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staff member receives award
John Soudah (left) is notified of his award by Daniel Hollas, senior associate dean
and professor in the College of Business.
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

Order of the Roadrunner Award: John Soudah

By Shelley Kilpatrick
Student Writer, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

(April 15, 2007)--John Soudah, director of academic computing, College of Business Dean's Office and Office of Information Technology, will be honored with the Order of the Roadrunner Award, one of five that will be presented at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 17 at the UTSA Staff Excellence and Service Awards ceremony in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02), 1604 Campus.

The five Staff Excellence Awards recognize excellent work performance in emerging leadership, dynamic leadership, teamwork, extraordinary initiative and overall excellence.

This year's additional award winners are:

  • Rising Star Award: David Kessler, academic advisor I, College of Liberal and Fine Arts Advising Center
  • Leadership Award: Jeanette (Jenny) Stokes, senior administrative associate, Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
  • Team Spirit Award: Office of Travel Management staff members Lupita Reynaga, accounting technician; Perian (Perry) Griner, accounting technician, and Celine Weidner, accounting clerk III
  • Extra Mile Award: Patricia Dunn, educational specialist III, UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures

In one of five award spotlights featured on UTSA Today, the Order of the Roadrunner Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates exemplary service and commitment to UTSA and the achievement of its goals through his or her actions throughout the year. This individual has enhanced the quality of work life in ways that significantly increase productivity and efficiency for colleagues or customers through the development of creative solutions, providing outstanding and ongoing excellence in services to faculty, staff, students or other UTSA customers. This is the highest honor that a UTSA staff member can receive for their service to the UTSA community.

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John Soudah

Order of the Roadrunner Award winner

John Soudah started his career with UTSA approximately 11 years ago as a computer user service assistant in the Office of Information Technology. As a result of his hard work and dedicated service, he was promoted many times over the years and is now the director of academic computing.

His ability to oversee 11 specialized computer labs, eight computer classrooms and 150 traditional classrooms with computer and Internet capabilities is a testament to his outstanding work ethic. Even though faculty can sometimes be demanding and require a great deal of assistance and technical support, Soudah always gets the job done in a way that exceeds expectations. According to one of his nominators, "John does an outstanding job for the College of Business."

Faculty research is an important part of UTSA's goal to reach premier university status. Because of this, Soudah works closely with faculty members to ensure they have access to all the college's databases, including from remote locations.

Soudah also provides visitors and guests with superior customer service. Recently when the College of Business was reviewed for reaccreditation, the peer-review team praised him for his exceptional level of customer service and the time and effort he gave them.

During the summer of 2006, he focused much of his work and personal time to help with the many renovation projects in the college. He supervised the moving and setting up of new faculty offices, labs and offices. He also presided over the renovation of the Undergraduate Advising Office and the creation of the Center for Student Professional Development. Even though this was not a part of his job description, he volunteered to coordinate and oversee these multiple projects from beginning to end.

According to one of his nominators, "He is an invaluable asset, and without him these projects would not have been completed by the Fall 2006 semester. John Soudah is a professional in every sense of the word and without a doubt it is very fitting for him to win this award."

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UTSA employees are invited to attend the event hosted by Sonia Martinez, vice president for university advancement; Rosalie Ambrosino, provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Jeffrey Kantor, associate vice president for research. The ceremony also will include remarks by President Ricardo Romo.

Downtown Campus and Institute of Texan Cultures staff members can attend the event utilizing VIA buses 93 or 94 at no charge by showing their UTSACard.

The ceremony will include retiree recognition, service pin awards for 5 to 30 years and refreshments. Twenty-five staff members will be honored on their retirements and 274 staff members will receive UT System service awards for the 2006 calendar year.

Read more about the Staff Excellence Awards and previous winners at the Human Resources Web site.

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