2024 Mundy Award Recipients

On January 23, 2024, Southwestern University President Laura Skandera Trombley bestowed the Mundy Awards for Exemplary Service. Established in 2002 to honor the leadership of Southwestern alumnus and former trustee Joe S. Mundy, these awards carry the spirit of excellence and commitment that Joe exemplified throughout his life. The Mundy Awards are a testament to the outstanding service and leadership demonstrated by our faculty and staff members. Each recipient has left an indelible mark on Southwestern through their dedication and passion. The honorees’ names will be inscribed on the plaque alongside previous winners, exhibited in Bishops Lounge. Additionally, they will be invited to occupy the stage at this year’s graduation convocation, where they will once again be acknowledged. The following are this year’s recipients:


Randy Avenell

Audiovisual Services Coordinator Randy Avenell is a vital member of the University community. He goes above and beyond to ensure classroom functionality and support special events. Avenell’s dedication to meeting campus AV needs is exceptional, involving thorough research into technological solutions and cost-effective improvements for older technologies. Notably, his commitment extends to organizing special events, like partnering with Student Activities to create a haunted house during Halloween, showcasing his tireless efforts during evenings and weekends. In his role as guardian of the classroom infrastructure, he ensures faculty has reliable audiovisual equipment that aligns with modern learning expectations. His leadership in planning classroom renovations demonstrates forward-thinking initiatives. His invaluable contributions during the pandemic, including creating socially distanced classrooms and supporting hybrid teaching, exemplify his unwavering commitment. Avenell’s positive demeanor, hard work, and diverse contributions make him an outstanding member of the SU community.


Anna Castillo

Senior Associate Director in the Office of Campus Recreation Anna Castillo’s dedication to the SU community is evident in her involvement with SIRA, serving as a volunteer coach for the varsity Softball team and advising multiple student organizations, including SU Cheer, the Pom Squad, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Kappa Delta Chi. Beyond her core duties, Castillo’s leadership shines through in organizing events like Pirates for Pirates Field Day and fostering a strong community within her teams. She champions student development by implementing performance evaluations and advocating for this process campus-wide. Through her commitment to developing her students, they have excelled in leadership roles, developed strong collaborative skills, and benefitted from her leadership and training. Castillo has positively impacted students’ skills while maintaining a positive, self-starter attitude. She exemplifies a commitment to service and is a genuine leader and collaborator with a strong sense of service to others.


Barbara Jean

Since joining the SU community in 2004 as the Executive Administrative Assistant for Academic Affairs, Barbara Jean has proven to be a solution-finder and problem solver. Serving as the primary point of contact for anything involving the Office of Academic Affairs, she handles diverse responsibilities with patience and perseverance. Her exceptional work extends to her passion for First-Year and Advanced-Entry Seminar programs, where she meticulously manages assignments and provides crucial support to faculty. Beyond this, she excels in overseeing various processes, from crafting faculty meeting agendas to coordinating comprehensive reviews and managing office assignments. Jean’s excellence is reflected in the quantity of her work and the quality of her service. Despite the inherent challenges of her role, she navigates interruptions with grace, demonstrating a warm-hearted, diligent, and humorous approach that enriches the University community.


Jennifer Martinka

With over 10 years as the Southwestern’s Controller in the Business Office, Jennifer Martinka has earned respect for adept handling of financial matters and budgets. Her leadership during a crucial period of transition and staffing changes showcased her instrumental role in maintaining the Business Office’s efficiency. Colleagues consistently compliment her for her professionalism, commitment, and collaborative spirit. Beyond her official duties, she voluntarily mentors and trains colleagues in budget navigation, exemplifying her dedication. Martinka’s contributions include implementing electronic processes during the pandemic, which enhanced operational efficiency. Her resilience, leadership, and positive impact on various projects make her an invaluable asset to the University. Her unwavering support for faculty members and ability to manage diverse responsibilities highlight her exceptional service.


Staff years-of-service honorees

The Staff Service Awards celebrate the years of commitment and hard work Southwestern staff have invested in our institution. This award represents time spent and the countless moments of support, loyalty, and dedication that have shaped Southwestern. This year, we give special thanks to those who are celebrating milestone anniversaries with the University:

Five Years

Thomas Delahunt
Jose Guerrero
Stephanie Light
Renee Maule
Michael Montgomery
Dustin Norman
Laura Polanco
Sonya Robinson

Ten Years

Susie Bullock
Jefferson Ellinger
April Hampton Perez
Veronica Jones
William Porter
Brandon Quintanilla
Joseph Ribar
Jennifer Spiller
Edward Trevino

Fifteen Years

Nora Juarez
Pam Leatherwood
Kelly Lessard
Elvira Palacios
Christine Schaller

Twenty-Five Years

Denise Barnes
John Dixon
Jennifer O’Daniel

Thirty Years

Samuel Sandoval

Forty Years

Helyne Knauth