Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Anonymous Texas A&M-Kingsville Group Name Assistant to Graduate Studies Dean “Bringer of Light”

KINGSVILLE - December 04, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Consuelo “Choly” A. Devera, assistant to the dean of graduate studies 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 an honoree, Devera received a ceramic “luminaria,” or large ornamental candleholder, and a framed certificate of recognition. The certificate states that Devera had, through word and deed, “selflessly and consistently shone the light of goodness into our midst.”

As assistant to the dean of graduate studies, Devera spends much of her time processing the applications of students applying for degree candidacy. Two weeks ago, her youngest sister Cecilia Avalos passed away, taking Devera to Toronto for funeral services. She was scheduled to return Tuesday, Dec. 2, but chose to come back early to work on processing student applications over the weekend. It was during this time that Devera discovered the luminaria in her office.

“I was really surprised,” said Devera. “I had read about the award on the web, so I knew what it was.

“I’m very grateful that I’ve been recognized with this prestigious award. Since I’ve worked here, I’ve never received any recognition like this. I’m really honored, happy and excited about it, and I want to thank those who gave me this. Especially, I want to thank God for making everything possible.”

Devera has been with the university since June 1974, starting with the placement office, which at the time was a joint office with continuing education. She would work in continuing education for six years and with the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering for 15 years before coming on board with the College of Graduate Studies in 1994.

“Johnny Johnson of the placement office hired me and gave me my first chance to prove myself. Then, when you move to a new department, you start from the beginning and prove yourself all over again.

“I love my work, and the people here are nice. I love helping students get their degrees—I’m addicted to it. Not everything with the students is perfect, but I’m not perfect either.”
Dr. Thomas A. Fields, interim associate vice president for research and graduate study, said of Devera’s award, “I believe that this award is most appropriate for her. She has worked consistently and diligently for our graduate students. I am very pleased that others have recognized her value.”

Devera said as long she’s healthy, she’ll continue working at the university.

She may have a better understanding than most of what A&M-Kingsville students are going through, as Devera earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at the university. So has her husband, Francisco. Last but not least, her four daughters have all earned bachelor’s degrees at A&M-Kingsville too.

She credits her husband as her greatest source of support and encouragement in pursuing her degrees and her after-work hobby of running.

Devera startgd running in 1998, with her husband joining her a few years later. The two have competed in a number of races, including the Kingsville Navy League 5K Run, the Toronto Marathon 5K Run and the 12K Run in San Francisco.

“I used to jog, then one day, I saw an ad for a 5K in Kingsville. I tried it without any training beforehand and came in last place, exhausted. I stopped completely for a year, then I slowly got back into it by walking, then walking and running, then running.

“I’m training for a half marathon right now, but my big goal is to run a full marathon someday.”

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