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Staff Award-Winner Embraces Boots and Buckles Lifestyle

June 11, 2015

If it has to do with agriculture at ASU, you can be sure that Annette Dixon is right in the middle of it.

As office coordinator for the Department of Agriculture, she manages the administrative needs of 11 faculty members and hundreds of students. She oversees 11 budget accounts and the awarding of scholarships from nine memorial funds. She works closely with five departmental student organizations, coordinates travel for intercollegiate judging teams and oversees monthly salaries for multiple student workers, among other duties too numerous to list. Perhaps most importantly, she is often the main point of contact for students in her department and their parents. 

In recognition of her efforts and dedication, Dixon received the 2014–15 ASU President’s Award for Staff Excellence in Customer Service. 

“It was very emotional,” Dixon said. “That the faculty in my department thought enough to take the time to nominate me—and then to be chosen for the award, that was really something. I was proud, but also very humbled. I actually thought I was sitting next to the person who would win, so I was surprised when my named was called.” 

Not bad for a native of Niles, Mich., with almost no agricultural background in Texas or anywhere else. 

“My parents came from farming families, but I grew up in the city,” Dixon said. “I’ve had to get ‘agriculturalized’ over time. It has taken years, and there have been some surprises along the way, but almost nothing surprises me anymore.” 

An ASU staff member since 2002, Dixon worked in the Admissions Office until 2005 when simple good fortune led her to the Department of Agriculture. 

“The office coordinator job came open,” Dixon said. “I knew the department chair at the time, Dr. Gil Engdahl, and I really liked him. I thought I would fit in well in the department and that he would be fun to work for.” 

And Dixon continues to enjoy her role. In addition to her office duties, she has also gotten heavily involved in other faculty-led activities, including 4-H and FFA events and mutton bustin’ at the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. 

“The faculty in the Agriculture Department are involved in so many activities, and it makes me want to get involved,” Dixon said. “I want to help when and how I can. It just goes along with being part of the team, and it’s fun to get out and see different aspects of agriculture from what I see from behind my desk.” 

Receives her 2014-15 Staff Excellence Award from ASU President Brian J. May Receives her 2014–15 Staff Excellence Award from ASU President Brian J. May

“A highlight of the year is the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo,” she added. “It’s an extremely busy time for everyone in the department and affords many opportunities to interact with people outside ASU, and more importantly, to represent ASU in the community. I am fortunate to have the support of the ag faculty and of the department chair, Dr. Mike Salisbury, to be involved as much as I like. It’s very uplifting to be a part of my department’s projects.” 

“I’ve formed some really great relationships with people across campus, and I’d have to say it’s the people that make ASU such a great place to work.”

- Annette Dixon

Those types of efforts were another key factor in Dixon’s Staff Excellence Award. She has also been nominated for several other staff awards and named a Wonderful Woman of ASU. But it is not awards and recognition that have kept her on campus. 

“I love working in this department,” Dixon said. “The job is different every day, and everyone works so hard. I never don’t look forward to coming to work. It spills out over the rest of the campus, as well. I’ve formed some really great relationships with people across campus, and I’d have to say it’s the people that make ASU such a great place to work.” 

When she is not at work, Dixon enjoys Sudoku puzzles and taking weekend trips all around the state. She and her husband, Scot Dixon, are regulars at ASU Ram Jams, football games and theatre productions, and she has two grown daughters. Her oldest, Kailey Roberts, works for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Her youngest, Ashley Roberts, will graduate from ASU in December with a bachelor’s degree in communication.