(KINGSVILLE, April 18, 1997) -- Texas A&M University-Kingsville recognized outstanding performance by faculty, administrators, and staff during the first annual University Distinguished Service Awards on Thursday, April 17.

Eight A&M-Kingsville employees were recognized for distinguished service to the university with engraved plaques, and 25 finalist nominees were commended for their efforts during a luncheon that also marked the 30-year anniversary of the Faculty Senate.

"The awards honored members of the A&M-Kingsville university community whose contributions have nurtured, strengthened, enriched and energized the life and spirit of the university," said Dr. Glenna Cannon, chair of the University Distinguished Service Awards Committee and assistant professor of education.

"University Distinguished Service Award" recipients were Vice President Dr. Kay Clayton, Office of Student Affairs and Special Services, for leadership by an individual exhibiting innovation and initiative; Lt. Sandra Jefferson, University Police Department, for exceptional and substantive contributions to a committee in a single year; and Jorja Kimball, director of women and minority engineering programs, for continuous meritorious committee service over a five-year-period. Other award winners were Jose "Pepe" Rodriguez, custodian of Sam Fore Hall, for ecumenical service through a broad range of activities; and Consuelo Martinez, director of special programs, for extraordinary contributions by an individual exceeding his or her normal responsibilities.

Some 20 past chairs and six past secretaries of the Faculty Senate were honored for their roles in the university's governance, beginning with creation of the Senate in 1967. Several of the past chairs and secretaries are now retired. "The Faculty Senate provides a check-and-balance system for the shared governance of the university," said Randall Williams, current chair. "The past chairs and secretaries have kept the channels of communication open between administrators and various campus committees and have ensured that those who teach have a voice in the formation of university policies and procedures." The "Outstanding Senator of the Year" award went to Williams, an associate professor of agronomy and resource sciences. He was selected by the 1996-97 Senate.

The Faculty Senate's "Executive Committee Special Service Award" was presented to Cannon and Darrell Lynn Pray, an administrative assistant in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. The award acknowledges special service to the Senate during the past academic year.

Nominees for "Outstanding Senator of the Year" were Williams, language and literature professor Dr. Wayne Gunn, marketing and management associate professor Dr. Jane Stanford, accounting and CIS associate professor Stephen Scofield, and language and literature professor Dr. Jacki Thomas.

Leadership nominees were Clayton; Roberta Pitts, director of the Jernigan Library; Dr. David Sabrio, professor and chair of the Department of Language and Literature; Dr. Jane Stanford, associate professor and chair of the Department of Management and Marketing; and Dr. Jacki Thomas.

Nominees for exceptional and substantive contributions to a committee included Lt. Jefferson; Dr. Donald Hegwood, director of the Welhausen Water Resources Center; Dr. Barbara Oates, associate professor of management and marketing; Becky Trant, administrative officer for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute; and Tommy Tucker, analyst in Computer

Information Systems.

Nominees for continuous meritorious committee service included Kimball; Homi Gorakhpurwalla, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Dr. Grace Hopkins, professor of education; Dr. Jim Phaup, professor of political science; and Dr. John Thompson, professor of chemistry.

Nominees for extraordinary contribution included Consuelo Martinez; Sylvia Martinez, administrative assistant in the Jernigan Library; Dr. Gregory Sanders, associate professor of music; Mary Sherwood, director of the Office of Public Affairs; and Stan Yuraitis, assistant director of Computer Information Systems.

Ecumenical service nominees included Rodriguez; Dr. James Arnold, professor of agronomy and resource sciences; Dr. Doze Butler, associate professor of human sciences; Dr. Rosario Torres Raines, professor of psychology and sociology; and football coach and Director of Athletics Ron Harms.

The awards committee included Cannon, Pray, Gunn, Terry Peek of the University Farm, George Boatright of the Jernigan Library, Fred Benson of the Civil Engineering Department, and Williams as an ex-officio member.

- Mary Daniel

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