Distinguished Staff Award
2014 Recipients

Distinguished Staff Award 2014 Recipients

Front Row Left to Right: Juan Resendez, Sylvia Serrano, Marisol Alvarado, Velma Cervantes

Back Row Left to Right: Claudia Camacho, Monica Perez, Jose Rick Ybarra, Christina Cavazos, Amanda Barron

Not in picture: Adriana Barrera,

Marisol Alvarado, Secretary
Distance Education, Academic Advancement

Marisol confidently demonstrates initiative in every task she is assigned and requires minimal supervision. She completes her assignments with a can-do attitude. Although she is quite thorough and efficient in her assigned duties, she is continuously striving to learn new methods and in which she can better assist the Distance Education Department. As a committed employee, Marisol provides an exceptional representation of the department and exudes professionalism while striving to serve the needs of students and fellow employees. Marisol leads by example by carrying a positive personality which is reflected in the permanent smile she carries. Her attitude inspires and encourages others to strive for the best in their work. She is always a pleasure to work with and communicates with others in a calm and friendly manner.

Adriana Barrera, Administrative Assistant
Starr County Campus, Office for the VP for Academic Affairs

Throughout her service at the Starr County Campus, Adriana has taken the initiative to rise to the occasion when the campus has needed her the most. She immediately demonstrated initiative by self-training and took responsibility of campus and safety operations in order to ensure compliance, efficiency, and accuracy. While staffing was reduced, Adriana stepped-up as an Administrative Assistant on relatively short notice learning through trial and error until she became proficient. Adriana was able to lead by example as she took on more responsibilities while serving as a Staff Secretary and as an interim Administrative Assistant and encouraged work-study students to do the same due to staff shortages. Adriana is able to work closely with the Business Office and Human Resources in order to acquire the resources needed for smooth campus operations.

Amanda Barron, Faculty Secretary
MVC Administrator's Office, Office of the VP for Academic Affairs

Amanda demonstrates her initiative by going above the scope of her duties by working hard to get to know all of the faculty and staff on campus and makes an extra effort to learn all aspects of office area work. She is proactive and is always looking at what tasks need to be accomplished in the future. Amanda works hard to meet deadlines and is a dependable employee. She was previously considering devoting all of her time to her studies as she currently pursues a Bachelor's Degree, however, her love and commitment for the department has persuaded her to remain in her current position while she attends UTPA as a full-time student. Amanda is assertive and has the capability of making good, sound decisions whenever a difficult situation arises and is normally designated to train new employees. Amanda communicates well with all faculty, staff, and students. She is able to convey information in the appropriate manner and will always look at all options available to ensure fairness while maintaining compliance with department policies.

Claudia Camacho, Student Success Specialist
NAH Division Office, Nursing and Allied Health

In addition to carrying her own workload as a Student Success Specialist, Claudia has displayed initiative by volunteering to take on the duties of Clinical Affairs Specialist. She has done an outstanding job in organizing tasks and obtaining consensus from the NAH faculty in reviewing and streamlining the processes for final clearance. Also, she has reviewed various software programs for faculty review and is currently in the process for procurement of one of those programs that will assist the next person in managing the overwhelming amount of data required each semester to obtain clinical clearance. Claudia demonstrates her commitment to the department by coming into work early or staying late as necessary based on the needs of her students. When barriers to student success are evident, Claudia works through the program chair and the Dean to advocate for students in an attempt to improve their learning environment. Claudia exercises her excellent communication skills by uncovering barriers to success with students who are at-risk, and identifies patterns that are causing difficulty and addresses these barriers with the respective program chair.

Christina Cavazos, Curriculum Specialist
Curriculum & Student Learning, Academic Advancement

Christina consistently demonstrates initiative and a strong eagerness to learn all about her new department, its responsibilities, and its processes. Christina was able to excel in her new role as a Curriculum Specialist even though the employee who trained her left the department, leaving Christina to manage the workload on her own. With only minimal help from the consultant, Christina took it upon herself to become a trained expert in scribing using Degree Works in order to ensure she would be able to train her colleagues in the new software. Christina continuously exhibits her leadership abilities when training her colleagues on Degree Works and training new employees in the department. Additionally, Christina attends meetings with her Director and consistently represents her department in a professional and effective manner. To ensure positive outcomes, Christina addresses problems directly and quickly. When she noticed there were errors in the work that had been completed within Degree Works, she communicated the issue with the consultants immediately so that the issue was addressed promptly. Christina is also able to communicate well in front of a large group as shown when she delivered a well-received presentation on Degree Works to the College's executive leadership.

Velma Cervantes, Retention Specialist/Student Success Specialist
Developmental Math, Math, Science, and Bachelor Programs

Velma displays her efficiency as a Student Success Specialist by always following through when given student referrals from Developmental Math faculty members by contacting students promptly. Velma has been successful in motivating several non-attendance students to return to class, finish the semester, and advance in their degree/certificate program. A number of faculty have commented she always places students first and works quickly to resolve any issues they may be experiencing with their classes or any other concerns. Velma goes out of her way to help students who are not developmental math but continue to seek her professional advice and guidance. Velma has been instrumental in retaining students in developmental math courses by persistently sending letters and making phone calls to students who are not attending. She consistently uses sound judgment when carrying out her duties. Velma consistently provides updates on students that have been referred to her and constantly provides reminders on important dates.

Monica Perez, Administrative Assistant
Office for the VP for Academic Affairs

Monica demonstrates commitment to the mission of the institution by consistently going the extra mile to ensure the divisions and departments within Academic Affairs have the resources and assistance they require. The Office of the VP for Academic Affairs sees high amounts of phone calls, emails, and foot traffic from faculty, staff, and students who require assistance every day. Monica always addresses people's needs promptly and courteously and is always willing to lend a hand when needed. Additionally, she supports the mission of the college by pursuing advanced degrees for her own advancement and learning. She is currently pursuing a masters degree and is considering additional degrees after that. She serves as a role model to all of those around her.

Juan Resendez, Learning Excellence Specialist
Centers for Learning Excellence, Academic Advancement Area

Mr. Resendez demonstrates commitment to the College's mission by going above and beyond his day to day duties to serve students. As a Supplemental Instruction leader, Johnny is always willing to work with students whenever they need help even if it is on weekends or evenings. He has continued to offer assistance to students even after the course was completed. Johnny has also demonstrated commitment to the college by serving on College-Wide leadership teams and taskforces. He serves on a strategy leadership implementation team, the internal communication team, as well as a student recovery and re-enrollment taskforce. He continuously offers constructive advice and honest feedback during committee meetings, while always keeping the perspective of students in mind.

Sylvia Serrano, Assistant Center Manager
MVC Child Development Center, Social and Behavioral Sciences

In addition to her duties and responsibilities as an Assistant Center Manager, Sylvia has often found herself filling in for the Center Manager over the past years which includes managing the staff and handling and offering solutions on day-to-day issues with children and parents. Other initiatives include organizing activities such as "Doughnuts with Dad," "Muffins with Mom," collaborations with the Art and Criminal Justice departments, and supporting our college-going culture by having Jerry the Jaguar on-site at events. Sylvia's commitment to STC and the center in particular shows when she works many hours towards keeping the Mid Valley Campus Child Development Center going. She understands the importance and takes pride that the Center operates with an impeccable track record of excellence. Her leadership is evident when she assists the Center Manager in all of her tasks such as familiarizing herself with details of the job including complicated on-line track systems for student attendance and food distribution. She goes above the call of duty when she is able to supervise the Center as Manager. Her knowledge of Center operations is impressive. She is familiar with every professional detail of every staff member and knows all about the Center clients as well as their special needs. Sylvia has a clear method of communicating the needs of the Center. Her communication style with the parents is always professional and represents the Center as an expert in her field.

Jose Rick Ybarra, Lab Assistant
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, Business and Technology

Rick is knowledgeable, dependable, punctual, and trustworthy within and outside the department. He does not wait for items to be pointed out. Rick takes initiative by taking care of issues without being told. He is an extraordinary individual who has maintained the same enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to STC over his past 13 years of service. He is responsible for building nearly 80% of the training modules and can often be found tutoring students, promoting the program during special events, recruiting, and volunteering at community service events. Rick communicates easily with everyone and quickly develops solutions to any issues that may arise within the department.

back to top