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Campus Honors Staff Member For Extraordinary Service


from Dateline (June 19, 2003)

Erika Bakken
Members of the Academic Senate congratulate Erika Bakken, front center, as this year’s Outstanding Staff Employee. Clockwise from bottom left, Barry Pasternack, David Fromson, John Bedell, David Wong, Sandra Sutphen, Senate Chair Leon Gilbert and co-worker Marilyn Miller.

Campus staff members gave thunderous applause for one of their own when President Milton A. Gordon announced this year’s Outstanding Staff Employee: Erika Bakken, admin- istrative analyst/specialist in the Academic Senate.

She was honored June 6 during the university’s annual Staff Appreciation Day festivities in Portola Pavilion of the Titan Student Union.

Bakken, who was one of the volunteers distributing door prizes during the event, was stunned to hear her name and that several members of the Academic Senate were on hand to congratulate her.

“I’m overwhelmed,” the honoree said. “It’s such a thrill that [members of the Senate] support me like that.”

Gordon noted that Bakken has “truly exhibited extraordinary performance in all areas of the required criteria. Our honoree utilizes her strong people and networking skills and extensive knowledge of past Senate practices and policies to find creative solutions to challenges.”

Gordon reported that Bakken has been in charge of organizing the annual Academic Affairs/Senate retreat during the last two years and was instrumental in the implementation of electronic voting for Senate elections. “She coordinated every aspect of the election voting, from and memos to faculty, petition forms, letter of instruction on how to vote, to timelines and a database with e-mail addresses.

“Known for being productive, resourceful, patient, positive, pleasant and the ultimate professional, our honoree consistently strives for excellence, going beyond what is expected or required, to ensure high-quality service to the Division of Academic Affairs and the university,” he added.

“She is truly one of the most conscientious, dedicated and collegial staff people at CSU that I have had the pleasure to work with.”

“There is no one better deserving of this award,” said Leon Gilbert, Senate chair and professor of modern languages and literatures, adding that Bakken is often the constant in the Senate office. “She is just a remarkable staff member. It’s a great award for her!”

Former Academic Senate Chair Sandra Sutphen – who nominated Bakken – also re-marked on Bakken’s importance as “the institutional memory for the Senate. She richly deserves this honor. People who know her, know that there’s no better choice for this recognition.”

“She is truly one of the most conscientious, dedicated and collegial staff people at CSU that I have had the pleasure to work with,” said Senate member Barry Pasternack, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences.

“In a descriptive word, professionalism sums up Erika Bakken,” said Marilyn Miller, Bakken’s co-worker in the Senate office. “She is well-respected for her poise under pressure and dignity through difficult times, always emerging a lady.”

Bakken has been a member of the campus community for more than 20 years, including serving in the Finance and Marketing departments. As this year’s honoree, she will receive a $1,500 cash award from President’s Associates, season tickets to College of Arts productions, season tickets to a Titan sport of her choice and a special parking permit good for one year.

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