COLLEGE STATION – Joe D. Smith of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) has been awarded the prestigious Regents Fellow Service Award. The annual award is the highest honor given by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and recognizes employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
Smith was recognized for his dedication to serving the telecommunications and electric power industries in Texas by sharing his expertise, knowledge and technical skills with thousands of students over his decades-long teaching career at TEEX. He has criss-crossed the state, providing the latest technical training and enhancing the safety of telecommunications and electric power workers.
Smith also conducts onsite technical assistance and safety meetings for electric power and telephone companies, helps survey their safety needs and assists them with compliance with safety standards and regulations. He works with companies to help identify and mitigate potential hazards in order to prevent accidents.
Well-respected in the communications industry, Smith has shared his time and experience as a keynote presenter at multiple conferences and as author of “Fiber Optic Splicing and Testing.”
Smith has provided exceptional leadership within the agency, the classroom and the community. He stays abreast of the ever-changing technologies in the telecom industry to ensure TEEX students receive the best and most relevant training. To do this, he developed 14 training courses and contributed to the redesign of the telecom labs at the RELLIS campus to improve the training capability of the agency. This effort provides students exposure to the latest technologies of the industry and a state-of-the-art learning experience that is difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate.
He has served as the lead instructor for an estimated 800 individual course sessions for thousands of students, who give him rave reviews on course evaluations, citing his communication skills and great attitude. Common adjectives are: outstanding, knowledgeable, excellent, professional, helpful and well-prepared. More than one shared this sentiment: “Best training course I’ve ever attended!”
The Caldwell native is a Certified Fiber Optic Installer, Certified Fiber Optic Technician, a Certified Technical Trainer and holds the TEEX Certified Safety and Health Official® (CSHO) designation in both Construction and General Industry.
He has also been called on to train military forces at White Sands Missile Resort, Lackland Air Force Base, as well as Fort Hood and Joint Base Charleston, S.C., both of which awarded him with an Excellence for Outstanding Achievement Award. He received the Distinguished Service Award from TEEX in 2005.