The UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business recognized the outstanding contributions of staff members this past year during the annual awards ceremony in December 2021. Four staff members were recognized for making significant contributions to the college through leadership, service, innovation and extra effort.
Danielle Gawronski, assistant director of career development, received the Rising Star Award for new employees with less than three years of service. In addition to developing strong career development programming for graduate students, Gawronski led the project to create a virtual office for the college and trained five student workers to manage the project in the midst of a pandemic. She is also known as a strong collaborator across the university and partnered on projects with the University Career Center, the College of Sciences and the Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design among others.
Judy Olivarez, business service center manager, is the recipient of the Leadership Award. A member of the college since 2003 and a UTSA employee for 30 years, Olivarez supervises a seven-member team and provides leadership in the implementation of sound accounting and financial principles in the college. With recent changes in business procedures and a new budget model, Olivarez’s role has been particularly challenging over the past few years, but her calm demeanor and willingness to step in and help make Olivarez a joy to work with.
Laura Sheehy, faculty development specialist, was chosen to receive the Alvarez Extra Mile Award. Months after arriving at the college and at the start of the pandemic, Sheehy triaged and helped to prepare all faculty for online teaching in less than two weeks. She provided departmental workshops, held all day training sessions and provided real-time support for faculty. Sheehy provides exceptional customer service and adapts her advice to different instructional styles, challenges and platforms. Her contributions are realized in the faculty’s newfound abilities and confidence in navigating an online classroom.
The highest honor awarded to Alvarez College of Business staff members is the Order of the Roadrunner Award. This award is presented to individuals who increase productivity and efficiency by developing creative solutions and providing outstanding and ongoing excellence.
This year’s recipient is Rick White, senior systems administrator and cyber security lab manager. Working in the college since 2006, White is known for being customer-centric, driven and selfless in his service to students, faculty and staff. White manages the technical requirements for the cyber security labs and the more than 650 student accounts; assists with the SCADA lab infrastructure; and is working on technical requirements for the new Business Analytics Research Hub. White also mentors eight student workers who assist him in the lab, and during the pandemic he worked with the university to ensure remote lab access was available for our students.