Heinz Receives Kunze Award from TAMU Graduate Student Council

Dr. Kevin Heinz, center, stands with Graduate Student Council Executive Vice President Amanda Rutherford (left) and GSC President Brittany Bounds (right). Photo by Charlotte Garroway.

Dr. Kevin Heinz, center, stands with Graduate Student Council Executive Vice President Amanda Rutherford (left) and GSC President Brittany Bounds (right). Photo by Charlotte Garroway.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Department of Entomology would like to extend its congratulations to Dr. Kevin Heinz as he received the Kunze Award for his hard work and accomplishments with the Office of Graduate Studies and the Department of Entomology during a special ceremony on Monday, April 28.

Heinz is currently the Assistant Provost of Graduate and Professional Studies and also serves as the Director of the Texas A&M Forensic and Investigative Sciences program and is a Professor in the Department of Entomology.

The Kunze Award was established to recognize a staff member or office for outstanding contributions to the success and prosperity of the Graduate Student Council. Heinz is currently the Assistant Provost of Graduate and Professional Studies and the Director of the Texas A&M Forensic and Investigative Sciences program and a Professor in the Department.

As the Assistant Provost in the Office of Graduate Studies, Heinz has served as the unofficial mentor to the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Graduate Student Council presidents and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies liaison to the GSC. As the liaison, Heinz has attended meetings and served as an informational source for the council and has participated in various council functions and events.

Heinz has also contributed greatly to Texas A&M grad students both at the University and Departmental levels through the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies by serving as the lead for the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies’ Recruitment team to attract diverse, high-quality graduate student prospects to TAMU by helping to administer the graduate merit and diversity fellowships that is the major University Fellowship program for graduate students.

Heinz also assists OGAPS in conducting informational sessions that hopefully improve graduate student life. For example, he emcees the New Student Orientation student panel and holds a Professional Development Session on picking a major professor and advisory committee. He also serves as the lead for the OGAPS Ombudsteam to assist students in resolving difficult interpersonal issues, organizational policy or procedural matters, and other assorted difficulties encountered by graduate students, thereby often assisting them to complete their degree objectives in a timely manner.

Heinz is the signature authority for OGAPS for membership to the graduate faculty, which is a prerequisite for faculty to teach graduate courses and to serve members of a graduate student dissertation/thesis committee.

In addition to his main service to OGAPS, he is also chaired numerous graduate student committees, and in almost every case the student received multiple department, university, or professional society recognitions for excellence in teaching, research and service.  The most recent was Mr. Milo Lewis, who received the 2014 Department of Entomology Outstanding Student award – Master’s category.

Heinz has led the development of the several endowments that provide financial support to graduate students.  Currently, he is co-leading an effort to form a joint endowment between the Departments of Horticultural Sciences and Entomology to provide scholarships to graduate and undergraduate students. Heinz also has been awarded the Texas AgriLife and College of Agriculture and Live Sciences Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence in Diversity in 2012 and in Excellence in Administration in 2008.

“Dr. Heinz was more of a friend than a superior,” said Graduate Student Council president Brittany Bounds. “He was quick to find our commonalities and never forgot the details of our conversations, reminding me that I was a valuable individual and that I was making a positive impact on the university.”

Bounds also said he was a great mentor and was very helpful to graduate students and was very deserving of this award.

“He has always been a strong advocate for graduate students, and it was normal to turn to him for advice about personal relationships, mentorship, and the future,” she said.  “We were honored to recognize Dr. Heinz tonight for his support of grad students.”

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