Thursday, March 15, 2018
  Alumni, Announcements

By Amanda Taylor

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Five UTRGV staff members have been selected as nominees for the 2018 UT System Regents Outstanding Employee Award(ROEA).

The newly established award recognizes full-time, non-faculty employees throughout the 14 UT institutions who have shown outstanding dedication and performance.


Barbara J. Garza, director of P-16 Initiatives, was nominated due to her tireless efforts to promote college readiness and access for students across the Valley. She has worked within the UT System for nine years and currently serves as the Higher Education chair for the RGV Counselors Network.

Brenda Garcia, associate director for Scholarships and Communications, was nominated for her creativity, resourcefulness and outstanding work that has allowed an improved process for supporting student recruitment and retention efforts. With more than 15 years of service, she has become a team leader for her staff and department.

Rodney Gomez, executive director of Parking and Transportation, was nominated for his outstanding work in the creation and management of the UTRGV Parking and Transportation Department. Over his five years employed within the UT System, one of his top goals remains to ensure that college students have the best possible experience at UTRGV.

Karen Dorado, director of Special Programs and Community Relations, was nominated for her collaborative spirit and unending drive to help Valley students succeed. Within her 10 years in the UT System, she has helped turn HESTEC into a nationally recognized model for engaging students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Dalyn Ruiz, Campus Affairs coordinator, was nominated for her extraordinary efforts on behalf of every division within UTRGV, which extends to the Rio Grande Valley community as a whole. Throughout her 15 years of service, she has planned, coordinated and executed hundreds of events and has built key relationships with students, staff, faculty and the public.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey said the university is proud of the outstanding staff members recognized as nominees for the new awards program.

“It’s important to recognize the continuous efforts of all the exceptional employees throughout the UT System, and these five nominees are reflections of the hard work and determination of staff at the UTRGV campuses,” Bailey said.

The five nominees will move into a final selection process, where UT System Administration Executive Officers will review and choose awardees based on specific criteria. The selections will be made by April.

Ultimately, 30 UT System employees will be awarded a Chancellor’s challenge coin, a certificate, a $10,000 monetary award, and an invitation for the awardee and guest to attend the luncheon ceremony on May 14, 2018, in Austin.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.