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Winners: University Excellence and Richard S. Howe Excellence Awards
(April 15, 2011)--The University Excellence and Richard S. Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Awards were presented at an April 13 ceremony in the University Center Ballroom on the Main Campus.
The University Excellence Awards honor outstanding UTSA staff across the Tri-campuses who demonstrate excellent work performance. An award of $1,000 accompanies each of the five awards. The winners of the Team Spirit Award divide the award money.
The ceremony was hosted by Cie Gee, chair of the UTSA Staff Council and graduation coordinator in the Office of the Registrar. Marjie French, vice president for university advancement, recognized retirees in calendar year 2010. Gage Paine, vice president for student affairs, recognized staff members who reached milestones in their length of service with UTSA and the UT System in calendar year 2010. UTSA President Ricardo Romo presented each award.
This year's award winners were:
Rising Star Award: Kristina Leh, Web designer, Office of University Marketing
The Rising Star Award recipient must be a new employee with less than three years of continuous service with UTSA and who has made significant contributions throughout the year to his or her area or to the university community. This individual has innovative ideas and has made significant contributions. He or she has a demonstrated record of improvement, has progressed through cooperation, initiative and is a self-starter with a take-charge attitude. This talented employee has volunteered to assist when and where needed.
Leadership Award: Marcel Perret-Gentil, director, Lab Animal Resources Center
The Leadership Award recipient must be currently functioning in a supervisory capacity, has promoted departmental and university mission and goals through actions and job performance, demonstrated exceptional leadership ability, fostered a positive and motivating work environment, maintained open communication lines within the department and throughout UTSA, encouraged professional development, demonstrated fairness and equity in resolving employee and work-related issues, and remained receptive to receiving constructive feedback concerning his or her job performance.
Team Spirit Award: Laboratory Animal Resources Center Team
- Abby L. Ibarra, animal technician
- Donald E. Atkins, animal technician
- Jessica Kurz, animal resources business operations
- Laurie A. Long, quality assurance/training coordinator
- Victor E. Canseco, animal attendant II
- Lazaro M. Castro Jr., animal attendant I
- Michelle Martinez, administrative associate II
- Rafael E. Fourquet, animal resources supervisor I
- Wendy L. Keswater, animal resources supervisor II
The Team Spirit Award is awarded to a group of staff employees that has demonstrated exceptional ability to foster collaboration, communication and cooperation among colleagues internal or external to their department. The team's action has significantly improved customer service or increased customer satisfaction for specific UTSA customers, has significantly improved a work process or system, or has significantly increased the productivity and efficiency of an operation or work unit.
Extra Mile Award: Luis M. Zorrilla Melendez, assistant director, Laboratory Animal Resources Center
The Extra Mile Award recognizes an individual with three years or more of continuous service with UTSA and who has taken the initiative to contribute to the success of UTSA through his or her outstanding contributions at work including extra efforts demonstrated in their accomplishments, timeliness and follow-through, and willingness to help fellow employees and provide good customer service with creativity, dedication, cooperation and reliability. He or she has performed at a level above and beyond normal job requirements that have resulted in furthering the department's and UTSA's goals and mission.
Order of the Roadrunner Award: Daniel M. Pena, assistant chief of police, UTSA Police Department
The Order of the Roadrunner Award is given to an individual who demonstrates exemplary service and commitment to UTSA and the achievement of its goals through his or her actions throughout the year. This individual has enhanced the quality of work-life in ways that significantly increase productivity and efficiency for colleagues or customers to include developing creative solutions, and provided outstanding and ongoing excellence in services to faculty, staff, students and/or other UTSA customers. This is the highest honor that a UTSA staff member can receive for his or her dedication to the UTSA community.
Richard S. Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Awards:
The Howe award is presented to faculty and staff members who have shown exemplary commitment to UTSA undergraduates, such as demonstrating a strong commitment to teaching or service to undergraduate students, serving as an advocate for undergraduate education, and engaging in activities to promote student access and success. Each Howe award winner receives $2,000.
The 2011 winners were:
- Richard Gambitta, associate professor of political science and director of UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs
- Manuel Diaz, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering