It is our pleasure to announce the winners of SOU’s inaugural Outstanding Staff Award. The award honors two employees nominated by their peers for their achievements, service, leadership and dedication to our university.
Rachel Jones – Division of Continuing Education, Director
of Pre-College/Youth Programs
Since joining SOU in January of 2015 as Director of Pre-College & Youth Programs, Rachel’s success and further development of existing programs has been phenomenal. Rachel developed a new vision for outreach to underserved populations, partnering with the Education Department to support enormous growth in Latino outreach programs and partnering with Native American Studies to develop a new vision for the Konaway-Nika Tillicum program. That growth has been made possible by the solid partnerships she cultivates with organizations who have entrusted our Pre- College & Youth Programs, to put together outstanding courses they depend upon to serve their students. This growth happens because she demonstrates repeatedly that she is competent, caring, trustworthy and runs effective programs. Additionally, while it’s her intelligence, hard work and vision for developing college pathways for thousands of our regional youth, it’s her heart and genuine warmth that inspires us all and reflects so well upon our university. Please join me in honoring Rachel Jones!
Deborah O’Dea - Financial Aid, Counselor - Program
Since joining SOU in January of 2015, Deborah has shown not only her commitment to supporting our students, but to the overall strategic direction of the university. Deborah has a collaborative, team-player spirit, and consistently looks for ways to get involved on campus both within her role as a Financial Aid Counselor, and through volunteer roles and professional development. Deborah consistently works with the Resource Centers across campus to create outreach opportunities and establish rapport with students so they feel the Financial Aid Office is a resource, not a barrier. Representing the institution in a positive light extends beyond the SOU campus, where Deborah regularly works with area high schools to provide education of the financial aid process to parents and students. Deborah was elected to the Oregon Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Executive Council as the Vice-President for Public Four-Year schools for the 2018-2019 year. Her commitment to SOU students is seen through her caring and compassion and how she seeks out ways to connect with students, whether it’s reviewing award letters at Raider Registration or helping carry boxes into the residence halls during Move-In Day. Students, staff and Faculty have come to know Deborah as a valuable resource and her commitment to student development and SOU as a whole is truly commendable. Please join me in honoring Deborah O’Dea!