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Erin DeRosa

I am nominating: Erin DeRosa

Years of Service at Cal Poly: 1 year

Department: Orientation Services

Position: Program Coordinator


Why are you nominating this person?  Why do you think he/she deserves the award?

Erin began her position just a couple of weeks before the beginning of last year’s summer orientation programs—a very crucial time in Orientation Services. The timing of her hiring required her to learn her job quickly, improvise when needed, and be resourceful—all which she did remarkably well and with a positive outlook. Without having attended or participated in the Orientation planning and training process, she was able to quickly acclimate herself to the expectations and nuances of the program and was able to foster positive relationships with student leaders and campus partners. Throughout the summer, she demonstrated her commitment to the program by ensuring that all components of the program were taken care of and all needs of the student staff were addressed, even if that meant arriving to campus early and/or staying late.

In her first year as Program Coordinator, Erin has been instrumental in making positive changes in the recruitment, hiring, and training of our student leader team. She has implemented effective strategies and partnerships to ensure that our team reflects the rich diversity of our campus. For example, her efforts have resulted in an increase of transfer and international students on our team. 

It has been an absolute pleasure to be Erin’s lead and work alongside her. She is efficient, thoughtful, resourceful, and proactive. Our department has a unique opportunity to review our programs (as we are both new to the program) and I can trust that Erin will always bring a judicious, thoughtful, and student-centered perspective to the table.

In what way(s) does this person enhance or contribute to the Cal Poly Pomona campus community?

Erin has immersed herself in campus life by participating in campus wide committees and attending key events on campus. She is currently a member of the Alcohol and Other Drug Committee, the Veteran's Resource Committee, the Weekend Programming Committee, and was a First-Year Experience Teaching Partner in the Fall 2014.  

Her commitment and passion to be inclusive and create awareness of the issues that underrepresented students face, specifically first-generation college students, is a great asset to our department, division, and campus community. In the coming weeks, Erin will represent Cal Poly Pomona at the American Education Research Association Conference when she presents her master’s thesis research on first-generation college students. She will also publish those findings in a research journal, which will bring recognition to Cal Poly Pomona and our program.

Please select 2 of the 6 Division of Student Affairs values for which your nominee best exemplifies:

☒ Student-Centered Philosophy

☒ Integrity

☐ Interconnectedness

☐ Environmental

☐ Passion

☐ Quality

☐ Richness of Diversity

☐ Sustainability (New)


Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #1: Student-Centered Philosophy

Erin’s approach to her work is always with the students’ success in mind. She has guided and mentored students through challenging situations, has challenged them to rise to their potential, and has created intentional/meaningful opportunities for them to develop leadership qualities necessary to thrive in and beyond their experience with Orientation Services.  Recently, she supported and challenged our team captains and returning leaders to submit presentation proposals for the Regional National Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention. Their two proposals were accepted and the students were able to present about the importance of team development and role of assessment and reflection in their work as orientation leaders. This accomplishment is a direct result of Erin’s leadership and student-centered practice.


Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #2: Integrity

In addition to having to learn and fulfill the complex responsibilities of her job quickly, she has had to address challenging programmatic and student personnel issues. She has demonstrated strong professional judgment and has taken the correct steps to consult with the necessary campus partners to ensure that each issue has been dealt in a fair, ethical, timely, and appropriate manner. While some of her decisions have not always been favored or popular with the orientation student team, her integrity and commitment to our division’s values have guided her and validated her decision-making process and outcomes.