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The 1999-2000 Staff Excellence Award winners are (from left) Anita Shipman, Robert Dunning and Trina Strange.

SHSU Announces
Staff Excellence Award Winners

They are problem solvers, ambassadors, and they appear to juggle their many responsibilities with little effort. Among the three of them, they have over half a century of service to Sam Houston State University. And because they are outstanding in many areas, they have been selected as the 1999-2000 Staff Excellence Award winners at SHSU.

They are Robert Dunning, registrar for the university; Anita Shipman, secretary III in the College of Education and Applied Science; and Trina Strange, secretary III in the English Department.

Their duties are different, yet words such as "innovative," "creative" and "unselfish" are used repeatedly to define characteristics that all three possess.

"We approach him with many problems and he always manages to find us a solution without complaint," said Teresa Ringo, assistant registrar. "Mr. Dunning is always working to meet technology, making things more convenient for faculty, students, and his staff."

"He works very hard to be fair with all students and parents that come to his office, and on occasion, students have returned to thank him for all his assistance and (tell him) how pleased they were with the way he handled their situation," said Cathy Johnson, administrative assistant for the Registrar's Office.

Donald Coers, associate vice president for academic affairs and Dunning's supervisor, noted his loyalty and dedication to the university.

"All of us who work for Sam Houston State University like to hear from students and parents and others with whom we work that ours is an unusually warm and friendly campus--that we are willing to go out of our way to help those we are here to serve," said Coers.

"To put the case for Robert Dunning most simply, he is one of those key employees who has made a giant contribution to that institutional image," he said.

Keeping a cheerful attitude in stressful situations and juggling numerous responsibilities are some of the many qualities that faculty in the College of Education and Applied Science admire about Shipman.

"Anita is consistent, dependable and eager to perform her duties well, despite many interruptions everyday," said Laverne Warner, coordinator and professor of early childhood education.

"Student traffic in and out of her office is voluminous," said Warner. "I have never heard any student complain about Anita, nor have I ever heard Anita complain about students who surely interrupt her work.

"She keeps fantastic records of certification requests, ExCET scores, building use and other information, all in a day's work," Warner added.

"She is always looking for better ways to improve her job," said Michele Hewlett Gomez, associate professor of language, literacy and special populations.

"Her attitude is positive and she is always committed to students and faculty," said Hewlett Gomez. "She possesses exceptional endurance and stamina to meet the demands of a high stress job."

Strange's intuitiveness and her ability to develop innovative solutions to difficult problems are very much appreciated by the faculty in the Department of English.

"Self-motivated and creative, she consistently formulates events, plans, aids and what not, all of which make the department socially alive and smoothly stable, " said Chris Buttram, assistant professor of English.

"Almost every time that I walk into the department office, Trina is helping students who have brought to her their individual questions, problems, and needs," said Buttram. "Her presence makes the office seem more like a community center than a mere work site."

"Trina performs her duties with a sense of dedication and enthusiasm," said Douglas Krienke, associate chair of English. "She is very kind and understanding of the needs of students, particularly in planning degree plans."

"Trina's knowledge of office procedures, her quick grasp of the nature of almost any problem that comes before her, and her ability to perform cheerfully under trying conditions set her apart from most secretaries I have known," said Paul Ruffin, professor English.

SHSU President Bobby K. Marks will publicly recognize the three award winners at the annual staff meeting at the beginning of the fall semester. Each honoree will be presented a plaque and $1,000.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
May 1, 2000
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