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Inaugural Rowan Award to Honor ASU Staffer

May 11, 2011

Five Angelo State University staff members have been nominated for the first annual Chancellor’s Colonel Rowan Award for Excellence in Execution and will be honored at an awards ceremony on Monday, May 16, in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.

The ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. May 16 in the West Texas Collection Gallery on the second floor of the University Center, and is open free to the public. The five award nominees are Jeane Irby, director of strategic planning and communication; Brian Jackson, technology services project manager; Kurtis Neal, director of human resources; Clayton Smith, construction project manager; and Jon Wilcox, Web development specialist.

The Rowan Award recognizes a staff member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in carrying out a major project during the last academic year, and includes a $500 honorarium. It is based on the story “A Message to Garcia” by Elbert Hubbard.

The story recalls President William McKinley’s need to get an urgent message to Gen. Calixto Garcia, who in 1899 was leading an insurgent force against Spanish troops in Cuba. However, Garcia was deep in the mountains of Cuba and no one was sure of his exact location. So, the president summoned Col. Andrew Rowan, and gave him a sealed pouch and one simple command: “Get that message to Garcia.” Four days later, Rowan reached shore in Cuba, and three weeks later he emerged from the jungle having successfully delivered the message to Garcia. Col. Rowan did not procrastinate, he simply executed the task he was given.

Candidates for ASU’s Rowan Award are nominated on the basis that they demonstrate the ability to, 1) accomplish an objective quickly and efficiently with minimal oversight; 2) accept clearly communicated assignments with minimal instructions; 3) ask the right questions first, so they can seek precise answers; 4) prepare plans with goals, milestones and deadlines; 5) ask for resources or help when needed; 6) report back and show their work; and 7) under-promise and over-deliver.

For more information, call Ruben Sandoval, ASU Staff Senate chair, at (325) 942-2355.

The full text of “A Message to Garcia” is available online at www.actonfoundation.org/pdf/messagetogarcia.pdf.