Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Texas A&M-Kingsville college names outstanding students

KINGSVILLE - June 01, 2011

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

The Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville recently held its annual awards program.

Two special awards given by the college include the Friend of the College Award and the Hall of Honor Alumnus Award. Jimmie Steidinger was named Friend of the College while Ruben Cantu was given the Hall of Honor Alumnus Award.

Steidinger is a leading South Texas agriculture producer and has successfully attributed to a lifetime of learning and willingness to help others. In his early years, he worked all day in his fields and then rough-neck in the oil fields to pay his farming bills and buy farmland. Frugality and hard work eventually led to the purchase of several farms including the JIMBAR Ranch in the Texas Hill Country.

He and his wife Barbara have always been givers. They started a scholarship fund in the 1990s to help disadvantaged students attend Texas A&M-Kingsville. In 2010, they made additional donations to university scholarships to support graduate students from South Texas at the Citrus Center. Steidinger is an active member of the Citrus Center Advisory Committee and has provided tremendous help and support to the center.

Cantu graduated from Texas A&I University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in range and wildlife science and in 1982 with a master’s degree in wildlife science. After graduation, he worked as a rangeland conservationist in the Panhandle with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He began his career with Texas Parks and Wildlife serving as a regulatory wildlife biologist in San Angelo.

He worked his way up to regional director for Wildlife Region I covering the Trans Pecos and Panhandle Districts, where he supervises a staff of 43 wildlife biologists, fish and wildlife technicians and support staff that oversee the state wildlife program in the western third of the state. This past year, he and his staff have been instrumental in the largest in-state release of desert bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope restoration projects. Cantu is a certified wildlife biologist and has served as president of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Student and faculty winners include: 

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards


Ralph C. Garcia, a senior from Bandera 

Agriculture Science with teaching certification

Cheryl Jordan, a senior from Sinton

Plant and Soil Science

Juan Daniel Vargas, a senior from Donna

Animal Science

Diamond Edwards, a senior from Houston 

Range and Wildlife Management

Cord Eversole, a senior from Needville

Family and Consumer Sciences Education

Monica Kindervater, a senior from Aransas Pass 

Fashion and Interiors Merchandising

Almendra Reyes, a senior from Mexico 

Human Development and Family Studies

 Leanna Guerra, a senior from Pharr

Human Nutrition

Ashley Garcia, a senior from Corpus Christi 

Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

Agriculture Science

Brad Wood, a master’s student from Mission

Plant and Soil Science-Citrus Center

Aditi Dilip Satpute, a master’s student from India


Catherine R. Simpson, a doctoral student from Edinburg 

Animal Science

Martha Ramirez, a master’s student from Mexico

Range and Wildlife Management

Erin Cord, a master’s student from Delaware

Wildlife Science

Jennifer Korn, a doctoral student from Wylie

Human Sciences

Katherine Korzeniewski, a master’s student from Illinois 

Outstanding Student Organization

The Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society 

Faculty and Staff Awards 

Staff Excellence Award

Rachel Perez, administrative assistant III, animal, rangeland and wildlife sciences

Advising Award

Jerome Tymrak, lecturer, agriculture, agribusiness and environmental sciences

Junior Teaching Award

Dr. Ryan Rhoades, assistant professor, agriculture, agribusiness and environmental sciences

Senior Teaching Award

Dr. Bart Ballard, associate professor and research scientist in animal, rangeland and wildlife sciences 

Senior Research Award

Dr. Mamoudou Setamou, associate professor, Citrus Center, agriculture, agribusiness and environmental sciences


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