For outstanding dedication to the Texas A&M University mission, two College of Architecture employees received 2018 President’s Meritorious Service Awards, a prestigious honor bestowed upon the campus’ most outstanding staff members, supervisors and teams by university president Michael K. Young.
This year’s honorees included Shelley Smith, undergraduate program coordinator manager for the Department of Construction Science, who received an individual award, and David Wentling, director of the college’s Office of Student Services, who earned a supervisor award.
“These recipients have demonstrated their commitment to the Aggie core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service,” said Young in his official announcement. “To each of them, I extend my most sincere congratulations and deep appreciation for their tremendous efforts that make Texas A&M such a great place to work.”
Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography in 2003 and a Master of Higher Educational Administration degree in 2012, both from Texas A&M. She has held her current position for five years and has been employed by Texas A&M for 11 years.
“She is the epitome of excellence,” wrote Patrick Suermann, head of the Department of Construction Science, in a nomination letter for the award. “Her leadership was critical to the growth of our department, which increased from 600 to 1,150 students in two years, and to assuring the quality of those students, as well as assisting with our best ever accreditation with zero concerns listed.”
Wentling holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ohio State University, a Master in Athletic Administration degree from St. Thomas University, a Master in Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communications degree from Texas A&M and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from The University of Tulsa.
He has served in various positions since joining the Texas A&M staff in 1995 and was named Director of Student Services for the College of Architecture in 2015.
“Dr. Wentling knows no stranger,” said Leslie Feigenbaum, associate dean for academic affairs, in a letter of nomination for the award. “He has a way of making you immediately feel comfortable, like you have always known him. Although he has earned multiple degrees and is extremely intelligent, he never condescends, he listens well, and always has valuable advice and encouragement.”
In another nomination letter, Janet Richards, an academic advisor for the college, said Wentling is an exceptional mentor who always “goes the extra mile” to facilitate personal and professional development encouraging employees to read books, take training sessions and attending conferences.
Wentling “always has your back” and is willing to jump in to help advise students or do whatever else is needed to assist his employees and aid the student population,’ wrote Jill Raupe, another academic advisor at the college.
“He has dealt with students in serious situations and has a compassionate ear and heart for them,” said Raupe. “They leave his office with lifted spirits and hope and many have come back to thank him.”
Smith, Wentling and other Presidential Meritorious Service Award honorees were recognized at an April 23, 2018 ceremony at the Texas A&M Memorial Student Center.