California State University, Northridge invited all staff members to its 51st annual Staff Service and Recognition of Excellence Awards ceremony on May 4 at the University Student Union’s Northridge Center.
CSUN awarded select staff with special service awards, and honored staff members who have served the university for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years. About 270 staff members attended the event.
Samir Hamawe, peer counseling specialist in University Counseling Services, received the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. Hamawe coordinated campus awareness campaigns like the BLUES Project and Project DATE.
“His values of diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism are infused in the peer education programs he develops. His leadership is purposeful in aligning discussions about education efforts and programming with the university’s core value of respecting all people,” said Kristina de la Vega, associate vice president of human resources, who bestowed him with the award.
Six merit awards for exceptional performance went to Donald Foster, director of IT operations; William Krohmer, administrative operations analyst in the biology department; Carolina Franco Ordaghi, public relations and event specialist in the dean’s office of the College of Engineering and Computer Science; Julie Hunter, catalog editor of Undergraduate Studies; Bianca Plascencia, special education support coordinator; and Susan Krikorian, health educator at the Klotz Student Health Center.
Rob Gunsalus, vice president for University Advancement and president of the CSUN Foundation, awarded Vahram Shemmassian, a faculty member in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, with the Alumni Relations Award for his outstanding work within the Armenian Studies Program and his efforts to raise awareness.
“He helps identify new alumni volunteers and connects students with alumni networks thanks to his hard work and strong community relationships,” Gunsalus said.
Heather Cairns, director of Administrative Services at University Licensing, received the CSUN Leadership Award and said she was honored to be selected.
“To be recognized in this way in front of my colleagues and friends made me feel proud,” she said. “I’ve had the pleasure of serving the university and learning so much along the way. I’m even more motivated to continue The University Corporation’s good work on this campus.”