(HARLINGEN, Texas) – A record 13 faculty and staff members at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen have been named recipients of the prestigious Chancellor’s Excellence Award, chosen from among 160 nominations.
Texas State Technical College has celebrated the dedication of its staff and faculty by awarding the Chancellor’s Excellence Award to those committed to the excellence of the college and its students for almost two decades.
The 2019 recipients are – Maria Magana, contract compliance manager; Daniel De La Garza, director of strategic sourcing; Heather Sauceda, vocational nursing program director; Shirley Byrd, vocational nursing to registered nursing transition director; Tom Cross, aviation maintenance lead instructor; Jennifer Colten, director of stewardship and donor relations; Robert Foshie, executive director of enrollment center; Tracy Vallejo, records processing specialist; Llesmin Gonzalez, executive director of testing center; Teresa Rivera, custodian worker; Leo Villarreal, maintenance department painter; Janette Gomez, community standards liaison; and Arnulfo Alanis, maintenance electrician.
Each staff and faculty member have worked with TSTC anywhere between three and 20 years, and were nominated by their peers, provosts and vice chancellors.
They were selected for their distinguished service and dedication to the college, communities and their state for this award and for exhibiting daily TSTC’s core values of Excellence, Accountability, Service and Integrity.
“The teammates who win this award model excellence for us all and are recognized for both their sound character and for advancing TSTC’s new direction,” said TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser. “Due to their caring and dedicated efforts, TSTC continues to make a difference in the employment success of our students.”
Every recipient shared the sentiment of surprise and shock. They said they don’t come to work with receiving an award in mind, but instead on the doing the best job they can.
Foshie said it’s an honor to recognized by his peers, but to him his work is more than the awards.
“TSTC is my career and family and I’m already honored to be part of this amazing community,” said Foshie, who has been with TSTC for 11 years. “And being able to see students begin this important part of their lives and seeing them achieve success as they walk across the stage at commencement is my favorite part of the job.”
For Cross, who has been with TSTC for nearly two decades, said he works every day with the goal of building the aircraft airframe and powerplant programs and creating a culture of success so that TSTC graduates are the first choice for employers. He said it was never about winning awards or receiving recognition.
“It was such a surprise learning about this award,” said Cross. “I just do my job to the best of my ability. TSTC gives us a great opportunity to help change students’ lives for the better.
I didn’t think I was worthy of this recognition, but I am humbled and honored.”
For some like Byrd, who has been with TSTC for four years, this award has allowed for reflection.
“When I read the email I thought it was a mistake. My department is very small and I couldn’t imagine who would nominate me,” she said. “But I am excited and honored and this has made me look at myself and evaluate as to why I received this award, and I am already looking at how to improve my department and live up to the expectations of this honor.”
Foshie, Cross, Byrd and the other recipients will join the other 35 TSTC recipients from across the state at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Awards dinner and celebration in Austin where they will receive their medallions.