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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

Recipients of Presidential Staff Excellence Awards Announced

The recipients were nominated by colleagues and selected from more than 100 nominations.
By SDSU News Team

The Presidential Staff Excellence Awards annually recognize the outstanding contributions and efforts made by San Diego State University staff in support of the university, fellow employees and the community.

This year, more than 100 staff members were nominated by their colleagues in seven categories: auxiliary support, community service, innovation, manager of the year, staff-to-staff mentoring, service to the university and team effort. 

Recipients will be honored later this month by SDSU President Adela de la Torre.

"I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to these extraordinary individuals. We are so grateful for their efforts in prioritizing student success," said de la Torre. "I cannot overstate the importance of our staff to the lives of our students. Their steadfast dedication and commitment play a crucial role in the development of our students, and to the advancement of our mission to create a more equitable, compassionate, and prosperous world." 

The Presidential Staff Award recipients are:
Auxiliary Support

John Summerfruit

As fiscal and operations administrator for the Interwork Institute in SDSU’s Department of Administration, Rehabilitation, and Postsecondary Education, Summerfruit ensures grant-related fiscal, administrative, personnel, and facilities are current and meet accountability requirements. He manages the Interwork Institute’s annual budget and develops and implements projects associated with federal grants, state contracts, private foundation funding, and degree programs.
Community Service
Norma Aguilar

Aguilar, student affairs academic advisor and coordinator for the Student Ability Success Center at SDSU Imperial Valley, played a pivotal role in the founding of the Brown Bag Coalition, a group of volunteers that cooks and serves meals every day of the year in Calexico, California.

Cathy Cirina-Chiu

Cirina-Chiu, director of the Social Science Research Lab, has continued to push the lab toward adopting new formats of presenting data thorough evaluations and data visualization designs. Cirina-Chiu provides her design skills and knowledge to various departments with the College of Arts and Letters, including its Office of the Dean.
Manager of the Year

James Frazee

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, James Frazee, Chief Academic Technology Officer and the Associate Vice President of  Instructional Technology Services, led the university’s efforts to create new technology training for faculty, manage processes to help distribute needed hardware to faculty and staff, and oversee the shift to virtual instruction. Prior to the pandemic, Frazee led a unit nationally recognized for its innovative use of instructional technology to drive transformational classroom learning.
Staff-to-Staff Mentoring

Peter Nordyke
Nordyke, the lighting, sound and projection shop supervisor for the School of Theatre, Television, and Film, has been at the university for 40 years. Nordyke directly supervises three core areas of production at the Don Powell Theatre, and all students and staff under his mentorship have  learned from his knowledge, dedication and leadership.

Service to the University

Debra Bertram
Bertram, a data analyst in the Fowler College of Business, has continually advocated for staff throughout her time at SDSU. In the Fowler College of Business, Bertram has served on several committees focused on staff development, recognition and morale. Bertram was also instrumental in the creation of the Fowler College of Business Toastmasters organization to help students develop better interview skills. 

Team Effort

Maribel Franco, Marisela LaPlante, David To, Jessica Lopez

As team members of SDSU’s international business program, Franco, LaPlante, To and Lopez have demonstrated passion and professionalism for students and the program. Faced with a challenging year brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team assisted students affected by the suspension of study abroad and internship programs to find alternative assignments or virtual opportunities.