Research Assistant Receives Staff Meritorious Service Award

Azyucena Mendoza-Herrera receiving the Staff Meritorious Service Award from Dr. David Ragsdale. Photo by Rob Williams

Azucena Mendoza-Herrera, left, receiving the Staff Meritorious Service Award from Dr. David Ragsdale. Photo by Rob Williams

Congratulations to research assistant Dr. Maria Azucena Mendoza-Herrera as she received the Department of Entomology’s Meritorious Service Award during a special awards presentation on Thursday, December 13.

Mendoza-Herrera has been working as a research assistant in Dr. Cecilia Tamborindeguy’s lab since 2014 where she has helped Tamborindeguy achieve her research goals in her lab. During her career, Mendoza-Herrera has authored five papers, including first author recognition on two. This year she published two papers describing the plant symptoms associated with two bacterial haplotypes.

Mendoza-Herrera is currently working on the interaction between plant hosts, psyllids and the bacterial pathogen they transmit. Tamborindeguy praised her for her dedication to helping keep the lab running and mentoring students in the lab.

“Azucena is very dependable and hard working,” Tamborindeguy said. “She performs all her tasks on time, often anticipating the needs of other lab members and allowing experiments to be performed in a timely manner.”

Before working with the Department, she has worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M University with the Horticulture Science Department Institute for Plant Genomic and Biotechnology from 2006-2011, the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in 2001-2004, and with the Ecosystem Science and Management from 1999-2001.

During her career, she has mentored and supervised four undergraduate students, seven graduate students, and two visiting scientists during different stages of their thesis and dissertation research in the labs.

“Azucena takes very seriously her place in the laboratory,” Tamborindeguy said. “She is an asset for the success of my students. She helps them as much as she can and she works side by side with them to encourage them. She helps them to be top presenters, contributing to the success of my students in student competitions at the regional and national level.”

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