Previous Employee of the Month Award Recipients
Ruth Mordecai, Administrative Assistant II, Retention Management and Planning was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for September 2020.
Ruth started working in Retention Management and Planning in 2018. Ruth is hardworking, diligent, and passionate about helping students. She is always eager to help the staff, to be a team player, and to get things done quickly and efficiently. When you ask her to assist with something, you can rest assured it will be done.
Ruth primarily oversees the purchasing for our departmental programs. She manages to keep this arduous process extremely well organized and manages to keep the staff on target, on time, and on budget for their programs. She always wants a program to leave the students with a feeling of welcome and satisfaction and this is her way to contribute to that success.
Ruth is also the supervisor of the student workers in Retention Management and Planning. She is a positive role model for these students, and they know they can call her to ask for help even when they aren’t at work. Additionally, Ruth schedules monthly professional development workshops to build on the students’ proficiency and skills to prepare them for life after college.
One of the instrumental contributions I have witnessed from Ruth this year, was her ability to work with the student employees to transition them to working remotely. She organized the projects and accountability for each of them. She was instrumental in their transition into an online workspace as well as keeping them motivated to stay engaged and complete the semester. She went above and beyond numerous times as each of the student workers struggled with this experience.
Ruth is always kind, friendly, and helpful to everyone who calls our office or comes in looking for help. A few examples of this would be her work with our parents and family members during New Student Orientation, Family Weekend, Move-In, and routine call to the office. She is able to share her personal experiences with them of sending her own children to college and that helps to calm their anxiety and stress and to know there is someone who’s actually been in their shoes.
Ruth always provides that welcoming, generous spirit to all. She just has a way of putting people at ease, calming, and welcoming each and every person.
Congratulations, Ruth on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the September 2020 Employee of the Month!
Jason O’Neill, Coordinator for Contracts and Assignments, Housing & Residential Life was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2020.
Jason has taken on the duties of the Assistant Director which include additional departmental meetings, running occupancy and billing reports, ADA assignments, supervising more staff in addition to his own, having meetings with staff members, and being a core part of COVID-19 housing efforts.
Jason was key in being the individual to identify isolation and quarantine locations in the residence halls and set up the system in a way that was easy to classify for staff. While Jason has many things to do, he never hesitates to help out any other staff member with patience and kindness. Even during all the COVID-19 related stress in the housing department, he consistently stays after hours to make sure everything is complete that everyone’s questions have been answered whether it be from other staff, parents, and students. During this time, he has been challenged with:
- Assigning and reassigning students to rooms across all 23 resident halls and apartment complexes.
- Working with the ODS office to make sure students with ADA accommodations are taken care of in a welcoming and courteous manner.
- Working closely with Resident Directors, students, and their families to help make the student’s stay at Texas State comfortable.
- Running multiple reports throughout the day to solve problems and identify available spaces to move students.
- Identifying spaces to be set aside for quarantine and isolation.
- Reassigning students to make additional rooms available for these additional quarantine and isolation spaces.
- Taking phone calls from upset parents and students about relocating and changes to our policies, as well as helping to ease these individuals minds and address their concerns.
- Diligently making changes and adapting to the needs of the department and university during this pandemic.
Jason has always been passionate about Texas State and helping all students. Whenever he speaks with anyone, current or prospective, he always speaks highly of the experiences they will gain at Texas State and shares what he has learned from his own experience. Additionally, when students from Lamar had to evacuate due to the hurricane, Jason with no hesitation, ran a report and identified all vacant rooms to assist these students and made sure to notify everyone involved in the process. He even stayed 3 hours longer to make sure that all of the Lamar students were properly checked into their spaces.
Christina Vaughan, Senior Administrative Assistant, McCoy College of Business was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for November 2020.
Christina took on the role of Senior Administrative Assistant during Covid-19 and during the change over to a new Dean. She was previously Administrative Assistant III and was asked to do her job and fill in as interim Senior Administrative Assistant before being promoted. Christina initially supported business graduate programs and associate deans. She quickly learned the role and began to make important improvements that resulted in substantial gains in service to graduate students and overall efficiency of the office.
In January 2020, the Senior Administrative Assistant left to take a position off campus and Christina did not hesitate to step in to help even though she was not initially interested in the position. Not only did she seamlessly assume the responsibilities; Christina again observed where improvements could be made and put them into practice all while ensuring her usual job responsibilities were not overlooked. She trained department chairs on the usage of TEAMS and provides support needed to keep the administrative group of the college connected and informed. This has been a year of change and Christina has shown herself to be a dedicated, helpful, and organized employee willing to do what it takes to get the job done.
The spring semester brought difficult decisions regarding the response to Covid-19 and budget cuts. Christina’s competence, professionalism, calm and caring demeanor, along with a good sense of humor was appreciated by everyone with whom she worked in the dean’s office, and by department chairs, other administrative assistants in the College and by callers and visitors.
In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations in the dean’s office, she also does an excellent job of managing the dean’s busy calendar, which is a feat. She keeps everyone aware of any approaching deadlines and always exhibits a positive attitude, even if the circumstances are challenging. She takes pride in her work and is always willing to arrive early or stay late. Christina provided an exemplary level of support as McCoy College welcomed a new Dean and adapted college-wide protocols related to Covid-10. She truly makes a difference at Texas State.
Congratulations Christina, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the November 2020 Employee of the Month!
Jessica McClean, Research, Instruction, and Outreach Librarian, Albert B. Alkek Library, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for December 2020.
Jessica is a service-oriented person to the core. Everything she does is done with customer service in mind, even when she is working internally with a project team or committee within the library. Jessica, in supporting the work of the University Libraries, is willing to go the extra mile in everything; her leadership and her strategic thoughtfulness help to make everyone’s work more effective and engaging.
Jessica was on the team to migrate the campus from citation managers RefWorks to EndNote. She performed at the highest level – figuring out every detail that the users might need in the process. Jessica not only thought about how things were done in the past with workshops and classes, but also looked at taking advantage of how faculty and students use Canvas and other multi-modal modules.
When promoting Open Education Resource (OER) adoption with faculty, Jessica considered how to teach faculty about OERs, did prep work to assist faculty in finding source content, and developed a peer review process wherein the content could be continually improved. Jessica’s application of the peer review method for improving the quality of the OER Community of Learning for faculty and librarians has raised the quality of the course and incentivized participation for those stakeholders. She would say it was a team effort; however, she led that effort and executed it smoothly.
Jessica never turns down a challenge and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is consistently creating new exhibits and events that are engaging as well as topical like the first virtual Maker Day event. No one ever hesitates to ask her for advice, help, or support because of her interpersonal and leadership skills and willingness to help. A graduate student needed assistance with their research and while Jessica was not the subject librarian, she was willing to help and willing to schedule a zoom meeting if another librarian was not available. This is typical of an interaction with Jessica.
Jessica’s teamwork approach is just as important as handling her job responsibilities and completing the tasks. It is her strategic thinking process of considering the most effective way to form relationships around projects, meeting multiple stakeholder needs, and engaging the campus community, that serves the University Libraries so well.
Congratulations Jessica, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the December 2020 Employee of the Month!
Juan Gomez Ortega, Scientific Instrument Tech, Department of Physics, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for January 2021.
Dr. Gomez Ortega’s primary duties in the Department of Physics are to support upper-division laboratory courses and research laboratories, and to serve as chief safety officer and technical service provider. In each of these areas Juan does outstanding work. He juggles diverse obligations has an amazing on-time record is always cheerful and collegial. Juan takes ownership of tasks large and small and see that they are done well. Many times, he does so while also training his student assistants to become, themselves, invaluable technical resources.
Dr. Gomez Ortega goes above-and-beyond in service to the Department of Physics, Shared Research Operations, and for the MSEC PhD students. He is a major contributor to the university safety leadership by serving on the Radiation Safety Committee. Juan also serves as the College of Science and Engineering representative on the university Classroom Renovation Committee.
Juan has also been very responsive to the major changes we have all experienced due to the pandemic. He worked together with the Shared Research Operations staff who oversee many laboratories in R.F. Mitte, where the Department of Physics is primarily located, to develop robust protocols for the return to research. Juan was sensitive and responsive to faculty needs to restart laboratory research particularly for pre-tenure faculty. In his “spare” time during summer 2020, he coordinated with the Shared Research Operations to leverage department and college 3D printing capabilities for producing badly needed COVID-19 test swabs, contributed to designing point-of-use air filters, and served as the ambassador to companies and news agencies for these critical community outreach activities. “These contributions were outside of Juan’s assigned duties, yet he did them purely out of the need to do our part.”
Dr. Gomez Ortega also took on the primary role in developing instructional support space. The department has taken the initiative to introduce computer programming across the curriculum. This is beneficial for students, but also can be taxing as it requires that they have access to computing capability. Juan has made sure that existing computer facilities were up to date. He took the lead in renovating another space to make it a computational lab. This include submitting an ACC proposal to acquire the computers needed for the space. This was not really in his job description, but his leadership on this project provided immense benefit to the students.
When the Senior Lab Services Technician took advantage of the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program, there was no one to fill that role for a period of a couple of months while a suitable replacement was sought. Juan stepped up to fill in the gaps left by this departure and did so very efficiently. Without his help, there would have been problems teaching labs during the summer and at the beginning of the fall semester. Juan truly went above and beyond in filling these gaps.
Congratulations Juan, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the January 2021 Employee of the Month!
Jonathan Tyner, Coordinator of International Affairs, Department of International Student & Scholar Services, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for February 2021.
As Coordinator of International Affairs, Dr. Tyner is responsible for the daily happenings of the international students attending Texas State University. He helps them with immigration law questions, guides then when dropping classes since registering below hours is not permitted for international students, on-campus employment, obtaining social security numbers or driver’s license, transferring into or out of Texas State, as well as whenever in need no matter the issue.
Jonathan compiles data regarding international students and scholars for the university and for outside professional organizations. He also coordinates many events for the students and scholars throughout the year such as the Welcome Social, San Antonio Rodeo trip, camping trips, Nigerian New Year, Persian New Year, Chinese New Year, and many others. There are about twenty events annually coordinated by Jonathan.
Jonathan regularly goes beyond his regular duties, especially when emergencies or other serious situations arise. Jonathan often uses his personal time and resources to help students and sometimes parents ease their burdens, anxieties, and pain. He is professional and warm, has a “limitless supply of happiness and good will” for the students and the staff in the office. “He works until the work is done.” While working in International Student & Scholar Services, Jonathan graduated with his doctorate in education. Dr. Tyner embodies everything it means to be an outstanding employee as well as an amazing Texas State Bobcat.
Congratulations Jonathan, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the February 2021 Employee of the Month!
Yssa Schulte, a licensed vocational nurse in the Student Health Center, with 23 years of experience in healthcare, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for March 2021.
She joined the Student Health Center in 2015 and has demonstrated outstanding commitment to both the Health Center and the patients for whom she has cared. The pandemic created a variety of new challenges for the Student Health Center. Developing a safe process for performing COVID-19 tests on potentially infected patients was an early challenge. Yssa took the lead on creating and training the COVID-19 Testing Team. Performing COVID-19 testing was one of the highest risk responsibilities at the Health Center. Despite the risk, Yssa and her team safely performed over 2,000 COVID-19 tests. No member of the testing team has been infected while providing the service which is a testament to the effectiveness of the testing protocols and training.
Yssa has also been instrumental in assisting the Student Health Center to prepare for COVID-19 mass vaccinations. Yssa has had a lead role in vaccination site planning and preparation. She ensures that all the necessary medical supplies are available to support the vaccination event. The goal of the COVID-19 mass vaccination program is to administer 2,000-3,000 vaccinations per week if vaccine is available.
While Yssa has assumed these important responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, she has also continued in her role as a medical provider assistant. Yssa prepares patients for their medical visits and assists her provider with office procedures and treatments. Patients appreciate her friendly and reassuring demeanor and give her high marks for patient care.
Congratulations Yssa, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the March 2021 Employee of the Month!
Naybila “Nay” Aikawa, Senior Administrative Assistant in the College of Liberal Arts Office, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for April 2021.
Throughout the pandemic, Nay has been in the office almost every day. As others across the college work from home, Nay supports their work, often helping them figure out ways to fulfill their responsibilities so they do not have to come into the office. When mail service to campus stopped, she went and picked up the mail. When office staff have trouble figuring out how to forward calls to TEAMS, she worked with them to make that happen. She performs her regular job duties and does so with diligence and care for one of the largest colleges in the university.
Nay is a tireless advocate for students. She draws from her own experience as a former student of Texas State to offer every conceivable support to current students. She serves as a resource for students who do not know if they are eligible for work study money. Nay recommended that the college start a media association for students to increase and support student involvement and she promoted research by organizing a research community event. She also helped to facilitate the new mentoring program in the college.
Nay helps to recruit students for the African American Studies (AAS) program by creating flyers for posting on campus as well as assisting with AAS programming. She serves on the AAS Advisory Board, assists with creating the agendas and takes notes. Nay suggested several events for Spring and handled most of the logistics to make sure the events could be held with no problems. She also serves as the advisor for the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, actively participates with the Coalition of Black Faculty and Staff and serves on the Staff Resources Committee. Nay is a member of the inaugural class of the Bobcat J.E.D.I. (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) program which requires participants to attend numerous professional development courses related to diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, ability, social justice, and equity.
Nay goes above and beyond the responsibility of her job description to help students, faculty, and staff. She is organized, professional, personable, and is considered a “go to” person on campus for the College of Liberal Arts.
Congratulations Nay, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the April 2021 Employee of the Month!
Julie Eckert, Assistant Director for Health Promotion Services, Student Health Center, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for May 2021.
As the Assistant Director at the Student Health Center, Julie leads Health Promotion Services, directly supervises several graduate student employees, and advocates public health on campus and within the community. Julie has always been dedicated and passionate about her work at Texas State, and has become indispensable during the COVID-19 pandemic during which she has led Bobcat Trace, the university-wide contact tracing initiative at Texas State.
Bobcat Trace is a system wherein students, faculty, and staff can either report as a COVID-19 case or a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This process requires tracing staff to call COVID-19 cases, investigate who they may have exposed, and notifying those identified contacts. However, this is particularly difficult in the university-setting due to confidentiality laws regulated by FERPA and HIPAA when working with patients who are also students.
Julie took on this intense and complicated new task with fervor, integrating her duties as the leader of this team into her duties as Assistant Director such as: hiring contact tracers, investigating thousands of reports, collaborating with Hays County Health Department, and leading an interdepartmental team of professionals to successfully complete this initiative. This meant Julie regularly worked evenings and weekends at the start of the pandemic, and continues to be available during evenings, weekends, and even holidays. COVID-19 doesn’t take a break and neither does Julie.
Julie coordinated with the Department of Housing and Residential Life to develop a protocol for notifying them of positive cases and helping prepare processes for isolation and quarantining on-campus. Julie has been personally responsible for tracking positive cases in residence halls to look for evidence of transmission beyond roommates. In addition to her own contract tracing, Julie also reviews others’ reports to ensure accuracy. Julie remains the point person for many departments on campus as an expert for on-campus isolation and quarantine, and as an interpreter for CDC guidelines. Throughout the pandemic, Julie has remained diligent, calm, and compassionate and has often helped anxious students, parents, faculty, and staff through these unprecedented times. The low positivity rates and lack of major outbreaks on campus are a testament to Julie’s hard work with Bobcat Trace.
Julie’s work has not been limited to this pandemic. For 25 years, Julie has promoted healthy behaviors that support personal and academic success. She has worked in alcohol and drug abuse prevention, sexual violence prevention, and health education. She established Texas State’s Men Against Violence student peer organization and has advised other student organizations like Healthy Cats.
Congratulations Julie, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the May 2021 Employee of the Month!
Candice is responsible for processing Personnel Change Requests (PCRs) for the Division of Academic Affairs. With an increased workload due to recent budget cuts and staff changes because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Candice worked diligently to lighten the load for various departments and offices, providing guidance and mentorship wherever needed. For example, instead of rejecting incorrect PCRs, Candice contacts the submitters and provides guidance and support to correct them so that she can support and help them through the process.
Whenever anyone has a question or problem, Candice makes them feel like they are her top priority, happy to help whoever needs it. And if she does not know the answer, she will get an answer quickly, either through her own research or by connecting people with the offices or divisions who can help them. She is a clear example of someone conscientious about her work.
Colleges and offices across the university rely on Candice’s expertise to process their hires. Even while juggling her own increased workload and taking over extra tasks while her office has been without an Administrative Assistant II, Candice still manages to provide excellent customer service and completes her work in a timely manner. She works hard to ensure faculty, staff, and graduate students are treated with respect and professionalism. During peak processing times, she makes herself available to answer questions and demonstrates a positive attitude even under extreme stress and pressure.
Candice has provided amazing support, knowledge, and guidance, especially during the beginning of the fiscal/academic year PCR processes. She projects a warm, cheerful attitude to her clients and lifts the spirit of those around her.
Congratulations Candice, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the June 2021 Employee of the Month!
Anna Edmonds, Executive Assistant for the Vice President for Finance and Support Services (VPFSS), was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for July 2021.
The VPFSS office is busy under normal circumstances, but this past year has been unprecedented in terms of the workload and activity passing through the office with Anna managing most of the day-to-day functions. As Anna took over as the Executive Assistant a year ago, little did she know that she would do so during a pandemic and with the other two Administrative Assistant positions in the office being vacant for the majority of the year. While facing a steep learning curve, Anna simultaneously helped fill the gaps left by the two other vacant positions, and kept communications flowing across the university with many employees working remotely. She tackled these challenges with an unmatched steadiness and dedication, stepping in and stepping up wherever she was needed.
If Anna ever felt overwhelmed, no one noticed. Even in stressful and chaotic situations, she never waivers with her professional demeanor and can-do attitude, and she always projects calm assurance. Anna organizes important large meetings and events at the university, including the Board of Regents meetings, and does so seamlessly. Anna covers all the aspects of an event, thinks through what could go wrong, and has a plan in place to smoothly guide the event back on course whatever may happen. She regularly deals with issues in such a way that the attendees often never realize anything was amiss. Her sense of calm under pressure is infectious.
Anna regularly takes on new challenges and is always seeking ways to improve both her personal work and the processes that are in place. When confronted with a request, no matter how trivial, she jumps in right away to help. She researches issues, provides understandable explanations, checks in, and makes sure there are no follow up issues days or even weeks later. She is an active listener and is often regarded as a go-to person in JCK for questions and help from other units and offices.
Congratulations Anna, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the July 2021 Employee of the Month!
John Ivey, Laboratory Services Tech with the Ingram School of Engineering and a graduate of the University, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for August 2021.
John joined the Ingram School of Engineering in 2019 and quickly undertook tasks beyond the scope of his commitments. As the Laboratory Services Tech for the Ingram Hall Makerspace, John manages 20 university student workers while providing technical support to the Makerspace. When software incompatibilities started causing issues, John immediately started work with University IT to create a whole new software program. Due to COVID-19, however, IT resources were relocated. John was undaunted, and when development on the new software halted, he personally wrote the operational software to run the Ingram Hall Makerspace that is still used to this day.
In addition to writing and maintaining the software to run the Ingram Hall Makerspace, John has authored and directed multiple professional safety videos for users to use for self-paced training. This has freed up staff resources and availability to address technical support issues, and allows them to provide additional training to users as needed. John also hosts tours of the Makerspace for the Offices of University Advancement and University Administration, helping to promote unique Texas State spaces and services.
While John managed these additional aspects of the Makerspace, he also provided support to Bobcat Racing, the Texas State Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) student organization. FSAE is an automotive collegiate design competition wherein students from around the world compete to build and race formula-style cars. John committed extended work hours to help students build a performance race car for the FSAE competition. John has also volunteered to be on the University Laser and Radiation Safety Committee. Even outside his regular work hours and duties, John remains committed to ensuring the safe and smooth operations of the Ingram School of Engineering.
Congratulations John, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the August 2021 Employee of the Month!
Danielle McEwen, Administrative Assistant III, Department of Psychology, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for September 2018.
Danielle has more than 5 years of administrative experience at Texas State University, including the past 3 years as an Administrative Assistant Ill in the Psychology Department. In this role she supports the needs of nearly 2000 Psychology majors and over 35 full-time faculty members. This job is huge in scope and unrelenting in pace, but Danielle carefully manages all the duties with calm and a wonderful sense of humor and generosity.
Danielle carefully attends to the needs of every student and member of the department. She has an uncanny ability to recall the details associated with every issue she handles, whether it be a small receipt for a travel claim or a special request from a faculty member. Faculty, staff and students inside and outside the office tend to gravitate to Danielle. She is the go-to person for anything and everything in the department, and it is not unusual for administrative assistants in other departments to seek out her help and advice.
Some of Danielle’s current duties include monitoring, forecasting and allocating the department's operating and research budget, preparing financial reports, processing reimbursements, vendor payments, purchase orders, invoices, and contracted payments, purchasing and maintain office supplies and promotional items, processing Personnel Change Requests and maintaining employee files for all current and former faculty, staff, and student employees. She prepares all faculty contracts, tenure track documents and handles travel arrangements for faculty, students and external visitors. She coordinates department meetings, events, catering, and related logistics as well as managing various faculty special projects and facilitates guest visits.
Danielle recently has done the work of two staff members, and in one case three staff members, due to vacancies in other staff positions. These extra duties have lasted weeks and even months in some cases. Danielle has done all of this with a smile while working nights or weekends to meet pressing deadlines even when they are not her responsibility. She always has gone out of her way to welcome new faculty, staff, and student workers and be sure that all of their business needs are met. Danielle always "has a plan" for how to accomplish a goal and works hard to achieve it.
Danielle’s professionalism, dedication, highly personable management style and sensitivity to the needs of all faculty, staff and students are what make her special. Her interpersonal talents complement regular duties. She is an exemplary representative for the department and university.
Congratulations, Danielle, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the September 2018 Employee of the Month!
Karen Fabac, Grant Specialist, LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2018.
Karen has worked for Texas State University for 14 years, currently serving as a grant specialist with the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research supporting NASA grant funded programs. Since her transfer to Texas State University in 2004, she has represented the department in the areas of: project management, personnel administration, sub award budget management, post award grant/budget management, as well as co-facilitation of various professional development offerings, participation at various major national STEM conferences and NASA Center events, Karen’s personal motto is, “See The Need, Meet The Need,” and it has served her well, as she often handles tasks that are not required of her, but does them anyway to keep things moving forward.
Karen is always thinking of better ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and she brings these ideas to her colleagues and supervisor. For example, she manages contracts and services with many convention and meeting venues across the United States, and she is outstanding at negotiating the best deal for our participants and for the University.
Karen is superior at communicating effectively with a wide range of professionals, and she always incorporates the Texas State brand into this work. She is responsible for effective communication with Texas State Faculty of Practice located at 10 NASA Space Centers across the nation. She manages PCRs for these faculty, processes materials purchasing, and communicates Texas State policy and procedure information.
Karen solves complex issues with great insight. She knows when and how to interact with other Texas State offices as she processes and monitors issuance of almost 500 vendor forms per year, and she manages 15-17 sub awards and procurements that total over half a million dollars per year. She is always on top of all of these tasks and continually stays ahead of schedule.
Karen stays current with best practices in her position. Even though she is located at the Round Rock center, she attends multiple training sessions on the main campus. All of these help her do her work more effectively. Karen is "fearless" and will tackle any task and as a result, she has interacted closely with multiple offices across campus and over the years has developed a strong network and great working relationship with staff involved in all aspects of university operations. When she doesn't know the answer or an exact process for accomplishing a specific task, she will research the issue and will seek out that information from the appropriate office. She is incredibly resourceful and just the type of employee you want representing your office to internal and external colleagues.
Karen is also a genuinely good person who frequently engages in volunteer work and professional service. She has served as a mentor to at-risk children, she drives elderly patients to their doctors' appointments, and she generously volunteers her time at shelters for various challenged populations.
Congratulations, Karen, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the October 2018 Employee of the Month!
Christine Haney, Administrative Assistant II, School of Art & Design, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for November 2018.
Christine is charged with all of the administrative support for the Master of Fine Art (MFA) in Communication Design. She also backs up other administrative assistants in the School of Art and Design as needed.
Quite simply Christine is the soul of the MFA program for both faculty and students. She effectively keeps everyone on track. She is the champion for her students, and will fight for them in any way possible. They all know that to be true. She has developed a report with students in the MFA program that most faculty would envy. The MFA program is a blended program with a considerable portion of its offerings online. Other courses include weekend seminars, and receptions for visiting scholars as well as evening classes. Christine never complains about the unusual schedule.
Her job performance is exemplary and she goes the extra mile to help other staff, faculty and students. When one of Christine's co-workers had to go on an extended leave, she immediately stepped-up to the plate. She completely took over all the purchasing for the entire department on top of her regular duties. This all happened during the rush for year end, plus the start of the new year. She has done an exceptional job under dire circumstances and has done so with a smile.
When help was needed due to unforeseen circumstances, Christine graciously volunteered to take on many new responsibilities to ensure that faculty, staff, and students had what they needed to start the new school year. She has put in many extras hours to make sure everything got done.
Not only did Christine take on new responsibilities, but she also worked to get temporary help for the department. When the new person came onboard, she made her feel welcome and help to get her up-to-speed.
Christine managed this increase in responsibility with such grace despite the unusual, and unsustainable, demand on her workload. She excels in her ability to build community with other administrative workers at Texas State, so that we can all assist one another more effectively. She is also eager to learn new skills.
The School of Art & Design and Texas State is fortunate to have such a gracious and giving employee.
Congratulations, Christine, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the November 2018 Employee of the Month!
Brenda Rodriguez, Associate Director, Student Involvement, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for December 2018.
Brenda oversees a variety of aspects within Student Involvement including: reviewing, interpreting, revising and enforcing of policies; advising and developing chartered student organizations and supervision of the website and social media. She works very hard with her team members and guides them not only with their work goals, but also with their personal and professional goals. She works well with her staff and develops and implements sound strategic plans. She oversees all Student Involvement departmental operations, services and programs in the areas of campus activities, student organizations, pride and traditions, and volunteer services. Brenda does a great job in these areas and she is always eager, positive, and willing to do what is needed to get the job done.
Brenda plays a very important role in the development and implementation of university policies that are applicable for student organizations (student organization conduct). Although this is not the fun part of her job, she does it with professionalism, diligence, and integrity.
On campus, Brenda actively participates on the President’s Council for Women in Higher Education, the Alcohol and Drug Advisory Committee, the Title IX Collaborative (Member of Title IX Training and Campus Resources subcommittee), the Greek Affairs Steering Committee (Chair for Leadership & Education), and the Co-Curricular Transcript (iCAT) Committee. She represents our university well.
Brenda is an enthusiastic team player in both her office and the university community. She has managed to be extensively involved in the Student Affairs division and the university. This is visible in her participation in teaching and participating on teams and committees, while successfully leading an office of eight full-time staff members, six graduate students, and twelve undergraduate student staff. Brenda has a very strong work ethic and leads by example, making her a role model for not only Texas State students but also her peers.
Congratulations, Brenda, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the December 2018 Employee of the Month!
Alissa Savage, Scientific Instrument Technician, College of Science and Engineering (CoSE)-Shared Research Operations was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for January 2019.
Alissa pours a tremendous amount of energy into providing timely and quality training on scientific equipment to better educate our faculty/staff/student users. Our researchers benefit from Alissa’s familiarity with the operation and maintenance of equipment as they train with her. Additionally, Alissa coordinates the efforts of other staff, graduate assistants, and student workers to organize training requests across the Analysis Research Service Center (ARSC) equipment offerings.
Alissa participates in the creation of transparent, logical, and relevant policy and procedures required to manage Shared Research Operation facilities. Alissa leads the team managing our user base, enforcing policy, and assisting with generation of safety policy training documentation as a member of Texas State University’s Lab Safety Committee. She was one of the voluntary founding members of the CoSE safety committee, putting in a tireless effort to improve safety in our teaching and research labs.
Alissa’s stewardship of the Analysis Research Service Center (ARSC) should be commended. She has helped build a large user base, personally maintains several pieces of equipment, manages the efforts of support staff, organizes meetings, processes usage data to generate monthly invoices, and cooperates to evolve the safety and research culture for the benefit of all users.
Alissa fulfills her duties with little supervision, is very flexible and is always eager to take on new challenges. She works well with faculty, fellow staff, and most importantly with students in training and mentoring. She is a complete professional and an asset to the program, college and university.
Congratulations, Alissa on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the January 2019 Employee of the Month!
Adam Clark, Systems Support Specialist I, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for February 2019.
Adam is always on top of updates, software programs, technological equipment (providing the equipment as well as the repairs), and responds to questions promptly and effectively. He communicates clearly and seems to have an endless supply of energy to do his job well in conjunction with giving back to the university by attending meetings and being a part of
Adam is responsible for the technological needs of two departments and two centers, but still manages to answer calls and emails immediately. He always makes himself available to help set up for events. He not only helps with the set-up of the projector and screen, but he often stays to help set-up a venue and comes back to help take down the screen, put away chairs, load up food, etc. Adam goes above and beyond in his duties as Systems Support Specialist for the Department of History.
What makes Adam special is that he goes above and beyond while also pursuing his education. He is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Geography. His assistance and devotion to his work has not waivered as he has continued his education.
Adam continually strives to give back to the university and make it a better learning and work environment for students, staff, and faculty. He has completed this by leading Staff Council for several years to its most productive and active terms. Adam has worked in the community with Bobcat Build and various on campus Staff Council events and fundraisers.
Adam serves on several committees which help guide the university to function at fullest potential. He has served on several university boards and committees, such as the Regental Planning Committee for the 2017-2027 University Master Plan and transportation services advisory council. Adam has always worked to improve the learning and working environment here at Texas State. He is an invaluable member of our staff and Texas State University family.
Congratulations, Adam on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the February 2019 Employee of the Month!
Stephanie Lopez, Assistant Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for March 2019.
Over the last year, there have been a number of new Enrollment Management initiatives involving the awarding of new scholarships. The awarding of these new funds has been made complicated by differing fund sources and criteria. However, Stephanie has expertly managed this process by developing new awarding formulas that allow decision makers to perform real-time simulations and make faster award decisions. She has also had to expend significant amounts of time in shifting funds and awards (via the financial aid and SAP systems) to ensure monies are optimized and not over-expended. These new initiatives have required significant amounts of time and required her to work regularly into the evenings and on the weekends for the last year. She does so because of her work ethic and her commitment to the university's success through the recruitment and retention of academically-talented students.
Stephanie is an innovator. Her most recent recommendation has been to provide the university with a single solution for the application and management of institutional scholarships. She is, along with our systems team, now implementing that solution. This implementation is just past the halfway point (in terms of the number of academic and administrative departments that are online). This solution, the Bobcat Online Scholarship System (BOSS), is already helping students by making it easier for them to identify and apply for university scholarships. It is also streamlining the management and awarding of these funds by the respective departments. This system is critical to the university more effectively competing for academically-talented students.
In addition to her other qualities, Stephanie manages a scholarship and accounting unit that has an extremely heavy workload. The scholarship team, for instance, manually processes thousands of outside scholarship checks and thousands of manual departmental scholarship requests in a given month. This number continues to grow. Her team is also responsible for the reconciliation and reporting of over $360 million in annual federal, state and private grant, work-study, loan and scholarship funds. Within each type of fund are a myriad of programs each with its own reporting criteria. Despite this volume of work and tight deadlines, Stephanie's organizational and managerial skills, as well as her attention to detail, resulted in no findings during last year's federal audit. This volume and accuracy of work is possible because Stephanie inspires her team to have a positive attitude regardless of their growing workloads and late evenings. Their focus, thanks to Stephanie's leadership, is serving our students to the best of their abilities.
Stephanie was recognized as a Leader of Excellence during the kick-off event for the Enrollment Management and Marketing division. It is her leadership and innovative thinking that helps her team and our office contribute significantly to the success of our university.
Congratulations, Stephanie on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the March 2019 Employee of the Month!
Fasiha Feroz, Administrative Assistant III, Office of Disability Services (ODS) was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for April 2019.
Throughout her career at Texas State University, Fasiha has shown exemplary leadership and dedication to the University, its students, and the office she currently serves in order to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to all university programs and activities. She exhibits professional customer service, is proficient in Microsoft Office software and Texas State University technology and information systems, and has the ability to work on multiple tasks simultaneously.
Fasiha has one of the most critical roles in the ODS, which includes providing front line support to those needing assistance for access and support services, while also administering the behind the scenes tasks to ensure that those supports manifest. This requires an advanced ability to multitask that includes fielding questions and redirecting those whose non-disability-related needs might be better supported from another office, while maintaining a disposition of encouragement and patience.
Fasiha also supports multiple staff members’ professional development experiences and conferences outside of Texas State University. She coordinates and reserves staff members’ registrations, travel, room and board, and method of payment proactively and ensures them a worry free stay throughout their travels. She actively works toward the goal of national and international academic and professional growth for the ODS by obtaining additional funding through multiple channels in accordance to university policies and procedures.
While balancing an exceptional workload, Fasiha has assisted in the transition of five new, full-time staff members in their positions at Texas State. Fasiha values open communication and informs all staff members of current and upcoming events, major milestones, accomplishments, and tribulations in order to rally support and foster a cohesive and collaborative work environment.
Oftentimes, students and their parents who enter the ODS are already feeling a heightened sense of marginalization and pressure around securing supports that could ultimately impact their ability to access accommodations and successfully continue their higher education academic pursuits. Fasiha’s focused energies help many of our students to successfully progress in their courses with the hopes of matriculating toward a degree. Fasiha also helps to promote outreach initiatives by personally facilitating programs for both students and staff at Texas State University, such as the welcome orientations and co-facilitating the DeStress with Art program.
Impressively, she manages the complexities of her role while modeling her approach to support staff and students alike with her ability to calmly redirect individuals (students, staff, and parents) with an un-intrusive and supportive demeanor and sincere desire to help.
Congratulations, Fasiha on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the April 2019 Employee of the Month!
Denise Dorsey, Administrative Assistant III, School of Family and Consumer Sciences (FSC) was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for May 2019.
As the Administrative Assistant III for the School of FCS, Denise is responsible for most of the School's business operations. The School of FCS is large, with 5 distinct program areas, 2 master’s programs, about 1500 majors, about 40 faculty, 30 lecturers and staff. The programs are very diverse, ranging from nutrition, which has food laboratory courses and research laboratories, to interior design, which offers lengthy studio courses needing specific technologies.
The program schedules are understandably complex, and yet every semester Denise magically renders effective teaching schedules that work for students and faculty, while maximizing building efficiencies. She juggles all the moving pieces beautifully, taking into consideration such complex issues as faculty research schedules and new hires. Denise also manages our building, along with keeping faculty on task, meeting university deadlines, such as faculty evaluations and hiring deadlines, and overseeing building renovations.
This may all sound like a simple task, but it is not! Denise is a brilliant planner. In the process, she consults with all stakeholders to ensure that the final product is ideal. In the works now is the construction of a new community research laboratory space and the university vivarium, an almost four million dollar initiative. Again, this all falls on Denise, who handles all the planning by working with faculty and staff across campus. There is an endless list of what she does and Denise does it to perfection.
Denise is fully aware of all Texas State policies and procedures, and has established relationships will key individuals across campus who get things done. Independently, while FCS leadership has been changing, Denise has had her eye on how FCS can better serve students and faculty. For example, she has been deeply involved in leading updates in FCS room structure and function, considering simultaneously the burgeoning technology needs of general instruction, the needs of our diverse programs and the needs of our diverse population of students.
Denise is also helping to support our school's goal to enter new "blue oceans" of research and teaching. In other words, she is an innovative leader, helping make connections to move the school to be the first to market in a number of new academic and research areas. In short, Denise never rests. She always strives to improve the university and school while supporting our faculty, staff and students.
Congratulations, Denise on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the May 2019 Employee of the Month!
Dr. Carmen Adams, Administrative Assistant III, Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS), College of Health Professions was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for June 2019.
Carmen has gone above and beyond her role in the CLS Program to ensure that the “high level needs” for the computer and laboratory automation have remained usable and up-to-date during the loss of the college long-time primary computer person. Carmen logged many hours working with ITAC, the faculty, and special laboratory (off site) automation interfaces to keep our systems up and running. Carmen works very hard to assist both the faculty and students in the upkeep and current needs of the IT areas.
The National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) is committed to being the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related health care professions. NAACLS provides leadership in fostering innovative educational approaches and actively supports cooperative efforts with other agencies. The CLS Program turned in the NAACLS Self Study Report on April 1, 2019 a site visit is scheduled fall 2019. Carmen assisted the CLS Chair on this report, worked to supply the needed documentation, proof reading, and attention to detail that is needed for this process. This is considered beyond her primary duties.
Three units in our college (Respiratory Care, Physical Therapy, and Communication Disorders) moved into their new location, Willow Hall, in Round Rock this past year. Due to that move, our CLS Program acquired two new laboratory spaces (ENC 306 and 307) as well as additional storage and office space. Carmen was crucial in the ongoing customer service communication between our program and the other internals (and external) stakeholders to make this move successful. For example, Carmen assisted the CLS Chair and other faculty with ensuring the proper safety documents and materials were available in the new spaces. This included federal/state documents for viewing, as well as actual safety devices (eye washes, mercury spill kits, etc.) were implemented for regulatory requirements. Carmen worked with ITAC and Dr. Matt Brooks (Associate Dean, Health Professions) to ensure these new spaces were updated with the proper computer needs. Finally, Carmen worked to ensure faculty communicated their equipment needs (electricity for microscopes, removal of shelves for space utilization of refrigerators and other items, etc.) to facilities staff and others on campus to ensure the labs were ready for use.
Carmen has multiple advanced degrees, including a strong background in statistics and research design as well as educational pedagogy. Carmen previously worked at ACC and taught introductory math. Due to that insight in pedagogy needs for introductory math, she “relates” to college students in the program and often is providing insight, understanding, empathy, and actual assistance to the students and faculty! She is an outstanding resource for the college and program. Due to her ability to understand new systems, as well as the administrative skills she has achieved over the years, she often assists other administrative assistants in the college and research coordinators with things that are not always part of her job duties. She simply does it to “help others” get the job done. She is a wonderful example of Texas State generosity.
Congratulations, Carmen on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the June 2019 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Madelyn Patlan, Administrative Assistant III, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for July 2019.
Madelyn Patlan oversees the administrative work that keeps the History department running day in and day out. Madelyn coordinates the schedule of classes and enters all the History courses each semester, as well as arranges the schedule and classroom assignments for all of Taylor Murphy History building. She also coordinates the travel and scheduling arrangements for department visitors. When the other administrative assistant in the department is away, Madelyn picks up their responsibilities, which include overseeing the student workers, coordinating all faculty travel reimbursements, and overseeing textbook ordering for the History department. Each and every one of these responsibilities are crucial for the department to run smoothly, and Madelyn skillfully balances all of them.
Madelyn also coordinates the department's budgetary activities including paperwork for hiring, searches and campus visitors. She also addresses student and faculty issues that come through the office and attempts to find solutions before setting up appointments with the department chair.
Madelyn always goes above and beyond the call of duty. This semester, the department has conducted four searches, and she has had to coordinate all of those - a time consuming process. While the department’s other administrative assistant has been out on leave, Madelyn has been doing that job as well as her own, processing all of the departmental travel and serving as administrative support for the graduate program. She has absorbed this role to such an extent that when the other administrative assistant returns, there will not be stacks of work waiting.
In a department that has so much happening all at once, Madelyn ensures that the administrative side operates efficiently. Students and members of the public who contact the department receive a precise answer. Madelyn is always willing to serve the department and the university. She is quite often the face of the department to students. Her generosity helps to ensure that the faculty are able to focus on teaching and research. Madelyn Patlan represents "quality service" at Texas State by being fair, knowledgeable, timely, and an excellent communicator!
Congratulations, Madelyn on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the July 2019 Employee of the Month!
Mr. Jason Crouch, Library Assistant III, University Libraries, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for August 2019.
As a library assistant in the Information and Undergraduate Services (IUS) unit, Jason staffs the Research and Information (R&I) Desk an average of 15 hours per week, supervises, hires and manages R&I student workers, and plans and participates in IUS events and programming.
Jason is a customer service star at the R&I Desk where he interacts with students, staff, and faculty. He can relate with anyone in a matter of seconds and put them at ease. Not only can he find the perfect peer-reviewed article for the procrastinating college student 2 hours before a deadline, but he is known to do it with an easy demeanor and a fun fact or joke to go along with it. Students come to the desk stressed out and Jason raises the bar for providing excellent customer service and student support at Alkek Library. Texas State students appreciate Jason and his willingness to go out of his way to help people in any way.
Beyond his customer service excellence, Jason’s confidence in leading tour groups and US 1100 library sessions is fantastic. He’s flexible for the on-the-spot student tours needing a quick rundown of everything Alkek has to offer. He’s also an excellent introduction to any future or current Bobcat visiting the Alkek Library for the first time.
Jason stands far apart from the pack as a customer service icon who generates joy through helping library patrons. He is an individual who clearly cares about each interaction he has with patrons. He is kind, understanding and goes above and beyond to troubleshoot and solve problems, help students with finding library resources, and answering any questions that library patrons have.
As a supervisor Jason is approachable, understanding, and patient with the constantly fluctuating schedule of busy college students. Jason is also a reliable coworker who is ready to aid any student or staff member who needs assistance. Jason handles a vast range of inquiries at a fast pace with ease and humor.
An example of Jason’s customer service is when a professor came to the desk with an issue regarding the library’s access to a subscription service that had been cut. Even though the patron came to the desk flustered and frustrated, Jason was able to help the professor figure out why the access was no longer available. Although Jason could not fix the issue for the professor, he was able to help explain what happened. Jason makes people feel like he advocates for them and that he is on their side. His patience and determination to help find answers made a difference, both in deescalating a frustrating situation and leaving patrons feeling heard. That matters in building relationships with the campus community at Texas State.
Congratulations, Jason on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the August 2019 Employee of the Month!
Mariel Alvarez, Administrative Assistant II, Dean of Students office was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for September 2016.
Mariel works with Texas State students who are given either community service hours and/or educational workshops to complete as part of sanctions received either from judges, probation officers or Student Justice. Mariel works with both on and off campus individuals to help coordinate community service opportunities for these students. Close to 600 students utilize the Alcohol and Drug Compliance Services (ADCS) office, with thousands of hours of community service completed each academic year. She exceeds in everything she does at ADCS, providing excellent service to students, parents and other conduct and community individuals by going above and beyond to assist with their individual needs. Mariel is also very meticulous and diligent, which is absolutely necessary as she often drafts and edits community service completion letters that are sent to judges, attorneys, probation officers and conduct officers. Among many other administrative duties, she also oversees the successful training and management of student workers who are part of the ADCS team.
Mariel is always extremely helpful when communicating with the many different individuals who contact ADCS each day. Mariel has the ability to put these students at ease and assist them in a respectful manner. In fact, most students come back and thank Mariel for her excellent customer service. Mariel also assists various departments with special events that are part of the community service program and has received positive feedback and appreciation from these collaborative relationships.
Many students will come in and ask to speak to Mariel because they trust her responses, work ethic, quality service and enjoy her positive attitude. She is not only a great worker and a positive reflection of Texas State, but works with an enthusiasm and energy that promotes excellence in her department.
Congratulations, Mariel, on your dedication, professionalism, and being recognized as the September 2016 Employee of the Month!
Patricia Heath, Senior Administrative Assistant, College of Liberal Arts was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2016.
Pat Heath has been an indispensable part of the College of Liberal Arts team. Pat's primary work is keeping track of and processing the constant flow of information and the many administrative processes involving the college and its nine departments and three research centers. She is the person who keeps the chairs and center directors on track, assisting them in completing tasks that are essential for the successful operation of the college and the university. Pat oversees the entire tenure/promotion process, working several months each year to ensure that all materials are submitted on time and in perfect order. This task, like many others she performs, requires meticulous attention to detail, precise scheduling, and--most important of all--tactful communication with nine department chairs and the twelve other faculty members of the College Review Group who review tenure/promotion applications. Thanks to her care and attention, the entire process and the resulting files sent to the university administration are models of excellence. Pat performs many other critical duties: maintaining personnel files for more than 250 faculty, processing workload reports each semester; coordinating, gathering, and organizing information for countless reports, annual reviews, and online information archives; working with department chairs and the Dean to complete the annual contract renewal process for tenure-track faculty; and many other duties too numerous to list here.
Pat is one of the dedicated staff at Texas State who keep the machinery of the university running. She is a self-starter, knows her job extremely well, takes initiative in launching every process in a timely manner, and does everything with good humor, helpfulness, and dedication to the mission of the College. Pat also has exceptional interpersonal skills in serving a wide range of personnel across campus. She relates effectively to staff in the College office, always demonstrating a willingness to help others and to fill in when a colleague is away. She also works skillfully with department chairs, striking the perfect balance in reminding them firmly of deadlines, but always in a tactful way, keeping them on schedule. She likewise works with personnel in faculty records and other campus offices, knowing whom to call in order to expedite administrative processes and thereby provide the best possible service.
Pat Heath does her job well--plus. She is always willing to come in early, to stay late, or to volunteer to help after hours on special projects. Pat spends countless hours putting together a lengthy program for the annual Awards Day for students. She produces a beautiful program that shows the College at its best for the nearly 400 students and parents who attend the event. Her work on this event is well "above and beyond," as is her volunteering to assist at the evening program itself.
Congratulations, Pat, on your dedication and teamwork, and being recognized as the October 2016 Employee of the Month!
Illona Weber, Microcomputer Lab Coordinator, Mathematics was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for November 2016.
Illona serves as the technical support staff and lab coordinator for the Department of Mathematics. The department has approximately 80 faculty, 30 funded graduate students, and an undergraduate enrollment of over 12,000. Each of these jobs should be handled by a team of several people. Yet Illona manages to fill both roles with a smile and energy left to perform numerous "other duties as assigned."
As the technical support staff, Illona manages the hardware and software needs of the faculty, graduate instructional assistants, and instructional computer labs as well as assisting with computing needs in classrooms. This means that Illona manages over 250 computers as well as other hardware that faculty check out for travel and research, including laptops and video cameras. When software is added, the picture becomes more complicated. The department merges pure mathematics, applied mathematics, mathematics education, and statistics all into one home. Each of these areas has its own software programs for Illona to support, along with instructional software specific to each of these disciplines and to general education and developmental mathematics courses. Managing these resources would be a full-time job for several people, but in addition, Illona runs the Math Lab tutoring center. When wearing that hat, Illona hires, trains, and supervises 15-20 tutors working in 2 locations providing assistance for the more than 12,000 students who take mathematics courses in a semester. While other tutoring facilities on campus work with freshmen level courses, the Math Lab provides assistance for mathematics courses at all levels. Illona schedules the tutors to balance the needs of developmental students, students taking required common core classes, STEM majors taking calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra, and mathematics majors taking upper level proof based courses.
Enrollment in the 2000 level statistic course has increased from 9 sections in 2011 to 23 sections and 2 of which were large lectures in 2015. Illona was on top of the situation, increasing assistance available for those students. She does more than hire and supervise the tutors. She arranges for the tutors to take advantage of appropriate training offered on campus and mentors the students in professional behavior. She gets to know the tutors well and provides a home away from home that welcomes our most advanced mathematics majors.
Illona has also been instrumental in overseeing classroom and workspace renovations. She has noticed spaces in need of maintenance and arranged for repairs, managed office space cleaning and painting, fixed broken office furniture, and many other duties. She visits offices and classrooms regularly and when she sees a need, she sees that it is taken care of.
Congratulations, Illona, on your hard work and dedication, and being recognized as the November 2016 Employee of the Month!
Michelle Aguilar, Senior Administrative Assistant, Student Diversity and Inclusion was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for December 2016.
Michelle has worked at Texas State for 20 years as an Administrative Assistant and Senior Administrative Assistant for the Department of Housing and Residence Life. Her current role is Senior Administrative Assistant for Student Diversity and Inclusion (SDI).
Michelle strives for excellence in all that she does. She is competent in all of her job duties and is the go-to person for everyone on our staff. She oversees 5 other administrative assistants and is the time administrator for our office. Although these responsibilities may be common for her title as Senior Administrative Assistant, what makes her uncommon is her commitment to serving students at Texas State by providing a solid foundation for the staff of SDI.
A solid foundation is what is needed in an office that produces innovative and ground breaking programs and services that support underrepresented students and marginalized students. Some of these programs include Equality University (a conference-like experience where students, faculty and staff, and community members can explore topics such as racism, cultural and racial identity and sexual orientation), Mama’s Kitchen (a program that provides a free meal for over 400 Texas State students), Bobcat Preview Diversity Presentation (an interactive program that provides incoming freshmen with an experience that relays the message that Texas State embraces diversity). Other programs include ALLIES of Texas State and programing that supports the LGBTQ community. In addition, SDI also implements Veteran student programs that support Texas State military veterans.
Michelle ensures that all systems are go, paperwork is submitted, contracts are signed, food is ordered, human resources paper work is turned in on time and all loose ends are tied. In essence all of her efforts make the SDI office successful and competent to carry out its mission and the mission of the university namely ensuring that we have a diverse campus that is welcoming to all. Michelle is a major backbone to that goal. She works long hours to ensure Texas State students have the best experience possible.
Michelle is dedicated to Texas State’s mission of providing excellence in serving the educational needs of the diverse population of Texas and the world beyond. Michelle’s primary function is to support the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs who also serves as the Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion. This multifaceted role for Michelle is very complex. She not only provides support for the Director, but also provides guidance and leadership to the other 5 administrative support staff members under the umbrella of SDI including Student Support Services, Educational Talent Search, Rural Talent Search and Upward Bound Senior Grant Secretaries. Michelle is a mentor and role model to all of these staff members.
Every office should have someone you can rely on to accomplish tasks, step in at the last minute when someone is sick or had a family emergency. All offices need someone who anchors the rest of the team so that they do not unravel under pressure or get so for from their mission and goals that they lose sight of their desired outcome. Michelle is that person for us in the office of Student Diversity and Inclusion.
Congratulations, Michelle, on your dedication and passion, and being recognized as the December 2016 Employee of the Month!
Naomi Wilson, Administrative Assistant III, Curriculum and Instruction was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for January 2017.
Naomi works tirelessly to organize and support the large department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I). With over 140 faculty members, Naomi manages to provide each with support and personal attention. In addition to this personal support, she manages the Chair's calendar and supports the Chair in her daily activities and in the organization and management of the department.
Naomi also works with faculty, students, staff, and administrators across the university. She is able to deal with multiple issues and constituents simultaneously—and always with a smile. For example, an hour of Naomi’s day may bring her a student applying for a work study position, a faculty member in need of assistance with purchasing, calls from multiple offices on campus for a variety of reasons, a budget issue from the Chair, and a message from the Dean’s office needing a particular form. These tasks require different skills and knowledge and Naomi is able to handle them all.
Naomi acquires new skills very rapidly and has mastered multi-component tasks such as organizing search committees, facilitating travel for faculty applicants, helping to manage faculty budgets/contracts, and countless other integral skills. She is a good listener and problem solver and has an uncanny ability to make everyone around her feel very welcomed. She maintains a positive attitude and the willingness to always help anyone at a moment’s notice.
One of her greatest abilities is that she is willing to ask questions and seek answers. This not only allows her to resolve issues in a timely way, it also means that she is developing relationships with other staff in offices around campus. Naomi is able to anticipate needs and is always focused on finding solutions to problems. Naomi is committed to performing her job duties in a timely and correct manner. She constantly strives to learn more and shares this knowledge with others. Her knowledge, skills, and dedication are above and beyond just doing her job.
Naomi goes that extra mile to truly get to know each student worker, each staff member and each faculty member. She understands teamwork and is always a willing team player.
Congratulations, Naomi, on your dedication and teamwork, and being recognized as the January 2017 Employee of the Month!
Wesley Clark, Annual Giving Director, Alumni Relations was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for February 2017.
As Director of Annual Giving, Wes leads the fundraising efforts for the Maroon & Gold Fund, the Family Campaign, and special initiatives to engage donors who give $10,000 and below. In 2016, Wes led several new initiatives that significantly advanced the fundraising capacity of the university. For much of the year, he did this while down staff, operating as the sole staff carrying the work of the department.
Between January and April, Wes led the 2016 Family Campaign which ended with a 65% participation rate. This was the best year on record, and exceeded the prior year by more than 10%. In this time, he also managed the implementation of a crowdfunding platform that has raised more than $25,000 in the first nine months for special projects benefiting students and faculty across campus.
A significant amount of work was required to implement Step Up for State in September. This was amplified given that it was the first time the institution had attempted this type of initiative. The overwhelming success of Step Up for State raised $221,824 in 31 hours from over 3,000 gifts. This is a testament to the outstanding work of the campus-wide team that Wes led.
Completing all three initiatives in one year while down staff required a tremendous effort that has generated well over $100,000 in scholarships for our students and enhanced the capability of faculty and staff to raise funds for special projects.
Wes has streamlined processes, improved programs, implemented new initiatives and developed strong relationships across campus. His efforts have benefited numerous university departments, programs and initiatives. Thanks to his diligent work ethic, motivation and drive, he has built a prosperous program which is fully integrated into the University Advancement structure.
Congratulations, Wesley, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the February 2017 Employee of the Month!
Stephanie Miller, Student Development Specialist I, University College was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for March 2017.
In her position, Stephanie focuses on the engagement and retention of PACE students through strategic communication and opportunities. She hosts 25 personal, professional and academic development events a year, crafts monthly newsletters to PACE students with just-in-time information, and provides transition information when the students have completed their year in the PACE program.
In Fall 2016, Stephanie began Paw Prints, the first just-in-time information newsletter for PACE students. Utilizing her contacts across campus and her student workers for insight, she creates a 2-4 page electronic publication that gives PACE students the information they need by promoting campus events, reminding students about academic calendar dates and deadlines, and informing them on support services and opportunities around campus, all while reiterating Texas State University values.
Stephanie assists students nearing the end of their first year in PACE through transition communication to ensure they are aware of what the next steps for them are as they prepare for their second year at Texas State. She personally contacts almost 6,000 students with detailed information about their specific major and other useful resources for them after leaving PACE. This outreach includes information about academic (advising, mentoring, departmental etc.) and career resources as well as general Texas State promotion aimed at student retention.
Stephanie is a problem solver in the PACE Outreach office. She turned PACE transition event attendance from single digits to an average of 60+ students per event. Engagement in PACE events has grown from 3% in AY 2013-2014 to 15% for Fall 2016.
She develops good working relationships with many San Marcos establishments in an effort to increase cooperation between the University and city in general. She organizes and gives PACE presentations to multiple offices and departments on campus, providing faculty and staff a better understanding of PACE’s role in student success. She covers multiple facets of PACE, including Mentoring & Academic Coaching, Advising, University Seminar and Career Services. She is currently in the process of developing that same presentation to be an official professional development option through Human Resources in an effort to widen the scope of her community outreach.
Stephanie also Co-Chaired the first Student Success Symposium at Texas State. She worked closely with the Department of Developmental Education and the Office of Distance and Extended Learning to bring together over 200 individuals from multiple disciplines to discuss philosophy and practice of student success initiatives in a conference setting. This also included writing a subsequent report detailing presentation materials from the conference, which was then shared with other departments for increased transparency and to aid in future collaboration on development initiatives of faculty and staff at Texas State.
Congratulations, Stephanie, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the March 2017 Employee of the Month!
Michele Weaver, Testing Lab Supervisor, Testing, Research-Support and Evaluation Center (TREC) was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for April 2017.
Michele coordinates the academic testing for students with disabilities and is an invaluable employee. TREC is one of Texas State’s most complex offices because of matters of security and compliance. In a position which supports testing for students referred by the Office of Disability Services (OSD), Michele is conscientious, cooperative and unusually careful in coordinating between her student clients and faculty.
She is personally committed to insuring that the needs of the students are balanced with the concerns of the faculty, insuring rigid adherence to the accommodations provided to the students and simultaneously insuring that the tests are handled securely and are carefully administered so that both sets of clients are pleased with the result.
Michele interacts effectively with the faculty and academic departments to insure that examinations are returned promptly. She has also exhibited a professional interest in the American with Disabilities Act, and works closely with her director to review and make sure that Texas State’s practices and policies are compliant, clear, efficient and consistently implemented.
Michele attends national conferences where issues related to the implementation of the American with Disabilities Act are carefully and clearly delineated. She assumes the responsibilities of the director when needed, maintaining regular contact with her superiors.
Michele is hard-working, courteous, and innovative. These traits have minimized concerns and complaints from both faculty and students.
Congratulations, Michele, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the April 2017 Employee of the Month!
Rita Mokarzel, Administrative Assistant III, St. David’s School of Nursing was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for May 2017.
Rita has provided tremendous administrative support to the St. David’s School of Nursing since she began working with the school in August 2009. Her title is Administrative Assistant III, but she serves as budget analyst, receptionist, event coordinator, purchaser, travel agent, and hiring manager. She handles all these critical roles with professionalism and pride in a job well done. Rita excels in all aspects of her job duties that include support to the Director of the School of Nursing.
She is personally committed to meeting work deadlines and submitting quality work products, allowing the director to focus on higher level management projects.
The school of nursing is growing at a fast pace and Rita assists with faculty hiring for the undergraduate and graduate programs offered. She has mastered the hiring process and has been able to guide the search committee chairs, ensuring all university regulations are followed and that the paperwork for the new hires flow smoothly and efficiently to meet the high demands of the program.
Another area Rita excels in is budget management. She has monitored over 2.5 million in grant funds awarded to the school by the St. David’s Foundation. She keeps accurate balances on all accounts and provides requested information promptly.
Rita goes the extra mile on each and every tasks that is assigned to her. Many work colleagues praise her for being professional, ethical, a problem solver and doing whatever is necessary for the success of the team.
Congratulations, Rita, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the May 2017 Employee of the Month!
Yolanda Quintanilla, Graduate Recruiter, College of Applied Arts was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for June 2017.
Yolanda works very hard advising potential students about the College of Applied Arts. Her zeal, energy and interest in assisting others is outstanding. She answers questions quickly and maintains a strong follow up with potential students. She sets the pace for recruitment and is highly dedicated.
Yolanda embodies everything about quality service at Texas State. Her passion for the university is apparent in her job performance and all the extra work she does to support the college. She is naturally organized, an extrovert, and a networker. She utilizes those skills to enhance quality Texas State service, helping the college, departments, and schools to meet targeted goals, particularly in increasing student enrollment. She focuses her high energy to support the college to facilitate change by streamline various processes that support enrollment growth, hooding ceremonies, and scholarship/fellowship opportunities. She is personally committed to meeting work deadlines and submitting quality work products, allowing the director to focus on higher level management projects.
In addition to her regular duties, Yolanda has taught a course for the Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies (OWLS) program. She did an amazing job and participated in a departmental group that provided recommendations for updating the curriculum. Her input is valuable and her service is appreciated.
Yolanda is an excellent representative for Texas State. She is dedicated to making a strong difference in people's lives as they consider higher education. Her keen insight and human relations skills have helped many students. Her work is high quality and she provides a very positive example for others.
Congratulations, Yolanda, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the June 2017 Employee of the Month!
Whitten Smart, Supervisor, Learning Applications Solutions was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for July 2017.
Whitten Smart is an empathetic and equitable leader within the Learning Applications Solutions (LAS) department. As Supervisor of the LAS team, he exemplifies the balance every staff member hopes to find in a supervisor. He cares about the staff he manages, promoting individual accomplishments in and out of the work place and ensuring smooth operations within the team.
Whitten is also a valued member of the LAS leadership team. His guidance is frequently sought by supervisors in other areas, both within the context of staff issue resolution and project work. His efforts within the Faculty Qualifications migration from the Tk20 system to Digital Measures system this year were fraught with technical issues, temporary personnel challenges, and unyielding deliverable dates. Whitten responded to each problem with calm determination and faithful focus on the end goal.
Whitten consistently promotes faculty and student success through the high quality services his team provides within the teaching and learning community at Texas State. He is a frequent guest in department, college, and committee meetings such as Council of Academic Deans, Council of Chairs, and Faculty Senate. Whitten genuinely listens, compiles and escalates attendee concerns to the most suitable technical and administrative staff, resolving issues quickly and comprehensively.
Whitten has been described as an avid and effective communicator who is able to connect with a wide range of personalities through his natural rapport and enjoyable personality. Whitten asks good questions and sincerely listens to clients and stakeholders; sets, measures, and re-evaluates project priorities on a regular basis; is tenacious and resourceful; and, most importantly, looks forward to going to work and helping the university move forward. Whitten’s efforts in the Faculty Qualifications migration from the Tk20 system to Digital Measures system have been indispensable as well as other projects supporting faculty and staff.
Congratulations, Whitten, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the July 2017 Employee of the Month!
Lisa Westerbeck, Research Coordinator, College of Fine Arts & Communications - Center for Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity (C3) Research Center was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for August 2017.
Lisa is a great communicator. She is honest, dedicated, and incredibly capable. She is excellent at simplifying difficult processes to help faculty manage funded programs like grants and contracts. She is constantly developing new templates and has done an amazing job creating and maintaining the C3 website, which has become an inspiration to many faculty in the College of Fine Arts and Communication in helping them find, apply for, and manage funding opportunities like grants.
Lisa makes sure the faculty she works with have all the tools they need to succeed. If they're not easily accessible, then she goes out of her way to find or create them herself. She is warm, smart, thorough, and kind. If there's a problem that needs to be fixed, she doesn't just wait for someone else to do it-- she steps up to the plate, takes it head on with tenacity and professionalism, and does it in a way that helps everyone involved. She thinks win-win and never takes any of the credit she deserves.
Lisa has taken the College of Fine Arts & Communication, which typically has very little grant activity, and drastically increased the number of submissions and well-run grants. For instance, one of the biggest accomplishments she has is helping the School of Journalism apply for and manage a large contract with the State. She was involved in the planning and running of the grant since the beginning, which successfully brought in about $400k. She also recently helped them gain a follow-up grant which will be worth $636k.
Lisa is currently earning her Project Management Professional certificate known as a PMP. Many other Research Coordinators at other universities, like UT Austin, have this certification, but currently there are none here. She is focused on moving research in this college forward to be on par with R1 institutions. She has the foresight to gain this as a mechanism to help more faculty successfully complete their grants on time and within budget. In the end this will help more faculty be successful which will in turn put Texas State on the map when it comes to publishing quality research.
Lisa has an amazing work ethic and always goes out of her way to make sure faculty feel comfortable and fully understand their responsibilities when managing funding for their research projects. Plus, she's brilliant! There isn't a project she has worked on that isn't better because she was part of it. She knows how to talk to people about difficult subjects in a way that gives them confidence and helps them know they can achieve their goals. She can see the big picture while also seeing the small details, and then helps put everything together into one shiny bright package.
Congratulations, Lisa, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the August 2017 Employee of the Month!
Dr. Hillary Jones, Senior Psychologist, Counseling Center, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for September 2019.
Dr. Jones has assisted the Counseling Center by taking on more leadership and administrative responsibilities during a time when there is a search for a Director and multiple open positions. She has been a strong source of team building and has created collaborative communication within the center.
She has responsibilities as the newly appointed Assistant Director of Operations and Assessment, making herself available to manage the center’s crisis demand, overseeing client evaluation processes, and being available for consultation with the staff. Her calm and thoughtful leadership style and strong work ethic have been a huge source of support. The center is always in good hands when she is present to help the staff navigate unexpected situations.
Dr. Jones provides calm, compassionate, and constructive feedback to her clients, colleagues, and the Texas State community. She coordinates the trauma response and has made herself available for specialized consultation to departments. This semester she worked closely with a campus department on how to prepare and respond to a student potentially being triggered by sexual assault. She often lets students in crisis know "I am in your corner" and she exemplifies being their advocate.
Dr. Jones has also provided support, education and advocacy to the student Veterans as part of the Veterans Advisory Council. She serves as a visible representative of the Counseling Center so that student Veterans are aware of services provided. She also helps educate colleagues with professional development training: Transition from Service to Classroom: Helping Student Veterans Succeed at Texas State. The Veterans Alliance of Texas State presented her with the "Above & Beyond" staff award. Above and beyond is how Hillary approaches all of her professional responsibilities.
Congratulations, Hillary on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the September 2019 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Tricia Boucher, Librarian, University Libraries, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2019.
As the only User Experience (UX) Librarian currently on staff at Alkek Library, Tricia occupies a unique and very challenging role that encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. In addition to teaching, providing research consultations, presenting at conferences, publishing in academic journals, and participating in a substantial amount of committee work, she routinely assesses the user experience of library programming, services, technology, and physical and digital spaces.
Anyone who has worked with Tricia knows that she is passionate about making libraries work for people. Given her ongoing commitment to discovering how Alkek can best meet the diverse needs of our users, it comes as no surprise that Tricia recently completed her IRB training in order to expand our data collection possibilities, published an article on library instruction in College & Research Libraries as a contribution to her peers in the field, and again chaired the Library Student Advisory Board, a group that she co-founded and that continues to provide invaluable information about the student experience.
By understanding the needs of these very diverse stakeholders, Tricia has helped drive both major and minor projects. She understands the logistics of how the library operates, how all the pieces move, where they could go, who should be consulted, and what has the greatest potential to positively affect our community. This ability requires an incredible amount of attention to detail that greatly enhances the way people engage with library spaces, materials, services and staff.
Tricia has leveraged her user experience skills and knowledge to help the library transition into the next phase of development. She is both a strong advocate for traditional library values and a champion of data-driven change.
Tricia has been a major contributor in design meetings for the Alkek Phase I renovation, and by utilizing her deep understanding of contemporary academic libraries and her architectural background, she has been able to positively impact many aspects of the project.
Congratulations, Tricia on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the October 2019 Employee of the Month!
Mr. Jacob Sloan, Student Conduct Officer-SDS II, Dean of Students Office, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for November 2019.
Jacob (Jake) supports his area in providing a safe learning environment through the management of the university discipline process. He assists with a variety of aspects within Student Conduct including, but not limited to, processing referrals to Student Conduct from faculty, staff and students; investigating and adjudicating students for alleged violations of the Code of Student Conduct or university policy; advising and referring students to the appropriate offices and personnel; assisting with developing and implementing training for the Student Conduct Hearing Board and assisting with managing the technology needs for Student Conduct. Through his position, he interacts with faculty, staff, and students on campus.
In addition to adjudicating students, Jake assists in managing The technology needs for the Student Conduct area. He has assisted in streamlining the training and implementation of the new conduct case management software, Maxient. He has taken on the tasks of learning the program, understanding how the software can be customized for the different stakeholders, and training the different areas/individuals on how to use the program.
Jake is an enthusiastic team player in both the Dean of Students Office and the university community. He has a very strong work ethic as evidenced in his dependability, consistent and high-quality work, and willingness to go the extra mile for the office, division and university. Jake has been commended by his colleagues internally as well as across campus for his assistance during the transition to Maxient.
Jake represents the university well when he interacts with faculty, staff, students, parents and attorneys. Investigator T.L. Palmer of UPD mentioned that “…Jake is a huge asset to the working relationship between the University Police Department and handling issues with students at Texas State University who are going through the disciplinary process…” Rusti Wade, Senior Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Provost and VPAA stated, “…His willingness to serve is evident in his actions and demeanor. He has always gone above and beyond…He has such a positive attitude and has been an invaluable resource to our office...”
Jake’s dedication to service has earned him the respect of his peers and the students at our institution.
Congratulations, Jake on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the November 2019 Employee of the Month!
Mr. Wendell Harris, Grounds Maintenance Worker, Transportation Services, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for December 2019.
Due to the proximity of Jowers Center to both Sewell Park and the San Marcos City Park, community members use the faculty/staff lot (R14) to park their vehicles while enjoying the area, particularly during the warm weather months. There are no dumpsters in that lot, so they frequently leave their trash strewn about the parking lot. If you arrive early in the morning, you will be welcomed to the sight of a trashed-out lot full of empty innertube boxes, beer bottles, and general trash. However, by 8:00 a.m. each morning, Wendell Harris has the area spotless, all while welcoming the Health and Human Performance faculty and staff with a warm smile and a kind word. Wendell has a work ethic and a pride in himself that is recognized and respected throughout departments and the university. His job may be difficult and thankless, but he certainly deserves credit for the extraordinary role that he plays in the successful daily operations.
Few people may arrive early enough to notice and appreciate Wendell’s efforts. One might also assume that a person having to do these types of thankless tasks might not be in the best of moods, but that is what makes Wendell so extraordinary. He never fails to greet you with anything other than genuine kindness, a hearty laugh, and an infectious smile.
Wendell also works at various events and functions across campus. He provides outstanding customer service to customers and guests during commencement and football games. He always conducts himself with professionalism, customer service focus and doing the best job possible. Wendell is responsible for keeping the grounds and guest areas clean of debris and trash. He always conducts himself with pride and detail to his job, he always has a smile and a wave to whoever he meets. Wendell makes sure all guests have a positive experience at these events. He expedites the removal of trash and debris that overflows and even when there are reports of bees at the trash cans.
If there were more people with the attitude and work ethic of Wendell Harris, the university and community would be an even better place to live and work.
Congratulations, Wendell on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the December 2019 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Lynn Fortney, Library Assistant II, University Libraries, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for January 2020.
Lynn is responsible for the cataloging and classification of monographic library materials with the goal of providing library patrons with access to these materials. Multiple formats are cataloged including books, compact discs, DVDs, kits and other formats. She also performs authority control for database functionality.
The Cataloging & Metadata Services (CMS) Department accomplished many goals last year, ultimately processing over 1.1 million items. While many of those projects were serials, most of the monograph projects would never have been accomplished without Lynn Fortney. Not only has she cataloged thousands of titles in one year (almost 5,000), she also serves on many committees as well as contributing to the library profession.
Lynn is highly enthusiastic about serving on committees. She is creative, inventive, and periodically has taken over leadership of the committees when necessary. She is the Co-Chair of the Game Night Committee. Often, she has had to lead this Committee since her co-chair is frequently unavailable due to other obligations. Lynn lives in Austin but does not mind staying late each month to host the Alkek Game Night. This means she is often at work for thirteen or more hours on those days.
Lynn is also a member of the Alkek Literary Society which hosts the Student Book Club meetings. She will stay late on book club days to help run the meetings. She is inventive about new ways to encourage student attendance besides just assigning books to read.
Since Lynn began working here, she has helped host the annual Holiday Party. Her favorite activity to participate in running the Pub Trivia game. This even inspired her to host a trivia contest for Alkek Game Night.
One of the best things about Lynn is that when a special project turns up, she is the perfect person to take over the project. She is ambitious, efficient, and loves to get things completed. This list compiles just a few of the projects she has worked on and the amount of work she got done:
• Cataloging: Thanks to Lynn’s work, the department rarely has a backlog of materials waiting to be processed. Lynn cataloged over 4,500 monographic titles last year. These were cataloged title by title.
• Special Collections General: Lynn has done most of the recataloging of the Special Collections General collection. Many of these records were very old and thus had minimal data since they adhered to the old catalog card-file rules. Lynn was thorough, efficient, and added table of contents, summaries, added entries, and enhanced the provenance documentation when needed regardless of what language the material was in.
• Juvenile Reclassification Project: The Juvenile collection is currently undergoing reclassification to bring authors together under a single assigned call number instead of having them spread out through the collection by subject. Lynn has compiled the works of over 200 authors so that their materials can be browsed easily on the shelves.
• Veterans Book Project: This is an example of Lynn’s willingness to take over unique projects, making content available to patrons and helping move new materials out the door. The Veterans Book Project was a collection of art photography/autobiographical books about individual soldiers serving in conflict.
• Media Cataloging: Lynn catalogs most of the media materials including DVDs, CD-ROMs and compact discs.
• E-Book Cataloging: Lynn catalogs several of the time consuming title by title e-book collections. This helps reduce the enormous workload our E-Resources Cataloger contends with.
• Reinstates: Due to an inventory project, numerous titles were found not in file and Lynn reinstated a large number of items to bring them back into our collection.
• Recataloging Projects: Older monographs needs to be reviewed by record before sending to the Archives and Research Center. Lynn has done a large chunk of the recataloging work for this project.
Lynn is a superb person to work with and the department owes her much. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm makes her an absolute joy to collaborate with. She is smart, efficient, and gets a lot done. This past year she has contributed so much to the department, and subsequently the library, to achieve our goals. She is professional and shows a lot of initiative and leadership skills. Great job Lynn!
Congratulations, Lynn on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the January 2020 Employee of the Month!
Mr. Charlie Salas, Associate Director, LBJ Student Center (LBJSC), was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for February 2020.
Charlie is the lead liaison in the Student Center to work with the expansion and renovation taking place in the Student Center. He also oversees the conference services and operations areas in the department. In addition, he is the liaison to the contract operations in the Student Center (lease operations, auxiliary services) and tenant relations to other departments housed in the building.
Throughout this current expansion and renovation project, Charlie has kept the office staff in every area aware of impact of work, what the milestones have been and how to best navigate the construction. He consistently communicates when something is happening that will affect the functions of other work happening in the building. He is consistent with his communication with the contractors to let them know of programs and needs we may have as well as coordinating meetings and information sharing as needed.
The past few months Charlie has had to navigate daily and hourly construction issues to ensure the safe, clean, and welcoming student environment that the LBJSC expects for its users. From 4:00 a.m. crane installs on a Sunday, to midnight ballroom events; Charlie has shown dedication and commitment to the growth and expansion of the LBJSC and Texas State.
In addition to the large amount of time spent with the expansion, including many early mornings, Charlie and his team has implemented a new reservation software program and accompanying policies and procedures for the Student Center. With hundreds of requests each semester and a full set of reservations daily in the building, the new software has been successfully implemented.
Charlie is willing to help in any way necessary to make sure everyone is successful in their programs and services. He serves outside the department on a number of committees outside the department that allow collaboration and networking with the Student Center. He is an outstanding colleague, always professional, and a supporter of student success.
Congratulations, Charlie on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the February 2020 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Andrea Hilkovitz, Research Coordinator, The Graduate College, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for March 2020.
Since 2016, Andrea has continuously expanded and improved services for the Graduate College.
She created an extensive website with information regarding the graduate education funding landscape, the proposal writing process, and the description of services. She held the first workshops on external funding opportunities, helped students submit applications, and developed an appointment booking process as well as communications about these services in a weekly newsletter. She created all this in record time and with very little direction and supervision.
Andrea has phenomenal organizational skills which have allowed her to single-handedly and without little supervision create an external fellowship office within the graduate college. She has a deep and unwavering commitment to supporting students, often going far beyond the call of duty in helping submit external funding applications. And she has had tremendous impact on the funding students have received. This in turn has positively impacted the recruiting and retention efforts of outstanding students and has increased the reputation of Texas State with external funders.
The success and the impact of Andrea’s work is considerable. Last year alone, her efforts in helping students prepare grant and external scholarship applications have resulted in students being awarded over $650,000; in the three years that she has offered her support, the total award amount was $1.5 million in June and is now approaching $2 million. Andrea’s tireless efforts have nearly doubled the funding available to graduate students.
Andrea establishes connections with agencies funding graduate study and graduate student research and participates in professional development opportunities in the area of funding systems both internal and external (federal, state, contracts, grants).
Andrea has been instrumental in encouraging research coordinators on campus to collaborate in order to improve services on campus. She has been similarly active in the National Association of Fellowship Advisors, an organization which has traditionally served fellowship advisors working with undergraduate students.
With her professionalism and warm hospitality with which she greets visitors, Andrea is also simultaneously putting Texas State graduate students on the radar of the most prestigious schools and furthering the reputation of Texas State at the national level.
Congratulations, Andrea on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the March 2020 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Priscilla Hernandez, Procurement Specialist, University Libraries, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for April 2020.
Priscilla is the Procurement Specialist for the Alkek Library. There are multiple departments which have varied needs and approximately 100 staff members. Priscilla researches options, gets pricing, sets up vendors, tracks purchases, reconciles spending, processes vendor payments, and coordinates all procurement documents. She is always willing to get multiple quotes and offer excellent alternative suggestions when an item isn’t available or out of price range.
As a result of the Alkek Library renovation, Priscilla has had to procure all items for the post-renovation library. This not only included new furniture for the 1st, 3rd, and 4th floors, but also the hundreds of pieces of specialized equipment needed to make the new technology centers in the Alkek Library a success.
Priscilla does more than represent the quality desired by all employees at Texas State University, she embodies it. From the minute Priscilla hits the door each morning she makes it a point to greet her team and check in with her supervisor to give a rundown of what her day is going to look like and how she might need assistance. Every purchase she makes is carefully thought out ensuring that she is not only meeting the policies and procedures set forth by the University, but that she is meeting the need of the requestor/customer. She has developed a great rapport with Procurement, Information Security, Materials Management, Informational Technology Business Office, and numerous other departments across campus. Time and time again, these departments rave about the customer service and quick response time that Administrative Services has, and this is largely due to Priscilla’s tenacity for her job.
Priscilla has taken the time to develop solid working relationships with outside vendors. The relationships she has forged have proven to be vital especially during the Learning Commons equipment ordering process. Since this equipment is so specialized, Priscilla has had to jump through numerous hoops and hurdles just to get some of these items ordered. These “hurdles” have required additional information from the vendor above and beyond a normal vendor scope request. Most of the vendors have complied with little to no complaints, and some have even stepped up to help us out with providing additional documentation regarding sole-source or propriety equipment descriptions. These additional efforts from the vendors would not have been possible, if it wasn’t for the strong working relationship Priscilla has developed. Priscilla's patience and kindness have been incredibly important for building these strong working relationships.
Congratulations, Priscilla on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the April 2020 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Sara Boysen, Academic Advising Supervisor, College of Health Professions, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for May 2020.
Ms. Boysen has been a loyal employee of Texas State and the College of Health Professions (CHP) for 19 years. She began her employment as an Administrative Assistant II in 2001 while she was still an undergraduate Texas State student. Sara’s intelligence, hard work and dedication to the university and its students has allowed her to advance her career to Supervisor of the Academic Advising Center, supervising 6 Academic Advisors and an Administrative Assistant and still finds time to assist individual departments when they have emergencies or just need 1:1 guidance with curriculum issues or when creating new program proposals. In addition, she completed her Master's in Health Information Management and on occasion, teaches as a Per Course Lecturer for the Dept. of Health Information Management.
In her role as Supervisor of the Academic Advising Center, Sara plays a critical role in representing the college and university during Bobcat Days, recruitment events at other campuses, career fairs, and many other events. She ensures she is up to date on all information relevant to the programs in the college and that the college advisors are well informed. The CHP Academic Advising Center is viewed as knowledgeable, professional and helpful, and this reputation could not have been established and maintained without her leadership.
Sara is quick to step in when there's a job that needs to be done, even when it's outside of her job responsibilities. This was recently observed when the Admissions Coordinator for the St. David's School of Nursing resigned during nursing's critical application admission review time. Sara made it her priority to assist the school of nursing, driving to the Round Rock Campus and assisting with the admissions review. She re-arranged her schedule to accommodate the school of nursing, making several trips to the Round Rock Campus to compute GPA scores for all 200 applicants and assist with the review of the applications.
Because of Sara’s commitment to excellence, established deadlines were met and applicants to the school of nursing received their letters of acceptance without delay. Students often apply to more than one school and a delay in the review of applications could have had a very negative affect on the yield of students who agreed to come to Texas State.
Congratulations, Sara on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the May 2020 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Kelsie Crumpton, Administrative Assistant III, Materials Science, Engineering and Commercialization (MSEC), was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for June 2020.
Kelsie is the Administrative Assistant III for MSEC Program. In addition to the day-to-day office duties, she is responsible for the administrative tasks in the MSEC Doctoral Program which include admissions, schedule of classes, hiring and monitoring dissertation progress. MSEC is a diverse, multi-discipline program which requires her to work with other department's faculty and staff. She does so graciously, putting our students' interests first. About a year ago we received an NSF I-Corps grant which provides resources for teams who are working on business concepts in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Kelsie created internal policies and procedures to ensure resources are being used properly.
Kelsie also provides administrative support for the Shared Research Operations Office (SRO). She understands the importance of research within our university and works closely with our lab technicians to purchase the supplies and equipment needed to keep our Research Service Centers running. Her work is accurate and always done in a timely manner which is crucial when project deadlines are approaching. This past summer the Physics department was short-staffed and one of their professors needed help placing orders for multiple research projects. Kelsie took over purchases without hesitation and was asked to serve as a committee member when they were ready to hire a new admin.
In particular, Kelsie arranges all the travel for speakers who come from out of town or out of state, she organizes their biography and abstract for their talk, she prepares a weekly flyer and distributes it to all MSEC students and faculty, she orders guest parking permits or provides a validated garage parking ticket, she arranges for coffee, water and snacks during their talk, she ensures that their presentations are loaded onto the room’s computer and projector system, and she processes all reimbursements for lunch with the speakers.
Kelsie does it all with a positive attitude and professionalism that reflects incredibly well on the University and its academic and research programs.
Congratulations, Kelsie on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the June 2020 Employee of the Month!
Ms. Camrie Pipper, Administrative Assistant III, Philosophy was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for July 2020.
Camrie is excellent at her job. She is knowledgeable, professional, courteous and efficient. She takes her responsibility to her colleagues and to students very seriously. She ensures that faculty knows the best practices for student privacy and gives gentle reminders of these policies. Her efficiency is demonstrated on a daily basis in the speed with which she provides detailed responses to emails.
Camrie’s help in coordinating the department’s Philosophy Dialogue Series has been indispensable. This series has grown to include between sixty and seventy events each semester. Each semester philosophy faculty, majors and graduate students from the Master of Arts in Applied Philosophy and Ethics program choose a set of eight weekly themes for an open discussion forum on the basis of general interest, intellectual and moral import, and contemporary relevance. It is noteworthy that the series, though organized and sponsored by the Texas State Department of Philosophy. Faculty and student presenters come from all eight colleges on campus as well as from the philosophy program. Nationally recognized scholars are often invited to participate in the series. Panel discussions bring together scholars from different fields and contribute further to crossing the boundaries of disciplines. In addition to extensive interdisciplinary participation, the series also includes community outreach events at the San Marcos Public Library and the LBJ Museum in downtown San Marcos.
In the past few years the series has evolved to a level of complexity such that it simply would never happen each semester without Camrie’s superb assistance with the calendar, as well as with promotion, publicity, and handling of the financial aspects. It involves an incredible amount of work and Camrie’s efforts go above and beyond.
Recently when the department was short staffed, Camrie handled the travel responsibilities as well as her standard responsibilities with no discernible decline in the speed and quality of her work. Camrie supports, looks out for, and stands up for our student workers. She takes time out of her own personal schedule to do things for others. Much of the work Camrie does goes unnoticed, but she does her job cheerfully.
Congratulations, Camrie on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the July 2020 Employee of the Month!
Lindy Warner, Graduate Programs Specialist, Sociology was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for August 2020.
As the Sociology Graduate Programs Specialist, Lindy has gone above and beyond with the recruitment and retention of the Sociology students for the graduate programs. Lindy joined the Sociology Department with a MA in Sociology and with a background as a Career Advisor in Career Services. She has used her knowledge and proficiencies in research, writing, marketing strategies, diversity, and inclusion to develop, create, and organize recruitment events, career events, informal events for graduate students and faculty.
Lindy has worked closely to ensure that students' and alumni accomplishments, accolades, jobs, and other successes are highlighted on Facebook, Instagram, and webpages. She also used her proficiencies with the software, In Design to create a better department newsletter.
Lindy is responsible for most of the record-keeping related to the Sociology graduate students. There are four graduate programs, and on average, over 100 students total enroll in these programs. She has created sophisticated, clear, and organized Excel spreadsheets so that student data is current.
The department offers four graduate programs: MS in Applied Sociology, MA in Sociology, MS in Dementia and Aging Studies, and MS/MA in Sustainability Studies. Information collected from students during exit interviews, often mention Lindy Warner as one reason why they were successful. In fact, the students mention her as a strength of their graduate school experience and being a supportive resource.
Lindy is compassionate, knowledgeable, confident and humble, independent or collaborative as needed, organized, professional, and mature. It is primarily because of Lindy's dedication and commitment to her work, the Sociology department, and to the students at Texas State.
Congratulations, Lindy on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the August 2020 Employee of the Month!
Skyller Walkes, Associate Director, Office of Disability Services was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for September 2017.
The mission of the Office of Disability Services is to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to all university programs and activities by providing services such as academic accommodations, promoting self-advocacy and providing information and referral to appropriate resources. During her 3 years with the university, Skyller has worked above and beyond in not only organizing events to bring awareness to the campus community, but has been an integral part in developing the student population at Texas State in living out the university’s value on diversity and student engagement. A few of Skyller’s job responsibilities include supervision of the assistant director, case workers, specialists, and coordinators within the office; overseeing disability awareness programs on campus that include autism, mental health, and HIV/AIDS; and providing workshops and events that directly discuss topics of intersectionality and inclusion for faculty, staff, and students. Her work has also included hosting guest speakers at the university, advising multiple organizations on campus, and truly portraying what it means to be an advocate of students.
Quality is defined as a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone. Skyller is a reflection of this definition. One of the most distinct yet sometimes difficult attributes of a student affairs professional is being present for students alone with practicing self-care. Within the 6 student organizations that Skyller currently supervises, she makes sure to follow through on what she teaches students in regards to self-care. Skyller was the lead on, “Panel Discussion on the Perceptions of Whiteness” which gave faculty and staff in different departments on campus the opportunity to discuss perceptions of White identify and the responsibility surrounding White privilege in the current sociopolitical climate. She understands the need for student affairs professionals to work closely with academic staff and has also lead the efforts of two amazing speakers coming to Texas State. The historical icon, Dr. Angela Davis and transgender advocate and world known author, Janet Mock. These two individuals, were able to share amazing information with our student body and showcased the passion Skyller has for educating students outside the classroom. She is an orchestrator and committee member on Equality University, Women of Color Forum, and the Coalition of Black Faculty and Staff. She teaches US1100 and serves as a mentor to various students. She understands the meaning of hard work and her goals of building Texas State this semester are apparent with the visits and programs she has put on this Spring semester. Skyller is also currently pursuing her Doctorate degree at Texas State and will soon join the alumnus status.
Skyller’s quality is never ending. She lives in the motto of learning and is constantly challenging herself and students to continue to learn. She has gained so much from her time here but most of all she gives back as much as she receives.
Congratulations, Skyller, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the September 2017 Employee of the Month!
Deborah Howell, Administrative Assistant III, Department of Sociology was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2017.
Deborah (Deb) Howell has worked as an Administrative Assistant III in the Department of Sociology since 2014 and she is an exceptional employee. Deb has an incredible work ethic, she is dedicated to the goals and mission of the department and university, and she is extremely knowledgeable of the departmental and university policies and procedures. If she does not know the answer to a question, she will find out the answer. She performs all of her duties at an extremely high level and she is always looking for ways to improve, to grow, and to challenge herself. For example, she was recently (2016) elected to the University’s Staff Council in which she serves as the Treasurer. Although serving on the Staff Council as Treasurer is time consuming, Deb relishes the opportunity to work with colleagues across the campus to improve the university. She also attends multiple professional development programs every semester to improve her knowledge of various work-related issues, programs, and systems on campus.
To say that Deb is a dedicated employee of the department is an understatement. Deb is always willing to do to whatever is needed to complete work, to meet deadlines, and to make the department operate as smoothly as possible. Although there are many examples to illustrate her dedication to the department of Sociology, one would be arranging for presidential cabinet meetings scheduled in one of the departmental conference rooms. The meeting begins promptly at 8am. Deb arranged for everything to be clean, for the departmental TSP to be here early (before 8am to help organize the technology in the room), and prepared the room based upon all the instructions she received from the President’s office. In addition to all of this, when the President’s office requested that someone be available at 6:30am to provide early access to several rooms on our floor, Deb did not hesitate. She volunteered to arrive early and to open all the doors.
Deb maintains high standards and holds herself accountable to these standards. In this regard, she is exceptional and it reflects the seriousness with which she takes her job. Her duties comprise a wide-ranging set of tasks that include event management, office management, all kinds of paperwork (PCRs, travel applications) and budget reconciliation. One of the reasons that Deb is so good at her job is that she prepares with precision. For example, she will prepare have PCRs ready to send before it is time to release them. Her time management skills and organizational acumen are impressive.
Deb is exceptional administrator. She is dependable, organized, ethical, professional and mature. Deb is also thoughtful co-worker. She is kind, generous, pleasant, friendly, respectful, and is always thinking about ways to improve morale. She is mindful of those around her and she treats them with kindness, respect, and decency.
Congratulations, Deb, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the October 2017 Employee of the Month!
Julie Carroll, Administrative Assistant III, School of Health Administration was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for November 2017.
Julie Carroll has provided Texas State with 34 years of service and has worked with 9 different Program Chairs. Texas State has implemented many changes over the years such as SAP, Banner, DARS and the Performance Management System. Julie has always learned these new processes quickly and many of her colleagues turn to her when they need assistance. Her ability to assist the School of Health Administration with her vast institutional knowledge is remarkable and she is a pleasure to work with.
Julie is very intelligent, dependable, articulate and dedicated. It is rare that you don’t see Julie in her office ready to help assist faculty, staff and students. Julie’s extensive knowledge and respect for our students is evident in all her dealings. Her professional advice and support of students is an amazing boost to their confidence and career planning. Her support of faculty ensures they can achieve success.
Julie’s passion is students and their well-being. Her ability to guide them through the curriculum and scheduling to enable informed decisions for degree planning is legendary. The students know that she is their advocate and the source for accurate and timely information. If she does not know the answer, she will seek it out. Students trust her because she is trustworthy in all her interactions with them.
Julie’s proactive support to both faculty and students improves their ability to pursue short-term and long-term research activities and contributes to regional and national professional knowledge and literature. Her observations and lessons garnered over the years, makes her the go-to person.
Julie has been described as a critical contributor to the success of the School of Health Administration’s mission, the College of Health Profession’s goals and the University’s strategic direction. She continually maintains her professionalism throughout the challenges of each semester and has dedicated many years to the success of students, faculty and staff at Texas State.
Congratulations, Julie, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the November 2017 Employee of the Month!
Lara Seaton, Nursing Program Services Coordinator, St. David’s School of Nursing was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for December 2017.
Lara has been with the School of Nursing (SON) since 2009 prior to the opening of the school.
Starting a new school within Texas State University is a daunting task; starting a new school on a campus that is over 60 miles away from the main campus brings new challenges in unchartered waters. Lara has embraced those challenges. She has networked with offices across Texas State to include IT, UPD, and the Registrar's Office to ensure faculty, staff, and students have technical, safety, and classroom necessities to be successful.
She has been the lead on many new processes and initiatives and has helped organize the department. Her professional demeanor, as well as her quick smile and laugh, are unique to her personality. Lara is able to maintain her composure in difficult situations and handles all issues with sensitivity and confidentiality. She assists with staff hiring and is the point person for all student evaluations of faculty and clinical sites in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, which is a massive undertaking each semester. Lara also makes sure the schedule of classes is submitted for the SON and works closely with the director to make sure the information is correct. Several iterations are needed each semester to accomplish this but she completes all assignments with a smile. Her "get it done" attitude is appreciated and motivational to many.
In addition to dealing with the schedule of classes and evaluations, Lara is the time keeper for the SON processing multiple requests for leave on a daily and weekly basis. She makes sure all the time is accurately accounted for and that the director is informed. Lara serves as the point person for the SON website and has written the newsletter for the School, which includes taking photos at events. Everyone has words of praise when speaking about Lara and she is beloved member of the SON team.
Professional, accommodating, organized, patient, and team player are words used by her work colleagues to describe Lara. One of her qualities, team player, has definitely been put to use during the last two years when she had to step into the roles of two staff with major tasks in the school. Lara assisted while replacements were found and ensured that day-to-day tasks were completed. Lara’s ability to assist in various positions embodies the definition of team player.
Congratulations, Lara, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the December 2017 Employee of the Month!
Cathy Parker, Registration Services Coordinator, Office of the University Registrar was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for January 2018.
Cathy has been a dedicated University Registrar employee and considered the “go-to” person in the office. She consistently goes above and beyond helping out other areas in the office when they are understaffed. On several occasions since last September when she saw the Student Records area was down to two people, she adjusted her plans for the day, jumped in and started answering phones, worked the incoming email, and provided lunch relief. No one asked her to help out, she just saw the need and started working.
Cathy does what it takes to get the job done and does not hesitate to put in overtime if needed. She has identified issues with processes and took steps to reach out to areas affected to assist them in what needed to be done on their end. Departmental administrative assistants across campus depend on Cathy for her expertise and even though she does not work in Student Records or Schedule of Classes, she goes out of her way to assist in those areas and answer their questions.
If anyone has a project in the office that needs assistance, Cathy is usually the first one to step up and say she will help out. Even though she knows a lot, she is willing to learn new processes whenever she can.
An example is her tireless efforts to evaluate and test Banner scripts so that advisors, students, chairs, deans, etc. receive accurate, timely information. Most people would just skim the surface of checking things; whereas, she delves deep into the data to make sure the end users are receiving accurate information. It is a tedious, manual process.
Cathy is dependable, friendly, helpful, hard-working and a team player. The student records and schedule of classes staff know that they can always depend on her to share her experience and insight when needed. Cathy is a true “teammate”.
Congratulations, Cathy, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the January 2018 Employee of the Month!
Dr. Jennifer Beck, Director, Retention Management and Planning was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for February 2018.
Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Beck currently serves as the Director of Retention Management and Planning and she is the epitome of what an exceptional employee is and should be. Being that the office’s primary goal is to assist with student retention, she is always searching for ways to reach a population that needs additional assistance. A good example of this is that she had the vision to pilot a session during New Student Orientation that is geared toward first-year commuter students. In order to improve the retention rate for this population, she felt that it was important that the students and their families felt like they were a part of the Bobcat Family from the very beginning even though the students do not live on campus. Through her tireless efforts and leadership, the office was able to implement numerous programs such as the Brilliant Bobcats Academic Success Series, Bobcat Bond Mentoring Program, Parent & Family Relations, Students Who Are Parents, PAWS Alert, Peer Leader Program, Welcome Tents and Student Appreciation Programs. These programs mentioned would not be as successful without her support and guidance.
If you were to consider the qualities that make up a good leader: honesty, integrity, dedication, commitment, positive attitude, empowering; these are words that describe Jen. Her trust in her staff allows them room to learn, to grow, and through this model, the staff are able to expand their knowledge, skill set and professional development. Jen is not only a good leader but she is a servant leader first. She always puts the interest of others first especially students.
Another quality she possesses is her ability to mentor students and staff alike. Several staff members are first time supervisors. Jen is willing to sit down and talk through issues with them on how to get the most out of staff while still supporting their needs and the needs of the office.
Jen has tremendous ability to build partnerships and foster relationships, not just within the division but across the university. She serves on numerous divisional and university-wide committees such as the Student Affairs Council, Enrollment Management, Orientation Planning Committee, Retention Council, Admission Standards Committee, Professional Development Advisory Council, and Financial Literacy Committee. She is sought out because of her dedication and willingness to be a team player.
Jen’s decision making is led by her primary focus on the students and what is best for them. She devotes a great deal of her time working to identify students that can be served better through retention efforts. With this in mind, she has used data to lead the way in identifying these subpopulations to serve. From former foster care youth to students who are parents to women in the sciences, Jen seeks out opportunities to engage students and provide resources and support to guide them to their path of success. She has worked to create and expand the Parent and Family Relations program continuing to grow and improve the events and services to parent and family members of Texas State students.
Jen is truly a good ambassador for the university and deserves to be recognized for her hard word, dedication, and commitment to Texas State and beyond.
Congratulations, Jen, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the February 2018 Employee of the Month!
Bobbie Brandenburg, HR Representative, Human Resources Department was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for March 2018.
Bobbie gives much time and energy to support the administrative staff of Texas State University. She provides outstanding customer service to her peers. She is very dedicated to the people she serves and she strives to make sure the hiring experience is handled properly.
Bobbie has excellent customer skills and she is so willing to go above and beyond to make sure that your customer experience goes smoothly and the job is done accurately to avoid delays. She has a wealth of knowledge that she graciously shares with all her peers which is extremely helpful to all those she serves. Bobbie has become a life-line in many cases when it comes to the HR portion of job duties. She knows the HR systems along with the rules and regulations and provides guidance to all who work with her. No matter her workload, she is never too busy to help. She never gives a standard answer. She practices listening to exactly what is being asked before providing an answer.
She has dedicated herself to helping Texas State employees with a gracious, positive attitude and a smile. Her skills and knowledge are an enormous asset to her endless hours of helping people, both professionally and personally.
Bobbie exemplifies excellent customer service and unique knowledge that combined form an incredible asset for Human Resources and the university as a whole. Her attitude, knowledge and expertise are critical for building strong relationships, and those relationships result in successes that would not otherwise be achieved.
She is a true professional and strives on ensuring everyone she serves fully understands what to do and how to do with relation to all aspects of the hiring process. From the old hiring system to the new one, she is extremely patient, knowledgeable, and always willing to assist when called upon.
She touches the lives of many people on this campus with all the help and support she gives the administrative personnel even though most of the time her efforts are done behind the scenes.
Bobbie is a dedicated employee that is selfless in her service to the university community. Texas State University is very fortunate to have such a valuable resource working in the HR department.
Congratulations, Bobbie, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the March 2018 Employee of the Month!
Anita “Annie” Garcia, Administrative Assistant II, Modern Languages Department was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for April 2018.
In August 2017, severe weather from Hurricane Harvey flooded 11 of the carpeted faculty offices in Modern Languages. Annie supervised the entire process of immediate evacuation of the rooms (which had to be completely emptied), relocation of faculty, disposal of much furniture and shelving, as well as floor, paint, and some ceiling replacement, and eventual reestablishment of faculty in the renovated offices, all while classes were in full swing.
During the ordeal, Annie came in came in early and stayed late every day for weeks. She organized and supervised the student office workers and lab attendants in packing up offices (including desk contents and shelf contents), as well as in in packing, labeling, moving, and storing of boxes and office furniture all around the building. Annie worked to coordinate room drying, carpet removal, wall repair/painting, and floor tile installation by physically monitoring the rooms under renovation (located on two different floors) once or twice every hour. She was on the phone and on email non-stop with the Director of Facilities Operations and with the Construction Contract Administrator assigned to our project and with the Director of Custodial Operations.
Annie then made multiple trips around campus and to the off-campus warehouse to locate bookcases to replace the many wall-shelf units ruined by water damage, according to the preferred dimensions, material, color, etc. of the displaced faculty. Finally, she coordinated and oversaw the reestablishment of all displaced faculty and their furniture, supplies and personal possessions into the renovated offices.
In terms of her "regular" responsibilities, Annie does an amazing job managing the schedule of classes and classroom requests for hundreds of sections, having sought extensive training in both Course Leaf and Astra. In addition, she is a gracious and conscientious "trouble-shooter" for the legions of faculty and students who come through the door each day with urgent problems and last-minute requests. Another of Annie's particular gifts is her impressive skill for hiring, training, and managing our student workers. She assures that they maintain a welcoming yet professional atmosphere in the office at all times.
Annie is always there to alleviate the pressure and stress that builds up during the semester as students try to get over their nerves, stage fright, and the very thought of performing in front of a packed house. Often, the people behind the scene, without whose help and assistance these projects would be that much more difficult, are rarely recognized. They are the silent helpers who take care of the unseen and unforeseen hurdles. Annie is one of those indispensable helpers, whose smile and prompt assistance are legendary. In all these years, she has never said once “I don’t think I can do this”; her response no matter the complexity of the task was always “no problem.”
It is truly evident to everyone that Annie truly cares about her co-workers, as well as the students and faculty at Texas State.
Congratulations, Annie, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the April 2018 Employee of the Month!
Sylvia Mobley, Senior Administrative Assistant, The Graduate College, was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for May 2018.
Sylvia provides support to the Dean, Associate Dean and Assistant Dean of The Graduate College. Some of her other duties include handling correspondence and special projects, assisting with orientation and other special activities, serving as continued trainer and back-up for review and processing of graduate student travel fund requests, purchasing all items for the operations of the office and one-time-event organizer for the Conference of the Association of Texas Graduate Schools
Sylvia regularly far exceeds the expectations of her job description and is a service provider in the truest and best sense. She also interacts with all of our internal and external stakeholders and displays the highest sense of professionalism and dedication to the institution.
Sylvia’s role is hard to describe because she is involved with a whole host of activities in The Graduate College. What is clear, however, is that it would be difficult to manage most of these activities in the same way without her involvement and attention to detail. The Graduate Colleges hosts a number of very large scale events round the year that attract hundreds of students such as the New Graduate Student Orientation, the International Research Conference for Graduate Students, and The Graduate and Professional School Fair.
An example is the International Research Conference for Graduate Students that Sylvia keeps the accounts for and processes everything that requires a payment. In this case, The Graduate College uses give-aways, provides bottled water branded with The Graduate College logo, has scholar bags with other items, and uses the LBJ Student Center conference facilities. Sylvia also coordinates placing publicity ads in the University Star, provides food to the participants and the list goes on. Although this conference, which has many moving parts, is a huge team effort, it is Sylvia who processes the payment and keeps the accounting for this event, which is co-sponsored by the deans of the academic colleges and other entities on campus. These tasks involve working with both internal and external entities and carrying out the tasks in a timely fashion. Sylvia does this by prioritizing her tasks and carrying them out systematically. Her method is to envision the entire event to make sure that no details are left out.
In September 2017, The Graduate College hosted the annual meeting of the Association of Texas Graduate Schools. About fifty graduate deans from various universities around Texas attended the event. Sylvia personally communicated with some of the deans to make sure that their special food and transportation needs were met. She regularly far exceeds the expectations of her job description and is a service provider in the truest and best sense.
Sylvia fully understands the goal of a project, does her homework to figure out how to
best accomplish each task in the goal, and implements that work in a way that makes implementation effective and efficient.
Congratulations, Sylvia, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the May 2018 Employee of the Month!
Aaron Noto, Construction Coordinator, Facilities Planning Design and Construction (FPDC), was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for June 2018.
During his time with the FPDC department, Aaron has demonstrated excellence in customer service and a willingness to learn and grow in his position. His demeanor towards others exemplifies the mission and standards of Texas State University. Recently, Aaron’s counterpart on the Health Professions Building project took a leave of absence and Aaron stepped up to manage the construction site, as well as, all administrative aspects of the project. This demonstrates his leadership skills and willingness to complete a project with the University's best interest in mind. He truly is a great asset to the FPDC team.
The process of constructing a building from literally the ground up can be a daunting endeavor. Over a two-year period there were many meetings with a variety of people such as administrators, architects, builders/contractors, plumbers, electricians, interior designers, and many others. Aaron worked closely with all these people, department chairs, faculty and staff of Communication Disorders, Physical Therapy, and Respiratory Care to ensure all their concerns and questions were addressed every step of the way.
Aaron was always available to answer questions or make adjustments to ensure all parties are happy. Close to completion, faculty decided that the selected and installed tile for a clinic area was not going to work because the pattern might make clinic patients a little dizzy. Aaron was able to get a different tile ordered for installation without missing a beat. He made it seem effortless.
Every time Aaron comes for a meeting, he brings new pictures and enthusiastically shares them as if he was sharing pictures of his children. In essence, he is the father of Willow Hall, having been there from day one when the ground was broken, managed all construction phases, and now can step back and be proud of what his hard work and dedication has accomplished, a beautiful and functional academic building, Willow Hall.
Congratulations, Aaron, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the June 2018 Employee of the Month!
Donya Villarreal, Senior Administrative Assistant, College of Education was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for July 2018.
Donya has been the Senior Administrative Assistant for the Dean’s office in the College of Education (COE) since September, 2015. In that time, she has refined multiple processes, improved communication with faculty, and fostered a sense of community with the admins in all COE departments. She is responsible for overseeing administrative processes for the COE, directly supervising two staff members, and indirectly supervising administrative work for three large departments and other entities such as the Office of Educator Preparation and the COE Research Office. She supports and manages the work of the Dean, two Associate Deans, and two Assistant Deans. Donya has an uncanny ability to anticipate questions, problem solve, and provide solutions.
Donya works with faculty, students, staff, and administrators across every department on campus. She provides leadership to the staff in the College of Education including Curriculum & Instruction, Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education, & School Psychology (CLAS), Health & Human Performance (HHP), Office of Educator Preparation (OEP), and Advising. Even though she may be overwhelmed by the amount of work she has to do, she never lets it show. Donya provides support for Department Chairs and COE faculty on a daily basis about a vast range of topics or concerns.
One of her greatest abilities is that she is willing to ask questions and seek answers when she is up against something that she does not yet know. As the senior administrative assistant for the Dean, she is continually faced with new challenges and yet she always gets everything done with a positive attitude.
Donya is one of the most helpful, optimistic, organized, and dedicated employees on this campus. Donya has set a high standard for professionalism for the rest of the staff and student workers, and she has continued to model accuracy, effectiveness, and efficiency. But it is her positive demeanor, helpful attitude, and ability to anticipate needs before they occur that makes our COE a wonderful place to work. She has tremendous responsibility for ensuring the work of the COE gets done and gets done well, and because of her work ethic and attitude, it happens.
Congratulations, Donya, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the July 2018 Employee of the Month!
Sharon Wilsford, Head Parking Services Officer, Transportation Services was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for August 2018.
Sharon has been a truly devoted employee of Texas State for over 20 years. As a Head Parking Services Officer, she plays a major role in the organization and running of Parking Services.
She supervises Parking Services Officers on the San Marcos campus and Parking Services Officers on the Round Rock campus. With multiple shifts of officers, Sharon often comes in early and leaves late, and she is always on call whenever an officer needs information or advice. She never hesitates to help in any situation, including going over and above to plan for and mitigate weather events such as flooding or ice.
During football season she coordinates parking and tailgating and assists with game day parking issues. She works every home game, working with both teams, police, and athletics to provide the best game day experience possible. Sharon’s dedication to all aspects of game day and her consistent drive to always exceed the basic requirements makes tailgating more successful and enjoyable for all Bobcats.
She is a true professional while assisting with customer complaints, utilizing every resource to investigate and resolve the complaint in a fair and thorough manner. Sharon is extremely reliable and adept at managing student outreach events and special events, including coordinating presidential event parking. Sharon has overseen over 220 events in the past year alone. This is a demanding job, requiring not only the management of complex logistics and a great amount of effort outside of normal business hours but also delicacy and the ability to collaborate with faculty and staff in departments across campus.
Sharon consistently exhibits professionalism and ensures that all details are considered and delivered. A few events that stand out are Tailgating, Commencement and Presidential Special Events. Sharon provides aid to individuals that have been injured, persons lost and persons requiring special assistance. Sharon has deescalated situations and has turned potentially upsetting situations to a positive experience. Sharon is always been dependable, efficient, patient and punctual. She loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around her.
Sharon is a great asset to the Transportation Services department, Finance and Support Services division and the university; she is always willing to lend a hand and go above and beyond. Sharon’s hard work and dedication help make Texas State the rising star of Texas.
Congratulations, Sharon, on your dedication and hard work, and being recognized as the August 2018 Employee of the Month!
John Sculley, Financial Aid Advisor, Financial Aid and Scholarships was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for September 2015.
John is responsible for ensuring the delivery of excellent customer service, advising students according to university, state and federal financial aid rules to include keeping abreast of all federal and state regulations. Always professional, polite, attentive and empathetic, John embodies excellent customer service in a fashion that a job description cannot adequately convey.
John takes customer service to the next level. He is wholly dedicated to helping students obtain their dream of college. He recognizes students come to the Financial Aid Office because they are concerned about how they will pay for that dream. John treats them all with respect. Quick to laugh and always positive, he sets an encouraging, helpful tone in the Financial Aid lobby that even the waiting customers can feel and have commented on. Customers that are assisted by John leave understanding what can be a difficult subject to comprehend because John has explained it to them in a simplified, respectful manner and given them options.
Because of his ability and skill with people, John will tirelessly work as an advocate for the student. He helps resolve issues and will follow up to find a solution. He is committed to each student and devises personalized solutions for each. Many students ask for John by name because “he is the only one who can help”. John is always professional, polite, attentive and empathetic.
Congratulations, John, on your customer service, professionalism and being recognized as the September 2015 Employee of the Month!
Melissa Hyatt, Associate Registrar, Office of the University Registrar was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for October 2015.
Melissa supervises the University’s Veterans Affairs department, a very important area that under her guidance has become one of the very few schools to go paperless. Melissa spearheaded this initiative, leading both on the necessary business process changes and the request and implementation of automated systems to support them. Registration and Grading also falls under her area of responsibility – another very busy area. Melissa is always alert for opportunities to improve and to streamline the work of her areas. Melissa also manages the Registrar’s office IT team, and their document imaging efforts. This is another area of very high activity – both in volume of documents processed. In addition she also manages the groups responsible for NCAA certification where she is driving the transition to a new software application that is expected to greatly reduce the groups workload, and improve the accuracy of NCAA-related data, and the degree audit application where she has overseen multiple upgrades, and has worked with advisors and University College, as well as IT, to champion adoption of new tools.
Melissa oversaw the implementation of the Bobcat Scheduler application, which has provided a far better registration experience for students; feedback from students was extremely positive. She also founded the Veterans Advisory Council when she recognized the need for a more collaborative effort to ensure the best possible service is provided to our veterans. The Council has been recognized by external groups and the State Auditors chose to use Texas State to create a benchmark. Melissa is contacted by other schools looking for advice on setting up their own equivalent. Melissa also founded and continues to chair the inter-departmental Security Team meetings; she has made use of this group to implement many enhancements to the process of requesting access to our enterprise applications. It’s important to note that despite her very heavy workload, long hours, and frequent contact with sometimes difficult members of the public, Melissa invariably remains cheerful and helpful, intent on providing the best possible service.
In addition to her already heavy responsibilities, Melissa has volunteered to serve on two additional committees. The first is the Student Information System Coordinating Council, which serves as the official information-disseminating and decision-making forum for matters related to our Student Information System environment. Melissa is a vital member of this group, both because of her wide knowledge of University business both in and outside her area of responsibility, and because of her ability and determination to look at the big picture and ensure that all aspects are taken into account. The other group is the new Data Governance Council, which has recently been created by UPPS as a Presidential Council tasked with ensuring the integrity of the University’s data. Melissa is a founding permanent member of the Council, and was involved in the drafting of the UPPS. Melissa is also heavily involved with her peers at other schools, and a regular presenter at professional conferences such as TACRAO, SACRAO and Texas Connection Consortium (TCC). She is widely known and respected within the Higher Education community.
Congratulations, Melissa, on your hard work, professionalism and being recognized as the October 2015 Employee of the Month!
Dr. Casey Smith, Scientific Instrumentation Technician, Department of Physics was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for November 2015.
Casey oversees the Mitte Cleanroom Analysis Research Service Center (ARSC), introducing and maintaining old and new equipment for broad usage by research teams for the College of Science and Engineering. He provides set up and maintenance of professional fabrication environments for interdisciplinary use. He loves helping, guiding, and training students, faculty, outside researchers, and staff on cleanroom usage and the ARSC equipment.
Casey has a “safety first” philosophy, extensively trains students and other users in training, and maintains safety protocols in these facilities. Casey goes “above and beyond” in providing access and training in these facilities without departmental boundaries. He is having a major impact on students through both research and through courses. He takes on any task that needs to be done, whether it is in his job description or not, and completes it with full competence. He is an outstanding role model for students.
Casey is always willing and eager to lend a hand and his efforts and work production are first-class and right the first time. He keeps the cleanroom operating efficiently and provides critical and timely assistance. Casey’s expertise with labs and support for both graduate and undergraduate students is important to the student’s education and future employment potential.
He always conducts himself with complete professionalism and a “can do” attitude. He works well with faculty, staff and is never too busy to mentor students.
Congratulations, Casey, on your dedication, professionalism and being recognized as the November 2015 Employee of the Month!
Jeremy Pena, Academic Programs Coordinator, International Studies was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for December 2015.
Jeremy provides administrative support to the Director and Associate Director with the overall leadership and daily management of the Center for International Studies including: supervision of staff, graduate assistants, and student employees; time administration, purchasing, departmental equipment and supply inventories, travel, and he serves as the Center's technology administrator. One of Jeremy’s most important responsibilities is to advise all undergraduate, graduate, post- baccalaureate, and non-degree seeking students, a job he does with great skill and enthusiasm.
Jeremy is a natural leader with vast experience in academic management, student advising, and program development. No matter what he puts his mind and hand to, the results are the same-clear thinking, reasonable solutions, sharp analysis, happy students, and success.
Jeremy is a true professional, extremely reliable, mature, and dedicated to his job and the reputation and success of the Center. In many ways he is the face of the Center as he is one of the first people students interact with, providing knowledgeable and attentive degree planning and ongoing advising for both undergraduates and graduate students. He deals with young freshman and returning mid-career adults with equal dexterity, and treats each of the wide array of students with a great deal of respect and attention that makes them feel important and valued.
Congratulations, Jeremy, on your dedication, professionalism and being recognized as the December 2015 Employee of the Month!
Adam Alonzo, Athletic Events Assistant, Department of Athletics was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for January 2016.
Adam goes out of his way to help everyone, sacrificing most of his personal time to assist with game day logistics for all sports. This includes basketball games, commencement, high school graduations, high school playoff games, and cheer competitions as well as the Texas State Ring Ceremony. He also provides game day coordination of Texas State football games.
Adam has been called the “go to guy” in Athletics because he knows the most about everything in Strahan Coliseum. He never says no and always finds time to get the job done. He is always on call and never hesitates to help in any situation. He works long hours and is always available to help no matter what time of day or night.
Adam is often the first one to arrive at work and the last one to leave, even on holidays. If there is a job to be done, Adam is the guy doing it. His job tends to be a catch-all with most of his work falling under other duties as assigned, but he always has a positive attitude and a smile on his face. Adam has tremendous Bobcat pride which is evident every day in the quality and quantity of the work he does.
Congratulations, Adam, on your hard work, dedication, and being recognized as the January 2016 Employee of the Month!
Jessica Schneider, Research Coordinator, College of Liberal Arts was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for February 2016.
Jessica has been a truly devoted employee of Texas State for many years, starting as a student worker and then as an exemplary administrative assistant and later as a budget assistant in two different units. She is currently Research Coordinator for the College of Liberal Arts. Her dedication to her work has been nothing short of remarkable. She goes "above and beyond" on a daily basis, serving numerous faculty in finding sources for external research funding, helping them develop grant proposals, assisting them with budgets, and guiding them through the complex process of securing and managing external funding.
Aside from her extraordinary support of faculty from nine departments, Jessica has also taken a leadership role in enhancing our overall research support operation in the College. She has mentored our Post-Award Coordinator and worked closely on a day-to-day basis with our Associate Dean for Research to build a true "team" that has been pro-active and service oriented in re-energizing grant funding activity in the college. Under her leadership, this team has played a critical role in the past two years in more than doubling our grant applications, and this effort is starting to pay off in increased awards/funding. In all these roles, she directly supports one of Texas State's top goals—moving toward National Research University Funding status.
One of Jessica's most remarkable talents is her ability to work with staff across campus in a friendly, collaborative way. Her job requires contact with staff in many campus offices. She works closely with the AVPRFR and OSP offices to provide comprehensive and coordinated research help for faculty, staff and graduate students who are research active. Her success in part to the good working relationships she has with staff colleagues from OSP and many other units. She is widely known for her helpfulness and willingness to give assistance whenever needed. This aspect of Jessica's work ethic says to me that she is truly a devoted and service-oriented supporter of Texas State University.
Congratulations, Jessica, on your hard work, dedication, and being recognized as the February 2016 Employee of the Month!
Shonte’ Gordon, Assistant Director, Purchasing was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for March 2016.
Shonte' is responsible for all of the e-Procurement (TSUS Marketplace) functions of the Purchasing department as well as all of the SAP Purchasing functions. Not only does she make sure that the TSUS Marketplace is up and running on a continual basis, she also works diligently with our vendors to ensure that Texas State receives the best pricing and service in accordance with their contract with Texas State. She and her group constantly analyze pricing and availability to make sure that the University utilizes its best strategic buying power. Shonte' leads all new start-ups for each store brought on to the Marketplace. She works with SciQuest all the way through the testing phase to make sure that everything is working perfectly before the store is introduced to the campus. Shonte' works tirelessly with the end-users answering numerous questions and conducts one-on-one training. She trains the staff and end-users on both SAP and the Marketplace. As one faculty says, "Shonte' saved me again." She always goes the extra mile in order to help the campus. She is exactly the kind of employee that most departments would be proud to have!
In addition to her many job duties, Shonte' also works with the other schools in the Texas State University System to ensure that the consortium created by Texas State offers the same level of service that we receive here on our campus. She has trained nearly all of the other purchasing offices on the Marketplace. All of this has been done by phone and her patience never falters. Most of the other schools have stated clearly that without Shonte's help, they would not be nearly as productive as they are today.
Shonte' started in Purchasing as an Administrative Assist II and was promoted to a Buyer because of her positive personality and "can-do" attitude. She learned as much as she could and took as many classes as she could. She is certified as a Certified Texas Purchaser (CTP) and Certified Texas Purchasing Manager (CTPM). When the position of Assistant Director was created it was not hard to see that she was a perfect contender for the position. She has excelled and never stops learning or trying to better herself. Shonte' will be graduating from Texas State on December 11, 2016. Not only is she a rising Star as an employee, she is a true BOBCAT! She has put in 40-50 hours a week at work, finished her internship program and is graduating with a 3. 25 grade point average. She also takes care of three young children. Shonte' works hard and leads by example. She is well respected among her peers at Texas State and throughout the System.
Congratulations, Shonte’, on your hard work, dedication, and being recognized as the March 2016 Employee of the Month!
Michelle Moritz, Associate Director, Human Resources was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for April 2016.
As the Associate Director of HR, Michelle oversees the administration of the Work Life programs, group insurance programs, retirement programs, the university leave and various personnel programs, the HR Master Data Center and maintains employee’s files.
An example of Michelle’s determination and dedication to following guidelines is for the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. She has been recognized as being the lead expert for the Texas State University System. Other universities are contacting Michelle for guidance and interpretation of the law. The ACA is a huge project and continues to require many hours of hard work to enforce it on the Texas State University campus.
It takes a lot of time and dedication to review and balance one’s schedule when you oversee so many programs and still be a great person to work with. Michelle supervises nine employees in Benefits and the Master Data Center. Her knowledge of and dedication to both areas of HR has enabled her staff to grow and expand their own level of understanding. She encourages her employees to seek training classes both on and off campus for their personal development.
Michelle also spends countless hours considering the affect the various programs will have on the campus users. At times, she is forced to make hard decisions regarding implementation policies and procedures. She always seeks an outcome that has the greatest benefit to the campus.
She spends countless hours reading through IRS and other federal laws that affect the programs she administers. As things change, she submits request for program changes. More often than not, she performs the testing herself. Michelle always wants to make sure things are working as they should. She does whatever it takes to “get the job done” and that includes working many extra hours. She not only “gets it done”, but she ensures that things are done right.
Congratulations, Michelle, on your hard work, dedication, and being recognized as the April 2016 Employee of the Month!
Kim May, Curriculum Coordinator, Curriculum Services was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for May 2016.
Kim plays a major part in the development of the University’s Curriculum, as well as production of the Catalog. Her responsibilities include acting as the central point of contact and subject matter expert for the curriculum development process. She provides help and guidance to the academic departments, ensures that all changes are implemented rapidly and accurately, while at the same time making sure that the appropriate approval process is always adhered to. This is a demanding job, requiring not just a great amount of hard work, but also tact and the ability to deal with faculty and staff in departments across campus. She is also a recognized source of information, often producing reports at the request of senior management and academic departments. Kim’s competence and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure a positive outcome always shines through; and she works very hard, often returning to the office outside working hours to stay on top of her heavy workload.
Kim’s competence and work ethic is very apparent in her work. She handles a very large volume of requests and forms related to the Curriculum process, consistently tracking every one through the stages of the process and intervening where necessary to keep them on track. She also plays a major role in the organization and running of the associated meetings, particularly of the University Curriculum Committee. Quality of work is extremely important in Kim's area of responsibility, as among her duties is entering a massive amount of information related to new courses and course changes into the Banner Student Information System. Any errors in this process would be publicly visible in the catalog, and the painstaking manner with which Kim double-checks her work and ensures accuracy, despite the magnitude of the task, is demonstrated by the absence of problems in the catalog. Kim’s cheerful and friendly nature; her unfailingly positive attitude not only makes her a pleasure to work with, but also is a significant factor in her successful efforts to maintain great relationships with people across campus despite her role in enforcing a complex and sometimes frustrating process. Her calm and sunny response to any crisis or perceived problem ensures she always provides excellent service to the departments she supports.
On top of her normal duties Kim has also played a leading role in the implementation of the new electronic Catalog application. In this role she has shown great team spirit and dedication not only to getting the project completed on schedule, but getting it done right. She worked with IT and with the vendor to ensure the end result both contained the most accurate data possible and was displayed to the best advantage; and coordinated with several other departments on campus to select configuration choices that would make the new Catalog work for all stakeholders. She took a lead role in testing the results at each stage of the project. Kim has an eye for the big picture, not only focusing just on the matters immediately at hand but also wanting to make sure that every decision was looked at in a broader context. Her willingness to step outside her area and help IT understand the complexities of the data involved was a great help and contributed significantly to the smooth implementation of integration between the new Catalog and the Banner Student Information System.
Congratulations, Kim, on your hard work, dedication, and being recognized as the May 2016 Employee of the Month!
Robert Styers, Box Office Manager, College of Fine Arts and Communication was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for June 2016.
Robert is highly dedicated to his work, serving the public, the students and faculty who do their work in the Performing Arts Center. His hours are unusual, working many evenings a semester to make sure the ticketing and ushering of many events work smoothly. He is also ambitious and creative in promoting all the performing arts events. He is knowledgeable and skillful with database systems and a highly effective communicator.
Robert's job is to sell tickets and manage operations for the Performing Arts Center. It's a job that takes a very good head for figures and a very sensitive touch with human beings. Robert has both. Although marketing is not his primary function, Robert is always on the alert for ways to increase sales. This might mean a mid-season change in our approach to wooing season ticket holders or an end-of-the-run promotion to bring in additional patrons. Two of the last theatre productions have run at 99+% capacity - largely because of Robert's untiring efforts. He is also a miracle-worker when it comes to last minute emergencies.
Robert has been integral to organizing the marketing, sales, distribution, and reporting for all of the Dance Division concerts and University Performing Arts events since his arrival at Texas State. He spearheaded the on-line ticketing system (www.txstatepresents.com), and is the point person for all Fine Arts events within the College of Fine Arts and Communication. He is the man “behind the scenes” anticipating and ensuring all box office needs are met, handling delicate situations, and always making our patrons feel special. Each event requires hours of advance work and correspondence in order to “go-live”. Robert never backs down from taking the time necessary to do his job to perfection. Additionally, he spends countless nights and weekends handling the box office before, during, and after each production (many times juggling two or three events in multiple locations simultaneously).
Robert always performs his duties with professionalism, cheerfulness, and grace. He exceeds expectations to ensure success and to maintain harmony among various programs, events, and individuals with whom he is in contact. He is passionate and devoted to his job, the arts, our students and faculty and Texas State, and most importantly, our patrons. Robert wears his many hats with ease, and is genuinely supportive and enthusiastic of all events. He is a friendly, welcoming and effective public face for the University.
Congratulations, Robert, on your hard work, professionalism, and being recognized as the June 2016 Employee of the Month!
Stacey Rodriguez, Executive Assistant, Office of the Provost was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for July 2016.
Stacey handles many things for the university on a daily basis. This includes Provost's calendar, supervision of clerical staff, President's Cabinet items, coordination with President's Office, projects and assignments for the Provost from President’s Cabinet, Council of Academic Deans, University Leadership Assembly, Administrative oversight of staff functions, draft correspondence, policies and reports.
Stacey works with faculty, staff, students and even outside organizations. She always takes the time to go above and beyond her normal responsibilities. Stacey follows up on any work between offices to make sure that they have what they need and that everything is taken care of. Stacey is the first to offer assistance even if the situation does not involve her or her office. She truly is a team player when it comes to this university being the “team.” Her level of internal customer service is above and beyond any measuring tool.
Stacey is always helpful and professional in all interactions either by phone or by email. She represents the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs well by her interactions with other offices. Stacey pleasantly answers any question in a knowledgeable manner and is valuable employee who goes above and beyond for the sake of kindness, productivity, and this university.
Congratulations, Stacey, on your diligence, professionalism, and being recognized as the July 2016 Employee of the Month!
Patricia Amende, Accountant I, Mathworks was selected as the Texas State Employee of the Month for August 2016.
Patricia is conscientious, talented, hard-working, and dedicated. She contributes to making everything better in Mathworks. Patricia is very professional in managing the more than 15 Mathworks accounts. She not only balances the books, but she also works with the Executive Director to look carefully at expenditures and ensure that their is always have enough resources to do projects. Her help in budget forecasting is invaluable in planning for the programs and managing expenses. Patricia also plans weekly meetings and helps supervise student workers on numerous projects including curriculum development and setting up summer programs for students and teachers. Her experience in teaching and working with people is the reason that Mathworks has been able to attract and keep such a great group of student workers.
Patricia sets the tone for the entire office and is 110% dedicated, trustworthy, and honest. She coordinates 200+ person summer math camps, and coordinates all administrative functions for the office that impacts more than 300 students, 30 undergraduates, 10 teachers, and numerous graduate students and faculty every year.
Patricia is the face of Mathworks for the outside world. She has gone to job fairs, made presentations about Mathworks to students and parents, and trained student workers on how to set a tone of professionalism that shows the utmost integrity in everything we do. Patricia always goes above and beyond her formal job duties. For example, she co-developed and co-led a brand new professional development workshop that was held in January 2016. This workshop, titled "How to start, manage, and sustain summer camps," shared best practices and years of knowledge with multiple departments across campus that are either considering or already conducting summer programs that serve as critical outreach functions to the surrounding community.
Congratulations, Patricia, on your dedication, professionalism, and being recognized as the August 2016 Employee of the Month!