2023 Division Staff Award Winners

Story by Alexa Conrad, Aspen Davis and Jubi Valadez

We honor our staff members who are receiving Presidential and Staff Awards during UNT’s Staff Appreciation Month. This year’s winners and their stories are listed below. Click on their photo to go directly to their story.

Nadia Guevara
Nadia Guevara
UNT President's
Community Award
Ed Reynolds
Ed Reynolds
Bob Rogers
Gylynn Hanson
Gylynn Hanson
Administrative Professionals
Cody Faucett
Cody Faucett
Rising Star
Neely Shirey
Neely Shirey
Digital Transformation
Scott Windham
Scott Windham
Community Service
UNT Facilities logo
Work Control Team
Nadia Guevara, Director of Finance & Administration Business Process
UNT President's Community Award
The UNT Community Award honors a nominated member of the Mean Green Family for outstanding service that has enriched the UNT experience. The outstanding service displayed by recipients of this award goes above and beyond the expected duties and responsibilities in each role. From the Division of Finance and Administration, Director of Risk Management, Nadia Guevara received this Presidential Award directly from President Neal Smatresk.
Nadia says, “I was very surprised to receive the notification about being selected as the UNT Community Award winner, I still smile today when I think about it. I enjoy very much what I do, and I enjoy finding opportunities to help others meet their goals, and help departments get better at what they do.”
This came as no surprise to the colleague who nominated Nadia for this community award. The nomination form submitted for her read, “She is always looking for opportunities with the division and with partners so that she can assist multiple stakeholders so that we can all provide the best support for UNT… She also understands the importance of reaching beyond her professional peers to get an overall view of UNT and has joined UNeTe, the Latinx/Hispanic faculty/staff employee resource group. This allows her to interact and share ideas with a broader section of the UNT community.”
Your hard work and dedication to bettering the UNT community as a leader is appreciated by all. We thank you Nadia for your outstanding outreach within our department and the UNT community.
Ed Reynolds, Chief of UNT Police
Bob Rogers Service & Community Engagement Award
This award is given to a faculty or staff member whose talent, dedication, passion and community service enhances both UNT and the greater community and helps them maintain strong bonds.
The role of police chief is one that typically leads from within to promote a strong department but that definition is too limiting for Chief Ed Reynolds. As a UNT alum and someone who has seen countless campus changes in his 30 years here, he is a leader who wants to be among the community. Each year, he joins his community relations team and others in speaking with students and student groups. You will see him at Week of Welcome events alongside other officers talking with UNT faculty, staff and students -- not shying away from difficult questions and happy to engage in easy conversation. Putting himself in front of the community has lead him to promote and encourage various programs within the police department to enhance the safety and engagement with the community - from the Housing Liaison program with residence halls to a monthly column for new faculty to personalized safety programming available to anyone on campus to an internal newsletter to help officers connect with UNT, and more.
As Chief Reynolds nears retirement this year, he has spent more time cultivating the skills of other in the department for he understands they are the next generation who will serve the UNT community. He does this without a focus on his own "legacy" because he knows what is more important is that those who remain at the police department have the chance to grow.
Gylynn Hanson, Senior Executive Assistant for Vice President Clayton Gibson
Administrative Professionals Award
The Administrative Professional Staff Award recognizes administrative staff members who demonstrate hard work and are committed to ensuring that they are up to the University’s mission while continuing to improve and succeed in their own respective programs. This award is presented during the Staff Appreciation Luncheon during the Staff Appreciation Month, which takes place every March.
In her regular job duties, Gylynn is central to support of Clayton Gibson’s office and the Division of Finance & Administration. While maintaining growing relationships with day and nighttime staff within our division, Gylynn is always looking for ways in which she can broaden her personal professional development and the community of UNT. And this is only a tiny bit of all she has done!
Upon hearing of her award, Gylynn said she was “completely stunned, but very honored.” To her, this award is not simply meant for her, but of everyone in the division. “There are so many deserving of this award – they are the ones who help me every day.  We are a team.”
When work is difficult, Gylynn can always turn to Clayton to motivate her to continue working so taxing. “Clayton thanks me at the end of EVERY day for my hard work. I would say he is my biggest motivator as he shows his appreciation, genuine care and kindness every day,” Gylynn recalls.
“When I started this position as Senior Executive Assistant, I wasn’t confident that I could do this job alone.  That’s what I would tell my past self – you don’t have to do this job alone – you have the support of a great team of administrative professionals who will help you,” she says.
And just like those who once took care of her, she now is more than pleased to help a fellow student or co-worker! Her kindness and hard work are qualities those around her recognize and will forever be grateful for!
Cody Faucett, Skilled Craft Technician
Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award is given to the recipient who best demonstrates a passion for their work, shows promise in their field, and is making a significant impact on the UNT community in the brief time that they have been a part of the UNT staff. This year, the award was presented to Cody Faucett, skilled Craft Technician in the Facilities sign shop! Cody has proven himself to be an invaluable team member at Facilities. His attitude, energy, and dedication that he brings to his work every day is infectious to everyone around him.
Sign making, design, and manufacturing/fabrication is a very small niche that is easily undervalued, but Cody goes the extra mile to look for ways that he can contribute to this community beyond what is asked of him. Immediately upon his arrival, his strong critical thinking skills, attention to detail, and his ability to adapt quickly to any situation has proved to be an enormous asset. Cody’s strong skillset, artistry, unmatched customer service toward UNT customers/campus, and overall amazing attitude make him an exceptional team member that we are privileged to have in our UNT family. Congratulations, Cody!
Neely Shirey, Facilities Planner
Digital Transformation Award
Facilities planner, Neely Shirey has won UNT’s Digital Transformation Award! This award is presented to a recipient whose work fuels digital transformation at UNT. Neely has gone to great lengths to ensure UNT's classrooms were designed and funded with modern digitization in mind. She has worked across the aisle to ensure technology and construction elements of UNT learning spaces were designed and implemented in harmony with one another, empowering UNT students to benefit from her work.
With her skillful efforts, UNT students enjoy the privilege of having hyFlex, hybrid, and overall adaptable learning environments that ensure to connect the physical with digital resources ultimately leading to more access to education and the art & science of learning.
Neely says, “I am very proud of what my team and I have been able to accomplish. I am honored to receive this award and for the opportunity to continue creating functional and state of the art workspaces for our students. “
We are incredibly thankful for her many contributions to our UNT community. Congratulations, Neely!
Scott Windham, UNT Police Officer
Customer Service Award
The UNT Staff Customer Service Award acknowledges staff members who establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships with the internal and external UNT community. UNT awards nominees who are dedicated to continuously improving customer satisfaction and exceeding expectations.
The nomination by a faculty member read, in part: “No matter where he finds himself in his job duties, Officer Windham is always keenly aware of the complex events that can unfold on our campus. He takes care of every person he encounters to address their needs, while also recognizing that there are so many competing needs that making everyone happy is just not always possible.”
Scott has been with the University of North Texas for 35 years. Scott retired once from the University but still found himself back on campus not long after to continue his work in the Police Department. “This award means so much to me,” Scott says, “After finding out who nominated me it means even more. Receiving this award means that we’re doing good things, and what I’m doing matters. Not just for me but for the department and University as a whole. I am one member of a huge team, to me, this is a team.”
Oxsomira "Kathy" Neira, Christian Stobaugh and Lusymarr Ramirez, UNT Facilities Work Control Team
Teamwork Award
The UNT Facilities Work Control team has won the Staff Appreciation Teamwork Award! This award is presented to a team that collaborates outside their traditional reporting unit to meet institutional goals or needs. Work Control goes above and beyond every day. They work around the clock no matter the circumstance servicing the entire campus while managing an exceptionally high volume of Work Order requests. This is a very difficult task, but Work Control has the ability to make even the most frustrated person feel immediately at ease that their issue will be addressed in the most compassionate, empathetic, and efficient way possible.
They work not only with our students but with faculty, staff, parents, our technicians, supervisors, managers, and everyone that works here in Facilities.
“This award means a lot to us. We are a relatively new team, but from the very beginning we had clear goals and expectations. Customer service is our number one priority, and to be able to accomplish that we must work together, support each other and cheer ourselves up constantly. The key is we all love what we do, and we understand how important our job is to the student's success. We always try to put ourselves in the other person's shoes, we treat them the way we want to be treated, and we apply this to every single person,” says Kathy Neira, Work Control supervisor. This team is our campus’s eyes and ears, and we are so grateful for their constant dedication to UNT. Congratulations, Work Control team!