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Nominated by fellow educators from TSCA District 15, Rodriguez was named Educator of the Year in the Four-Year College and University category. Criteria for the award include:

  • Be an active member of TSCA for the past five years
  • Support the TSCA mission to promote effective communication
  • Give significant service to TSCA that advances the study of communication and communication education in Texas
  • Show a high level of teaching excellence as evidenced by students and supervisors

Each of the 20 TSCA districts can nominate one individual for the annual award. Nominees must support their eligibility with:

  • District chairperson nomination letter
  • Résumé and cover letter
  • Written teaching philosophy
  • Support letter from a school administrator
  • Five support letters from colleagues, former students and community members

Dr. Leslie RodriguezDr. Leslie RodriguezAn ASU alumna and eight-year ASU faculty member, Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate communication courses and serves on numerous university committees. She previously served as faculty advisor for ASU’s student chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta communication honor society, and currently serves as assistant director of the annual UIL Speaking Events Tournament.

In addition to her teaching duties, Rodriguez is an avid researcher in several communication fields, including racial discrimination in the workplace, Hispanic students in higher learning, and effective risk and crisis communication, among others. She has presented her research at nearly 20 professional conferences and conventions.

Rodriguez is also a member of the Southern States Communication Association and National Communication Association. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication at ASU and her Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi.

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ASU Alum, Master Sgt. Matthew Williams (U.S. Army photo)ASU Alum, Master Sgt. Matthew Williams (U.S. Army photo)The Medal of Honor is the highest U.S. military decoration and is awarded for gallantry and bravery in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Williams is being honored for his actions that saved the lives of four wounded soldiers and kept others from being overrun during a mission in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan that would later be called the “Battle of Shok Valley.” The mission was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The White House news release states:

“On April 6, 2008, while serving as a member of a Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3336, Special Operations Task Force-33, assault element, then-Sergeant Williams exposed himself to insurgent fire multiple times while rescuing other members of the assault element and evacuating numerous casualties.  In the face of rocket-propelled grenade, sniper, and machine gun fire, Sergeant Williams led an Afghan Commando element across a fast-moving, ice-cold, and waist-deep river to fight its way up a terraced mountain to the besieged lead element of the assault force. 

Sergeant Williams then set up a base of fire that the enemy was not able to overcome. When his Team Sergeant was wounded by sniper fire, Sergeant Williams exposed himself to enemy fire to come to his aid and to move him down the sheer mountainside to the casualty collection point.  Sergeant Williams then braved small arms fire and climbed back up the cliff to evacuate other injured soldiers and repair the team’s satellite radio.  He again exposed himself to enemy fire as he helped move several casualties down the near vertical mountainside and as he carried and loaded casualties on to evacuation helicopters. 

Sergeant Williams’s actions helped save the lives of four critically wounded Soldiers and prevented the lead element of the assault force from being overrun by the enemy.”

A more detailed account of the mission, including a video account by Williams, is available at www.army.mil/medalofhonor/williams/?from=hp_spotlight.

According to a story posted by Military.com, Williams will be just the 14th Medal of Honor recipient from the war in Afghanistan and the 10th from the U.S. Army. He would also be one of the only recipients still on active duty, as he is currently assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C.

A native of Boerne, Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Angelo State. He and his wife, Kate, have a son, Nolan.

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ASU’s Master of Science in Professional School Counseling program is partnering with ESC Region 15 on the “Rural West Texas Mental Health Educational Learning Partnership” (HELP) using the grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In addition to providing counselors for rural school districts, HELP is also designed to increase the training and professional development opportunities for school counselors and other mental health professionals already employed in the region. There will be a specialized focus on rural West Texas areas that lack access to mental health services and personnel.

State mandates and increasing enrollment, with minimal or no increase in state funding, have made it problematic for rural school districts to employ adequate student services personnel. That leads to various critical issues, including:

  • High student-to-counselor ratios
  • Lack of supervision and mentoring in crises situations
  • Lack of training and professional development for prevention, intervention and after-care

The HELP project will address these issues by providing additional school counselors, as well as expanding the services offered through ESC Region 15. The HELP steering committee includes:

  • Dr. Casey Callahan, Executive Director, ESC Region 15
  • Dr. Lesley Casarez, Educational Counseling Program Director, ASU
  • Dr. Raelye Self, Educational Leadership Program Coordinator, ASU
  • Dr. Audrey Heron, Assistant Professor, Educational Counseling, ASU
  • Dr. Tia Agan, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, ASU
  • Carol Stevens, Education Specialist Counselor, ESC Region 15

ESC Region 15 is based in San Angelo and serves 43 West Texas public school districts. ASU’s M.S. in Professional School Counseling degree program prepares graduates to take the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) for the Professional Certificate for School Counselors.

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4 October 2019

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21 September 2019

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14 September 2019

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8 September 2019

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5 September 2019

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25 August 2019

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11 August 2019

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29 July 2019

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20 July 2019

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18 July 2019

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Examples of the K-12 Science Education Loan BoxesExamples of the K-12 Science Education Loan BoxesUsing the grant funding, ASNHC faculty curators and staff have compiled K-12 Science Education Loan Boxes that will be available for checkout to local and area teachers for use in their classrooms. The boxes come with suggested lesson plans and contain models and tools that will give students hands-on learning experiences related to plants, mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles housed in the ASNHC.

There are six different Science Education Loan Boxes to choose from, including:

  • Metamorphosis (Pre-K)
  • Adaptations to Habitat (Pre-K – 5th Grade)
  • Food Webs & Energy Flow (5th – 8th Grade)
  • Dichotomous Keys (Middle School)
  • Data Collection (Middle School)
  • Sorting & Physical Characteristics (All-Level)

Materials in the boxes include scales, rulers, calipers and hand lenses, flash cards, real-life models of organisms, reproductions of life cycles, skull casts, life casts of primate hands, rubber tracks casts for stamps, track molds for creating plaster animal prints, and more. Certain materials and lesson plans align to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.

The Loan Boxes may be checked out for up to eight weeks. Educators wanting more information or to check out one of the boxes should contact Dianna Krejsa, ASNHC manager, at [email protected].

The ASNHC contains more than 100,000 specimens of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants from the Concho Valley, other regions of Texas, many other states, Mexico, Africa, Asia, Australia and even the Galápagos Islands.

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