Psychology senior chosen as 2018 WSU Student Employee of the Year

 Jackie BaltazarClerical assistant Jackie Baltazar’s presence in the WSU Dept. of Criminal Justice and Criminology provides a friendly atmosphere to visiting students, and staff rely on her as a trusted employee who strives to help everyone who comes through her door.

“I really like this job,” said Baltazar, a two-year employee and senior psychology major from Los Angeles. “It doesn’t feel like a job because I want to be here.”’

Her efforts, endearing attitude and warm smile led her office colleagues to nominate her for one of the university’s top annual awards. From a University-wide field of 16 nominations, Baltazar was selected as WSU’s student employee of the year for 2018, announced Tyler Barstow, the university’s student employment coordinator, located in the Academic Success and Career Center.

“Jackie’s nominators commended her great work ethic and attitude, and made the point that she is an exceptional student employee,” said Barstow. “It was a tough decision, though, to select one top student because all of the students nominated this year were great. It really proved that student employees really make a difference to offices and programs across the university.”

“When I mentioned I wanted to nominate Jackie,” said Dana Torgeson, administrative manager and Baltazar’s supervisor, “several faculty and staff offered to write her a letter in support. She is so well liked that everyone wants to see that she is rewarded for her dedication and hard work.”

“Jackie has a welcoming attitude and a willingness to help others, regardless of the amount of time or work she has,” said Craig Hemmens, department chair and professor.

“It’s really nice to know that my work is valued, and to be recognized for all the things I have done,” said Baltazar. When she was hired, her duties involved basic administrative tasks, but the staff soon realized she was capable of handling much more.

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot,” said Baltazar said, who took over managing the department website. “I’m not very tech-savvy but I just kind of did trial and error.” In addition to the website, she is responsible for data entry, editing and much more, proving herself to be an indispensable employee.

“She has definitely set the standard for all future undergraduate students to live up to,” said Faith Lutz, professor and graduate director for the department.

“Jackie is a huge asset,” said Tina Krauss, academic coordinator for undergraduate programs. “She will be greatly missed when she graduates.”

Future career helping people

In addition to her campus job, Baltazar drives 15 miles to Colfax where she interns at the children’s administration office of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. After graduating in May with her bachelor’s degree, she plans to seek a master’s degree in social work at Eastern Washington University.


Top photo: Baltazar at WSU Pullman

Originally posted at WSU Insider