The academic award is presented annually by the SHSU Faculty Senate. Bobby K. Marks, Sam Houston president, presented Ruggles a plaque in a ceremony held in the university's historic Austin Hall.
Ruggles, a former Houston Police Department officer, is currently majoring in German and international business and working as a German lab monitor for the SHSU foreign language department.
In 1984, he graduated first in his class from the Houston Police Academy then worked for 10 years as an accident investigator and reconstructionist for HPD. During his tenure with the police department, Ruggles initiated computer-aided drawing systems for the creation of scale diagrams for fatality accident investigations and, for his effort, received supervisory commendation.
He is a member of Alpha Chi Alpha Lambda Delta, the Golden Key Honor Society, and Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society. He also serves as president of SHSU's German Club and as a public relations officer for the International Business Society.
This summer Ruggles will visit Germany with German Club members.