Alcalá View 1994 10.5

West Finds New Pathways to Success b)' Michael R. Haskins

Benefit Briefs

The California Casualty group is happy to announce rate rollbacks and rate ad- justments. Employees in- sured by California Casualty between 11 /8/88 and 11 /7/89 may be eligible for a premi- um refund . In addition, cur- rent rates will be adjusted, in some cases as much as 20 percent. Contact your local California Casualty office for complete information. Tuition remission policy clar- ification: Self-supporting pro- grams such as graduate career programs, continuing education and summer camps are not covered by tuition remission . Except for summer Guadalajara and summer law foreign pro- grams , study abroad or away from campus is not eligible for tuition remission. Financial aid and law finan- cial aid deadlines for the aca- demic year 1994-95 are just around the corner. Full-time students eligible for financial aid mL..3t file before the appropriate 1994 deadline. Full-time students applying for admission in 1994-95, who meet aid eligibility re- quirements, must file before the appropriate deadlines this spring . Tuition remission benefits may be affected if the full-time student is eligi- ble for aid and does not file . It is still too early to know if summer tuition remission bene- fits will be available. Watch the mail in April for complete information and instructions. Benefits are awarded based on priority as described in the tuition remission policy. Medical/dental membership service numbers: PruCare, 457-4337; Kaiser, 528-9687; PruNetwork, 279-2411 ; Fortis, (800) 800-2000, ext. 4211; Western, (800) 992- 3366. Employees who changed health plans during open enrollment should have their membership cards by the end of January. Please contact the appropriate mem- bership service office if you do not receive one by then . - Vicki Coscia

If you've eve r led a tour group of yo ung girls into the Grand Canyon and spent a week teaching them how to ge t along in the wilderness, you've ce rta inly ea rned the right to ca ll yo urse lf a qua lifi ed guide. Diane West has achi eved th is fea t not once, but scores of times. G uiding people through difficult situa- ti ons comes naturally to Wes t, however. From the numerous fi eld trips to the Gra nd Canyon with the G irl Scouts, to her work as a credit counse lor, to her current role as sec- retary to the ass istant and assoc iate deans of arts and sc iences, she acts as the ex peri - enced na viga tor, helping others reach the ir goa ls and des tinations. O f course, you can 't he lp people make their own journey until you' ve trave led ex tensive ly yourse lf. West, runner-up fo r the Emp loyee of the Year Award presented at las t summer's S taff Employee Apprec iation Picni c, has a history of chal- lenging herse lf to break new ground. For instance , after her youngest child started schoo l fu ll-time , West dec ided to pursue caree r goa ls that might have seemed unattainable to someone with little prev ious work experience. But despite her short resume, she landed a job with the Morris Plan Co. , a Californi a savings and loan . "The manage r of the branch rea lly h ad to talk hard to ge t approva l to hire me, because they rea lly didn't know what they were ge tting," West recalls. "But he to ld me, 'Your people ski lls wil l take you fa r. "' And indeed they have. Wes t quickly worked her way from te ller to branch man- age r, then left to open a new branch fo r another bank. She then worked fo r fiv e years in what she calls "one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had," as a coun- se lor for Consumer Cred it Counse lors, help- ing people find the ir way out of fin anc ial trouble. Wes t began work for USO in May 1989 in the loans co llection office, but a short time later moved to the dean's office , where she continues to put her people skills to good use. "Whether student, faculty member, or staff, Diane finds a way to accommodate everyone in a way that not only sa tisfi es the ir request but leaves them fee ling good about the ir interact ions with our office,"

Diane West, runner-u/J for las t )'Car 's Staff Em/Jlo)'ee of the Year Award. wro te Assoc iate Dean Betsy Winters and Ass istant Dean Mitch Malachowski in the ir letter nominating Wes t fo r Employee of the Year. "She is a natu ra l leader who continually generates ideas for improv ing whatever she is invo lved in ." Invo lvement neve r has been a problem for West. She re luctantly gave up her pos i- tion with the G irl Scouts to make time to pursue a degree in soc iology, but then took on two more ass ignments: co-pres ident of the Staff Emp loyees Assoc iation and safety committee member. O ff-campus, she pur- sues hobbies as eclec tic as pa inting and backpacking. And a lthough th.i s might seem li ke too much for some people, West sees the ab ility to help as more than enough compensa tion for her time. "I can't go in with the attitude that I'm go ing to change the world," West says of her work with the SEA. "But if I can be there just one time and he lp someone who's no t happy with their situation, then maybe I can make a difference. " No matter what the challenge, Wes t seems to find a way through. Winters and Malachowski noted in the ir nominating let- ter that "it was clea r from day one that Diane had the ta lent , dedi ca tion , ini tiati ve and tempe rament to successfu ll y nav iga te th ro ugh the comp lex iti es of her job. " But when you've guided as many people as Diane Wes t has , finding your own way is second nature.

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