Fall 2013 CARE Awards
It’s with affection that Agapito “A.J.” Garcia labels his coworkers “wacky, compulsive, semi-sane people.” He knows those are most likely the same colleagues that nominated him for the 2013 Fall CARE Award, which he was taken aback by receiving.
“My colleagues are great!” said the Associate Director of Financial Aid. “I didn’t know that I was nominated so I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been working at UT Dallas for close to nine years and have a sense for what this award means. I am very honored to be chosen as a recipient.”
Garcia was one of the fall semester’s six recipients of the CARE Award, joining Melanie Davis, Amanda Miller, Georgetta Oliver, Julie Rooney and Ashfia Salemin. The award — which stands for Celebrate Achievement and Reward Excellence — is given to staff members who have demonstrated superior performance, provided exceptional customer service or performed acts that have enhanced the image of the university. With a record-setting number of nominations this year, the recipients’ responsibilities run the gamut of the campus, from director to administrative assistant.
“I am very pleased with the quality and quantity of this fall’s CARE Award nominees,” said Paula Austell, Staff Council President and Director of Endowment Services in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.
“The CARE Award committee had a pool of 34 very strong candidates,” she said. “This shows how well-respected our staff really is to our UT Dallas community.”
Oliver, Administrative Assistant II and assistant to Natural Sciences & Mathematics Dean Bruce Novak, admitted to being “a little teary eyed” when she learned of her selection. “After I was told by Paula Austell that I was one of the six winners, I came in my office and sent an email to a few people I knew participated in making this an honorable award for me.”
Still surprised, yet grateful, Oliver sent the words, “thank you for taking part in me being nominated […] I truly appreciate whomever nominated me and thought that much of me as an individual, staff member, team player, coworker and one who truly cares about how people are treated within the University and away from campus.”
Rooney echoed Oliver’s feelings of gratitude toward her colleagues and noted they are also the reason she enjoys her job. “I like the people I work with and [like] watching them interact with and assist our students,” she said. “I really enjoy working with students and knowing that some of my interactions with them really do make a difference. In general I try to treat my colleagues, the students and anyone else I come in contact with here at UTD like a ‘customer’ and provide the best customer services I can.”
Julie Rooney, A. J. Garcia, and Georgetta Oliver (left to right)