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Lorraine Jenkins Jones

Summer 2011

10/18/2011 

I am nominating: Lorraine Jenkins Jones

Years of Service at Cal Poly: 36

Department: Student Support and Equity Programs, SSEP

Position: Staff Assistant

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

After 36 years of working in the Division of Student Affairs, you would say this person has given her ALL, but no, Lorraine Jenkins Jones continues to bring enthusiasm, heart and decades of experience to each new day and to each student encounter. Lorraine is the embodiment of all SA Values.  When speaking of her, it is difficult to select only 3 values that she exemplifies, because her attributes spread across all six. Lorraine has devoted herself to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Educational Equity Services (EES), Student Support and Equity Programs (SSEP) – the many incarnations of our department – and to the students we serve, for the past thirty-six years! No one would deny that Lorraine is the heart and soul of our department. She is the conservator of our history and advocate of our students. While in, what is now SSEP, she has witnessed several changes in the population served, location and staffing, but she has always remained passionate about providing quality, student-centered services by staying in touch and listening to the students’ needs and concerns and then passing on her learnings by means of her connections (interconnectedness) with professional staff, peer learning facilitators, and peer advisors.

Please select 3 of the 6 Division of Student Affairs values for which your nominee best exemplifies:

Student-Centered Philosophy, Interconnectedness, Passion

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #1:

Lorraine is a front-line person in our tutorial program, which means that the student’s first experience is being greeted with a smile and a concern for their needs.  Lunch, breaks, and paperwork, are all put aside to give each student her individual attention. In attending to students needs, her openness and holistic approach not only helps students to overcome whatever barriers might come with requesting learning assistance, but also encourages them to be open and honest about issues in their lives which may impact their learning. They know they have a compassionate, good listener who maintains confidentiality about their concerns. She gives one student a pat on the back and the next one a home baked cookie – most get both. She makes each individual who passes through her office feel special. The student always comes first. This is also true of her interaction with our Summer Bridge (SB) populations. Lorraine is often the 1st person to speak with potential Summer Bridgers and their families. As newly admitted CPP students, they have questions not only about SB, but also about financial aid, housing, preparatory courses, orientation, Early Start, etc. – You name it – she attends to each call with a smile in her voice, offers appropriate referrals to individuals with the required expertise. She’s a welcoming, informed, competent guide to many at a time of much confusion when they are making the transition from high school to college.

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #2:

Lorraine highly values the theme of interconnectedness by relaying important information about students to their academic advisors, peer advisors and tutors whenever it gives insights concerning issues, habits and behaviors which may impact students success – all while maintaining confidentiality . Lorraine maintains contact with our alumni, letting them know of changes within the department and with EOP as well as carrying news of career achievements, awards of Master’s and Doctoral degrees, employment opportunities, etc., back to the staff. She stays connected to the larger campus through assistance to the Cultural Centers and by being a loyal fan at our athletic events. She and her family rarely miss a local CPP basketball game.

Please share how your nominee exemplifies value #3:

One cannot escape the passion Lorraine feels for making a positive difference in the life of every student she comes in contact with. She wants to know about each student’s successes and their pitfalls. She’s witnessed thousands of students’ comings and goings, and cares about not only their CPP experience but what happens after. She is interested in their whole lives, not just their lives as students. She is the keeper of memories and the faithful cheerleader of non- traditional students who have overcome immense obstacles not just to survive, but to thrive and pass the torch of hope onto the next generation. Students, staff, and faculty know the energy and heartfelt enthusiasm she puts into every encounter at CPP.

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

Lorraine’s constant positive attitude and endless desire to provide quality service to students contributes to the welcoming and supportive campus environment. Lorraine helps students feel special, and connect with the University. Cal Poly Pomona is filled with kind, giving, and committed staff members. Lorraine is all those qualities and more. She is at the top of the curve when it comes to student centeredness.