Hundreds of California State University, Northridge staff members were recognized at the 46th Annual Staff Service and Recognition of Excellence Awards held on June 6.
This year’s theme was “Appreciating a Legacy of Teamwork: Transforming Lives for a Better Tomorrow,” highlighting the accomplishments of staff and administrators for supporting the university’s mission, vision and values, especially during a time of budget uncertainty. The program is organized annually by the Office of Human Resources.
“All of us individually and part of the collective whole, the team, play an important part in the educational process and ultimately the students’ success,” said Jill Smith, then interim associate vice president for Human Resources. “By doing our work successfully and consistently, we form a great team that changes people’s lives and in turn creates a better world for us in the future, a better tomorrow.”
Employees who have served the university from five to 40 years were recognized. This year, Fred C. Joseph (Physical Plant Management) was honored for his 40 years at the university. Ten employees were honored with Merit Awards for excellence in work performance, contribution to the development of new processes and service to the university community. Each Merit Award winner received $200.
The Jolene Koester Team Award was presented for a collaborative project or initiative that brings about positive, radical change that improves performance or productivity and/or reduces costs or enhances the image of the university. Last year, the award was named after the university’s former president Jolene Koester, in recognition of her support of teamwork and collaboration across divisional lines. This year’s winners are the Department of Police Services/Office of Student Housing and Conference Services Team and the Student Recreation Center Team.
The Police Services/Student Housing Team was recognized for helping improve the living and learning environment for CSUN students in the student housing area. The Student Recreation Center Team is made up of more than 40 individuals from across campus who collaborated to design, construct, develop programming, market and staff the new Student Recreation Center. The teams received $500 each for professional development, travel or equipment to further their goals.
The College of Business and Economics’ Cindy Trigg received the Presidential Award from then Interim President Harry Hellenbrand and last year’s Presidential Award recipient Jerry Luedders, associate executive director of the Valley Performing Arts Center. The Presidential Award honors one individual who sustains consistent, outstanding performance and demonstrates the values of the university. This award is reserved for individuals whose performance raises the bar in their department, whose example shines among their peers, and whose attitude of service and excellence shines brightly. The winner received $500.
At the time of her award, Trigg served as an administrative support coordinator for the departments of Marketing and Management in the College of Business and Economics. She has been on campus for 37 years and has worked in the College of Business and Economics for the last 21 years. She has consistently been recognized as an outstanding contributor during the entire period. Trigg obtained her bachelors’ degree and teaching credential while employed at the university. She continually receives letters, emails and comments of praise from students and faculty. One student she helped and guided in 2011 used her as an example/role model for his paper on effective leadership. Trigg routinely volunteers to provide her assistance and expertise at campus and College of Business and Economics events and recently took on the position of upper division program analyst for the college.
Hellenbrand congratulated all the nominees for “work well done.”
The Merit Award Winners are:
Lorraine Johnson (Klotz Student Health Center) is a licensed vocational nurse at the student health center. Johnson has served as triage nurse for many years and repeatedly earns high praise from students and staff for the quality and the style of services she provides. She is hardworking, has impeccable integrity, and always has a warm smile and encouraging words for colleagues and students. Johnson has earned the title of “Angel of the Student Health Center.”
Krista Groce (Financial Aid and Scholarships) is the senior functional analyst in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. During the past year, Groce has served in a leadership role in the upgrade of the software systems used to manage information related to financial aid and scholarships. Through her work she has gained the respect of her colleagues. Groce is not only an excellent technical expert but also a major contributor to the services of the office. She is an active partner in providing analysis that guides decisions about the allocation of scarce financial aid resources while maintaining a high level of compliance and integrity.
Dorna Basiratmand (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences–Student Service Center/EOP satellite) serves as an academic advisor. Basiratmand created and implemented the Advising and Mentoring Educational Project, which helps to better prepare undergraduates interested in pursuing careers in the helping professions, particularly in the field of Student Affairs. The project is based on the values of holistic advising, respect, teamwork, diversity, growth and making a difference. She has made a difference for students, her college and the university.
Aileen Rolon (National Center on Deafness) serves as an academic and career counselor, student development guide and mentor for deaf and hard-of-hearing students through the National Center on Deafness. Rolon’s exceptional commitment to deaf and hard-of-hearing students has resulted in her establishment and support of several innovative programs, including the NCOD Student Learning Program that employs deaf and sign-language-using students as tutors. She supports and facilitates cross-functional cooperation for the purpose of streamlining questions and enhancing student support and access services. She has earned the respect and confidence of students who frequently seek her out as a role model and trusted advisor.
Rita Linton (College of Humanities) has worked in the College of Humanities for the past 19 years and currently serves as the college’s SOLAR coordinator. Linton is helpful, friendly and patient with everyone. She exemplifies the role of a “model citizen” in a university community that values collaboration, inclusion and caring. A colleague from another college said, “Rita has been my inspiration. She does her job with heart. Always willing to help. Always with a smile and words of encouragement. I love working with Rita and consider her a mentor and a friend.”
Sheila Brown (Family and Consumer Sciences) has been with the university for 22 years and currently serves as the primary administrative support for the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Health and Human Development. Brown’s nominator said, “(Brown is) genuinely concerned for the well-being of our students and their learning.” She has a wealth of knowledge about programs and academic requirements that she uses to find solutions for students. Recently, she worked with the department chair and key faculty to develop a “systematic and humanistic approach” to assisting students when classes were canceled as a result of budget cuts. Brown provides daily leadership and a positive, collegial, collaborative and professional office environment.
Mercedes Gallup (Klotz Student Health Center) is the nursing and clinical support supervisor in the Klotz Student Health Center. Her dedication, commitment and caring attitude motivate others to achieve excellence, exemplifying what is good about the university. Gallup’s leadership of the nursing staff has not only increased nurse involvement and productivity but also boosted morale. She always strives to continue to learn, teach and represent the university as an excellent ambassador. She has just concluded a four-year term as president of the California College Health Nurses Association. Gallup is an exemplary employee who works with enthusiasm and energy and inspires the people she works with to do the same.
James Macaluso (National Center on Deafness) is an associate director and responsible for all access services and technologies for the center. He has been able to achieve major improvements in business operations that have directly enhanced student satisfaction and services. For example, Macaluso successfully transitioned a labor-intensive manual process for pre-registering students and assigning access services to an automated system that has drastically reduced errors, gaps in coverage and unnecessary costs. He is an exceptional colleague, liked and well respected by his team, students and alumni.
Jessica Worland ’06 (Psychology) began working in the Department of Psychology as a student and now works full time as an administrative support assistant II. She was nominated by her department chair and received letters of support from more than 20 faculty members and current students. One of her letters of support said, “Jessica exhibits solid common sense and a tenacious work ethic. She is definitely a team player with a great sense of humor.” She is considered an excellent adviser who gives accurate information to students in an “eager, friendly, supportive way.” Another letter said, “Sometimes I joke about how any of us would get by without her, but in her case, it is a valid concern.”
Ardis Flenniken (Admissions and Records) works as an editorial analyst in the Office of Admissions and Records. Flenniken demonstrates a high degree of competence and initiative at her job, and she is personable with all whom she meets. Her co-workers respect her. One of Flenniken’s nominators from another department wrote that Flenniken is “proactive and thinks beyond the scope of her own job. She promotes a positive environment by building collaborative relationships.” Another nominator called Flenniken “amazing.” Her enthusiasm and energy is greatly appreciated.