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2018 ASU Rodgers Distinguished Awards Winners

August 23, 2018

Annette Dixon, Dr. Russell Wilke and Julie Ruthenbeck have been selected to receive the 2017-18 Gary and Pat Rodgers Distinguished Awards honoring outstanding staff, faculty and administrators at Angelo State University.

(L to R) Gary Rodgers, Julie Ruthenbeck, Dr. Russell Wilke, Annette Dixon and ASU President Brian May (L to R) Gary Rodgers, Julie Ruthenbeck, Dr. Russell Wilke, Annette Dixon and ASU President Brian MayDixon, office coordinator for the Department of Agriculture, received the Distinguished Staff Award. Wilke, a professor of biology and interim chair of the Department of Biology, received the Distinguished Faculty Award. Ruthenbeck, director of the Office of Career Development, received the Distinguished Administrator Award. Each also received a $2,500 honorarium.

They, along with 39 other nominees, were honored by ASU President Brian J. May during a ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 23, in the Houston Harte University Center.

Annette Dixon Annette DixonAn ASU staff member since 2005, Dixon was honored for her professionalism in coordinating the activities of the 13 faculty, over 450 students and various student organizations in the Department of Agriculture. In addition to overseeing over 20 departmental accounts, she manages student records and the activities of five student organizations, and coordinates travel for individual student researchers, three intercollegiate competitive teams and an entire department of extremely active faculty. She is also the first contact for agriculture students and often assists with registration, advising and scholarship issues, as well as various on-campus recruiting events. She goes the extra mile for students by sending reminder emails to keep them on task, and she is the person many new ASU office coordinators call for help to learn the ropes. In the community, she is heavily involved in the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo Mutton Bustin’ and judging contests. From her nomination letter, “If you were to ask most students who the most important person in the department is, they would name Annette. I wish we could all be as pleasant and easy to work with. She is a Rock Star!

Dr. Russell Wilke Dr. Russell WilkeAn ASU alum and18-year faculty member, Wilke was overwhelmingly nominated for his award by virtually his entire department, the director of the ASU Honors Program and several students. He was honored for being an exceptional professor, mentor, advisor and director. Set to end his tenure as department chair in September, he remains director of the Pre-Health Professions program and Healthcare Professions Advisory Committee that have combined to maintain the exceptional acceptance rate of ASU pre-health students into medical school. He also directs the Joint Admissions Medical Program that helps low-income students get to medical school – and the Shannon Care Coordination Program with Shannon Medical Center that gives ASU pre-health students hands-on experience as health coaches in the community. As department chair, he has been involved in numerous university committees, but he also maintains a rigorous course load, remains active with the department’s student organizations, continues his research interests and participates in community service and outreach. From one of his many nomination letters, “It is Dr. Wilke who sets the high standards for the Biology Department, its professors and students. He encourages and grows a positive environment in which all can thrive.”

Julie Ruthenbeck Julie RuthenbeckNow in her 17th year at ASU, Ruthenbeck was honored for her innovative work as director of Career Development and for her tireless recruiting efforts on behalf of the Admissions Office. Under her guidance, Career Development provides a variety of career counseling and job search services for ASU students, faculty and staff. She oversees on-campus job fairs to match students with part-time jobs at local businesses, helps students find internships, and helps students with all aspects of pursuing a career after graduation. She also coordinates career service presentations, etiquette dinners and other group events while still taking the time to give students individual attention when they need help with résumé preparation, job interview tips and formulating a degree plan to set them on the path to their chosen career. Additionally, she plays a key role in ASU’s recruiting efforts at on-campus events like Experience ASU and Discover ASU by participating in group campus tours and providing career development information to prospective students and their parents in a positive and professional manner. From her nomination letter, “Julie is one who exemplifies the mission of Angelo State University and bleeds blue and gold. She encompasses the true meaning of Ram Family.”

The Gary and Pat Rodgers Distinguished Awards were created by San Angelo native and former ASU student Gary Rodgers and his wife, Pat. Because of their association with many ASU employees over the years, the couple recognized the roles that staff, faculty and administrators perform to help ASU fulfill its mission to prepare students to be responsible and productive citizens. The Rodgers also provide the $2,500 honorarium for each award recipient.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Staff Award were Jennifer Barrientos, Jason Brown, Marla Daugherty, Kaylee Feece, Jennifer Celeste Price-Fierro, Christabel Romine, Casey Thieman and Michelle Wharton Vanderzandt.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Faculty Award were Susana Badiola, Tony Blair, Gustavo Manuel Campos, Kenneth Carrell, Lesley Casarez, Kristi Lynn Cordell Moore, Drew Curtis, Brook Dickison, Julie Gates, Beverly Greenwald, Audrey Heron, Randolph Hicks, Trey Holik, Herman Howard, Crystal Kreitler, Sarah Lynch, Kendra Nicks, Jason Pierce, Donald Plachno, Jack Plott, Gayle Randall, Kraig Schell, June Smith, Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai and Ralph Zehnder.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Administrator Award were Javier Flores, Dallas Swafford, Sharynn Tomlin and Don Topliff.

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