Staff Merit Award

2022-23 Staff Merit Award Recipients with Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly

2022-23 Staff Merit Award recipients Paige Muehlenkamp-McHorse, Bob Vargas and Sara Kennedy with Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly Jess Cybulski

Congratulations to our 
2022-23 Staff Merit Award recipients!

Contact Texas Parents Awards

Texas Parents established the Staff Merit Award in 1998 to recognize employees in any department or position in the Division of Student Affairs who contribute every day to a culture of excellence. The award recognizes employees who support student success, strengthen services provided by the Division and inspire fellow staff to make a habit of seeking excellence in their own work. A list of past recipients can be found below.

Nominees must be full-time employees who have worked in the Division of Student Affairs for at least three consecutive years.

The 2022-23 award recipients were recognized and honored at the spring Division of Student Affairs Team Appreciation and Celebration on Wednesday, January 25, 2022. Honorees received a plaque and $1,500 award from Texas Parents.

Meet the 2022-23 Staff Merit Award Recipients:

Paige Muehlenkamp-McHorse

Headshot of Staff Merit Award Winner Paige Muehlenkamp-McHorse taken on the west side of campus

Assistant Director of Off Campus and Outreach, New Student Services

“I believe so much in student involvement — the activities outside the classroom are what make you feel like you belong to a campus. I enjoy being a part of helping students feel connected. Our program helps a student feel like they belong.”

Read Paige's story

Bob Vargas

Headshot of Staff Merit Award Winner Bob Vargas outside on a sunny day

Senior Administrative Associate, Office of the Dean of Students

“People always come to me and say, ‘I know we’ve done this before, how did we get it done.’ Then I work to help them. Influencing the Longhorn life is recognizing that each student is unique, asking the right questions to make it all possible.”

Read Bob's story

Sara Kennedy

Headshot of Staff Merit Award Winner Sara Kennedy outside on a sunny day

Director of Strategic and Executive Communications, Office of the Dean of Students

“Our students are interesting, multifaceted people with busy lives. Every day is an adventure trying to connect them with our programs, services and opportunities. I’m always looking for ways to reduce barriers. How can we make it easier, faster and more direct to get them what they need?”

Read Sara's story

Click here for a list of Staff Merit Award Recipients, 2022-23 to 1998-99.