Each year, the University, the Cockrell School of Engineering, and the CAEE department honor the invaluable contributions of staff members whose outstanding dedication, competence, conscientious performance, and excellent customer service, or ingenuity has had a significant impact on the university, college, and department.

2018 CAEE Staff Excellence Award

  • Elizabeth Clayton
  • Danny Quiroz

 Award recipients were recognized at the 2018 annual spring banquet.


Previous Recipients

2017 CAEE Staff Excellence Award

  • Leslie McCroddan
  • Velma Vela

2016 CAEE Staff Excellence Award

  • Michelle Damvar
  • Cori Turner

2015 CAEE Staff Excellence Award

  • Sharon Bernard
  • Laura Klopfenstein

2014 Cockrell School of Engineering Staff Excellence Award

  • Hortensia Peoples

2014 CAEE Staff Excellence Award

  • Kevyn Barnes
  • Phil Tomlin

2014 University Outstanding Staff Award

  • Erika Corbell                
  • Sarah Janak                 

2013 CAEE Staff Excellence Awards            

  • Kristi Delaney      
  • Erick Fontenot
  • Vicki Simpson

2012 CAEE Staff Excellence Awards            

  • Joanne Belsley       
  • Annette Perrone

2011 CAEE Staff Excellence Awards            

  • Molly Gully       
  • Lisa Macias

2011 University Outstanding Staff Awards            

  • Nuria Ayala       
  • Shannon Palmquist       
  • Annette Perrone

2010 CAEE Staff Excellence Awards            

  • Danny Quiroz       
  • Chris Trevino

2010 Cockrell School of Engineering Staff Excellence Awards            

  • Michael Burns     
  • Kathy Rose       
  • Ashley Williams

2010 University Outstanding Staff Awards            

  • Dori Eubank       
  • Ashley Williams

The CAEE Staff Excellence Award is presented annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of our staff to the teaching, advising, mentoring, and research missions of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.  Faculty and staff within the Cockrell School of Engineering may nominate individuals for their meritorious service.

The award honors dedicated individuals who are recognized by their supervisors, peers and faculty as having performed exceptional and meritorious service. Nomination Form (PDF)

The procedures for nominating staff, selecting award winners, and presenting the award(s) are summarized below.

General Guidelines

A maximum of two Staff Excellence Awards will be presented annually by the Department.


The amount of each award is $1,500.

Selection Criteria

Nominees are expected to have demonstrated the following characteristics:

  1. Accepted new responsibilities, showed initiative, made creative contributions, and performed in an exemplary manner.
  2. Cooperated with co-workers, displayed a positive attitude, and enhanced staff morale.
  3.  Performed at a level above and beyond normal job expectations.

Preference will be given to nominees who interact closely with students.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Only staff with classified titles, who have been employed at least half-time, and who have worked in the Department at least two years at the time of the award presentation are eligible. (To qualify for the 2018 award, the nominee must have been employed within the Department, or an associated Research Center by April 19, 2016).
  2. Employees who have received this award within the last five years are not eligible.
  3. The CAEE Department Manager is not eligible.


  1. All faculty and staff within the Cockrell School of Engineering may submit nominations.
  2. Nomination materials must include at least two letters of support that specifically address how the nominee meets the selection criteria. Please cite specific examples of work performed by the nominee. The selection committee will not consider more than five letters of support.
  3. Nominations must be sent to the Staff Excellence Awards Selection Committee, c/o Hortensia Peoples, ECJ 4.200, MC C1700. Please seal the envelope and mark confidential.
  4. Deadline for submission is March 2, 2018.
  5. The nominee’s supervisor must verify that no job performance issues exist.

Selection Committee

  1. Faculty serving on the Advisory Committee; however, nominators may not participate in the voting process.
  2. Winner(s) from the previous year.

Notification of Award

  1. The winner(s) will be announced before April 1, 2018.
  2. The award need not be granted each year.

Presentation of Awards

  1. The award(s) will be presented at the Annual Student Banquet on April 19, 2018.
  2. Each winner will receive a plaque.
  3. Each winner will receive a check in the amount of $1,500 less taxes. (Awards will be prepared by the UT-Austin Payroll Division and will comply with university, state, and federal tax regulations.)

Paul Ashe Systems Administrator I, LRC 512-232-5790 ECJ B.102D
Carolina Baumanis Research Engineer/Scientist Associate, CTR 512-471-4379 ECJ 6.900
Federico Castro Research Engineering/Scientist Associate I, GEO 512-471-6487 ECJ 9.227
Elizabeth Clayton Administrative Program Coordinator 512-471-6348 ECJ 4.200
Erick Fontenot Senior Desktop Support Specialist, LRC 512-471-4508 ECJ B.102C
Laura Klopfenstein Communications Coordinator 512-471-1279 ECJ 4.504
Lisa Macias Administrative Associate , CTR 512-232-6272 ECJ 6.800
Adele Magnani Academic Advising Coordinator 512-232-1701 ECJ 4.200
Caitlan McCollum Administrative Associate, CTR
512-232-2573 ECJ 6.100
Leslie McCroddan Senior Administrative Associate
512-232-1708 ECJ 4.506
Hortensia Peoples Department Manager
512-232-1704 ECJ 4.200
Sandy Pittman Administrative Associate
CII/NAC Asst. to Wayne Crew
512-471-5084 ECJ 5.2
Lamont D Prosser Technical Staff Assistant III 512-232-2549 ECJ B.212 
Danny Quiroz Senior Information Technology Manager, LRC 512-471-4016 ECJ B.102E
Vidhya Seetharaman Administrative Assistant 512-232-6235 ECJ 4.200
Jessica Serna Student Program Coordinator 512-232-6235 ECJ 4.200
Vicki Simpson Senior Administrative Associate - Transportation 512-232-6235 ECJ 6.300
Millard "Phil" Tomlin Technical Staff Assistant IV 512-232-2549 ECJ B.212
Chris Trevino Senior Administrative Associate 512-471-4925 ECJ 4.508
Velma Vela Academic Program Coordinator
512-232-1709    ECJ 4.200 
Michael Williams Building Manager & Technical Supervisor
 512-471-3610   ECJ 4.406
Alicia Zapata Senior Administrative Associate, GEO 512-232-3682   ECJ 9.227E
Gaby Zegarra-Coronado   Admin Support CRWR 512-232-9336   ECJ 8.6






Conference rooms in Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Hall (ECJ), provide space for a variety of academic and social gatherings.

Of the numerous conference rooms in ECJ, six fall under the auspices of CAEE. Those rooms are listed below, along with contact information and, in the case of ECJ 4.304, use policies. Use Policies (pdf).

For scheduling, please contact caee-admin@utexas.edu

  • ECJ 3.116 (Academy Seminar Room) 
  • ECJ 4.304 
  • ECJ 4.608 
  • ECJ 5.442 
  • ECJ 6.706 
  • ECJ 8.616 (Steel Room) 
  • ECJ 9.102 

 Conference rooms on the 10th floor of ECJ can be reserved by calling 471-1166

  • Engineering Foundation Room (large)
  • Distinguished Graduates Room (small)
  • Faculty Lounge

staff web

Our CAEE staff provides administrative, accounting, advising, information technology, public relations, and technical assistance to faculty and students.


Locate the appropriate staff member by name or title.

Staff Organization Chart

Staff structure and job titles.


Our staff members have been recognized for outstanding service to the department, school and university.