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President’s G.E.M. Award: Deborah Roark

09.12.2013 | By:

$50,000 Grant Helps First-Generation Students

In recognition of great work on our campus, I will be spotlighting examples of excellence by departments or individuals who have shown extraordinary performance. My G.E.M. (Going the Extra Mile) Award recognizes people who continue to make Texas Wesleyan a supportive and nurturing environment for our students.

Deborah Roark is the definition of going the extra mile. From fundraising to government relations, she is involved in every major project at the University, and her commitment to excellence is commendable.

Debbie has been instrumental in the Rosedale Renaissance through fundraising and working with city and government officials throughout the planning process. Most recently, she brought in $200,000 from the Crystelle Waggoner Charitable Trust for the new campus entryway.

Throughout the year, Debbie coordinates speaking engagements and civic activities with the mayor and other city officials. She works with congressional leaders and other legislators to make sure that Texas Wesleyan is always on their minds. She understands the importance of building long-term relationships with our elected officials – locally and at the state and federal level – and community partners to benefit the University.

She is instrumental in helping our students through her involvement with the Hatton W. Sumners Scholars, TexPREP pre-freshman engineering program, Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science. She obtained grant funding for all of those programs in addition to Sam Taylor grants for faculty, summer camp grants to engage young students in academic pursuits and money to help first generation students.

Another of her successes during the last decade was securing $2 million in Title III funding, which paid for smart classroom technologies, the wireless campus initiative, faculty development, and the creation of learning communities.

Debbie is a tremendous asset to Texas Wesleyan, and she works tirelessly on behalf of our students, our institution and our community. What really impresses me is that she accomplishes so much while also pursuing personal excellence. I am proud to say she will be in our first Doctorate of Education graduating class this December.

Please join me in congratulating Debbie on her many achievements.


Frederick G. Slabach