April 14, 2021
The Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services would like to posthumously honor Rebecca Szwarc from Student Housing and Residential Life with the Golden Paw Employee of the Month Award for her years of service at the University of Houston.
Rebecca Szwarc was a Staff Council member for over sixteen years, and worked at Student Housing and Residential Life for twenty. The University of Houston was her home and family, and she did everything to help UH students and staff.
At her Memorial Service on June 14, 2017, co-sponsored by Staff Council, Student Housing and Residential Life, and Women and Gender Resource Center, the word of the day was “Passion.” Rebecca was devoted to learning and helping others to learn. She had a passion for women’s causes and served on the Women and Gender Advisory Board (formally the University Commission of Women), and was a co-chair for the DSAES Assessment Committee. Rebecca loved Broadway show tunes and could be heard singing while traveling through the hallway to her office and she was known for her interest in pumps, suit jackets and skirts, interesting jewelry and cats.
“Rebecca was a fierce champion of student housing and the university. She was a dedicated servant leader and was passionate about doing all we could do to support students and staff. She was always sharing an idea about the latest student affairs trend she was reading, working on an award nomination, serving on a committee, and reminding staff of opportunities available to them across campus (like staff scholarships and staff council events). Her loss has been felt throughout the whole community,” shared Don Yackley, Executive Director for Student Housing and Residential Life.
One of the initiatives Rebecca was the most passionate about is the Professional Development Reimbursement, which will be named after her by Staff Council. She worked for ten years to have a Group Excellence Award at the Staff Awards Luncheon, because she believed in teamwork. The Group Excellence Award, which began in 2016, will also be named after Rebecca Szwarc.