Ana Fackelman, winner of the Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award, might have an official title of clerical specialist in the Horton International House, but for the many students to whom she provides both immediate assistance and enduring support, an unofficial title of surrogate mom or sibling might be more precise.“I was born and raised in Mexico,” Fackelman said. “I still miss my sisters who are living there, so when students tell me that they’re homesick, I feel their pain.”
Treating bouts of student homesickness isn’t all that fill Fackelman’s days at the front desk of International House; Ana’s many and varied interactions with members of Rocket Nation stretch over more than a decade and include service at five residence halls.
“Many of the students stay in touch after graduation and invite me to their birthdays, even their weddings,” said the 14-year UT veteran. “Hanging out with our students, I don’t feel my age!”
Fackelman received this year’s Diane Hymore Exemplar of Excellence Award last week.
The honor named for the longtime executive secretary to President Lloyd Jacobs is presented to an individual whose work defines the core values of the University in her spirit of support, encouragement and service.