CSUN President Jolene Koester presented Antunez, the executive secretary to Provost Louanne Kennedy, with the award, which included a $1,000 gift from the Matadors Federal Credit Union. The staff Employee of the Year is selected each year via a campus-wide nomination process.
The president also presented the other individual award of the ceremony to Margaret Brown, director of the Student Services Center/EOP in the College of Health and Human Development. Brown, who is retiring this year, received the award for distinguished service in promoting equity and diversity.
"You too are extraordinary and contribute to the university in extraordinary ways," the president told the two award winners and the 189 other campus staff members being honored on their 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30-year anniversaries. "The university is alive and well, thanks to all of you."
In the 30 years of service category, those honored were Patricia Hollenbeck of the Media Library; Robert Park, associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics; Paulette Avila of the College of Extended Learning; Kathleen Ogle of Admissions and Records, and Jose Luis Vargas, director of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
Brown (right, with President Koester)received the second annual Dr. Jeanette Mann Award for Distinguished Service in Promoting Equity and Diversity. CSUN's Presidential Advisory Board on Equity and Diversity (PABED) established the award last year for Jeanette Mann, who retired in 2000 after 25 years as special assistant to the president for equity and diversity.
Brown was the first black woman hired as an Educational Opportunity Program counselor at CSUN in the early 1970s. Her work in the mid-1970s was instrumental in helping merge the black EOP and Chicano EOP into a single entity, and Brown also contributed to the early formation of EOP services.
In 1994, Brown received PABED's equity and diversity award. She also was honored last fall with the Don Dorsey Excellence in Mentoring Award. "Anyone who has ever met Margaret Brown knows she is truly 'one of a kind' and is exceptional as a professional," the president said.
Antunez, who has worked in the Provost's Office and at CSUN since late 1990, received the highest individual award of the ceremony. "I am deeply touched to receive this recognition and am also honored to join the ranks of the previous recipients of this special award," said the North Hills resident.
President Koester said Antunez (right)is "referred to by all who know him as 'a rare jewel of a human being.' As the individual responsible for the management of Provost Kennedy's office, he is without peer.... But most of all, he does his work and manages the work of others with calmness, competence, and compassion."
When Provost Kennedy meets with others on campus, the president added, people compliment Antunez for his thoughtfulness and his responsiveness to their requests. The president credited him with helping build a staff team in Academic Affairs and with "a leadership style that is not always evident because it is so quiet and without demand for recognition."
Antunez began at CSUN in 1990 as a clerical assistant working for former Academic Affairs Vice President Bob Suzuki. After Provost Kennedy's arrival, Antunez became her acting executive secretary in 1994 and assumed the regular position in 1995.
He also earned his bachelor's degree from CSUN in 1998, while managing a family that includes wife Linda, and two daughters, 7-year-old Sarah and 4-year-old Jennifer. Antunez previously had worked at Learning Tree University and Sinai Akiba Academy, a private Jewish day school in West Los Angeles.
@csun | May 14, 2001 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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