The Amarillo Pioneer

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West Texas A&M Announces Faculty, Staff Awards

"Four West Texas A&M employees were honored with some of the University’s highest awards at Monday’s annual Faculty/Staff Convocation.

Dr. Walter Wendler, University president, and Megan Whitten, Staff Council president, presented the three coveted staff awards—the Clarence E. Thompson Staff Excellence Award and two Staff Excellence Awards—and Dr. Wade Shaffer, provost and vice president for academic affairs and Bill Ambrose, president of Faculty Senate, presented the Magister Optimus Award for faculty.

The Clarence E. Thompson Staff Excellence Award, the University’s highest staff honor, was presented to Brandy Carr, senior academic adviser in advising services.

Carr joined the WTAMU staff in 2008 and has been instrumental in orchestrating the transfer services at WTAMU. She started at WTAMU in the newly created transfer adviser position and managed to put her stamp on the job by creating partnerships with students while improving processes and communication. She knows the ins and outs of the transfer process and has proven to be an indispensable resource to the University.

In presenting the award, Wendler said, “Brandy is collegial, supportive, helpful and thoughtful. She is a gifted and stellar member of the WTAMU community and committed to the betterment of students. She is a great example of being student centered. This, of course, is the core of our mission here at West Texas A&M University.”

Staff Excellence Awards went to Shawn Burns, chief of the University Police Department, and Nancy Hampton, assistant director of human resources and EEO officer.

Burns, a WTAMU alumnus, joined UPD 22 years ago and has served as chief of police for 14 years. He first started as a police officer in 1995 and worked his way up the ranks to patrol corporal, patrol sergeant, lieutenant, patrol division commander and to chief in 2003. He is committed to keeping the University safe and his efforts have earned the department accreditation by the Texas Police Chiefs Association and a designation as the fifth safest college campus in the nation, according to the SafeWise Report.

Hampton, a WTAMU alumna, has been with the University for almost nine years. She joined the staff in 2008 as a personnel assistant and was promoted to payroll assistant in 2010. She moved into her current role in 2015, where she has provided guidance through changes and transitions. She has been an invaluable source of leadership, training new personnel and juggling extra duties to help her co-workers and the University community. She also manages to serve a crucial role on campus as a Title IX investigator.

The Magister Optimus Award for faculty, which translates to “best teacher,” was presented to Dr. Syed Tariq Anwar, professor of marketing. The award recognizes outstanding faculty members who excel in every aspect of their work, and Anwar definitely epitomizes the Magister Optimus criteria. Anwar joined the College of Business in 1987 and has built an impressive record in teaching, research and service. He has earned numerous teaching awards as well as international recognition for his research. Anwar’s conference papers have taken him to 13 countries as a presenter and his list of credits for publications includes 13 in the last four years alone.

Carr, Burns, Hampton and Anwar will join the three Faculty Excellence Award winners—Dr. Jeffry Babb, Gensler Professor of Computer Information Systems, Dr. Chuck Chase, associate professor of sports and exercise sciences, and Audrey Meador, instructor of mathematics—and Betty Stocker, Staff Employee of the Year, as honorees at the annual Gallery of Excellence reception in November at Cornette Library."

-West Texas A&M University


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