May 17, 2004 Vol. VIII, No. 17

President Jolene Koester (left) and 40-year service award winner Dorena Knepper hold congratulatory proclamation from State Senator Richard Alarcon.

Dorena Knepper Receives 40-Year Recognition at Staff Service Awards Event

Dorena Knepper, director of Governmental Affairs for Cal State Northridge, received special honors for her 40-year CSUN career at the university's annual Staff Service Recognition Awards ceremony on May 14.

Knepper's role as the university's government liaison began in 1982, when she began serving as a contact for legislators with inquiries or constituent concerns. Today, her work affects nearly every aspect of the university's relations with government, at the local, state and federal levels.

"I love this job," said Knepper. "Working in governmental affairs has afforded me opportunities I never thought possible and to meet people of great stature, who literally define the age we live in."

The administrator has served on or chaired nearly 100 faculty, administrative, staff and student committees on a broad range of subjects, from community service-learning to the protection of human subjects.

As governmental affairs director during the 1994 earthquake, Knepper coordinated the visits of governmental and elected officials to Cal State Northridge. Visitors ranged from then Mayor Richard Riordan to former Vice President Al Gore.

She was a key figure in the planning of President Bill Clinton's visit to the university on the first anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, and arranged for the President's call to a popular Los Angeles talk radio show broadcasting from an on campus mobile unit the day the university re-opened.

Since 1972, Knepper has held a variety of positions in the Office of the President, including 16 years as executive assistant for former President James Cleary until his 1992 retirement. Active in numerous business groups, including three chambers of commerce and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, she also is a legislative advocate for two nonprofit charitable associations.

Knepper began as a student at San Fernando Valley State College, earning her degree in English/Health Science and spending one of her graduate study years in Japan. Her first job at Northridge was with the CSUN Foundation, known today as the University Corporation.

@csun | May 17, 2004 issue
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