Administrators from The University of Texas-Pan American praised all of the institution's staff members Wednesday, April 20 during the 23rd annual Staff Employee Awards Ceremony for continuing their hard work and dedication to UTPA despite looming budget cuts from the state.
Addressing a full room at the Student Union Theater, UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen told employees he felt humbled by and proud of them for their commitment to the University and the sacrifices they have made in their jobs.
"You folks are my heroes," Nelsen said. "It is your hearts, your passion, that makes a difference in this Valley."
This year, the University honored 177 employees who have completed working at least five years of service at the institution by the end of the 2010 calendar year. Seventy people received certificates for serving five years, 48 received certificates for working 10 years, 28 received certificates for 15 years of service, 19 people received certificates for 20 years of service, six people received certificates for 25 years of service, and four people received certificates for 30 years of service. Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, senior vice provost for undergraduate studies, and William Lee Morris, director of the Student Data Analysis and Projects Office, were honored for 35 years and 45 years of service, respectively.
UTPA also honored 17 people who retired during the 2010 calendar year who had served the University for at least five years.
During the ceremony, UTPA administrators and fellow staff employees also gave accolades to workers who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions in serving the University.
Receiving Staff Senate Awards were: Yolanda Vidales from the Division of Academic Affairs; Carolyn Laverty of the Division of Business Affairs; Noel Ysasi of the Division of Student Affairs; Michael Sandoval of the Division of Information Technology; and Blanca Coronado of the Division of University Advancement.
Receiving Meritorious Service Awards were: Ruben Diaz Jr., Yvonne Susanna Galan, Ai Ling Li, Anita Reyes and Veronica R. Stoller of the Division of Academic Affairs; Juanita D. Caballero, Marta Salinas-Hovar, Eva Martinez and Maggie Rangel of the Division of Business Affairs; Griselda C. Castilla, Marisela M. Gonzalez, Ofelia Jimenez and Delma Denise Olivarez of the Division of Student Affairs; Hector Rodriguez Jr. and Anne Harwell Toal of the Division of Information Technology; and Jeanette L. Benavides of the Division of University Advancement.
Employees from the Division of Information Technology received the Outstanding Suggestion Award. Staff members from the Budget Office received the Teamwork Excellence Award. And Maricela Espinoza of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program in the Division of Academic Affairs received the Distinguished Service Award.
For a complete listing of award recipients, visit the Office of Human Resources' website.