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Award's and Honors

Trio Honored as Outstanding Staff


From Dateline (June 17, 2004)

Robert Fulton, Willie Peng, and Gregory Robinson

Cal State Fullerton honored three staff members, from left, Robert Fulton, Willie Peng and Gregory Robinson as the “best of the best” – this year’s outstanding staff members during the June 4 Staff Recognition and Appreciation Day festivities.

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Three campus staff members from widely divergent fields and backgrounds are this year’s Outstanding Staff Award recipients.

Recognized this month during Staff Recognition and Appreciation Day festivities were staff members with jobs that range from computer security and taking the pulse of the public to overseeing a desert wilderness. All were selected because of their creativity, initiative, leadership, teamwork and special contribution to the university, noted President Milton A. Gordon in making the announcements.

This year’s honorees are: Robert Fulton, site manager of the California State University Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx in the eastern Mojave Desert; Willie Peng, network analyst in the Information Technology Department; and Gregory Robinson, director of the Social Science Research Center.

Fulton has the distinction of having the shortest commute of any staff member in the university system. As the Desert Studies Center on-site manager, he simply walks out his front door, and he’s on the job.

Fulton oversees development and operations of the center, a consortium for CSU researchers. The facility can support up to 80 students and faculty members. Fulton’s duties include operating all of the utilities, maintaining library and museum holdings, organizing visitor lodging and equipment needs, leading tours, teaching classes and working on research projects.

“This is a tremendous honor for Rob,” said Bill Presch, center director. “He does an outstanding job representing Cal Sate Fullerton and the entire university system at a location that’s far away from campus. We are extremely lucky to have him.” Gordon cited Fulton for “being productive, resourceful, patient, positive and the ultimate professional in striving for excellence and going beyond what is expected or required to ensure high-quality service to the Desert Studies Center and the university.”

Fulton and his wife live year round at the desert center, where winter temperatures can dip to 8 degrees, and summer temperatures can soar to 120 degrees.

Peng, who has worked for seven years as a network analyst in Information Technology, is known for his grace under pressure and his willingness to work any time of the day or night to keep campus systems up and running. “He has consistently performed above and beyond the call of duty,” said Gordon.

“We see ourselves as the custodians of the network,” said Peng about the Network Applications Group of which he is a part. Among his recent accomplishments are designing and configuring a campus fire-wall, establishing programming scripts to eliminate day-to-day money transfers, and overseeing network operations and security. “We look for the dirty spots, try to clean them and try to maintain the facility. We want to identify vulnerabilities and patch them before someone else notices and hacks into the system.”

“From the start, he’s been the ‘can do’ kind of person that I and many others in IT and other divisions are proud to work with,” said Mike Marcinkevicz, director of network computing and security. “Willie’s drive to learn new technologies and new systems to expand the knowledge of the whole group really encourages those around him to stay on a project and make it happen together.”

The third honoree, Gregory Robinson, “has been very successful in developing and carrying out research studies at the university,” said Gordon. “He provides research assistance to faculty, staff, students and many of the university’s external communities.”

The Social Science Research Center, which Robinson oversees, provides businesses, public and nonprofit agencies, as well as organizations and scholars with empirical data critical for developing and evaluating programs, advocating for change or making sound policy decisions. Over the course of a year, the center conducts studies for organizations that want to gauge community needs, perceptions, opinions and out-comes.

Robinson’s recent accomplishments include survey and evaluation work related to alcohol and drug prevention strategies in Ventura County, a three-language community “visioning” survey for the city of Garden Grove, and an evaluation of the “Safe From the Start” program to prevent children’s exposure to violence.

“Greg has earned a statewide and even national reputation for carrying out evaluation studies and training programs,” said Thomas Klammer, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “In all these projects, he is an outstanding teacher and mentor for generations of undergraduate and graduate students who have received training and well-paid, on-campus employment working in the SSRC.”

“Through the work we do at the SSRC, we can help organizations make changes that improve the lives of others,” said Robinson. “Whether it’s looking at the characteristics of new, high-tech occupations to support workforce development and training, or helping community-based orga-nizations to document gaps between needs and resources in impoverished neighborhoods, solid data and statistical analysis enables our research clients to optimize their planning and performance.”

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