Vol 57 No. 7 : April 2005
Vol 57 No. 7 | Apr. 2005
COTA's Butler Named Employee of the Month
Dina Butler, assistant to Don Para, dean of the College of the Arts (COTA), was selected by her peers in that college recently as CSULB's employee of the month for April.
Butler was recognized in a special ceremony held on Friendship Walk near the University Student Union, which was renamed Dina Butler Lane for April.
President Robert Maxson praised Butler for her dedication to every aspect of her job.
“Dina goes above and beyond and is more than willing to give of her time, knowledge and expertise when it comes to assisting the college's faculty, staff and students,” he said.
Butler says being nominated employee of the month is an honor. “It's a little bit of a shock but I'm really thrilled,” said the Long Beach native who enrolled at CSULB as a member of 1995's first class of President's Scholars. She worked as a student assistant with the President's Scholars program while obtaining her bachelor's degree in Theater Arts. She began her professional CSULB career as a full-time employee in University Relations and Development in 1999, where she stayed until moving to the College of the Arts in 2003.
Her brother Tom earned his bachelor's degree and teaching credential at CSULB on his way to becoming a Central California principal and, along the way, gave his sister her first peek at the campus. “I remember going with my brother and father to basketball games in the wild, sweaty, old Gold Mine,” she recalls. “It was a magical place.”
“I consider this recognition to be a reflection on the people I work with in the College of the Arts,” she said. “Everybody here is truly outstanding, not only for their talent, skill and passion but just for whom they are. It's an honor to be recognized among such a great group.”
Her responsibilities as assistant to the dean include scheduling his calendar, connecting him to the administration, faculty and staff, “and making sure Dean Para is functioning at his usual high level.” One of her most recent projects was to assist a search committee in finding a new director for the University Art Museum. “It was an absolute pleasure and great learning experience,” Butler reflects.
As COTA's Commencement coordinator, it is now time for her to get serious about arrangements for the 2005 ceremony. The College of the Arts believes in service, she said. “We in the College of the Arts are here to serve and assist our faculty, staff and students. I also enjoy interacting with the community and welcoming visitors and donors.”
When she's not on campus, Butler enjoys music and finds herself back at the university for the latest performances, especially vocal jazz and piano concerts. Appreciating art, in any form, is a must in her life.
Her plans over next year include a trip to visit her second-oldest sister in New Zealand and perhaps stage managing a local theater production. In the meantime, she enjoys working for a college as rich as this one in faculty and staff.
“When you have an incredible faculty, you get an incredible student body,” she said. “Students want to come here because of the faculty's excellent reputation and the staff's focus on service. The College of the Arts is as outward facing as any sport. The college sponsors over 350 events a year. Add that to the way faculty balances scholarship and committee activities and I wonder how they do it. Cloning? It's really amazing.”Butler received several gifts including a CSULB sweatshirt, four admissions to the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts, dinner for two at the Naples Rib Company, a complimentary entrée at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, two complimentary whoppers from Burger King and two admissions to a performance of her choice at the Long Beach Playhouse.
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