Mario and Alma Pastega Staff Excellence Award: Susan Griffin

Three people standing
Woman smiling
Susan Griffin loves making a difference in the lives of students at Western Oregon University.

Susan Griffin does not consider her work as the academic program coordinator and adviser in the Student Success and Advising Office to be a job. 

Instead, she views it as a gift to be able to work beside the brave, hardworking students and colleagues at Western Oregon University.

Known for her dedication and unwavering support of students, several WOU employees said Griffin is the true treasure and were delighted to learn she is the recipient of this year’s Mario and Alma Pastega Staff Excellence Award.

General Education Director and Biology Professor Erin Baumgartner considers herself lucky to work with Griffin.

“Her kind and generous spirit is a big part of the success of so many students at WOU,” Baumgartner said. “She is tireless in her efforts encouraging our students who are just a course or two away from graduation and helping them find the pathway that will get them that college degree.”  

While Griffin works with students from different backgrounds, goals, struggles and accomplishments what remains consistent is her joy in assisting students reach their goals. 

“I am proud to be working with the wonderful people here at Western, the staff and faculty who care so much for our students inspire me daily,” Griffin said. “I watch how much they go the extra mile for others, to support and help someone move forward.”

Over the years, she has had wonderful experience working with graduate students, teachers who were doing professional development training and freshmen trying to decide what to study. She enjoys advising students who each have their own goals and needs. 

“I have loved all the work with the students, they are amazing and gift to work beside. It is not something I did alone, we all work as a strong team to support the students. That has been the best part,” she said. 

Woman holding a baby
Susan Griffin is holding her granddaughter, Cora Griffin.

WOU Campus Public Safety Director Rebecca Chiles works with Griffin on the Emergency Planning Team. Griffin is also the leader of the Community Emergency Response Team. Chiles said the award could not have gone to a more deserving person this year. Chiles shared Griffin is among the first to volunteer to help with trainings, programs, manual labor and more. 

“I have witnessed Susan’s love for our students, particularly our veterans,” Chiles said. “She approaches her advising with kindness, intelligence, thoughtfulness and cheer. She has positively influenced the lives of many WOU students. She is truly a joyous person with a heart of gold and a great sense of humor.”  

For Griffin, it’s just another day doing what she loves. 

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