On Tuesday, January 30, Southwestern University President Edward Burger presented the 2018 Mundy Awards for Exemplary Service at a reception for faculty and staff in the Bishops Lounge of the Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center.

The Mundy Award was created in 2002 as a memorial to the leadership of former alumnus and trustee Joe Mundy. The awards are given to faculty and staff members who have been nominated and have demonstrated exemplary service to Southwestern. This year, President Burger presented four very deserving recipients with the award:

Laura Gatlin, Administrative Computing Support Specialist

“Laura is always the person working behind the scenes to keep everything moving—whether ensuring that payroll is processed on time, or providing training to less experienced employees. Whatever it is, she is always dependable and eager to create solutions. She is without a doubt our go-to person on anything Datatel - Laura is an expert in the software system and all of its quirks. Her knowledge of the business office functions paired with her it experience is invaluable to Southwestern. She is always available to help, even outside of normal work hours. She not only troubleshoots to resolve the issue, but also takes the time to make sure individuals understand the ‘why.’ Laura goes above and beyond each and every day because she is committed to a better tomorrow and in turn, a better Southwestern University.”

Kent Huntsman, Associate Vice President for Development

“Kent has worked at Southwestern for over 16 years and has contributed much to the University as a fundraiser, manager, and community leader. Coach Huntsman, as some members of his staff call him, sets high expectations and maintains a ‘demanding yet supportive’ approach to management. His motto, ‘activity does not equal accomplishment,’ underscores his service to Southwestern and means that Kent is always striving to make a measurable and real impact on the lives of our students. Kent’s service to the University goes far beyond the effective management of his team. In his over a decade of service, Kent has inspired alumni, parents, and friends to invest in the Southwestern Experience. These investments, in turn, have changed the face of our University and allowed thousands of students to realize their educational goals while providing donors with the joy of philanthropy.”

Dr. Emily Niemeyer, Professor of Chemistry and Holder of the Herbert and Kate Dishman Chair in Science

“Emily has been a faculty member at Southwestern since 1998. Throughout that time, her work in teaching has been exemplified by her dedication to inquiry based learning and her devotion to students from under-represented groups. Additionally, her work assisting with the NFS STEM grant has further enhanced that commitment. In research, Emily offers students an opportunity to work in her research lab, affording them an invaluable experience that has led to many careers in analytical chemistry. Her research articles with undergraduates often have her students as the first authors. Emily’s service to the University includes serving as the chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry department and a member of the faculty status committee, which she chaired last year. Her work as the coordinator for the HHMI grant has transformed teaching throughout the Natural Sciences and created an inviting climate to develop innovative pedagogy and her history of success in receiving external grant funding that serves the University community is truly transformational.”

Joan Parks, Head Research and Instruction Librarian

“Joan is the quintessential public services librarian. Her enthusiasm for working with students, faculty, and staff is apparent in every interaction. Her extensive and deep knowledge of library resources has been cultivated over 31 years at Southwestern, and her ability to connect with students and share that knowledge is unparalleled. Over the years she has contributed to many library initiatives, generously mentored interns and colleagues, and actively participated in a broad range of professional duties. Her commitment to the University goes well above and beyond her job description. She has participated as a mentor for new staff, and for first-generation college students through Captain’s Academy. Each year during homecoming you will find her helping with preparations for the Jameson 5k. Under her calm guidance, we have observed the transformation of students from nervously beginning with vague ideas and quick internet searches to becoming confident and competent young researchers.”

The names of these four awardees will be added to the plaque of all previous winners on display in the Bishops Lounge. Additionally, all four of our honorees are invited to sit on the stage at this year’s graduation convocation ceremony, where they again will be recognized.

Staff Service Years Recognition

Following the Mundy Awards presentation, Elma Benavides, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, recognized Southwestern staff members for their years of service. The following staff were recognized and presented a pin for their service and dedication to Southwestern:

35 Years of Service: Debbie Sanderfer

30 Years of Service: James Gaeta

20 Years of Service: Idolina Cabral, Bill Dobbs, Anita Drake, Vincent Martinez, Judith Offield, Moses Ramirez, and Todd Watson

15 Years of Service: Patty Casady, Angie San Miguel, Dave Seiler, and Paul Sicard

10 Years of Service: Javier Ahumada, Stafanie Alvarez, Eli Davila, Roy Grona, Latoya Jenkins, Christina Long, Jonas Medrano, Susan Moore, Leticia Terrazas, Daryl Tschoepe

5 Years of Service: Sarah Brackmann, Megan Frisque, Juan Garza, Ed Hillis, Donald Klepac, Tafi LaDuque, Jennifer Martinka, Evelyn Rossi, and Dave Wilmot