Tarleton employees honored at awards banquet

TSU Newsroom
Tarleton State University presented its annual Staff Awards on April 19 during a dinner to celebrate the 2020 and 2021 recipients. Pictured are, from left, 2020 recipients Julie Phillips, Jo Anna Ince, Callie Fender, Lauren Gillespie and President James Hurley.
Tarleton State University presented its annual Staff Awards on April 19, during a dinner to celebrate the 2020 and 2021 recipients. Pictured are, from left, 2021 recipients Darrell Brown, Jo Ann Kern, Andrea Smith, Jenna Camp and President James Hurley.

STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University’s Staff Awards Banquet, recognizing the outstanding efforts of university employees, recently honored winners of eight individual awards for both 2020 and 2021.

Honorees from last year were noted at the 2021 event since the banquet was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The recipients:

• 2020 Horizon Award — Callie Fender

The Horizon Award recognizes a staff member who volunteers time or resources to the community or who is active with an organization that provides Tarleton students leadership and service opportunities.

Fender, Development Officer for the Department of Development in the Division of Institutional Advancement, has been with the university since 2017. She earned her bachelor’s in communication studies and speech communication from Tarleton in 2012.

She is active in the community, serving as a Tarleton Ambassador for the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce and attending monthly community networking events. She helps coordinate Tarleton volunteer support for community events.

She also works with academic deans in a fundraising capacity.

• 2021 Horizon Award — Darrell Brown

Brown, Executive Director for Student Affairs, Outreach and Leadership, was nominated as a tireless advocate for the university. He promotes students with vigor and is a consistent contributor in all forms of service.

• 2020 University Quality Service Award — Lauren Gillespie

Gillespie goes the extra mile, exemplifying dedication to Tarleton while maintaining an upbeat attitude. Currently an Executive Assistant in the President’s Office, she previously was the Administrative Coordinator for the College of Science and Technology in the Division of Academic Affairs.

The award reflects her superior work and positive influence. Her co-workers consider her organized and efficient, and she can always find a solution to whatever problem.

• 2021 University Quality Service Award — Jenna Camp

An Administrative Coordinator in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Camp was nominated for her initiative and commitment to quality.

She works diligently on numerous projects outside her job scope, including recruitment and marketing. Her eye for design ensures a professional environment that fits within budget constraints and showcases Tarleton pride.

• 2020 University Impact Award — Jo Anna Ince

Ince, Associate Director in Accounting in the Business Services Department, earned recognition for displaying outstanding problem-solving, resourcefulness and innovation toward reducing university costs, improving safety and increasing efficiencies.

Her peers report that under her directives the department has increased in efficiency. Her consistent dedication has led the accounting team to completely overhaul the account reconciliation processes.

• 2021 University Impact Award — Jo Ann Kern

Kern, Director of the Project Management Office, was honored for her expertise, positive approach and steadfast commitment to quality customer service and guidance.

Her strengths include problem-solving and resourcefulness. She has a reputation for tackling problems head on and taking initiative. A true servant leader, she inspires others to perform at their highest level.

• 2020 University Enhancing the Student Experience Award — Julie Phillips

The award recognizes a staff member whose role does not involve teaching but who nonetheless directly and significantly contributes through student-focused initiatives.

Phillips, a Tarleton alumna and an employee since 2017, is dedicated to student success. She is encouraging and enthusiastic and extremely pleasant to be around. Her peers call her a fantastic role model and a great adviser to the students in her department — Animal Science and Veterinary Technology.

• 2021 University Enhancing the Student Experience Award — Andrea Smith

Smith, a coordinator in university tutoring and study programs, has been with Tarleton since 2014. She received the award for her ability to connect with people on a personal and professional level.

She always looks for ways to improve the experience for both clients and tutors. She prioritizes their success as shown by positive feedback from students and employees.