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Three University of Houston-Clear Lake faculty members received top honors during the annual Faculty & Staff Awards Presentation. Pictured (l to r) are Senior Vice President and Provost Edward J. Hayes; Professor of Literature Gretchen Mieszkowski, recipient of the Distinguished Research Award; Associate Professor of Management Information Systems Van Etnyre, recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award; Associate Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Education Judith Marquez, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award; and President William A. Staples.

UH-Clear Lake recognizes faculty, staff accomplishments

University reports on the progress during the past year

From the Office of Communications at University of Houston-Clear Lake

May 15, 2007

HOUSTON—University of Houston-Clear Lake President William A. Staples and other administrators praised and recognized numerous faculty and staff at the 29th Annual Faculty & Staff Luncheon in early April. The event not only recognizes employees’ years of service with the university but also outstanding faculty and staff.

Ninety-eight faculty and staff were recognized with service awards for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service. In addition, 11 members of the UH-Clear Lake family who retired during the past year were also honored. Staples read each name as well as a brief description of the retiree’s duties while at the university.

“The 11 faculty and staff retirees recognized today represent more than 269 years of service to UH-Clear Lake,” said Staples.

In keeping with the traditional format of the luncheon, Staples announced the individuals being honored with the 2007 staff merit awards. Those recognized included Cathy Bye, a functional analyst in the Budget Office; Flossie DeSouza, library assistant in the Alfred R. Neumann Library; and Celio Chapa Sr., grounds specialist in Facilities Management and Construction.

“It is an honor to express appreciation and congratulations to each of you,” said Staples. “You represent the very best among our staff.”

Office of the President Administrative Assistant Vera Garcia received the 2007 Hugh P. Avery Prize – The President’s Distinguished Staff Service Award. Staples announced the award by reading an excerpt from the nomination letter sent on Garcia’s behalf.

“This person consistently goes ‘above and beyond’ in completing her day-to-day job responsibilities and in volunteering to lead special projects in the office and in the university,” read Staples. “One example of her leadership is her role in bringing the Texas Educational Support Staff Association’s training and development program for staff to UH-Clear Lake.

“This individual has a strong work ethic, has been here almost 20 years and earned her bachelor’s degree at UH-Clear Lake in 2006. In all this, she fully exemplifies the ideals set forth for the Hugh P. Avery Prize.”

Three faculty members were honored for their work. Staples noted that faculty can only be nominated by faculty for the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards, which recognize that those honored are highly regarded in their profession among their peers.

Associate Professor of Bilingual and Multicultural Education Judith Marquez received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award. Marquez’s extensive work with bilingual education has included work on the state and national level. Staples referred to her involvement in creating the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas, Texas Examination of Educator Standards and Texas Oral Proficiency Test.

“At the national level, she is credited for the revival of the higher education special interest group for the National Association of Bilingual Educators, which has ultimately resulted in a half-day institute,” said Staples. “She has been the subject editor for the Journal of Intercultural Disciplines and the Journal for the National Association of African American Studies Affiliates and an associate editor of the TABE Journal – the Journal for the Texas Association of Bilingual Educators.”

Professor of Literature Gretchen Mieszkowski received the Distinguished Research Award. A charter faculty member, Mieszkowski is a past recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award. Her primary area of research and publication is medieval literature, and she served as the inaugural speaker for the scholarly research lecture series established by Provost Edward J. Hayes.

“Her field is a very difficult field in which to publish because of all the languages required,” said Staples. “Her latest book, ‘Medieval Go-Betweens and Chaucer’s Pandarus,’ took her three decades and contains research done in Latin, French (Old and Modern), German, Italian and English including various older dialects and modern English.”

Staples presented the final award of the ceremony, the Distinguished Teaching Award, to Associate Professor of Management Information Systems Vance Etnyre. Etnyre’s nomination for the award included several student letters.

“These letters reinforce and echo the sentiment of his colleagues, that his commitment to student learning and teaching excellence make him very deserving of this recognition,” said Staples. “His colleagues describe him as ‘a selfless individual, always prepared to accommodate the needs of the management information systems program.’”

All UH-Clear Lake faculty, staff and administration were invited to attend the event, which concluded with a buffet lunch.

Photo credit: UHCL

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