UT System Group Picks UTEP Assistant Director as Rising Star
Last Updated on November 30, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Originally published November 30, 2021
By Daniel Perez
UTEP Marketing and Communications
Cecilia Cantu Humphreys, an integral member of The University of Texas at El Paso’s Purchasing and General Services team, recently earned a 2021 Rising Star Award from The University of Texas System Supply Chain Alliance.
The group recognized Cantu, assistant director - contract administration, during its annual Power of Collaboration Conference conducted virtually Oct. 15, 2021. The alliance based its selection partly on her exemplary work as a dedicated servant-leader who helped the University work through the pandemic and seamlessly transition out of it.
The two-time UTEP graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature in 2008 and a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Writing Studies two years later. She tapped that background to generate Purchasing-related technical and contractual documentation and operational updates for bulletins and websites.
The assistant director said that she appreciated the recognition but admitted that it also surprised her. She recalled how she immediately began to hear a chorus of pings from her office computer on the third floor of Kelly Hall as co-workers began to send her congratulatory messages via Microsoft Teams after the announcement.
“I felt very honored to be acknowledged by my leadership and recognized by the UT System Supply Chain Alliance,” Cantu said.
The Alliance based its selection on accomplishments in innovation, leadership and dedication. Cantu’s pandemic activities weighed heavily in her consideration, especially her updates that provided vital information to those working on campus.
Diane N. De Hoyos, Ph.D., associate vice president for purchasing and general services, described Cantu as a reliable asset who works with a sense of urgency. She said Cantu used all her talents, to include her writing skills, to help the University through the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“The silver lining of the particularly undesirable challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic were those employees like Cecilia that excelled in their role to support the institution,” De Hoyos wrote in Cantu’s nomination letter.
Cantu is the fourth Purchasing employee to earn the Alliance’s Rising Star Award in recent years. She follows Denise Rodriguez, buyer for Purchasing, 2019; Michael Lau, director - contract administration, 2018; and Erika Rosales, director - purchasing, 2017.
Cantu started to work at UTEP in 2011. Her previous jobs included positions with Human Resources, Instructional Support Services, the Department of English, and the PeopleSoft Implementation Team.