The Community Press


March 2, 2022


Chancellor John Sharp and the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recently announced recipients of the Regents Fellow Service Award. This award honors professionals in the Texas A&M University System who have provided exemplary service and lasting benefits to the Texas A&M System and the State of Texas. Saldaña’s service spans 32 years where he has served as a County Extension Agent, Specialist, Urban County Director, and as the District Administrator for the Southern District of Texas. His contributions include the development of a 4-H Program at a Job Corps Center, cotton marketing club, applied research demonstrations in all commodity areas, and the startup of an AmeriCorps program for the Agency that supported hundreds of youths in environmental service projects. Those students were able to ultimately use that program to attend college and Saldaña was recognized with the Governor’s Award in Environmental Excellence. 

In his administrative role, he began new partnerships with city government, initiated the Que Sabrosa Vida program in El Paso along with other projects with the Kellogg Foundation and USDA grants. He served on numerous state and national boards, assisting in granting millions in USDA funding to worthy programs throughout the country addressing health, food deserts, and small farmers.

Dr. Saldaña earned a reputation for critical thinking  and innovations in administration, developing a new performance appraisal system for county-based  faculty, leading diversity training across the state, and developing new processes for the statewide  training and onboarding of new employees. He was at the forefront of distance education, creating  onsite opportunities for students to pursue graduate degrees from various universities. 

He is an agency resource on civil rights and was instrumental in consolidating professional career ladder, performance appraisals, and other agency processes into a single streamlined system of performance measurement.  The award was presented to him on January 28 on the campus of Texas A&M University.  

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