When the Texas State Technical College Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipient list came out, Melanie Pruett could not believe she was reading her name.
“I was shocked and surprised. I never thought something like this could happen to me,” said the TSTC enrollment specialist.
TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser selects faculty and staff for their distinguished service and dedication to the college, communities and state for this award and are recognized by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD).
“These teammates were nominated by their peers, recommended by their Provosts and Vice Chancellors and chosen as faculty and staff who model excellence in our college every day,” said Reeser. “Their caring and dedicated efforts embolden us all to make a difference in the success of our teams and the lives of our students.”
Pruett has been with TSTC for two years and has extensive experience in the area of higher education.
Before coming to TSTC she worked at the Baylor College of Medicine campus in Houston for 17 years in the Office of Admissions and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
She left higher education to work in the oil and gas industry only to be laid off after 11 years, but her passion and love for students and higher education never diminished.
“I enjoy working with students, getting them into college and seeing them succeed,” said Pruett. “So when I saw TSTC was opening in our area I jumped at the opportunities that were available. I wanted to get back into higher education where I belonged.”
Pruett applied for three different positions before receiving a job offer for her current position. She meets with prospective students daily and assists them with the application process to enroll at TSTC.
Pruett’s supervisor and TSTC’s Executive Director of Admissions Vanessa Vasquez said she was not surprised at all by Pruett’s recognition.
“Melanie brings so much positivity and energy to our team,” she said. “She is always going above and beyond her call of duty and has the best customer service. She treats everyone like they’re her family.”
Vasquez, who has worked with Pruett for two years, added that Pruett’s contributions to the team have not gone unnoticed.
“I knew since I first met Melanie that she would excel in her position and would someday be rewarded for her hard work and dedication to the college, its students and employees,” she said. “You can always count on her.”
Pruett said that the exciting part of her job is meeting new people and building relationships and good rapport with the students she works with.
“Many of the students I meet end up coming back to chit chat or for advice,” she said. “It’s exciting to see them grow.”
The award recipient said she would like to give a big thanks to those who nominated her.
“It’s great to be recognized for your hard work and for who you are,” she said. “I have a great team and I am truly honored to know that they appreciate what I do.”
Pruett said she hopes to continue growing with TSTC and working hard for its prospective and current students.
“I love TSTC. I can honestly say that this was the best choice I ever made,” she said. “I feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of others and to me that is so rewarding.”
Pruett will join the 15 other Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipients in May at the NISOD dinner and celebration in Austin where they will receive their awards.