Staff Honored for Commitment to Campus

Three recognized for enthusiasm, dedication

Each spring, campus comes together to celebrate staff by bidding farewell to new retirees and paying tribute to those marking milestones of 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 years of service on campus.

Staff also take time to honor their peers who go above and beyond. We are excited to introduce the honorees of the 45th annual Staff Awards Luncheon:

(Kirk) Damon Aiken, Department of Finance and Marketing

“Always positive. Inspiring. Innovative. Thoughtful. Other-oriented.” These are just some of the words used to describe the recipient of the first Customer Service Award, Andrew Nichols. A credential advisor in the School of Education and five-year employee on campus, Nichols (BA, Psychology, ’09; MA, Psychology, ’11) was recognized because he single-handedly serves hundreds of new students each year, as well as faculty, staff, and multiple departments and programs on and off campus. Colleagues report his commitment to student success is his highest priority. With the highest integrity and professionalism, he provides every student with the utmost attention and is responsive to their particular concerns and unique situations. Nominated with overwhelming support, it is clear that Nichols’ influence is far reaching, and his dedication to achieving the goals and mission of his department is inspiring.

Mary Wallmark, recipient of Wildcat Spirit Award

The new Wildcat Spirit Award was created to honor the most spirited, passionate staff member who completely embodies University traditions, values, and the Wildcat Way. This person demonstrates an unmatched commitment to campus and community service, citizenship, collaboration, and higher achievement. This year’s recipient—Mary Wallmark—is the epitome of everything Chico State. She has spearheaded many programs, including the Wildcat Way, Wildcat Welcome Week, the Wildcats Can food drive, the Wildcat Cruiser, and Adulting 101. Wallmark (BA, Communication and Education, ’87; Credential, ’88) has “huge vision” for this University and is said to get things done like no one else. The program coordinator for Student Life and Leadership bands together dozens of offices and taskforces on campus to create events and programs that provide remarkable experiences and resources for students, benefitting them academically, professionally, personally, and developmentally. As she leads with creativity, infectious enthusiasm, and inspiration for every activity she is involved in, her peers noted that “she has an awe-inspiring passion for connecting others to Chico State and empowering everyone to take on the world!”

Barb LaRue, Outstanding Staff Employee

She’s been called “the glue” and “the captain.” Some even call her Wonder Woman. A nine-year veteran of campus, the 2015 Outstanding Staff Employee honor was awarded to Barb LaRue. During her time at Chico State, she managed to shoulder not only her daily duties as office manager for the Alumni Office, but she organized and worked with the Alumni Association Board, participated on the Parent Advisory Council, served on Staff Council, has been involved on hiring committees, and volunteered for numerous campus programs and events, including Family Weekend BBQ and the University’s Needy Children Program. LaRue (BA, Communication and Education, ’10) continues to coordinate commencement and also manages her new role as business coordinator for University Public Events—overseeing a program that manages contracts for more than 50 performers coming to Laxson Auditorium each year and a program budget with more than $750,000 in annual ticket sales. Recognizing her passion, patience, and personality, her colleagues said, “I couldn’t imagine working in this office without her.”

Congratulations to all of the 2015 award recipients! You are a part of the unforgettable Chico Experience!

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