Staff Council Appreciation Award

October 2017 Winner

"Andria has done an awesome job of providing service to the UTSA Terry Scholars. She has learned the Terry system quickly and is the most responsive and quickest responder from Financial Aid that we have ever had working with the Terry Scholars. She has helped the Office of Scholar Development transition the Terry Scholars out of the Honors College quite smoothly. She is always friendly and helpful and has in several cases helped students solve significant financial difficulties that have allowed them to remain on track to graduate. In one case, she helped a student find a way to travel to a funeral when her family suffered a major tragedy leading to the deaths of 8 family members. She is always willing to do whatever it takes to help students fund their experience at UTSA." - Dr. Ann Eisenberg

Congratulations Andria and thank you for your continued contributions to UTSA!

Award Certificate IconJason Vasquez receives May 2016 Staff Council Appreciation Award

May 2016 Winner

Jason Vasquez is Management Analyst in the Office of the Vice President for Research. His supervisor, Beth Manning, says it best: "He is whole heartedly committed to the mission of the VPR by facilitating research growth, enabling productivity, and pursuing excellence. He goes above and beyond his assigned duties to do what it takes to ensure all VPR departments are successful and enjoys the synergy of working with others. His positive attitude is contagious and he greets everyone with a smile. Jason volunteers regularly and works behind the scenes at VPR-sponsored events to create professional and inviting experiences for guests and colleagues. He has taken particular interest in our student workers by providing them opportunities for growth and development while modeling servant leadership. And our staff have come to rely on him as a wealth of knowledge." Congratulations, Jason!

Award Certificate IconTaniesa Williams receives April 2016 Staff Council Appreciation Award

April 2016 Winner

Taniesa Williams is the Senior Administrative Associate for the UTSA Police Department. She is responsible for managing and meeting the ongoing demands within the Office of the UTSA Police Chiefs. According to her nominator, Cpl. Maranda Tupper, "Taniesa is the driving force behind the majority of the staff functions held within the police department to help build and maintain camaraderie. She’s our go-to person for almost everything. Her happiness, energy and effort to make everyone feel accepted is seen by all." Taniesa also happens to be a current Staff Council representative and serves as chair of the Health and Wellness Committee. Congratulations, Taniesa!

Award Certificate IconMartha Luna receives March 2016 Staff Council Appreciation Award

March 2016 Winner

Martha Luna is Senior Administrative Associate in the Department of Political Science and Geography. According to her nominator, Susan Roomberg, she is the department’s “heart and soul” who always goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done, “all while smiling and making students, staff, and faculty alike feel like a part of a family.” Perhaps Martha’s most appreciated quality is the "fair-minded and even-handed" way she manages her staff, "ensuring that they are well trained, and when they are, pushing them to apply for promotions throughout the UTSA organization." Congratulations, Martha!

Award Certificate IconLindsay O’Day receives February 2016 Staff Council Appreciation Award

February 2016 Winner

Lindsay O’Day is Graduate Admissions Program Manager for The Graduate School. She is responsible for managing the UTSA graduate admissions operation, which includes training the admissions staff and university faculty to ensure that prospective and newly admitted graduate students have the best experience possible. Based on the 15 nominations submitted for her, she is kind, patient, dependable, knowledgeable, and always has a positive attitude. In addition, Lindsay is a superb leader who consistently goes above and beyond to help the graduate admissions team stay organized and successful. Several of her nominators remarked how much her presence and leadership is missed any time she’s out of the office. She is clearly beloved and admired by those who work with her and contributes a great deal to the success of UTSA. Congratulations, Lindsay!

Award Certificate IconMartha Gomez-Gonzalez receives January 2016 Staff Council Appreciation Award

January 2016 Winner

Martha “Marty” Gomez-Gonzalez is Senior Program Coordinator for the UTSA Prefreshman Engineering Program (PREP) and has been a pillar in the PREP program for more than 17 years. With a servant’s heart, Marty sees the needs of others and genuinely works to meet those needs. In the words of her nominators, Joules Webb and Pamela Garza, “She projects a warm, friendly attitude to her colleagues and the students, parents and other community members served. She exemplifies a strong work ethic, dedication, and unfailing reliability in coordination of all aspects of PREP. Marty is the go-to person for department new hires as her program operations historical knowledge is invaluable. As an advocate for underrepresented populations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Marty became a certified SciGirls trainer in 2015. SciGirls is an Emmy award-winning PBS Kids television show, website, and educational outreach program designed to inspire, enable, and maximize STEM learning and participation for all girls, with an eye toward future STEM careers.” Congratulations, Marty!

Award Certificate IconDecember 2015 - Jennifer Latta

December 2015 Winner

Jennifer Latta is the Student Development Specialist II in the College of Public Policy. Jennifer is considered the “primary lifeblood” of the COPP graduate studies office who regularly tackles a wide-range of questions, issues and challenges from various constituents in a professional, courteous and enthusiastic manner. “Her commitment to student success goes above and beyond. She takes a student issue, researches all scenarios, takes the voices of those who work with her and creates – with the student’s interest at heart – the best solutions for any situation. She has gone out of her way to speak with other offices for us or for other students. Her assistance in the graduation auditing process shows her working to ensure pending graduates can successfully complete their program,” share her nominators Jo Reyes and Robert Tillyer. In addition to her full-time position, Jennifer is also a master’s student in the Department of Public Administration. Congratulations, Jenn!

Award Certificate IconNovember 2015 - Reina Vargas

November 2015 Winner

Reina Vargas has served as Administrative Associate for Graduate Programs within the English department for the past decade. Her level of enthusiasm for serving her colleagues is evident through the 72 signatures submitted with her nomination. Reina’s essential job duties include managing and monitoring the demands of the department. Such things include handling the admissions, orientation, and budgeting for the M.A and Ph.D. programs; she also serves as a nurturer to all students that she interacts with. If that were not enough, Reina manages to be the “go to” for her co-workers; they describe her as a vibrant soul who is the nucleus of the entire department. She is a multitasker, efficient, and meticulously organized. The University of Texas at San Antonio and its English department is very fortunate to have a professional like Reina who truly displays servant leadership on a daily basis. Congratulations, Reina!

Award Certificate IconOctober 2015 - Paul Duke

October 2015 Winner

Paul Duke, Senior Procurement Specialist in Purchasing and Distribution Services is being recognized with the October Staff Council Appreciation Award. He was nominated by Diana Cisneros, Daniela Trevino and Evaristo Hinojosa in the Office of the President.
Paul is recognized as having excellent customer service and staying up to date with current state rules and regulations when it comes to the purchasing process. “On the many instances when we have a question or concern, Paul is only a quick phone call away and can not only quell our unease but does so with a happy disposition unmatched by many at UTSA,” said one of his nominators.
Paul provides excellent customer service not only to the staff of UTSA but he also represents UTSA with pride as he works with various vendors that work with UTSA departments.

Award Certificate IconMarch 2015 - Susan Lockett

March 2015 Winner

Susan Lockett, Supervisor of Accounts for the University Center, is the recipient of the March 2015 Staff Council Appreciation Award. Nominated by University Center director Herb Ganey, Susan was recognized for keeping her colleagues motivated and energized. “Recently, the UC Business Office has suffered a staff turnover that virtually left Susan alone to manage the office and keep things afloat,” wrote Herb. “She utilized all available resources and has been successful at making sure the UC maintains a healthy financial state.” Susan is a proud alumna, having earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at UTSA.

Award Certificate IconFebruary 2015 - Jo Ann Jones

February 2015 Winner

Jo Ann Jones, Communications Specialist for the College of Education and Human Development, won the Staff Council Appreciation Award for February. Jo Ann's nomination identified her exemplary work to establish a new, weekly e-newsletter for COEHD. "Her rapport with students, faculty, and staff along with her articulate writing style has created an avid audience for the fledgling publication, adding more than 300 external subscribers, in addition to the staff and faculty listserv," said Byron Spencer, COHED's Senior Communications Specialist. "Jo Ann's leadership in taking on this challenge along with her excellent public service has been essential to the success of the publication."

Award Certificate IconJanuary 2015 - Venetta Williams

January 2015 Winner

Venetta Williams, Administrative Services Officer for the Department of Architecture, received the January 2015 Staff Council Appreciation Award. Venetta's colleagues recognized her leadership in the department, as well as her cheerful nature. "Venetta is one of the most knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly people I have ever had the pleasure of working with," said Diane May, who nominated Venetta for the award. "On a bad day she brings smiles, and on a gloomy day she shines, there is not a day that goes by the she has not taken time out of her day to lend a helpful hand, or give guidance to someone who is having a problem solving a situation."

Award Certificate IconDecember 2014 - Jenny Stokes

December 2014 Winner

Jenny Stokes, former Administrative Services Officer for the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in the College of Education and Human Development, was the recipient of the December 2014 Staff Council Appreciation Award.

Nominated by Brian Jantz and Dr. Mari Cortez, Jenny’s colleagues recognized her leadership qualities and the mentorship she provides to others, noting “her unselfish willingness to go above-and-beyond to help anyone and everyone who comes to her for guidance.”

A former member of the Staff Council, Jenny recently transitioned to a new ASO II position with the Office of P-20 Initiatives at the Downtown Campus.

Award Certificate IconNovember 2014 - Roseanne Hurst

November 2014 Winner

Congratulations to Roseanne Hurst, Administrative Associate II in the Office of the Vice President for Research, Office for Research Support (ORS) on being selected as the November 2014 Staff Council Appreciation Award recipient. Bernard Arulanandam and the ORS Staff nominated her stating the following:

"Holding one of the brightest smiles, Roseanne always helps to bring a positive start to everyone's day. With excellent customer service skills, she communicates with a wide range of stakeholders, from UTSA leadership, faculty and staff, to representatives from external research institutions. She always exemplifies professionalism and enthusiasm, making herself approachable to all. She is the first staff member to offer help above and beyond her administrative role, and on most days, the last person to leave work, ensuring that everyone has what they need to keep research growing at UTSA. Roseanne is pivotal to daily operations and those who work within the ORS. Of specific importance, she has been a key contributor to onboarding eight new staff members over the past 18 months. She coordinated all hiring processes, maintained positive relations with HR and provided new staff members with a warm welcome and supported role within the ORS team."

On December 10, members of the UTSA Staff Council and staff from her department presented Roseanne with a certificate and UTSA-themed balloon bouquet, along with other tokens of appreciation from the department and Arulanadam.

Award Certificate IconMarch 2014 - Scholarship Team

March 2014 Winner

I would like to nominate the Scholarships team.  Why?  Over the last 7 months, they have gone through many changes.  From a retiring associate director and losing a senior member of the team, losing another team member unexpectedly, to being displaced around the office during construction. The scholarships team has stepped out the ashes of a very tumultuous fall semester to a renewed and reenergized team.  The AD, Melanie Martinez, as well as new members Belinda Guevara and Alejandra Gonzalez join the existing team of Leanne Arispe, Venetia Coleman and Justin Bingham.  And for the first time, Paul Remmert has now officially joined the team. Change is never easy. And with the amount of change that the scholarship team went through in such a short amount of time, it would have been understandable to buckle under the pressure of it all. But they stood tall, and stood strong, and because of that, the team is now stronger than ever.

Award Certificate IconFebruary 2014 - Office of Facilities, Operations and Maintenance Grounds Team

February 2014 Winner

"It would be my privilege to nominate some members from our Grounds Team in the Facilities, Operations and Maintenance area for the Staff Council Award. I especially would like to commend the two supervisors, Della Reyes and Frederick Wiedner. They have always worked extremely hard to comply with all of the grounds campus needs. On January 24, UTSA experienced an ice day; these people spent the night of January 23 on campus to make sure the campus would be prepared for the forthcoming ice. Their first priority was to keep our faculty, staff and students well protected and safe. They worked all through the night in preparation for this bad weather. They experienced the same situation again on the night of January 27. These people deserve to be recognized and awarded by our UTSA Staff Council for their commitment to keeping our university safe at all times. They worked their 8 hour shifts during the day and continued to work throughout the night spreading deicing materials and taping off areas that posed potentially hazardous conditions to any pedestrians that may have remained on campus. "

Award Certificate IconNovember 2013 - Department of Physics and Astronomy

November 2013 Winner

“When the administrative manager moved to another department, the senior administrative associate took on the responsibility of interim administrative manager while maintaining her current job duties.  At a time when teamwork was needed the most, the staff members worked diligently together to demonstrate leadership and provide excellent service to faculty, students and other entities at UTSA, and avoided giving the impression of being short staffed. The senior administrative associate was hired as the administrative services officer, which was a huge transition and depended on the staff and their knowledge as a whole to help during the transition of hiring two new employees and assisting with their training and familiarity with UTSA. Despite the administrative trials & transitions, the Physics & Astronomy staff have overcome and continue to make significant contributions in a professional manner in an effort to effectively serve and improve the department and the UTSA community.”

Award Certificate IconOctober 2013 - Jennifer Snellgrove

October 2013 Winner

"Thank you so much for everything that you have done for Staff Council and the UTSA community.  You have been a huge asset to us, and we really appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions.  Thank you for your patience and professionalism and for setting an example of what an excellent UTSA representative can be."