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Residence Life Worker Wins Award
Ora O'Neal, who has worked at Sam Houston State University for 26 years in several capacities, has been presented one of the highest awards for residence life employees in the southwestern United States.
O'Neal was recently presented the Bob Cooke Distinguished Service award by the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers.
O'Neal first came to work at SHSU in 1968 as a cafeteria worker in the University Food Services area, helping in meal preparation and food service. She left after a year to be with her husband, who was in the military, and returned in 1973.
For the next six years she worked as a Food Services cashier, and then was promoted to clerk II in the Dining Services offices, responsible for maintaining all food service contracts and changes for meal plans.
From 1987 to 1991 in the Department of Housing & Food Services she made IDs for faculty, staff and students, entered and maintained meal plans for students on campus, and took in money for reservations.
Since 1991 she has worked as application/food service clerk II in the Department of Residence Life. She handles all incoming reservations, enters all meal contracts onto the computer, as well as changes and cancellations, and fills in with a number of other tasks as needed.
O'Neal was praised profusely from her supervisors to the students she serves and works with. Some of their comments:
"Throughout her employment, her service has set a standard to which all of us should aspire."--Bobby K. Marks, SHSU president.
"Ora is one of those people that is a joy to have on your team. She's always on time (if not early), does her work consistently and correctly, never complains, and always smiles. She is a team player and can be counted on to help anyone who has a question."--E. Thayne King, director of Residence Life.
"She genuinely cares about our students and their needs..."--Joellen Newman Tipton, business manager, Residence Life.
"Having worked with dozens of professional and support staff members over many years, I can truly say that Ora is the most beloved person I've ever encountered. Absolutely everyone ;who comes in contact with her leaves with a warm feeling and a smile on their face."--Mary Ellen Sims, coordinator of program development, Residence Life.
"She truly deserves this award for the beautiful light that she brings to the office and everyone who comes in contact with her. She serves willingly and most importantly, with dedication."--Comment typical of those submitted by more than 50 Residence Life student workers.
The award was not the first for O'Neal. She has received recognition as Department of Residence Life Employee of the Month five times, more than any other employee.
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