University Student Union, Inc.

Student Assistant Employee of the Month

Congratulations to our past Student Assistant of the Month winners!

Gregory Pease- February


A nominator stated, “What makes Greg an excellent student assistant employee is that he is always on the lookout for ways to improve the University Student Union. During Winter Break he assisted with projects throughout the Union that ensured cleanliness of the facility. He is always happy to assist other departments and uses his clever wit to solve any situation. During the semester Greg does not falter in taking initiative. As an employee and student, Greg goes above and beyond to ensure that the events in the Union are professionally run. Whenever a student, guest, or fellow student employee of the Union needs help Greg always comes to the rescue with a smile. If you ever want to catch him at work you can find him monitoring Noon Time Concerts for sound quality, checking meeting rooms for maintenance, or offering helpful suggestions at department meetings. Both on and off shift Greg inspires those around him to take initiative and pride in all that they do.”

Kimberly White- February


A nominator stated, “In the month of February, Kimberly was responsible for an event called The Changing Same. This panel-style event allowed students, staff, and faculty from diverse backgrounds a forum and a safe space for them to share ideas, trends, and personal experiences about their gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and race. Kimberly’s event brought over 80 attendees; this number is remarkable in the fact that the event was standing room only. Specifically in the month of February, she has gone above and beyond to be a good representative of the Pride Center and the USU at large. She makes her employment experience with the USU meaningful by maximizing her personal and professional development as a Student Assistant Employee and as a leader on campus. Kimberly has made these accomplishments relevant in her student life as a Sociology major, and is continually inspired to be an advocate for change.”

Amber Bartmus- January


A nominator stated, “Amber Bartmus is one of the best examples of effective customer service in our organization. Quick, resourceful, and fun, Amber exudes a can-do attitude and answers patron inquires with accurate information and a smile. She never misses an opportunity to greet a customer or fellow USU employee. Amber has helped the Pride Center programs run smoothly by helping to track down building managers - for example, to open the programs closet for decorations and other programmatic needs for our events. Amber is always willing to help, and is great at balancing the needs of both USU employees and CSUN patrons. Since the start of the Sol Center front desk's extended hours of operation, I have personally seen Amber give great customer service to patrons as late as 9:30 PM, and always has a great attitude while doing it. This, to me, shows Amber's productive work ethic and ability to run the front desk single-handedly - even while unsupervised. Amber's commitment to customer service is outstanding. Her actions and behavior at work set an example for her co-workers and move the organization as a whole towards its Mission Statement.”

Taylor Cubas- January


A nominator stated, “Taylor has been an asset to the department since she joined the team in July of 2013. She is very professional, polite and always willing to assist her colleagues in any shape, way or form. I have received numerous e-mails from department managers expressing the satisfaction for the service Taylor provided. One example is when a purchase order requisition had to be completed on the same day; the department manager submitted it to Taylor with the urgent request. Taylor was able to process the purchase order and hand-delivered the copy to the department manager. This shows the level of integrity she brings to the job. In addition, Taylor assisted me in completing a complex financial report that had to be submitted to the Associate Director, Finance & Business Services and the Executive Director. The report was used to make future financial decisions and the AD, F&BS and the executive Director praised the report. This is an honor and huge accomplishment on her part and merits the student of the month award.””

Ruther Agonoy- December


A nominator stated, “Ruther has displayed excellent maturity in his role in Facilities Maintenance. When Ruther first started he immediately took on the role of delivering packages daily, without being directed to do so. Since then, there has been a more consistent delivery of packages, and less overflow in the maintenance shop area. Ruther also pays attention to things around him that affect his job. For instance, Ruther listens to the 2-Way radio communications closely, and even though he may not be involved in the conversation, he will intercede if he can assist, or expedite, the needs of the people involved. Most recently Ruther has taken on hanging and re-hanging much of the Art work in the Northridge center. Ruther does not wait day to day to be told what to do. He knows what he has to do, and he gets it done. Ruther is has been an excellent addition to the Faculties Maintenance department.”

Pero Akinbohun- December


A nominator stated, “Simply cannot overstate how valuable Pero is to my ability to get things done every day. She shows up every day with a great attitude, ready to do whatever needs to be done that day. She tackles each task thoroughly and professionally with very little direction and supervision. She learns quickly and thinks critically. She anticipates needs as if she has been here for years. She helps other departments without question. She integrates feedback immediately. She "manages up" with skill beyond her years. She is ESSENTIAL!”

Claudio Caldarecu- November


A nominator stated, “Since beginning his tenure as the VRC supervisor over one year ago, Claudio has served as a constant source of support to his supervisor, the VRC staff, and their patrons - veteran and civilian alike. Claudio often goes above and beyond his normal scope of duties, covering the front desk and sometimes that of the Pride Center, flexing his schedule to assist with events, and supporting the VRC staff in efforts to help set them up for success. In the absence of his direct supervisor, Claudio took on added leadership responsibilities including the monitoring of the department's budget, assisting with evaluations, and closer interactions with the peer mentors - advocating for a bi-weekly group meeting where he could be included and serve as a source of support, a true indication of his Responsibility talent themes. Although Claudio's tenure with the USU/VRC draws to a close at the end of this semester, I can say that in my short time supervising him, a nomination is most befitting as he is definitely deserving.”

Trudy Pilgrim- November


A nominator stated, “As we approach of a full year of Trudy's tenure in the USU Events department, the growth that she has demonstrated is evident. Trudy had a very steep learning curve as she learned the systems in place to track and facilitate the department's budgetary systems. While lessons were not always easy, she handled them with grace and patience, a true reflection of her Restorative and Learner talent themes, but always with a tireless effort to master each challenge - an indicator of her Achiever and Restorative talents. Trudy has assisted in training the Business Assistant for the BOD upon hiring, assuming additional duties during the recruitment of the position and has since been called on to assist with various projects for Business Services, as well as training the VRC Supervisor on various budgetary and purchasing procedures.

When Trudy develops new systems, she consults widely and deeply - not just with her direct supervisor, but with other professional staff in the Business Services department to fully understand policies and is not afraid to offer suggestions for improvement. I am amazed at the progress Trudy has shown in the last year and recommend her wholeheartedly for Student Assistant Employee of the Month.”

Jose Lepe - October


A nominator stated, “Jose stands out for several reasons, whenever there is a project, even if he is not specifically assigned to it, he is always there to help. Recently, I personally needed the Pro Shop storage cabinet moved because a new one was ordered. He happened to be walking by and decided to stop and help. He moved the huge cabinet, almost all by himself, and put it in the new location. He did this without a work order and without being asked; he just took the initiative to do it.

One day Jose noticed that the frames hanging on my wall were a little crooked and off center. The very next morning he came in bright & early to fix the frames to my specification. Again, this was done without being asked.

I have never ever seen Jose in a bad mood. He is not only one of the most polite students I have met, but he is genuinely kind and wants to help people with whatever it is they need, no matter how much of a burden it is to him.”

Caleb Pate - October


A nominator stated, “Although Caleb works in the Fitness & Wellness Department as an Operations Assistant, he constantly helps out in all departments of the SRC. In Caleb’s roles, he has to work with lots of vendors and he always conducts himself as a mature professional, way beyond the expected maturity level of a college student. Caleb is always polite when dealing with customers, internal and external, but also keeps the mood light and jokes around with co-workers.

What sets Caleb apart this month is the assistance he provided in several emergency situations that occurred here at the SRC. Responding to emergencies in the facility is not part of Caleb’s “official” job description as he does mostly behind the scenes, business-related tasks. However, upon hearing a radio call on two different occasions even though he was about to clock out for the day, Caleb quickly responded to the emergencies and helped the situation. In the difficult situations he was faced with, Caleb maintained a calm composure and helped everyone that needed assistance. Caleb helped set an example to students (and even some professionals such as myself) on how to remain calm and focus on the task at hand, no matter how scary it can be. Caleb’s compassion for others and willingness to put others ahead of himself was displayed in two extreme cases of emergencies that happened within days of each other.”

Peruza Gevorgyan - September


A nominator stated, “Although this is Peruza's first paid employment position the level of professionalism she demonstrates is far more typical of a seasoned employee.  Peruza is a knowledgeable, efficient and dependable student assistant employee. Utilizing her positivity strength, Peruza always puts out a positive attitude and demeanor. She is also adaptable and does things without grumble. In this past month, Peruza was able to accomplish pending projects with care and precision such as the staff personnel file purge and tracking of certain USU policies that must be signed by all staff. Even though these projects are HR in nature, these do not fall within Peruza’s immediate scope of responsibilities. To add, Peruza activates her Discipline strength when assisting both HR Assistants in our heavy work load by listening, learning and executing the tasks, again never with fuss and always with a helpful, can-do attitude. In her, a little over a year tenure with the USU, she has become very knowledgeable in her position and can complete tasks relating to student employment as well as staff employment.  Peruza serves as an outstanding representative of the University Student Union and the Human Resources Office.”

Jovon Riggins - September


A nominator stated, “Jovon Riggins, a two year veteran employee of the Computer Labs has stepped up in leadership because of his vast experience in the Lab. Jovon can always be counted on to be an example of how a Computer Lab Technician should conduct themselves in all situations. His phenomenal performance as a Lab Technician has been recognized by his peers by winning the Department’s USB (U Shine Bright) Award for exemplary performance on the job during the Spring 2013 semester.

Furthermore, at the end of the year Jovon was recognized by his supervisors by winning the award for being the Lab Technician that can be counted on the most to step up. Not only does Jovon meet the expectations of a Computer Lab Technician, he exceeds them by training new hires by sharing the knowledge he has gained over the years of experience and most importantly by his example. Jovon is dedicated to the smooth running and operation of the lab and shows it by sending briefs to all the Lab Techs about how procedures and operations of the lab should be done, be it closing procedures or simply how to unjam an electric stapler. Additionally, he teaches a Tech Series on Excel that is not only invaluable to the Computer Lab Department but to the student population as well. His Tech Series is always one of the first to fill up as well as the most asked about Series. I feel like it is time he deserves to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication he has given not only to the Union, but to the student population.”

Sherry Butler - August


A nominator stated, “Sherry takes on a lot of responsibilities- ordering supplies for all of the USU events- big (like Matador Nights) and not-as-big (making sure all of her officemates have the supplies we need at our desks) - and she does it with confidence and ease. Sherry is just so humble about her talents, which makes it hard for her to standout in a pool of other applicant. However, I really want her to win this because she really deserves it. She loves interacting with students and she loves the USU, you could clearly see this when you see her promoting the USU.

Sherry volunteered to assist another department hire their office manager. She was asked to serve in this capacity because others see her work ethic and how efficient she is with her work. She really is that good. We've been trying to hire a clerical assistant for several months now. Sherry has been putting in extra time, coming in between classes and on her day off on Friday to help us stay afloat. She's been doing double duties for some time now...since she was hired the department and all of our responsibilities have grown. Sherry can be depended on like a true professional. She has meetings with business services and SRC staff without me there to back her up. This is so above and beyond her role as a SAE.”

Stephanie Lobos - August


A nominator stated, “Stephanie always displays a friendly and positive attitude. She assists the Sunrise Boot Camp class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and she is incredibly motivating and supportive. She takes the time to show participants modifications if they are unable to perform the (often difficult) movements. She’s done such a great job as a Group Exercise Intern that she was selected to attend the IDEA World Fitness Convention this year. Stephanie also did an outstanding job sharing her personal experiences during the August Student Summit. I was so incredibly impressed with her part of the large-group presentation. She decided to speak from the heart and share a very personal story about her mother. Her story really tugged at the heartstrings, but also drove home the point to students that you have to be passionate about your values, and know why your values are important to you. I am really impressed with Stephanie’s growth and professionalism over the past year and believe she is deserving of this award.”

Diana Andriola - July


A nominator stated, “Diana repeatedly puts herself out there, despite having just graduated and preparing to travel across the country alone for grad school. She takes on responsibilities and challenges and accomplishes her tasks with distinction and passion. She is not only a strong support for her mentees, but a pillar of the Pride Center, providing sensibility, support, compassion and mature wisdom for her co-workers and fellow USU staff. To get students engaged with the Pride Center over the summer, Diana created, organized, and facilitated a LGBTQ Summer Book. The book club was developed based off of feedback she received from students during her office hours. Diana was a huge asset to the Pride Center and she will be greatly missed.”

Christopher DeDominic - July


A nominator stated, “Christopher is a veteran staff member with 4 plus semesters as a Computer Lab Technician. He has vast knowledge about the running and operation of the lab and consequently he is always looked up to by his peers. Christopher’s experience in the lab has shone brightly is his customer service skills as well as computer troubleshooting skills. Christopher has shown great initiative by taking on small leadership roles in the lab and always exceeding the expectations that are required by the job. His leadership and approachability in the lab has led him to be called “open, responsible and always looking for ways to improve the running of the Lab.” by his coworkers. Furthermore as one of the most senior members on the Computer Lab staff, he is depended on by his supervisors in the training of many of the newly hired Computer lab Technicians due veteran experience.”

Jose Coatepotzo - June


A nominator stated, “I wanted to nominate Jose for the amazing job he has done for me over the past few weeks. I asked for his assistance with my budget (just to check a few minor things) and not only did he clean up my tracker, he updated it for this month as well! Jose is an awesome asset to the Business Services team and I greatly appreciate him!!! Jose is always more than willing to help out-no matter how much time it takes. He is very knowledgeable in his job and his willingness to help is so appreciated. Jose is one of those students who does what needs to be done (and beyond!) without being asked or even recognized for it; he does it because he knows it’s the right thing to do.”

Brenda Cruz- June


A nominator stated, “Brenda has done a great job over the past few months preparing for the Sunny Days Camp summer program. She scheduled the CPR/First Aid class for staff, placed all campers in their groups, confirmed bus transportation for the first filed trips of the summer and supervised the staff as they decorated the entire camp area.

Her biggest accomplishment, however, was coordinating the Open House on June 5th! On June 5th over 250 campers and their families descended on Sunny Days Camp excited to meet their counselors and pick up their camp gear. Brenda was personally responsible for coordinating the entire event. She purchased the supplies, prepared the camp gear for distribution, scheduled staff to cover numerous food and arts & crafts stations, created group lists for help campers find their counselors, developed a spreadsheet to track waiver and liability forms and prepared the staff bulletin boards. Brenda is a great employee and she truly enjoys her job. She continually does more than is asked of her and she communicates extremely well with campers and parents.”

Chelsea Herman - May


A nominator stated, “Chelsea’s most recent success was the Staff Appreciation Day, June Rejuvenation, in which she planned and executed with grace and incredible work ethic. Chelsea spent many hours brainstorming, planning, and executing this event to show gratitude for the staff. Chelsea demonstrated incredible creativity with the event and used her leadership skills to put together a group to help organize the event and make it a special day for all in attendance. Many of the supervisors had a wonderful time at the event, and leading up to the event everyone saw Chelsea's efforts to make it a wonderful day.

The event was organized and beautiful thanks to Chelsea and her excellent planning. Though Chelsea was responsible for planning a great event, she exceeds expectations daily. Ready to work and always offering a hand, Chelsea knows what it means to display grace and how to be a team player. She is a tremendous asset to the HR Department and a wonderful colleague for everyone in the University Student Union.”

Jose Levya- May


A nominator stated, “Other than the great skills and customer service he brings to his supervisor position and the leadership he models for the rest of his department, Joe has excelled in a different way during the month of May. As a CTVA major with aspirations to become a film editor, Joe has been able to use his passion for editing and translate it to his work experience here. Joe has created several films (including an SRC tour training video and Staff Appreciation video) which have not only showcased his talents, but have been appreciated and used by many USU employees.

Joe’s passion and dedication is apparent when working on these projects. He has done a wonderful job translating his true career goals into his time here at the SRC. Joe also took on the role of Multimedia chair for Year End Celebration. Not only did he meet the requirements of this position, but he surpassed all expectations by putting together the best set of videos to be displayed at any Year End Celebration ceremony so far.”