Barr Earns McElhinney Award, Other Staff Honored

Carol Barr has set the bar for excellence at the University of Houston for more than 30 years. The department of English business administrator juggles a demanding work schedule that sometimes exceeds 40 hours with numerous campus volunteer activities such as twice serving as Staff Council president and as co-chair of the UH Commission on Women.

Widely regarded as a "master of organization" and an outstanding campus leader, Barr has been named the recipient of the coveted Charles F. McElhinney Distinguished Service Award, the university’s highest staff honor. The award includes a $3,000 stipend.

"My friends will tell you that I'm seldom at a loss for words, but the day I received the news about the award was the exception," Barr said. "I was totally and wonderfully surprised."

Her supporters noted her vast experience on campus and the efficiency in which she handles her duties, which range from managing and overseeing the department’s financial accounting system to supervising staff.

"Since her arrival in the English department in August 2005, Carol Barr, through her vision, skills and example, has completely transformed and streamlined the department. Her commitment to excellence is infectious and rubs off on students, faculty and staff members alike," her nominator wrote. Barr was one of several staff members recently honored.

Staff Excellence Awards

  • Donald Delano, maintenance mechanic, Calhoun Lofts
  • Kathy Ermgodts, speech-language pathologist
  • Linda Guerrero, business administrator, accountancy and taxation department
  • Andrea Johnson, office coordinator, School of Art
  • Gerry Mathisen, executive administrator, UH System Board of Regents office
  • Esteban Mendoza, journey painter, Plant Operations
  • Patricia Sayles, college administrator, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Jessica Torres, advising assistant, English department

George Magner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising

  • Trang Phan, assistant dean, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture

New Professional Advising Award

  • Audri Villalon, academic adviser, department of psychology