Angelo State University announced the winners of its annual awards for faculty and staff excellence during a virtual awards ceremony on July 15.
Dr. Heather Lehto of the Department of Physics and Geosciences, Dr. Han-Hung “Floyd” Huang of the Department of Physical Therapy, and Dr. Lesley Casarez of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are the winners of the President’s Awards for Faculty Excellence.
Tracie Howell in the Office of Special Events Facilities and Services, Jodie Jackson of University Recreation (UREC), Sandra Rosser in the OneCard and Parking Services Office, and Heidi Alves-Costanzo in the Office of Enrollment Management are the winners of the President’s Awards for Staff Excellence. Cody Guins of Facilities Planning and Construction is the winner of the Chancellor’s Colonel Rowan Award for Execution.
They, along with 98 other faculty and staff nominees, were honored during the virtual ceremony sponsored by the ASU Faculty Senate and Staff Senate.
For the faculty awards – Lehto is the winner for Excellence in Teaching, Huang is the winner for Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor, and Casarez is the winner for Excellence in Leadership/Service. Each received $2,500 and a Signature Presidential Recognition Award. Lehto and Huang will be ASU’s nominees for the Texas Tech University System Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Research.
An associate professor of geosciences, Lehto has been an ASU faculty member for eight years. She has developed five innovative geoscience courses, including the first to be available online, and inspires other faculty by sharing effective active learning strategies documented in science education studies. She also organized a workshop for building strong STEM courses and has led several student field trips to volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest and New Mexico.
Huang, an associate professor of physical therapy, is also an eight-year ASU faculty member. He is credited with completely revamping the research process in the Department of Physical Therapy. He manages all student capstone research projects, consistently publishes his own research, presents at state and national conferences, and reviews scholarly manuscripts.
A 10-year ASU faculty member, Casarez is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction. She is known for her integrity, work ethic, and dedication to ASU and the community. She serves in a leadership role on numerous university, college and department committees, as well as the Texas School Counseling Association. She also volunteers in the community through her church and in San Angelo K-12 schools.
In addition to the overall faculty winners, four semifinalists in each category received a $500 award. For Excellence in Teaching, the semifinalists were Anthony Bartl, political science; Carlos Flores, teacher education; Mellisa Huffman, English; and Gayle Randall, management and marketing.
Semifinalists for Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor were Azadeh Bolhari, civil engineering; Anthony Celso, security studies; Michael Conklin, business law; and Elisabeth-Christine Muelsch, French.
For Excellence in Leadership/Service, the semifinalists were Leah Carruth, teacher education; William Kitch, civil engineering; María Onofre-Madrid, Spanish; and Jesse Taylor, mathematics.
For the staff awards – Howell is the winner for Commitment to Excellence, Jackson is the winner for Excellence in Customer Service, Rosser is the winner for Excellence in Innovation, and Alves-Costanzo is the winner for Excellence in Leadership. Each received a $1,000 honorarium and a presentation piece, while the Rowan Award winner, Guins, received a $1,500 honorarium.
The space planning coordinator for special events, Howell’s main mission is to illustrate how the university is utilizing its physical space and recommend how the university can be a better steward of its resources. She was specifically lauded for her role on the Campus Master Plan Committee and Space Planning Committee. She increased ASU’s utilization rates for many categories and buildings, successfully met state requirements, and satisfied the needs of departments, administration and university stakeholders.
Jackson, assistant director of fitness for UREC, is the “go-to” person for her department. Students constantly seek her advice on both school and personal matters, and she always strives to provide UREC patrons with the best possible experience. She is also known for her compassion and patience with UREC’s staff and student assistants as she goes the extra mile to make sure she is developing them and helping them the best way possible. She sets the gold standard for what customer service should look like.
Director of ASU’s OneCard and parking services, Rosser is known for “thinking outside the box” and viewing challenges as opportunities. When the ASU Cafeteria was closed for renovation, she worked with multiple campus departments and the university’s food service provider to make sure students had ready access to meals at existing and new locations. She worked with a vendor to implement a new online ordering service for student meals, and shared her experience with other universities. She is also a key coordinator between residence life, food service and contract management.
The office coordinator for enrollment management, Alves-Costanzo provides service to Admissions, Financial Aid, Scholarship Programs and Enrollment Operations. That includes extensive travel paperwork, budgets, purchasing, supplies and correspondence. She manages the “chaos” by leading and offering solutions. She also has the rare combination of knowledge, experience and the ability to gracefully share ideas and solutions.
Guins, director of facilities planning and construction, was honored for his excellence in overseeing the recent overhaul and renovation of the ASU Cafeteria, as well as for his work directing the project team that produced a new Campus Master Plan.
Additional Faculty Nominees
Excellence in Teaching – Anthony Battistini, civil engineering; Jenny Davis, accounting; Carolyn Mason, physical therapy; Simon Pfeil, mathematics; Raelye Self, curriculum and instruction; William Taylor, security studies; and Mark Tizzoni, history
Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor – Tia Agan, education; Kenneth Carrell, physics; Donna Gee, teacher education; Dennis Hall, mathematics; Jun Huang, international business; Raj Kamalapur, management; JongHwa Lee, communication; Nicole Lozano, psychology; and Sarah Lynch, history
Excellence in Leadership/Service – Renee Foshee, accounting; Larrimore Hettick II, management; Eddie Holik III, physics; Won-Jae Lee, criminal justice; Heather Lehto, geosciences; Eduardo Martinez, intelligence and analysis; Robert Michael, nursing; Kelly Moore, physical therapy; Brenda Norton, political science; Sangeeta Singg, psychology; and Twyla Tasker, curriculum and instruction
Additional Staff Nominees
Commitment to Excellence – Araceli Sosa, scholarship programs; Becky Bray, chemistry and biochemistry; Belinda Saaranen, computer science; Brittany Smith, graduate studies and research; Brittney Miller, communications and marketing; Brooke Flores, admissions; Carey Taylor, information technology; Carolyn Johnson, budget and payroll; Heidi Alves-Costanzo, enrollment management; Jenny Love, development and alumni relations; Jessica Manning, business services; Jo Nell Harlow, science and engineering; Judy Berry, facilities management; Katherine Thoreson, visual and performing arts; Katie Plum, sponsored projects; Kaylee King, student life; Melisa Canales, information technology; Reid Jackson, university recreation; Riley Raschke, information technology; and Suzie Dusek, enrollment management
Excellence in Customer Service – Alma Valdez, political science and philosophy; Brittany Smith, graduate studies and research; Crystal Nelms, Freshman College; Daniela Gonzalez, engineering; Farrah Lokey, business; Frederick “Ricky” Reidy, nursing; Ivery Gillespie, special events; Jason Brown, Norris-Vincent College of Business; Julia “D” Chandler, information technology; Justina Stark, finance and administration; Kailee Malleck, special events; Katie Dixon, information technology; Luann McCorkle, human resources; Mary Adkins, kinesiology; Mary Ann Boyd, budget and payroll; Melissa King, admissions; Michelle Seay, aerospace studies; Olivia Castro, Small Business Development Center; Ruben Limon, facilities management; and Vara O’Neal, facilities planning and construction
Excellence in Innovation – Dezaray Johnson, Small Business Development Center; Jason McCarver, information technology; Leonor Constancio, communications and marketing; Riley Raschke, information technology; and Sierra Humble, development and alumni relations
Excellence in Leadership – Christina van Ittersum, communications and marketing; Elaine Beach, information technology; Jayna Phinney, science and engineering; Mark Rehm, counseling services; Marshell Peter, information technology; Meagan Word, education; and Paul Hamilton, housing and residential programs
Colonel Rowan Award – Amanda Martinez, graduate studies and research; Becky Bray, chemistry and biochemistry; Brittany Smith, travel office; Dianna Krejsa, biology; Duane Pruitt, budget and payroll; Jayna Phinney, science and engineering; and Sierra Humble, development and alumni relations