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Vol 57 No. 3 | Feb. 2005
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Employee of the Month
Macdonald Chosen February Employee of the Month

Karie Macdonald, an academic advisor/program coordinator and member of the CSULB class of 1999, was selected by her peers in the Student Advising, Retention and Graduation unit as CSULB's employee of the month for February.

The Redondo Beach resident was recognized in a special ceremony held on Friendship Walk near the University Student Union, which was renamed Karie Macdonald Lane for the month.

President Robert Maxson praised her dedication to every aspect of her job. “Karie goes above and beyond and is more than willing to give of her time, knowledge and expertise when it comes to assisting students,” he said.

Macdonald says it was an honor to be recognized as employee of the month. “I've been a member of the university since I enrolled as a student in 1995 and first joined the center in 1996,” she said. “I love it here and it was great even to be nominated.”

The West High School graduate earned her CSULB bachelor's degree in Human Development in 1999 and joined the center as a student assistant. She is currently freshman program coordinator and is responsible for counseling all types of students.

“What don't I do as program coordinator?” she asked. “In addition to my daily appointments with students, I am in charge of UNIV 100 presentations, reviewing freshman schedule changes, providing data for the director about freshman issues, and when I'm not doing all that, I'm helping the office wherever help is needed, even the front desk. You name it, and I do it.”

She enjoys being part of a busy office. “The Academic Advising Center made over 86,000 contacts in one year,” she said. “It is a busy office that is open 51 weeks of the year. I help run the Parent Orientation Program, which makes me the face of the university for over 1,500 parents of freshmen. That means I get to introduce President Maxson and Provost Gary Reichard and I love that.”

She sees it as a vote of trust from her supervisors that her responsibilities grow every year.

“Marilee Samuelson, our director, and our Associate Director Suzanne Wurzer, have given me so many opportunities. I started out filing nine years ago and now I am entrusted to be the face of CSULB,” she says. “That says a lot. You have to be motivated by the people you work for and want to succeed in order to be a good employee. I thank Marilee and Suzanne for that.”

When she isn't helping solve problems in the center, she enjoys her family.

“I'm very close to my 89-year-old grandmother, as well as my mother, my sister, and my new niece, Emma,” she said. “There are four generations of women in my family and I like that.”

She is active in fund raising to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, which took the life of her father. She also enjoys a good book.

Her ambitions are to pursue a master's degree in Recreation Administration in CSULB's Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies to continue her commitment to fighting pancreatic cancer.

“It's been great working in Academic Advising,” she said. “It is more like a mini-family. I feel great coming to work every morning. I know that's rare but that's how I feel. I've been in the students' shoes and I think that gives me a special insight into how frustrating it can be to wait in line or in dealing with various rules and regulations. But I try to greet them with a smile and the confidence that it all will turn out fine.”

Macdonald received several gifts including a CSULB sweatshirt, two movie tickets for AMC Theaters, a $20 gift certificate from Charo Chicken, a $10 gift certificate from Finbar's Italian Kitchen in Seal Beach (her favorite local restaurant), two complimentary Whoppers from Burger King and a two-hour introductory sailing lesson for two from Long Beach's Marina Sailing.

Employee of the Month

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