Texas Tech University

Four OIA Staff Selected for 2021 Distinguished Staff Awards

Congratulation to four staff members of the Office of International Affairs who received Distinguished Staff Awards, the University's highest staff recognition for exceptional leadership, service, and commitment to the University. After an extraordinary year, the recognition of these colleagues for their outstanding and ongoing service to the University and our students and their families is especially significant. Each brings unique contributions to enhance the quality of work and engagement consistent with the University's values and needs.

“Congratulations to these individuals on their outstanding achievement. They are exemplary leaders and positive innovators. It just goes to show that hard work, passion, and a positive attitude never go unnoticed. I am so happy for them - they deserve it,” said a very proud Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dr. Sukant Misra. “Their impact on the ongoing success and growth of internationalization at the University and the influence on the outstanding scholarship and lives of our community help make Texas Tech University a national leader.”

The Award recipients are:

2021 Masked Rider Award 

Masked Rider Award

Javier Lopez, Graphic Designer/Multimedia Specialist

“I am super grateful to be selected as a recipient of this year's Masked Rider Award. I strive to always bring my best ideas to the table and produce the highest quality work possible. It's truly an honor to have been nominated by our Vice Provost for International Affairs, Dr. Sukant Misra, and to be recognized alongside so many other well-deserving Distinguished Staff Award winners; several of whom I work with every day! I look forward to continue growing with the OIA and contributing to the global efforts of Texas Tech University. Wreck ‘em!”

2021 Matador Award 

2021 Matador Award

Kathleen Cade-Gerzon, Student Life Coordinator

"I am truly honored to receive this award and to have even been nominated in my short time here. I remember all the time I would pass the International Affairs Building as a Texas Tech Student and dream of working in it, and now years later here I still have to realize, "here I am!" I truly have the best job in the world, helping the best students from around the world. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. Thank you for selecting me to receive the Matador Award, I feel truly grateful." 

2021 President's Award of Excellence  

2021 President Award

Whitney Longnecker, Director, Study Abroad 

It is an honor to be recognized by the University as a Distinguished Staff Award recipient. Although this recognition is awarded to me individually, I am simply the flag-bearer for a wonderful team of individuals devoted to the personal, academic and professional growth possible through Study Abroad. In turn, I must thank the members of the Study Abroad and Sevilla Center teams, both past and present, for their steadfast dedication to Red Raiders and international education.

2021 Chancellor's Award of Excellence  

2021 Chancellor Award

Rachel Jarnagin, Business Manager

“Being nominated for the Chancellor's award is an honor, but words cannot express how happy I am to be selected. I've been with Texas Tech for 15 years and at the Office of International Affairs for 13 of those years. It makes it easy coming to work every day when you know you are appreciated for what you do. Thank you to Dr. Misra and everyone who backed this nomination!”