Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Debbie Scholz of Marketing and Communications Named a Bringer of Light

KINGSVILLE - April 05, 2012

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or

DebbieLuminaria.JPG

            Debbie Scholz, administrative assistant II for the Office of Marketing and Communications at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has been named a “Bringer of Light” by the campus group Servants of Las Luminarias. 

            An anonymous collection of campus community members, the Servants of Las Luminarias select those that they feel are “bringers of the light of the knowledge of goodness to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus community.”   

            As a spring honoree, Scholz received a ceramic “luminaria,” or large ornamental candle holder, a lily arrangement and a framed certificate of recognition. The certificate states that Scholz had, through word and deed, “selflessly and consistently shone the light of goodness into our midst.” 

            She was the first in the marketing and communications office Thursday, April 5, and saw the flowers on the desk, in the dark. “I was looking around the offices, seeing if someone was there, about to walk out. I thought the Easter Bunny had been here.” 

            Scholz said that when she turned the lights on and saw the luminaria, she started to cry. “I knew what it was, and the honor that it is,” said Scholz. When asked if she had anything she wanted to say to the anonymous group, Scholz responded, “Thank you very much for thinking about me. I’m very appreciative.     

            This summer, Scholz will mark 15 years with Texas A&M-Kingsville, all within the marketing and communications office, also known as public affairs, and public relations and publications through the years. Even though the official task of the office is to “advance the mission of the university through strategically targeted communications and publications and constituent relations,” marketing and communications has seen a lot of the public through the years. 

            “The office has always been a stopping point for information. People come with questions to ask—where to go, how to do something, who to speak to,” said Scholz. One of the things she’s liked about working in the office is that there’s always something new and something different going on. “There’s never a dull moment,” said Scholz. 

            Prior to the university, Scholz worked for 22 years at the J.C. Penney branch that formerly existed in Kingsville, as a merchandising assistant, selecting and buying merchandise for the store’s jewelry, women’s and junior’s clothing sections. Before that position, Scholz was a cashier auditor at the store.  

            A native of Kingsville, Scholz knew all about the university but had not attended, going straight from high school into the J.C. Penney job. When corporate cutbacks led to the store’s closing, Scholz became a regular visitor to A&M-Kingsville’s human resources office, in search of a job that would be a good fit. The administrative assistant position started as a temporary job, but became permanent and full-time a few months later. 

            In 1997, Scholz took on a traveling companion on her drive to work—her son Justin. He started attending A&M-Kingsville to study computer information systems for a bachelor’s degree.  

            “Justin has cerebral palsy, and had been using computers since grade school to help him complete his homework,” said Scholz. “When we were thinking about what subject Justin could study at the university, he thought about teaching before deciding on computers, because of the experience he had already earned.” 

            Scholz had earned computer experience too when Justin was in high school. She studied computers at community workshops, to assist her son in his studies. Scholz continued her computer education when Justin entered A&M-Kingsville.  

            “With the laptops and higher level of technology at the college level, we were learning together.” 

            Scholz serves as her son’s primary driver and liked traveling with him to the same place for a while. They actually still make the drive to campus every morning—after Justin earned his B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems in fall 2006, he returned to A&M-Kingsville in 2011 to volunteer his mornings at marketing and communications, to get a feel for how an office works; he spends his afternoons volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsville. 

            Scholz had always been active with her son, taking him to the gym and exercising with him for years. That helped in part to inspire Justin to take a weight training class at A&M-Kingsville. It was through that class that he met former Javelina football coach Chris Ballard and started interacting with campus coaches and athletes. Since that time, Javelina athletics have become a regular feature in Justin’s life, and in turn, Debbie’s life. 

            Scholz has been married for 28 years to Kenny Scholz, a Celanese operator. Away from campus, she likes to garden, attends Ricardo Baptist Church and is a caregiver to numerous dogs and cats — all of which were strays in need. Among them is Gina, a formerly feral kitten found at A&M-Kingsville, living between shrubs. “Gina started as Roger, because she wouldn’t let us get close enough to her to see that she was a girl. She’s tamed in the months that we’ve had her.”

This page was last updated on: April 05, 2012