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Staff members take center stage at annual awards ceremony
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative
(956) 665-7995
Posted: 05/08/2012
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Gloria Gilpatrick raised her hands victoriously when she crossed the stage May 8 to receive recognition for her 30 years of service as a staff member at The University of Texas-Pan American.


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Jacquelyn Michel, director of Innovation and Intellectual Property, received the President's Excellence Award from UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen during the University's Staff Employee Awards Ceremony May 8.
Gilpatrick began her UTPA career as a clerk typist I for Minority Biomedical Support. In 1997 she was tapped as senior secretary to the dean of the new College of Science and Engineering. When that college split into two new colleges in 2009, Gilpatrick, then an administrative associate, landed in that same role in the College of Science and Mathematics Dean's Office. She describes UT Pan Am as a place where she has been inspired and keeps learning every day.

"It is wonderful to work here with all the staff, the faculty and the students. Every day we come to work we meet different people, different students. It's a treasure and a joy to have been part of this University for 30 years," she said. "My goal is to touch as many people as I can and talk to as many students as I can when we go out and to encourage them to continue their education, to come to UTPA."

Gilpatrick was among nearly 300 employees recognized at the 24th Annual Staff Employee Awards Ceremony held in the Student Union Theater. UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen was joined by UTPA division administrators in thanking each one for their years of dedicated job performance.

"You are the backbone, you are the brain, you are the brawn, you are everything. Without the staff, we'd never be able to transform this Valley. Without you, our students wouldn't succeed. Without you life would be very, very different," Nelsen said. "From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful, I'm grateful every day I come to this campus and I see you and I know what you do."

During the ceremony, the University honored 195 employees who had completed working at least five years by the end of the 2011 calendar year with a plaque and University memento. Ninety-three were recognized for five years of service; 50 for 10 years of service; 25 for 15 years of service; 13 for 20 years of service; and seven for 25 years of service. Others recognized for 30 years of service were Michael Emond, Norma Ramos, Juan Francisco Mata, and Blinda Torres. Honored for 35 years of service were Esequiel Granado Jr. and Juan Ovalle.

Awards were also presented to employees whose job performance and service to the University surpassed the standard expectations of their job descriptions.


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Pictured with UTPA Campus Photographer Josue Esparza (second from left), who received the Meritorious Service Award in the Division of University Advancement at the 24th Annual Staff Awards Ceremony, are left to right Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communicatins Dr. Kimberly Selber, UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen, and Associate Vice President for University Advancement Lydia Aleman.
Receiving the President's Excellence Award for her commitment to excellence and bringing significant local, regional and national attention to the University's accomplishments was Jacquelyn Michel, director of Innovation and Intellectual Property in Research Administration. The Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes courage and selflessness beyond the ordinary, went to Gilbert Perez Jr., Human Resources.

Receiving Meritorious Service Awards in each division were: President - Lydia Flores; Academic Affairs - Teresa Acevedo (posthumous), Hector Arteaga, Miriam Garcia, and Adelina Young; Business Affairs - Tanzeer Ahmed, Colin Cain, Mariana Hernandez, Marcela Navarro, and Melissa A. Valdez; Student Affairs - Roberto Colson, Barbara Garza, and Felipe Olivarez III; Information Technology - Robert Jackson and Alejandro Rocha; and Division of University Advancement - Josue Esparza.

An Outstanding Suggestion Award for an idea that resulted in more efficient and less costly operations went to the "Bronc Roundup" Team led by Dr. Magdalena Hinojosa, senior associate vice president for Enrollment Services. Team members included Lise Blankenship, Eric Booth, Omar Cantu, Marilyn Hagerty, Ofelia Jimenez, Delma Lopez, Marta Lopez, Alberto Luis, Patricia Martin, Mayra Martinez, Sally Mendiola, Joe Mendoza, Colleen Price, Hector Rodriguez, Fidencio Tamez, Vanessa Valdez, Daniel Vasquez, Dolores Villarreal and Edna Zambrano.

Receiving a Teamwork Excellence Award were the members of the Degree Works Implementation Team, also led by Hinojosa. Team members included Wistana Balderas, Cynthia Blanco, Melinda Espinoza, Isabel Infante, Sylvia Martinez, Ginger Perez, Richard Ramke, Jeff Rhodes, Mario Salinas and JR Torrez.

Staff Senate Awards went to employees nominated by their peers for exemplary performance. Honorees and their division were: Xianmin (Sam) Shi, President; Abby Tovar, Academic Affairs; Dalinda Sandoval, Business Affairs; Fidencio Tamez, Student Affairs; Osvaldo Valdez, Information Technology; and Connie Rangel, University Advancement.

Receiving Staff Star recognition in the 2011 calendar year were Juan De la Rosa, Jim Lancaster, Israel Martinez, Beula Flores, JR Torrez, Liana Setti, Mary Lou Cano, Josephine Rodriguez, Isaac Chavarria, Sandra De los Santos, and Rogelio Monrreal.

For a complete list of award recipients, visit the Office of Human Resources' website.