By: Mollie Lastovica
Charlene Boggus, Lead Office Associate for the Department of Agricultural Leadership Education and Communications, was formally recognized as a recipient of the Association of Former Students University-Level Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff on April 29. Boggus is one of only two staff members across the Texas A&M System recognized for 2013.
“This award humbles me,” Boggus said.
Boggus has worked in her current position for ALEC for six years, but has been working in different facets for the department since 1987. She has impacted the lives of students, staff, faculty and administration alike.
“Charlene walks the extra mile on a daily basis,” Department Head Jack Elliot said in his letter of endorsement included in the nomination packet for this award. “Charlene Boggus is the glue that holds together the undergraduate program in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications. She is our front line person and she always has a smile, the answers and the helping attitude.”
According to the nomination packet guidelines, the Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff “is designed to recognize individuals whose normal scope of service has been other than teaching, research, student relations, continuing education/extension/professional development, or administration and recognizes, rewards and encourages a staff member who has contributed to the welfare of Texas A&M University through outstanding staff support beyond the expectations of the position.”
Boggus’ daily responsibilities include managing calendars for academic advisors in the department, overseeing Peer Advisors, coordinating communication efforts between the department and undergraduate students and serving as the contact person between students, parents, guests and the remainder of the department. She works as the departmental representative at all New Student Conferences and is often the first face of the department that students see when entering Texas A&M.
“Though Charlene’s title is Lead Office Associate, she is so much more to those who know her,” Assistant Professor Summer Odom, Ph.D., said in her letter of endorsement. “She is a mentor, counselor, friend, advisor, and sometimes your ‘mom away from home.’”
Former and current students both attest to the mentorship Boggus provides to them throughout their undergraduate careers.
“Staff members get lots of face-to-face interaction with students and a good staff member recognizes that students are so much more than a departmental statistic or a grade point average,” said Anna Smith who graduated in 2010 with a degree in agricultural leadership and development. “Charlene gets that. What’s more, she acts on it. She goes out of her way to make sure students are loved and cared for while they are at school. I don’t think she has any idea of the ‘ripples’ she is making in the pool of eternity.”
It is common to find current students, on a daily basis, stopping by the ALEC office to visit with Boggus and seek her counsel.
“She cares about my success as a student and in life,” said Caitlin Powers, junior agricultural communication and journalism major. “Ms. Charlene displays what it means to be a member of the Aggie family by always going beyond the expectations of her position.”
For Boggus, the award is a humbling reminder of her desire to lead like Jesus.
“Jesus was a servant. He loved people. I love people and I love to serve others,” Boggus said. “When I die, I would like for my tombstone to read, ‘she lived and loved like Jesus.’”
But for now, she will celebrate this accomplishment by continuing to do what she does best and loves most, working with students.
“Although we, as humans, like to be thanked and praised for what we do, public recognition makes me uncomfortable,” Boggus said. “I’m speechless. It really means a lot and I am so honored to receive this award.”