May 17, 2004 Vol. VIII, No. 17

Employee of the Year Anita Robertson (right) is joined by Marnie Nemcoff of the Matadors Community Credit Union, award sponsor.

Anita Robertson Named Employee of the Year

Schedule of Classes Coordinator Called Instrumental in Conversion to SOLAR Information System

Anita Robertson, Schedule of Classes coordinator in Admissions and Records (A & R), was named the Cal State Northridge Employee of the Year at the annual Staff Service Recognition Awards Ceremony held May 14 in the Satellite Student Union.

The awards, given in five-year increments, bring recognition to staff employees' dedicated service to the university. This year's ceremony paid tribute to more than 300 employees, whose CSUN terms ranged from five to 40 years.

Nominees for Employee of the Year, gathered from campus wide departments and divisions, were judged on the basis of creativity and/or innovation, initiative, leadership, teamwork and special contributions.

Robertson was described as "instrumental" to the university's conversion to the Student On-Line Administrative Resources (SOLAR) system, which handles student and academic data and information for faculty, staff, administrators, and students.

"The conversion was not a simple one-to-one correspondence between systems," said recently retired Director of Admissions and Records Lorraine Newlon of Robertson's achievement, "but required innovative insight into campus organization and functional design."

In addition to the challenge of the SOLAR conversion, Robertson undertook the documentation of an extensive library of procedures associated with the Schedule of Classes and related activities. Newlon said the procedures since have become the source of all training materials used throughout the campus and in the Roland Tseng College of Extended Learning.

Robertson not only redesigned A & R's admissions and registration mailers, but the unit's Web information as well, with an eye to providing an accessible "first contact" for students after conversion to the new information system.

It was Robertson's leadership that helped eight College coordinators at CSUN develop the skill sets needed for the conversion to SOLAR, whose impact was felt in more than 50 academic departments involved in Schedule of Classes construction.

Recognizing that the key to the project's success depended on the coordinators' ability to transfer their knowledge to others in their areas, Robertson was the "point person" who facilitated the prototype rollout, moving on to full development of the process.

Robertson worked with the SOLAR Support Services staff as well, attending all of its department training sessions, and open labs set up as training reinforcement.

"Her selfless commitment to the task of bringing SOLAR to reality was in the soil long before the system came to life," said Newlon. "For this work, Anita is in a class by herself."

@csun | May 17, 2004 issue
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