Applause Awards Recipients - 2002
Amanda Eberhardt ,CIHS/CalSTAT (California Services for Technical Assistance and Training) Student Assistant
The staff at CalSTAT would like to thank our student assistant Amanda Eberhardt for being such a valuable employee. Amanda has been with us for over a year and during that time has demonstrated abilities and attitudes that we would covet in a full time employee.
Amanda has a positive attitude that is infectious. She is always friendly and supportive of all staff members. She is the first to volunteer to help and is adept at prioritizing deadlines. She listens to instructions carefully and accomplishes her assignments completely and efficiently the first time. She has the ability to look ahead and see what is needed in the way of supplies and/or time in order to complete a task. She is highly proficient with the computer, has a professional telephone manner, and performs all office tasks well. She schedules her classes and semester breaks to optimize her availability for work.
Amanda's youth, sense of humor, outgoing personality, and common sense keep us aware of our University environment. Her vitality, independence, strength, and compassion affirm the best in young people.
Barbara Thompson and Tracy Goodman, Customer Services
Tracy and Barbara did an absolutely fabulous job hosting and organizing the campus Halloween event this year. Thank you! — Nominated by Edna Nakamoto, Sr. Director for Employee Services
Becky Cohen , Administrative Coordinator, Nursing Department
Becky goes the extra mile to problem solve complicated issues; she makes suggestions on ways to improve the business of the department. She is a superb Ombudsman for the Nursing Department. She is helpful and willing to consult with and help other staff and departments and serve on University committees. She knows how to fix the copier in Nichols and is willing to help faculty when they need assistance! She is extremely empathetic and understanding with the many questions presented to her by both potential and current students. She takes time to listen to potential applicants, she patiently describes the various programs and the prerequisites, and walks them through the process of supplemental application. I have never heard her get angry or be anything but professional and polite on the phone or in person. She was instrumental in helping me submit a grant with complicated tables on time! All of her efforts improve the visibility of the department and University, and most importantly they make life easier for students, faculty, and other office staff. — Nominated by Wendy Smith, Nursing
Beverly Krystosek, Sociology & Criminal Justice, Admin Coordinator
There is no one like Beverly. At the hub of TWO departments plus Project Censored, she manages to bring efficiency as well as high spirits to the job every single day. When the semester started each faculty member was given a folder of handouts that Bev, on her own, had prepared for us. These included phone numbers, home addresses, schedules, office hours and University-wide information — an incredibly thoughtful yet time-consuming task. I applaud Bev who is not only our coordinator but also a counseling graduate student, for her forthright defense of the tech high students in the Star newspaper, leading to a dialogue about understanding and acceptance of diversity on campus. For all your contributions, thank you Beverly!
— Nominated by Dr. Joyce Johnson, Sociology Instructor
Cathryn Stuckey , Communication Studies, Department Coordinator
Cathryn is the kind of staff member that makes you happy to be working at Sonoma State. She exhibits her expertise with grace and style, even in the most difficult of circumstances. She maintains a calm in the department office during the hectic registration periods and is greatly appreciated by faculty, staff and students alike. Thanks to her sense of humor, she eases the burden of dealing with endless paperwork. Cathryn is a tireless support of faculty and students in the Communications Studies Department.
Charlotte Brown, Rafael Habtezion, VaLinda Kyrias, Frank Oddy, Sandy Stever, Accounts Payable Vendor Representatives
The staff in Accounts Payable is more than worthy of applause for all of the hundreds of payments that they process every week. One might think that they are just doing their job, but there are so many special circumstances that can distract from automatic processing, yet they continue to process payments in a timely manner. They deal with difficult people every day looking for payments on invoices that they often have not even received. This unit is rarely appreciated while it is one of the most hard working units on campus. I applaud their unending work ethic and 'can-do' attitudes.
Christine Hayes, Web Designer, CMS
Employee Services would like to give a big round of applause to Christine Hayes for all her help with the Employee Services web site. Christine has the remarkable ability to know what you want and how to get you there even if you don't have a clue. She also possesses the patience of a saint and a great sense of humor, both of which came in very handy on this project. Thank you, Christine, for all your help!
Connie Lewsadder, Administrative Coordinator, Psychology
Connie routinely goes way beyond the call of duty on behalf of the Psychology Department. This has been especially evident in her helping us to recruit students for three focus groups for our self-evaluation process, and in her help around the planning and execution of our departmental retreat. She is a wonderful asset!
— Nominated by David Van Nuys, Chair, Psychology
Dawn Owens, Faculty Affairs Analyst
Dawn Owens has been described as the "patron saint" of the Administrative Coordinators and having the patience of Job.
She is highly respected among the AC's as well as other university employees. She is very helpful, polite, pleasant, encouraging and was/is a great help during the PeopleSoft transition. She is prompt in returning phone calls and answering questions, in spite of being very busy. Dawn is highly professional, very attentive to detail, and has a good sense of humor. She is also known for giving individual assistance; she recently spent time with a new AC venturing on her first tenure-track search in the AC's office.
Dawn is never condescending toward anyone and oh-so patient! The AC's feel comfortable asking her any questions they have. She constantly delivers "superlative customer service".
With 40 tenure-track searches being conducted this academic year, we want Dawn to know that she is very much appreciated and what a valuable employee she is to the university. Thanks Dawn for being so amazing! — Nominated by Dolores Bainter, Becky Cohen, Nancy Crosat, Sue Foley, Kathleen Hardy, Leslie Mouton, Kathleen Piro, Connie Lewsadder, Sheila Mackintosh-Sims, Mary Rogers, Cathryn Stuckey, Yvonee Thompson, Jan White, Erica Wilcher, Merle Williams, Julie Wood, and Janice Wright
Erica Wilcher, School of Social Sciences, Administrative Coordinator
Erica brings to SSU an enthusiasm and warmth appreciated by all. She maintains a professional attitude while dealing with both routine and emergency situations. Erica consistently produces high quality work while being very attentive to detail.
Gaye Stump, Psychology Graduate Programs
Gaye goes out of her way to be accommodating to students and to those inquiring about our graduate programs in psychology. She is very warm and respectful to all students and faculty with whom she has contact. Gaye shows very good organizational skills and approaches her multi-task job with grace and calmness. She is an excellent ambassador for Sonoma State University programs as she goes about discharging the duties of her position.
Grace Ziesing, Anthropological Studies Center, Information Manager
Grace Ziesing has been filling in for Adrian and Mary Praetzellis, the Principle Investigator and Operations Manager for the Anthropological Studies Center (ASC), for the past three months while Adrian and Mary have been on sabbatical. While Adrian, Mary, and Grace prepared for the temporary transition for several weeks prior to their departure, Grace's new position was extremely difficult. Grace has had to fill not just one set of big shoes, but two, while still managing her own accounts during their absence, and she has risen to the challenge. Grace has practically lived at the ASC for the past three months, making sure that all of our projects were staffed, funded, and on time. Though winter is normally a slower time of the year for the ASC, this winter has been incredibly busy and has found the staff spread throughout northern California on a variety of large, complicated projects. Grace has skillfully kept the place running smoothly while keeping her good humor and her door open for questions and problems. Her management and organizational abilities have not only allowed us to continue our projects effectively, they've allowed Adrian and Mary to take a much deserved vacation, the first since their honeymoon over two decades ago. As full-time Senior Staff of the ASC, we would like to recognize Grace's absolute devotion and more than full-time commitment to keeping the ASC functioning at top performance.
Henry Amaral, Facilities
Henry is the type of person who is always willing to help someone. Often, during work order for moving furniture, someone will ask for a little extra without going through the proper procedure. Henry will say "No problem, we can do it. Just give us a few minutes." They reply "Oh thank you so much Henry." What would it be like not having Henry around? One thing is for sure. Henry may be small in size, but if anyone replaces him, they will have a very big shoe to fill.
Jan Coulter, Anthropological Studies Center, Business Manager
Jan inherited a complex and difficult job just as the ASC was completing our transfer from Foundation to State, and at the onset of PeopleSoft. We have almost 60 full and part-time staff, as well as different interns, students, and volunteers through the semester, and Jan has been incredible in keeping the ASC functioning through one of our busiest, and most challenging, years. Jan is here first thing in the morning, she's here late, and she's here on weekends, all while juggling family and successfully passing her CPA test. Without Jan, this organization would grind to a halt - no one else has the knowledge or skill needed to track the two to three million worth of personnel, IDC, benefits, contractors, equipment, and rental vehicles we get annually through contracts, and make our work mesh smoothly with the University's — and she does it with good cheer and wit. As full-time Senior Staff of the ASC, we would like to recognize Jan's hard work and competent abilities and thank her for her efforts, which allow us to focus on our own projects and continue to bring in research projects, and jobs, to the University.
Jan Volk, Purchasing/Contracting Buyer
Without any prior notice, Jan dedicated most of a day to research and execute an emergency service agreement on behalf of Housing Services. To complete this agreement, Jan took initiative to contact several other campus departments to insure that the final agreement met everyone's needs. The services began at 8:00am the next day.
— Nominated by Tim Tiemens, Director of Housing Services
Jane Wright, School of Social Sciences, Administrative Manager
I would like to nominate Jane Wright for the Applause Award Program. When I began as Dean of the School of Social Sciences in the summer of 2001, I had many new tasks to learn quickly. I was able to count on Jane to anticipate what I needed to know. She did so even before I knew that I needed them. These prepared materials were understandable and easy for me to focus on. In addition, she helped me with the trauma of moving, which turned out to be more of an ordeal than I expected. She was there for me in countless ways; physical assistance, emotional support and all done with humor and kindness. During the rest of the year she helped me deal with budget cuts, personnel issues and situations that I could never have handled without her wise counsel and humorous intelligence.
Jane Wright is a remarkable woman. She was trained in the military and has adapted to higher education with amazing resilience. She does many things without my asking for them. Often she does them before I even know that they need doing. She is thorough, professional, quietly efficient and uniquely qualified for all that she undertakes. She is also a quick learner and highly adaptable, learning how to work with a new Dean in a very short period of time. I am quite lucky to have her as my administrative manager. She manages all of the AC's in the School of Social Sciences with a firm hand, but also with the same leadership qualities that have served her well so far. Jane deserves this Applause Award; she is an exemplary employee.
— Nominated by Elaine Leeder, Dean, School of Social Sciences
Jessica Hallock, Events Coordinator, Administration and Finance
Jessica assisted a fellow employee in finding a lost set of keys. Jessica went beyond the call of duty by searching a full trash can and finding the lost keys.
Julie Wood, Administrative Coordinator, and Kathleen Piro, Assistant to the Administrative Coordinator, History/Political Science Departments
I would like to nominate Julie Wood and Kathleen Piro. I have worked with Julie for four years, and Kathleen for this academic year. I would like to commend both women for their unfailing professionalism and extraordinary skill in performing their duties. Julie and Kathleen are staff to over 25 faculty, and 400 History and Political Science majors. They advise majors on administrative matters, and provide information on General Education courses to hundreds of students every semester. In addition to their regular jobs, Julie and Kathleen are currently providing staff support for two tenure-track hires, and the formation of adjunct hiring pools. They also coordinated celebrations for retiring faculty, and assisted the Social Sciences School Office in coordinating the retirement party for Dean Robert Karlsrud. I am amazed that Julie and Kathleen do such an outstanding job in such a demanding work environment, and still manage to maintain their composure.
— Nominated by Catherine Nelson, Associate Professor, Political Science
Katie Duran, Arts and Humanities
Katie is so on top of things! She is very helpful and goes out of her way to get things done for me. Other people don't give me the time of day, but Katie walks me through the process or gets me in touch with the right people. Katie is very knowledgeable about University processes and she creates a "learning environment" for fellow staff to benefit from her experience.
Kristen Fellner, Thora Wilson, Leslie Mouton, Rosemary DeGowin, and Judy Ingels, School of Education
We are grateful to these five remarkable women for devoting countless hours to overseeing the months-long preparations and intensive three-day visit by state accrediting officials who piloted a credential program evaluation protocol at SSU. We acknowledge that their work on the arrangements and scheduling, materials preparation and organization was added to their regular responsibilities. Their cheerful dispositions, effective problem solving, and competent and extended coordination of the many people and "pieces" involved in this important evaluation process deserves accolades. So we applaud their collaborative accomplishments on behalf of our teaching credential candidates.
— Nominated by the Faculty from the Departments of Reading, Language and Culture AND Early Childhood and Elementary Education
Lisa Bradley, Jocelyn Delamore, Sally Hopkins, Sara Phillips, Patricia Standley, Jeanne Zielinski, the administrative and evaluation staff for The Hilton/Early Head Start Training Program, California Institute on Employee Services
We want to acknowledge this outstanding team of dedicated women who work tirelessly at handling all the logistics and accompanying paperwork related to the thousands of participants and consultants attending the program's national SpecialQuest training events. The Hilton/Early Head Start Training Program. a 5-yr program funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Head Start Bureau, provides intensive training and follow up services to teams of Early Head Start programs and families of infants and toddlers with significant disabilities. The program is one of the projects housed at the California Institute on Employee Services (CIHS).
This wonderful staff takes care of the very complicated team enrollment process, travel arrangements, hotel reservations, registration confirmations, parent stipends, preparation and shipping of training materials, and follow-up evaluations for the program.
Each member's contribution has directly affected the success of this innovative training program. We couldn't have done it without them!!
— Nominated by Management team from the Hilton/Early Head Start Program, California Institute on Employee Services
Maria Countouriotis, Employee Services, Assistant to the Senior Director
Maria's help was invaluable to my co-worker and me during a tricky office move. She not only coordinated the usual telephone/computer hook-ups and furniture move with lightening speed, but also used her creativity to help us fit two workstations into a small office space. The move was accomplished ahead of schedule, too. The layout works for us, and I know that it could not have happened without Maria. Thank you!
Marion Yeager, Customer Service Specialist
Marion has proven to be helpful, patient, and courteous at all times and is able to find an answer to just about everything! She is knowledgeable and if there is something that she is not sure of, she finds out; she is very thorough in her answers. Marion has been complemented on being one of the kindest, most gracious people on campus. She always goes above and beyond to help people with any problems, questions they may have. She has a calm demeanor even in times of stress that helps quite a bit. Marion makes working with Customer Service an absolute delight and she is the true embodiment of customer service. Thanks Marion for being so wonderful to work with!
— Nominated by Dolores Bainter, Katie Dahlstedt, Sue Foley, Gaye Grace, Kathleen Hardy, Connie Lewsadder, Mary Rogers, and Yvonne Thompson
Mary Rogers, Music Department Secretary
Patience, availability and caring, repeatedly offers kindness by taking care of my needs.
Marybeth Hull, Mathematics, Administrative Coordinator
Marybeth is efficient, friendly and helpful to students, staff and faculty. She often thinks ahead, alerting me to matters that are crucial to the smooth running of the department before they become urgent. As the Administrative Coordinator of one of the largest departments on campus, Marybeth increases the SSU quality of life for hundreds of students.
— Nominated by Brian Jersky, Associate Professor and Chair, Mathematics
Merle Williams, Administrative Coordinator, English Department
Merle Williams is the most capable staff person I have ever come across at Sonoma State. She always presents a helpful, professional demeanor to the students, and to the faculty as well (who can be much more demanding than the students!) PeopleSoft has slowed down and complicated many of our administrative processes and we would be unable to hire lecturers, evaluate their teaching, put out position announcements, or accomplish any of this kind of work at all were it not for her. I sometimes see her in the office on the weekends learning about PeopleSoft so that she can teach us! She runs the largest department in the Arts and Humanities with only part time assistance and does a fantastic job. I am always amazed at how much she can accomplish in a short period of time. When I came here as a first year tenure track faculty member, Merle did more than anybody to help me learn how to do the administrative service which is such an important part of the job.
— Nominated by Lisa Nakamura, Assistant Professor, English
Mila Chace, Payroll and Benefits
The first day Mila was assigned to print a report she made the comment that the report did not seem complete. Without being asked, she made it possible so that the Financial Aid Office had a report that had all the information we needed. She also explained the process of timing for printing the report, and why there was a delay. Thank you, Mila, for your assistance!
Paul Wilshire, Service Center Coordinator, Information Technology
Over the past five years, Paul Wilshire has consistently solved numerous computer problems and crises with a grace that calms even the most anxious of us. Just two weeks ago, six other students and I were scrambling to complete data analyses for conference presentations. One morning, we discovered that the statistics program that worked the day before was no longer available. One phone call and Paul came immediately to our lab to troubleshoot the problem. This is the kind of help he has provided us over and over again. Anyone who depends upon particular software programs for their work know what a priceless service Paul provides.
— Nominated by Heather Smith, Psychology
Peter Wallstrum, Information Technology
Peter took responsibility for the success of the Ghost Server project. This reduced the time it took to install operating system and application software on new Dell workstations from hours to minutes. He almost single-handedly made the User Workstation department job much easier and the entire campus benefits from IT being able to install software over the network instead of walking around with disks or CD's.
Phil Peterson, Media Production Coordinator, Information Technology
I would like to thank Phil Peterson in IT for his quick response and reply to my request for the editing of the amateur video that was taken at Staff Appreciation Day. The event was videotaped on June 3rd and needed to be edited by June 6th so the night custodian crew could view it during their Staff Appreciation Night. It was a very amateur video that needed a lot of work! Given the size of the task and the short turnaround time, Phil responded to my request and made an appointment on the same day. Since I had no knowledge or training on the equipment that needed to be used, Phil patiently viewed the video and worked his magic; the amateur video now looks great! Because of his work, the entire night custodian crew was able to see a higher quality video. Many thanks to Phil. — Nominated by Carol Ingerman, Employee Relations
Phil Peterson, Information Technology
Phil has been a great resource for faculty, students and staff. He will always go the extra mile when asked to help. He has assisted in video production, covering after hours events on tape, editing and sharing his expertise so generously. Phil is a rock of dependability and always there to help.
Renee Deorsey, Financial Aid
Renee completed a daunting task by designing PeopleSoft training materials for all members of the Financial Aid office. As difficult as it is for us to learn a new system, Renee's detailed, organized training materials made training sessions easier than they might have been. And, she's even maintained her sense of humor!
— Nominated by Susan Gutierrez, Interim Director of Financial Aid
Sallie Washburn, Anthropological Studies Center, Administrator III
Sallie has been with us for several years now and has survived our transition from Foundation to State and the switch to PeopleSoft. She's been the "front line" for our paperwork, making sure that our volumes of receipts, travel claims, travel advances, vouchers, time sheets, client invoices, and bills gets deciphered and organized into a coherent package for the University. She has come to our rescue on several occasions, making sure travel per diem was available for crew, making sure rental vehicles and equipment were ready on short notice, clearing up lodging problems, and making sure that people were getting paid when they were too far away to get their paperwork in at the last minute. At any one time our staff and crew could be spread throughout the state, yet Sallie keeps all of our projects functioning when we can't be there to solve problems. As full-time Senior Staff of the ASC, we would like to recognize Sallie's extra efforts, organizational skills, and good humor that keep us, and the ASC, on the ball.
Sonoma Staff Infection Band: Kent Hayden, Steve Anderson, Gregg Sheehan, Steven Nank, Bob Williams, and Rick "Fiznick" Minervini
Each year these people spend a lot of their personal time developing and performing skits and music at the Faculty and Staff Halloween Costume Contest. They put in many hours of rehearsing for this and do it without any thought of compensation. They contribute gladly and selflessly to promote good spirit and camaraderie at SSU.
Stephanie Wilkinson, Counseling
Many prospective students appear or call the office for information. Stephanie is very helpful, patient and friendly. She is always offering to assist faculty, even with tasks that we could/should do ourselves. Her positive energy makes it a pleasure to come to the office. I never feel like I am putting her out.
Stephen Francisco, Facilities Services, Night Custodian
I am applauding Steve because he not only consistently goes the extra mile, he does it 6:00 a.m. He recently performed two things that I feel deserve an Applause. I ran into him on my way to work outside Salazar Hall and told him that we had an accident with soda on our brand new carpeting, and asked how I could make arrangements for someone to come and clean the carpet. He told me the normal procedure, and I went on to my office. About 10 minutes later (6:00 a.m., when he should have been getting ready to go home) he showed up with all the equipment and said "since you are here and I can get in I'll just take care of that now." He did a great job and restored our carpet back to its new look. Also, there was a vacuum cleaner in our kitchen area that we could not use because the plug was damaged. Steve bought a new plug for it out of his own pocket and repaired it. Thank you, Steve, for your caring and the extra mile you always go.
— Nominated by Mary Wood, Managing Director of Payroll and Benefits
Steven Nank, Shipping and Receiving
Steven has gone out of his way on numerous occasions to help us ship and receive great volumes of material to and from NASA. Most of these shipments are under tremendous deadline pressure, so his extra efforts are greatly appreciated.
Sue Bennett, Information Technology, Analyst/Programmer
Sue overcame significant obstacles — including a short turnaround time, the learning curve of a new database, and a make-it-or-break-it deadline — in programming the extract that was needed to allow continuing SSU students apply for the state Cal Grant program. Sue's attention to detail and persistence also ensured that accurate information was reported when it wasn't so easy to determine how that would be done. Thanks, Sue!
— Nominated by Susan Gutierrez, Director of Financial Aid
Suzanne Garrett, Senior Credential Analyst
The Special Education intern credential program has recently begun outreach to Ukiah and to Richmond. Initiating programs in these locations far from campus requires us to deliver advising, admissions, instruction, and credential applications in a convenient package. Suzanne Garrett, the Senior Credentials analyst in the School of Education has been forthcoming and generous in making repeated trips to Ukiah and Richmond to facilitate interns understanding of University and CTC requirements. In the process she has demonstrated special sensitivity to the fact that these students are typically less that familiar with University regulations and procedures. She makes herself available both in person, by traveling there, and over the phone and e-mail in a fashion which is inviting and cordial. I know for certain that Suzanne's thoughtful and humane treatment of several of these non-traditional students has been a key factor in their enrollment and success in our program. I should add that Suzanne's "plate" in credentials was already quite full before these programs began. She made time and energy available nonetheless. For this, Suzanne Garrett is fully deserving of the applause award.
— Nominated by Tom Cooke; Chair, Educational Leadership and Special Education
Thomas Cooper, Hutchins, Blended Program Advisor
Thomas has done an impressive job of developing outreach materials and application procedures for the new Blended Program in the Hutchins School. His work in advising students, managing admissions and tracking majors reflects a consistently high level of dedication and professionalism. He has contributed substantially to the quality of our students' educational experience.
— Nominated by Debora Hammond, Assistant Professor, Hutchins
Yvonne Thompson, Anthropology
Yvonne is always pleasant and efficient. If I ask for something, I find them in my mailbox the next day. She helped me add my name to the phone tree and has looked up answers to my questions in the handbook. She takes time from her own work to do this.