She's taken university classes to learn web design to help her department, learned sign language through the university's fee-waiver program to better interact with students, become the lead secretary in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for training her peers, and even served as the college's lead secretary for People Soft implementation.
However, Scott was wrong about one thing. She figured the university would never pick a department secretary for its staff Employee of the Year Award-since the secretaries often do the nuts and bolts work of the campus-until Scott learned that she had indeed been chosen as CSUN's 2002 Employee of the Year.
"I was just completely stunned when they called and told me," Scott said. "My first reaction was I was so grateful they were giving the award to a department secretary.
"We do so much on campus. We do payroll, purchasing, department finances, helping with student advising, faculty hiring, planning special events, scheduling classes, supervision and so on. It's like you do a little bit of everything on campus," she said.
During the 36th annual Staff Services Recognition Ceremony on Friday, May 10, university President Jolene Koester presented Scott with this year's award, which includes a plaque for Scott and her name being inscribed on the university's plaque with prior award winners. She also received a $1,000 check from the Matadors Community Credit Union.
"The event gives me an opportunity to spend time with the staff, and to personally thank them for contributing to the excellence of the university," President Koester said. "This year's Employee of the Year, Susan Scott, exemplifies the hard work and dedication of all of the university's staff members."
Scott was nominated for the award by Geography Department chair Antonia Hussey, and drew supporting endorsements from others both in her department and college. The award recipient is chosen each year by members of a campus-wide committee that includes representatives from each of the university's four divisions.
"In Susan's nomination packet, there was example after example of how she had been creative and innovative, taken initiative, demonstrated leadership and significantly contributed to the team effort," said committee chairperson Stacy Edwards. "While all of the nominees demonstrated excellent attributes, Susan clearly demonstrated an extraordinary level of excellence across the board."
Scott came to the Geography Department in 1988 as department secretary and has served there ever since. "This place is great. The faculty and staff in geography are wonderful to work with. I feel lucky to work in such a good environment," she said.
Scott also said she feels a real connection to the university, which she describes as a good place to work. She lives several blocks from the campus, walks for exercise here with her husband John and saw her daughter Sonya graduate as a health sciences major and go on to become a Los Angeles public school teacher.
Through the years, though, one special benefit Scott says she has received from working on campus is the opportunity to learn and use a variety of computer software packages and technologies, a knack she picked up in her prior career as a Lockheed flight test data analyst. "I really love all the computer technologies we have. I think it's fun and interesting," she said.
Through it all, Scott has learned to be flexible. "I always figure I can do almost anything here, unless it all comes at me at once," she said.
@csun | May 13, 2002 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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