2008 Staff Excellence Award Recipients Announced

Pictured with SHSU President Jim Gaertner are the Staff Excellence Award winners for 2008. They are, from left, Debra McCall, Reyna Ayala and Elfreda D'Cunha.

Reyna Ayala, Elfreda D’Cunha and Debra McCall have been selected as the recipients of the 2008 Staff Excellence Award for their outstanding work at Sam Houston State University.

Each recipient will be awarded $2,000 and will be recognized at the university’s general faculty and staff meeting at the beginning of the fall semester.

Reyna Ayala

Ayala is a custodian in the Lowman Student Center. 

Reyna Ayala

Reyna Ayala

“When students are lost or just don’t know where to go, she takes time to walk them over to where they need to be,” said groundskeeper Ernest Wilson.

“Reyna always has a positive attitude,” custodian Maria Flores said.  “She takes care of the building as if it were her own house.”

“She is very particular about doing an excellent job.  She sets very high standards for herself and lives up to them,” said custodian Carrie Wanza.

“She always has her work completed before deadlines or before an event is scheduled,” said custodian Blanca Alvarez.

“The Lowman Student Center is a public place --- the face of the university, for instance, to visiting parents,” said Helena Halmari, professor of English.  “Reyna’s contribution has been essential in keeping this ‘face’ clean.”

Elfreda D’Cunha

D’Cunha is a registrar assistant II in the Office of the Registrar.

Elfreda D'Cunha

Elfreda D'Cunha

“Our office has received numerous cards, letters and phone calls about how pleased they are with the customer service they received from Elfreda and how they feel so assured after talking with her,” said assistant registrar Valerie Sparkman.

“Elfreda’s direct duties are to keep the National Student Clearinghouse reports submitted on a regular basis and to update student records daily with the NSC,” said assistant registrar Maria Busby.  “She also serves our alumni with requests for duplicate diplomas and degree research as needed.  She often helps students with their employment verifications by providing potential employers the needed information.

“Due to the location of Elfreda’s desk, she is often called upon to help in the records area of our office, and she always, always does so without a complaint or a grudge,” Busby continued.  “She is willing to take any added duties to maintain the success of the Registrar’s Office.”

“She was instrumental in my training and made a significant difference in my perception of my new job and work situation,” said Shirley Hodges, registrar assistant III.  “She possesses all the attributes an organization would want in an employee.  She is diligent, patient and thorough --- a person with responsibility and integrity.”

Debra McCall

McCall is the assistant to the dean of the College of Criminal Justice.

Debra McCall

“In my 35 years in higher education I have been supported by several outstanding staff; however, I am sincere when I say that Debra McCall is among the very best,” said Vincent Webb, dean of the College of Criminal Justice.  “Debra epitomizes those qualities that the Staff Excellence Award aims to recognize.”

“Debra personifies ‘excellence’ and professionalism,” said Janet Mullings, associate dean and chair of faculty of the College of Criminal Justice.  “She is dedicated to the university, and it comes across in everything she does.”

“Debra works very well under pressure, and one of her greatest assets is her ability to juggle many assignments at one time,” said Michael Vaughn, professor of criminal justice.  “She is the go-to person for getting things done in the college.  If the college has a function or a reception at night or on a weekend, Debra is present, making sure the event goes off without a hitch.”

“Debra assists students at various levels – from undergraduate to doctoral, from those who have full scholarships to those with special needs,” said Doris Powell-Pratt, staff associate II.  “She treats everyone the same.  She gets results and comes up with solutions to problems.

“She is well-respected and liked by faculty and staff all over campus,” Powell-Pratt added.


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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May
May 12, 2008
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