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At its June 8 meeting, Texas State's Staff Council reveled the winners of the annual Staff Council awards and granted the Dr. Lawrence Estaville Employee Excellence Award to three recipients this year, instead of only one, as it had in previous years.

According to Staff Council, the goal is to have, "The awards recognize and honor [seven] distinguished university staff members for their valued commitment and dedication to enriching the university and community over the past academic year.”

The recipients of the awards are as followed:

  • Alicia Barthel was awarded the Angelika Lester Wahl Staff Diversity Award;
  • Amy Perry was awarded the Earl L. Moseley, Jr. Staff Community Service Award;
  • Hana Rubanka was awarded the Deborah and James Mathews Excellence in Collaboration/Outreach Award;
  • Esther Palacios was awarded the Rodrigo Rodriguez Outstanding Service/Skilled Worker Award;
  • Danielle McEwen was awarded the Dr. Lawrence Estaville Employee Excellence Award;
  • Virginia Ginger Blanchard was awarded the Dr. Lawrence Estaville Employee Excellence Award.

The final recipient of the Dr. Lawrence Estaville Employee Excellence Award will be announced at a future Staff Council meeting.

The council also discussed the recent name changes of two residence halls on the university's San Marcos campus and two streets on the Round Rock campus in honor of distinguished Latinx and Black alumni/professors.

Angelina Hall is set to be renamed First Five Freedom Hall after the university's first Black students who integrated the school in 1963: Dana Jean Smith, Helen Jackson Franks, Georgia Hoodye Cheatham, Gloria Odoms Powell and Mabeleen Washington Wozniak.

San Gabriel Hall will be renamed to Elena Zamora O'Shea Hall after the first Latina student to attend Texas State in 1906. The streets on the Round Rock Campus will be renamed Adolfo Barrera Drive, after Dr. Adolfo Barrera, who served as a Texas State leader and administrator for two decades, and Elvin Holt Drive, after Dr. Elvin Holt, the first Black professor in the Department of English.

According to a member of the Texas State naming committee, the ribbon-cutting ceremonies for these changes will take place during the fall semester on both Round Rock and San Marcos campuses.

Also at the meeting, Melissa Yip-Santellana, a member of the DEIA (Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, And Access) training task force, recommended to the council that workplace diversity education should be made mandatory for all staff, faculty and student employees in DEIA.

“At minimum, everyone should be required to complete at least one hour of [diversity training] on their own from a list of options, and each department or unit should engage in at least one hour annually," Yip-Santellana says.

Staff Council also commented on recent concerns regarding bathroom accessibility on campus. According to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator Fernando Ross, a facility staff member will be surveying campus bathrooms soon to determine if modifications are needed.

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