11:54 AM

Gator Garden Party Celebrates 2019 Staff Awardees


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The achievements of the past academic year were recognized at the Gator Garden Party on Thursday, June 13 in The Special Events Center (A300) during UHD’s Annual Staff Awards.

“Presidents, deans, provosts and even students don’t succeed without dedicated professional staff.I have no hesitation to say the staff at UHD are committed, intelligent, capable, focused, disciplined and professional,” said UHD President Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. “Any one in a position of leadership knows the importance of staff.”

This year’s event celebrated:

  • Years of Service
  • Retirees
    • Carol Boethel
    • Carmen Cuevas
    • Balois Galvan
    • Linda Gilbert
    • Anthony Hodge
    • Clifford Worsham
  • Academic Awards
    • Teresa Estrada
    • Brian Flores
    • Luisa Gallegos
    • David Landry
    • Keyana Moseley
    • Fallon Noel
    • JR. Sears
    • La'Tandra Semiens
    • Bobbi Shaw
    • Dalia Sherif
    • Lee Smith
    • Myisha Williams
  • Staff Impact Awards
    • Rookie of The Year: Donald Kesterson
    • Whistle While You Work: Gladis Moya
    • Goes The Extra Mile: Burgundi Lemondi
    • Best Boss: Dawana Lewis
    • Rising Star: Caroline Smith
  • Staff Excellence Awards 
    • Wendy Cooper
    • Maxine Todd
  • T. Chaney Anderson Excellence Award: Reyna Romero
  • Community Service Awards
    • Said Fattouh (676 hours)
    • Joselin Escobar (600 hours)
    • Percy Jackson (450 hours)

“Real institutional identity is built on the ground by the people who have dedicated their lives to the growth of an institution,” said Dr. Eric Carl Link, senior vice president for academic and student affairs & provost. “So when we celebrate your years of service to UHD, we are celebrating the commitment, the dedication and loyalty of good people, like you, for whom this institution owes a great deal of thanks and gratitude because you have created the identity of UHD.”

This year’s staff awards included more than 90 staff members recognized for their years of service to the University—from five years to 30 years of service. According to Muñoz, this year’s recognition for years to service totaled 1,170 of collected service.

The event debuted the new category, Community Service Awards, to this year’s lineup. Three staff members were honored for their combined service of 1,700 hours.

Recognitions were also acknowledged to fellow staffers who serve in the capacity of Public Safety Liaison and Employment Services Mentor.

Special thanks was extended to the Staff Awards Committee, Staff Awards Review Board and Staff Council members who participated in coordinated this year’s event.

“Our annual staff awards provides a platform to celebrate our colleagues’ service and commitment to excellence at UHD,” said Dr. Liza Alonzo, director of Alumni Relations and Staff Council president. “Staff are the backbone of our institution and honoring their accomplishments is one of the greatest privileges I get to be a part of as this year’s Staff Council president.”


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.