Public Affairs, The California State University

CSU Staff Touching Lives

By Stephanie Thara

CSU Staff Touching Lives

This is the shuttle operator who helps you get on the bus and find a seat. This is the maintenance worker who smiles and waves to you every morning. This is the counselor who listens to your problems and guides you to make the right decision. This is the CSU staff member who touches hundreds of students’ lives, helping create an unforgettable university experience.

With more than 22,000 staff members, the CSU employs individuals who are proficient in their professional trade and skilled in working with students. Whether it is the program director in the residence hall or the bursar in the financial aid office, CSU staff members have the ability to connect with students and help them achieve their academic goals.

For the past 26 years, Romaine Purdy has been a “mom” to Cal Maritime students. If she is not giving big hugs or saying words of encouragement to students on campus, then she is aboard TS Golden Bear making macaroons, cookies, sticky buns or banana bread at 1:30 a.m. for students standing watch in the middle of the night.

Rayetta Esquibel, the administrative assistant in the marketing and communications office of Cal State Northridge for the past 18 years, has created tight bonds with dozens of students over the years. She is available for pep-talks, provides students with a hot meal if they need it and always has candy on hand to pass out as a pick-me-up.

As Cal State San Bernardino’s new student conduct administrator, Sandra Vasquez listens to student concerns about discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She meets with students to talk with them about their issues, their majors and how connected they are to campus life. She even makes it a point to have lunch in the school commons at least twice a week to introduce herself to students.

Doug Case, the testing coordinator at San Diego State, has provided support for SDSU’s Greek system. For the past 20 years, Case has served as the advisor for Delta Lambda Phi, a fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men. He is an advocate for equality, fairness and civil rights through his work in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) and Greek community.

In 1989, Jill Rodriguez joined Cal State Fullerton’s Office of the Dean of the College of Health and Human Development as the coordinator for commencement. She has developed a keen understanding of students and has become the calming force in gradating seniors’ lives. She helps soothe frustrated students who face challenges with their schedule and helps guide confused students through the graduation process.