Saturday, October 10, 2015


Winners: University Excellence and Richard S. Howe Excellence Awards

award winners
award winners

Award winners (from left, top row) are Kristina Leh and Marcel Perret-Gentil; (second row) Laboratory Animal Resources Center Team; (third row) Luis M. Zorrilla Melendez and Daniel M. Pena; and (bottom row) Richard Gambitta and Manuel Diaz (Photos by Mark McClendon)

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(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


>> Read more about the University Excellence and Richard S. Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Awards including information about previous winners.



Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UTSA CITE Technology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

Kickstart your career as an entrepreneur at the UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.
Business Building, Richard S. Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus

Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture as Rendered Society

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, in partnership with AIA San Antonio’s Latinos in Architecture, presents architect Andrés Jaque, founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an architectural practice dually based in New York and Madrid.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Take Back the Night 2015

The UTSA Women’s Studies Institute invites you to Take Back the Night, an international initiative to raise awareness and empower survivors while educating allies through a march, poetry, and testimonios. This is a gender-inclusive movement to shatter the silence surrounding sexual and domestic violence.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Grad Fest is an event designed to prepare you for commencement while celebrating your achievement. You will have the opportunity to purchase commencement regalia, order class rings, diploma frames, explore graduate school opportunities, learn about successful Stafford loan repayment and discuss career outcomes.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom

Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


Grad Fest is an event designed to prepare you for commencement while celebrating your achievement. You will have the opportunity to purchase commencement regalia, order class rings, diploma frames, explore graduate school opportunities, learn about successful Stafford loan repayment and discuss career outcomes.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom

Oct. 20-21, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

SECC Book Sale

Looking for a good read? Shop for yourself or for gifts and help change a life at the same time. Browse and buy children’s stories, novels and more at the 2015 SECC Book Sale.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus

Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

Phi Kappa Phi Last Lecture

What would Dr. John Bartkowski say if it were his last lecture? The UTSA professor of sociology will speak about “The Power of Listening” in this annual event sponsored by the UTSA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. A reception will follow.
Denman Room (UC 2.201.28), Main Campus

Oct. 27, 11:30 a.m.

Lecture by Composer Larry Groupe

The UTSA Music Department presents Emmy-award winning Composer Larry Groupe. Groupe has composed music for films such as "The Contender," "Straw Dogs" and "Miami Vice," and TV shows such as "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Ren and Stimpy" and "American Gladiators." Lecture is free and open to the public.
Arts Building (ART 2.03.15-18), Main Campus

Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m.

White Bound: Nationalists, Anti-Racists and the Shared Meanings of Race

The Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series continues with Dr. Matthew Hughey, a scholar of race, racism and racial inequality.
Buena Vista Building (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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