California State University, Long Beach
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Housing Assistant Grabs Employee Honors

Yuriko Toma, a budget and human resources assistant in Housing and Residential Life, was recently named by her coworkers as Employee of the Month. Toma was caught off guard in her recognition as Employee of the Month.

“I was very surprised to be named,” she said. “It could have been any one of us in Housing and Residential Life. I work with a great group of people and I feel very fortunate to be part of this team.”

President F. King Alexander praised Toma for her patience, positive attitude and professional demeanor. “She has helped Housing and Residential Life to acquire its reputation for efficiency,” he said. “She is an inspiration.”

Toma joined the university in 2005 after 25 years in private industry and although very content working in a multinational corporation, she was always interested in working in an educational setting.

“When my youngest son graduated from high school and went off to college, I thought it was also a good time for me to make a change. I felt that I may regret not having pursued that interest in education 10 years from now,” she said.

Toma began her career at CSULB in Asian and Asian American Studies as a department coordinator. “That experience gave me a greater insight and appreciation of academics. I learned so much from the dedicated department faculty.”

In 2006, she moved to her new position in Housing and Residential Life. “What I found when I arrived was an entire management team and staff of kind, openhearted people.” she said. “I know I’m part of a team that has student success in mind. We all work together to provide our students with the best possible living and learning environment and we try to have fun doing it.”

As Budget and Human Resources Assistant, she assists in the preparation and administration of their budget, monitors revenue and expenses, oversees and reconciles accounts receivables, researches, generates and analyzes reports, and prepares financial assessments.

“I find satisfaction in completing each task and project to the best of my ability because I know that each piece of information, every report compiled becomes a management tool.” It is a job that combines accounting, analytical and organizational skills with the ability to work with others.

Toma enjoys working on this beautiful campus. “I like seeing it at different times of the year,” she said. “The beauty of this campus is more than in the landscape. There’s an atmosphere that changes with the seasons. There is the excitement with the surge of students in the fall and spring, while the winter session is slower paced. In the summer, there are young students on campus for summer camps and the campus is more relaxed and unhurried, while housing is very active with a host of diverse client groups utilizing our residence halls for summer conferences.”

When she isn’t working hard at CSULB, Toma enjoys reading, attending concerts and musical theater and spending time with family and friends. She teaches in the Sunday school at a local church and likes to travels as much as she can. Last summer, she traveled to Switzerland and Austria. “It just happened to be the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth in 2006 and the many commemorating events throughout his birthplace Austria added extraordinary local color to the already incredible visit.”

Some of her favorite travels have been to Canada, Washington, Florida, Hawaii, and the East Coast states, including a special fondness for Philadelphia. “Reeling in a 45-pound king salmon on the Kenai River in Alaska was quite a memorable experience,” she said. “I also enjoy traveling up the beautiful California coast to destinations such as Cambria, Half Moon Bay, Monterey Bay, Muir Woods and the Napa Valley. White water river-rafting down the American River near Sacramento was pretty exciting.”

Toma’s goal is to continue to grow at CSULB. “I want to contribute to the dynamic progress of Housing and Residential Life, and this university,” she said. “One difference between working here and in private industry is that in private industry, sales and financial success is the focus; while here student success is our ultimate goal. There is something more rewarding here for me. I’m glad I took the opportunity to join the university.”

Toma received several gifts with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, a $20 gift certificate for Blackboard Bistro, a gift certificate for two to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, two admissions to The Hop for Latin Rock and Old School night, a gift certificate for four tickets to a CSULB home game, a coupon for a Tommy’s World Famous burger and a coupon for a Burger King Whopper.