COLLEGE STATION — Alvino V. Reyes, Jr. of Omaha has been honored by the Texas A&M University department of recreation, park and tourism sciences as its outstanding alumnus for 1996.
Reyes received the Leslie M. Reid Award for his outstanding professional achievements, integrity, recognition among peers and support for the department. He is the staffing specialist for National Park Service’s Midwest field area office in Omaha, where he provides support staff and personnel services to 12 parks in the region.
In 1988, he was selected by The Conference Board, a nonprofit research organization, as the first disabled congressional assistant to the U.S. Congress, serving a one-year term that eventually was extended to 20 months. He participated in a study project on technology and the disabled for the federal Office of Technology Assessment and another on travel and tourism for the disabled.
In 1991, he was one of 20 individuals selected from more than 600 applicants for acceptance into the park service’s three-year intake trainee program. During a two-year tour at Redwood National Park in Crescent City, Calif., he was recognized by the state’s Junior Chamber of Commerce with the President’s Award for community service.
From 1981 to 1987, he was the recreation specialist for Tenneco, Inc. in Houston, representing Tenneco on several local boards of directors, including the March of Dimes.
Reyes, who has cerebral palsy, was well-loved and respected during his time at Texas A&M partly for his role as manager of the men’s basketball team. Shelby Metcalf, coach of the team during the late 1970s when Reyes was manager, said the entire team benefitted from Reyes’ positive outlook on life and his willingness to accept challenges.
Reyes said his greatest personal challenge — and thrill — was rapelling down the Grand Canyon. He described his proudest moment as the time he informed Dr. Reid, his award’s namesake and a professor emeritus of the department, that he would graduate with honors, including a perfect 4.0 grade point average in his final semester in 1979.