The College of Engineering’s Vickie Messina celebrates an 18-year career at CSULB with her recent recognition as this year’s outstanding staff member.
Messina, a Long Beach resident and native who joined the university in 1989, is assistant to the College of Engineering’s Dean. Former Dean Mike Mahoney applauded Messina’s selection by saying “part of the reason for Vickie’s success is that she is ‘young at heart,’ and really understands today’s students.
“This accessibility and her extensive knowledge of the university enable her to have great success in solving a variety of problems (academic and sometimes personal) that arise in students’ lives. Her talents, student-oriented personality, willingness to work hard and allegiance to her supervisor and especially to the university is the best such combination in one person that I’ve ever known.”
Messina is pleased to be named Outstanding Staff Member of 2007.
“I’m very honored and glad that I could bring this award to the College of Engineering,” she said. “This award recognizes more than my contributions. It recognizes all the contributions made by the university staff.”
Messina considers herself a hub for the College of Engineering and always does the best and most efficient job she can in order to support the college and make her boss’s life easier.
“I take pride in keeping on top of all my duties at all times,” she said. “Every day, all day, the phone rings and someone is entering my office with a story, situation or problem. It is my job to resolve it. If I don’t have the answer, I will always guide them to someone who can assist them and follow up on their situation. I see my job as serving people, solving problems and taking care of people.”
Messina regularly volunteers for college and campus-associated events and is a member of Staff Council and the Special Events Committee. She participates in a wide variety of activities such as the American Cancer Relay for Life as a Walking 49er team member, the Christmas Blanket Project for Homeless Children, Cherishing Children Toy Drive, the CSULB Homecoming and the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days. She is a member of the 49er Athletic Association and has served as the Engineering building complex marshal for several years. She has received Staff Applause recognition and was recently selected to participate in the “Principal for a Day” program by the Long Beach Unified School District. Messina has deep roots at the university, as her younger son, Bob, graduated in 1997 (BFA, illustration) and brother, Art Johnson, (1963, B.S.; 1969, M.S.; civil engineering) was recently inducted into the Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Messina comes to CSULB from a career that includes working for Pan Am world services at the Johnson Space Center in Houston where she was involved in helping to create a memorial service for the Challenger crew hosted by President Ronald Reagan. “This was a very, very moving experience to be a part of,” she said.
As for her personal side, her interests include taking meaningful photos of her family, friends and campus events. She enjoys quilting, raising roses and African violets. Her real passion is music. She listens to everything from progressive rock to country to old-time rock-and-roll. Messina and her older son, Mike, support and attend brother Bob’s drumming appearances with two Long Beach-based bands whenever possible. She loves the keyboards and plans to continue her passion for the piano.
In addition to her other volunteering, Messina and her husband Chuck pulled together a March of Dimes fundraising event which featured a vintage car show and motorcycle rally held at a local diner. They are the proud owners of a 1931 Ford Victoria (known as Vickie’s Vicky) and participate in many car shows around the area, including one held at Blair Field in Long Beach.
Messina is glad she made the choice to join CSULB. “I absolutely love it here,” she said. “It is a beautiful campus. I’m a Long Beach native with family in town. It’s peaceful here. You can stretch out on the grass, stroll through the Japanese Garden, or dine in the Chartroom. Plus, I have the most wonderful panoramic view from my desk. CSULB rocks!”