Texas Tech University
It is my distinct honor to announce that Marlene Hernandez was recommended for Honorary Membership into TACRAO by the Honorary Membership Committee and that recommendation was approved by the TACRAO Executive Committee. This recommendation was based on her thirty-five years of outstanding service to Higher Education, Texas Tech University, and to TACRAO.
I would like to share with you why Marlene was recommended and approved for Honorary Membership. I will highlight some of her professional accomplishments but first I would like to share important information about Marlene the person.
Marlene is a first generation college student; the oldest of five girls; her Dad was a farmer and her Mom a housewife. Marlene is the proud mother of one daughter, Shanna, and one precious grandson, Tatum Angelo. Unfortunately, Marlene lost her dear husband, Angelo, in July of 2012. Since retirement, she has been traveling and spending time with her family.
Marlene earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare with a Home and Family Life Minor (emphasis in Child Development and Family Relations), and a Master of Science, Interdisciplinary Program in Counseling Curriculum with an emphasis in Education Psychology, Family Studies, and Sociology from Texas Tech University.
Marlene has distinguished herself throughout her career in Higher Education at Texas Tech beginning in 1978 as a Program Counselor for Project Upward Bound; from there in 1981 to the Office of New Student Relations as an Admissions Counselor; then in 1985 as the Assistant Director of New Student Relations; and then from 1987 to her retirement in 2013, as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions. Her areas of expertise include: recruitment, Financial Aid, high school relations, supervision, reporting, marketing, travel, presentations, professional associations with TACRAO and TACAC, and of course, the famous "other duties as assigned" catchall.
She also received numerous awards and honors throughout her career such as the Project Upward Bound Distinguished Alumnus Award; the YWCA Livermore Award; the Women in Communication, Gold Medal Award; the Hispana of the Year, Hispanic Association of Women award, and the Top Techsan Award.
In addition to her work at Texas Tech, Marlene has been a true supporter of TACRAO, serving as session recorders, moderators, and membership in standing and program committees including: the Publications Committee, the Access and Equity committee, the Equal Educational Opportunity committee, and the High School Relations Committee and, serving as chair of that committee from 2000-2002. Most of you know the complexity of the scheduling that falls to that critical committee, and Marlene served with great integrity. In fact, at the 2002 Conference in Corpus Christi, as the current TACRAO president, I was honored to present the President's Award to Marlene in recognition of her outstanding leadership of that committee.
Marlene has an outgoing and vivacious personality and is loved by many. Former and current colleagues sent in well wishes as follows:
From Troy Johnson, a former colleague at Texas Tech, a TACRAO Past President, and the current Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Illinois State University: "Marlene has so many admirable qualities starting with the most important fact that she is an absolutely wonderful person, period. She is the type of soul that raises the morality and healthy humanity of any group she's in. There is no measure that could capture the volume of impact she has had mentoring and encouraging students for so many years. She is a pioneer in our midst, launching the first chapter if Kappa Delta Chi which has given hope, provided guidance and led to success of hundreds of female Hispanic students. We are so fortunate that Marlene has been part of TACRAO and our lives."
Pat McConnel from the Academic Testing Services at Texas Tech writes: "Marlene Hernandez loved working with students and it was always apparent by the big smile on her face. She was my go to person in Admissions, because I knew she was knowledgeable, dedicated, and willing to assist. She is extremely deserving of this honor."
Marty Grassle, a former Texas Tech colleague wrote that Marlene "was her able "right hand" and we enjoyed a wonderful mutual admiration. I just love her!" I think that sums up how we all feel about Marlene.
Marlene's professional accomplishments exemplify what a lifetime of dedicated work to an institution and a lifetime of commitment to TACRAO looks like. We are fortunate to have had her as one of us for so many years and with this confirmation of Honorary Membership today, she will be one of us forever.
Please join me in congratulating Marlene. Please come forward to receive your award and to say a few words to your TACRAO friends.