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SHSU Recognizes Three Staff Members For Excellence

Valerie Sparkman (left) and Guillermina Ramirez, pictured with SHSU President James Gaertner, are two of the Staff Excellence Award recipients for 2006. Also selected, was the late Brad Perkins.

Three Sam Houston State University employees have been selected to receive the 2006 Staff Excellence Award for meritorious performance and commitment to excellence in service.

They are Valerie Sparkman of the Registrar's Office, Guillermina Ramirez of Custodial Services, and Brad Perkins of Physical Plant.

The Staff Excellence Award is given annually to three university employees who excel in their job duties. They are selected based on nominations by their peers, supervisors and members of the SHSU faculty.

In addition to a plaque of recognition, each recipient will be honored during the general university meeting on Aug. 23 and awarded a $2,000 bonus.

Valerie Sparkman

Not only is Sparkman an SHSU employee, she is a university student who plans to complete requirements for her degree during the fall 2006 semester.  

Sparkman began as a registrar assistant II nine years ago and was recently named assistant registrar.   She has helped with the "Imagination Graduation" project and other new projects designed to make things easier for current students as well as help attract new students.

"Valerie Sparkman is known in the Registrar's Office as a hard worker who believes with everything inside of her that we are here to serve the students," said University Registrar Teresa Ringo.   "She is constantly searching for innovative ideas to make our workloads easier, yet keep it simple for our students as well."

"Valerie demonstrates every day the importance of 'going the extra mile' when assisting students, faculty, and staff alike," said Sonya Ramirez of the Registrar's Office.

"She is not only a team leader, but is also team player, and is ready at anytime to step in and help her staff when needed," Ramirez continued.   "Valerie is a motivator and believes in making her staff feel appreciated, not only by her encouraging words, but also by her acts of kindness and gratitude."

Other departments also recognize Valerie's efforts on campus:

"Ms. Sparkman has never failed to help when asked, and her help has been immeasurable as the Department of Mass Communication has moved into a new curriculum," said Gustie Callaway.  

"Because of her work with our department and her helpful attitude toward all departments, she has definitely demonstrated a commitment to excellence. She has high standards of personal conduct, is very respectful to others and is very dedicated to Sam Houston State University," she added.

"Since coming to the Registrar's Office, Valerie has been most helpful in maintaining the schedule of classes for Mathematics and Statistics," said Professor Harry Konen.  

"It is certainly no easy task to coordinate all the different aspects that make up the university schedule of classes, such as making sure courses are properly identified, coordinating the use of buildings and rooms with all the different departments, ensuring that schedule information is accurately listed name only a few," he explained.   "It should be noted that the duties pertinent to the scheduling of classes are only a part of Valerie's responsibilities.   There are many other facets of her office that are not as visible to the university community in general."

Guillermina Ramirez

Guille is a foreperson in the Department of Custodial and Grounds.   She has been employed at SHSU for 12 years.   She began as a custodian in the Criminal Justice Center, and she is now the senior supervisor in the department.

"Mrs. Ramirez does an outstanding job of seeing that the buildings under her care are clean and sanitary, and that they exhibit a positive working and learning environment," said Larry Brown, manager of Custodial and Grounds.

"She is always checking into better ways to accomplish tasks, searching for new and better products, and suggesting new ideas.   She is a good teacher and her employees respond to this.   She has the ability to get employees to perform at a high level without complaint.   She is always friendly and willing to assist students in any way possible. She understands that we are here to provide a learning environment for our students, and she strives to make this a positive experience for them," added Brown.

"Guille has a very positive attitude and enjoys being with people who have a willingness to help get the work done," said Debra Kleppelid of Physical Plant.  

"She has a strong work ethic and you see it in the cleanliness of the buildings.   With a willingness to listen to suggestions and to take training, she is able to improve her performance and do what it takes to accomplish the task before her," Kleppelid noted.

Brad Perkins

Brad Perkins

Brad Perkins was a maintenance specialist with the Physical Plant Department for almost four years before his death in April. He helped write the Scholarship Program for children of Physical Plant employees who are attending SHSU, and he served as an active member of the university's Staff Council.

He was greatly respected by his co-workers, many of whom made the following comments in nominating Brad for the Staff Excellence Award before his death:

"Brad is always willing to help a co-worker or student at any time, even when his own schedule is full."

"He is always willing and eager to take on any assignment, and he takes tremendous pride in doing a job well."

"He is very thorough and completes work assignments on or before scheduled time."

"He is friendly and is known campus-wide for his ability to work and communicate with staff and faculty, as well as students."

"The building exit signs and the emergency lights are now on a computer maintenance schedule because of Brad's ideas."

"He volunteers for projects involving the student body such as graduation, Splash Day, and the Drive-In Movie."

"He is a good employee who has set an excellent example.   He is a credit to the University and the Physical Plant."


SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
Aug. 22, 2006
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