UTPA Readies for Annual Staff Awards
Posted: 03/24/2003
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The Annual Staff/Employee Awards Ceremony is set for April 3, with a systems analyst, a special events director, campus police officers and a grounds maintenance employee among the top honorees for 2002.

The prestigious President's Excellence Award will be going to Sylvia Aldape - the director of stewardship and special events for the Office of Development - for bringing local, regional or national recognition to the University.

"I'm surprised and truly honored. To get an award from the University where I work and also graduated from, is a special honor," Aldape said.

The Outstanding Suggestion Award will go to Mario Salinas of Student Financial Services for suggesting that applications for Financial Services and College Assistance Migrant Program be put online and in the process saving the University thousands of dollars in printing costs and manpower hours.

"He was able to streamline the scholarship process. Usually we get 1200 applicants a year but because of the new online access we had 2500 students fill out applications," Director of Financial Aid Michelle Alvarado said.

In a twist this year, the Distinguished Service Award is going to a group of campus police officers and athletics employees instead of one individual. Officer Roy Arce, Jr., Officer Daniel Longoria, Security Guard Joe Caldwell, Jr., Senior Guard Rolando Gonzalez, Head Men and Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Coach Douglas Ricky Vaughn and Assistant Men and Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Coach Douglas Molnar will be recognized for their response to the helicopter crash that occurred on campus in October during HESTEC Week.

"These gentlemen responded without regard for their own safety and helped pull the people from the helicopter and offered them first aid. They also reacted quickly to secure the area of the accident and keep bystanders safe," Chief Howard Miller explained.

Seventeen UTPA employees will also be recognized for long and dedicated service to this institution, including Bernabe Reyna - a grounds maintenance employee who has worked here for 33 years and recently retired.

In addition to plaques, the honorees will be receiving monetary awards ranging from $100 to $700.