Maggie Elias, an administrative support coordinator in the office of the Vice President of Student Services, was recently named by her co-workers as employee of the month.
Elias felt surprised, flattered and humbled to be named.
“I am honored to be recognized by my peers because it could have been anyone in our office who was selected,” she said. “We make a great team and we all make each other look good.”
President F. King Alexander praised Elias, who joined the university in its Upward Bound office 32 years ago, for her helpful and pleasant attitude.
“She is always fun to work with,” he said, “and she goes out of her way to assist both staff and students.”
Elias thinks one reason for her recognition is her skill as a good listener.
“For instance, students come to our office daily who may be experiencing difficulties with various concerns on campus and are at a loss at what to do. It makes a difference to them when they are met with a ready smile and a willingness to listen. We do what we can to resolve their problems so that, by the time they leave, they are a little more relaxed and if we have not been able to assist them we certainly can refer them to another area that may,” she said.
Her duties hinge on the calendar for the Vice President of Student Services.
“The vice president is very busy, as all vice presidents are, but his days change according to what crisis is going on and what requires immediate attention,” she said. “These changes to his calendar determine the scope of each day. My job is to make sure he is where he needs to be and functioning at a high level when he gets there.”
She feels one key aspect to her job is being a troubleshooter.
“Being on campus as long as I have, I have come to know many people and those people become valuable allies,” she said. “Whenever there is a specific concern, I know just who to call.”
After her 13-year stint as a Clerical Assistant IIA at Upward Bound, she moved into a senior secretary position in the Office of Academic Personnel for a short period before moving to Student Services in 1989. Her CSULB connection extends to a bachelor of arts in Spanish she received here in 1984 and meeting her husband, Manuel, on campus.
When she isn’t here, Elias usually can be found doting on her year-old granddaughter, Aubrey, or spending quality time with family and friends. “Our daughter, Christina, is 18 years old and has seen almost every Kaleidoscope, Pow-Wow, and a host of other activities that have happened on campus in her lifetime,” she said. “We work at one of the most attractive campuses in the CSU. When I walk around campus, I feel like I’m out for a stroll in a park. I wouldn’t trade any of it.”
What she finds especially nice about her office is working for a boss who believes everyone ought to be treated with dignity and respect.
“We’re known for trying to help people the best we can,” she said. “Not only that, but everyone in our office has a good sense of humor and we enjoy having fun in the workplace. That’s one of the things that make coming to work such a plus.”
Working at CSULB has been one of the best experiences of her life. “CSULB is a wonderful place to be. I enjoy the energy of the campus and its students. Coming to work every day is a new experience because I never know what will happen next. I enjoy myself and that has a lot to do with where I work and with whom I work. My boss is great, and my co-workers are great so why would I leave?”
Elias received several gifts with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, dinner for two at the Naples Rib Company, a gift certificate for four tickets to a CSULB home game, a $10 gift certificate to Finbar’s Italian Kitchen, a couple for one Original Tommy’s World Famous Burger and a couple for one free Whopper from Burger King.