A&M-Corpus Christi Celebrates Employee Achievement at 22nd Annual Islander Awards Celebration

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi faculty, staff and supporters packed the University Center, Lonestar Ballroom, to celebrate the milestones, excellence and educational achievements of one another at the 22nd annual Islander Awards Celebration. The popular event, held this year on April 27, was hosted by the Human Resources Department, with help from other campus units. The event was co-emceed by Margaret Dechant, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management; Terry Tatum, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration; and John Paul Regalado, Executive Director of Academic Advising.

The cheerful event began with live entertainment from the “Ward Island Wannabes,” a musical cohort of faculty from the College of Liberal Arts. The ceremony then commenced with a posthumous tribute to Dr. Leon Dube, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, by Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, President and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Dube retired in fall 2015 after 41 years of service to the University.

“Dr. Dube left a legacy that will last a life time,” said President Quintanilla, as she presented a special plaque to Dube’s family.

Later in the program, faculty and staff excellence awards were given. Winners included:

Faculty Excellence:
  • Chuleeporn Changchit – Winner, Excellence in Creative Activity
  • David Hudgins – First Runner-up, Excellence in Teaching Innovation
  • Michelle Maresh-Fuehrer – Winner, Excellence in Teaching
  • Wendi Pollock – Winner, Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity
  • Abu Nasar Waheeduzzaman – Winner, Excellence in Service
Staff Excellence:
  • Wendy Benderman – First Runner-up Excellence
  • Luisa Buttler – Winner, Impact
  • Gina Concannon – First Runner-up Impact
  • Delaney Foster – Winner, Inclusion
  • Phillip Jose – Winner, Excellence
  • Sharon Herrera – First Runner-up Inclusion

The Parade of Achievers, employees who have recently graduated or will soon earn a degree, were recognized for their outstanding achievement. They included:

  • David Barrientes
  • Eloisa M. Beltran
  • Julieta R. Chapman
  • Nene Coulibaly
  • Bruce Crow
  • Amie C. Cuvelier
  • Julie Fomenko
  • Emmanuel Guadarrama
  • Lisa Dimes-Hernandez
  • Colin Orand
  • Zachary Umhoefer

Employees who earned the Dorothy Yeater Memorial Scholarship were also invited to the stage. They included:

  • Mayra Alvarado
  • Amy Besa
  • Meredith Coplen
  • Mandalyne Gonzalez
  • Heather Herrera
  • Colin Orand
  • Katheryn Paynter
  • Angela Resendez
  • Patricia Rodriguez
  • Sylvia Sanchez
  • Olena Simmons
  • Kenneth Spalek
  • Mellisa Smith
  • Bonnie Stewart-Richlen
  • Esmeralda Teran
  • Elizabeth Vosseller

Finally, service pins were presented to those employees who achieved five-year service milestones. Click here for a full list of recipients. Dr. Gregory Reuter, Assistant Professor of Art, was given special recognition as the employee with most longevity – 40 years.

“As I look around this room, filled with individuals who are dedicated, committed to every student’s success, and who have contributed years of service to each other, this campus, and the community, we say, ‘thank you.’ The things we have achieved and will continue to achieve together are truly outstanding. It’s a privilege to work on this campus, side by side with you, making this the greatest university anywhere,” said President Quintanilla.

Earlier in the day, Island University retirees were honored at a special luncheon. To see photos from the luncheon, click here. To see photos of each employee honored at the Islanders Awards Celebration, click here.