Catherine Durham, who joined the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2005, was chosen recently by her colleagues in her Division as employee of the month.
The fiscal operations coordinator was recognized in a special ceremony held on Friendship Walk near the University Student Union, which was renamed Catherine Durham Lane for the month.
President F. King Alexander praised Durham for her positive attitude and energy. “She is bright, cheerful and willing to go out of her way to explain something to colleagues and faculty,” he said. “Catherine is a delight to work with.”
“It was great to be named employee of the month,” said Durham, a Long Beach resident with her sons Robert and Nathaniel and her husband Virgil (daughter Cheri lives in Ohio.) “It felt great receiving this honor because I knew my fellow co-workers felt I deserved it. As I said at the ceremony, I feel very grateful that my co-workers would even consider me.”
Durham began her career at CSULB working at University College and Extension Services for six years. She then took a break from the university and moved to Ohio where she has family. She returned in 2005 to her current position in Academic Affairs.
Durham feels one reason for her recognition is her hard work and availability to assist her coworkers.
“I am always willing to help,” she said. “I think I have a fun personality and I enjoy interacting with my coworkers.”
As a fiscal operations coordinator, her responsibilities include maintaining spreadsheets for state and foundation accounts, processing state and University Foundation invoice payments, direct expenses and travel reimbursements. She assists in the reconciliation of the Provost Office and Academic Personnel accounts and assists with various projects (Resource Planning Process, IRA Hearing, Lottery Hearing). Durham handles faculty relocations every year and makes sure they get where they’re going.
“I am a detail-oriented person,” she said. “I pay attention, I’m a quick learner, and I listen to what people tell me.”
Durham enjoys working in an academic setting. “I love the people I work with,” she said. “Everyone I come in contact with is so knowledgeable. I enjoy being with the kind of co-workers you find at CSULB.”
When she isn’t working hard at CSULB, Durham volunteers her administrative skills at her church, St. John Missionary Baptist Church of Long Beach.
“I love to stay active, which includes singing in the choir,” she said. Durham also works out twice a week doing water aerobics at the university pool during her lunch hour.
Durham is pleased she made the choice to join CSULB. “It has been a positive experience and it has definitely worked out very well for me,” she said. “I have learned a lot here and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.”
Durham received several gifts with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, a $50 gift certificate for dinner for two at the Naples Rib Company, gift certificates for four admissions to the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts, two tickets to a 2006 Dodgers game, two coupons for Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers and a coupon for a Burger King Whopper.