Gail Smith, a Long Beach resident who joined CSULB in 2003, was recognized as employee of the month by her peers in University Police recently in a special ceremony held on Friendship Walk near the University Student Union, which was renamed Gail Smith Lane for the month.
President F. King Alexander applauded Smith for her commitment to the university, hard work and willingness to go the extra mile. “Her fellow employees say she is always helpful and nice,” he said.
Smith said she was pleased to be recognized as employee of the month. “I didn’t even know I’d been nominated,” she said. “I’m happy and ecstatic.”
The Long Beach connection goes deeper than her career. Smith is a member of CSULB’s class of 1993 when she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. “I chose CSULB because I had a cousin who went to school here,” she recalls. “Plus, it was far enough away from where I grew up in Northern California that I wouldn’t have to worry about people dropping by unexpectedly.”
As assistant to University Police Chief Jack Pearson, Smith has many responsibilities. They include making sure paychecks get where they need to be and on time, maintaining the budget to make sure there’s no overspending (“Or else I’ll need to slap some wrists,” she laughed) and signing up CSULB staff for defensive driving instruction.
An average day for Smith covers everything from making sure Pearson has all the papers before him that need his signature to reviewing the mail, preparing purchase orders and assembling recruitment paperwork. “It varies from day to day,” she said.
When she isn’t working at CSULB, she enjoys spending time with her sons Joshua, 6, and Quentin, 12. “Whatever I do outside of work, it always seems to center on the boys,” she laughs, “whether that means sports or the movies or going to the park. But one of these days, I might find time for myself.”
She came to CSULB in 2002 from four years in public affairs working in the Irvine offices of Cal Trans. “I loved it but that commute from Long Beach to Irvine was hard, especially with two small children,” she said. “When the opportunity to join CSULB opened, with its chance to be closer to home, I took it. Now I work just down the street from where my youngest son goes to school.”
She enjoys being part of University Police. “This is a wonderful job,” she said. “My boss, Chief Jack Pearson, is great; my coworkers are great; and I get to enjoy working in an office with a sense of humor.”
Smith has dreams of someday earning a master’s degree to go along with her bachelor’s and is glad she chose CSULB. “The campus is beautiful and the employee benefits include a fee waiver program that will help my sons later in life,” she said. “I love the activities on campus, especially the concerts every summer in the Soroptimist House.”
Smith received several gifts along with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, a $15 gift certificate to Ferraro’s Cucina Italiana, a gift certificate for a Family Four Pack to Boomers, a gift certificate for lunch for two at Quiznos, two tickets to a Long Beach State men’s volleyball match and two admissions to Laguna Beach’s Festival of the Arts.