This archived article was written by: Dean Thacker
When a student, staff member, or faculty member walks into the Utah State University Eastern Distance Education office, they immediately will be welcomed with a smile.
This office is as busy as it comes, however, it seems to run perfectly. The coordinator, and the person that runs distance education, is Sherry Arellano, the 2016 staff member of the year.
As the distance education coordinator, Arellano and her staff are extremely busy. They direct 75 classes that are broadcast from USU Eastern and 90 classes that are broad casted to USU Eastern.
They also work with over 30 sites that span across Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. She also supervises sites in Emery and Green River.
If Arellano’s job wasn’t busy enough, she also works as the Internet Video Conference or IVC coordinator. As the IVC coordinator, Arellano directs all of the conferences that are broadcast to or from USU Eastern.
In an average month, she correlates over 100 conferences. She loves coordinating different and important meetings and conferences. She says, “I love showcasing our institution and resources.”
Some of the major conferences she coordinated includes the Utah Women’s Conference and the ACT Boot Camp.
A East Carbon High School and a College of Eastern Utah graduated, Arellano is a Carbon Country native through and through. She worked for USU Eastern for 25 years. During that time she worked as an information processing specialist, as an administrative assistant for a former president and most recently in the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction or CIDI. She said, “All I know is this college and institution. It is such an amazing place that has made me want to stay all of these years.”
“I was very shocked” Arellano says when awarded staff member of the year, “it is a great honor.” She says that when she was first hired in her position in October 2012, that things were very chaotic due to the recent change from CEU to USU Eastern.
“I changed the atmosphere,” Arellano says, “One thing that has been a focus of mine was to take care of problems as soon as possible, problems don’t stay problems, we find a solution right away.”
Arellano loves her job and says, “I found a position that fits me, I deserve to be here and distance education is my niche.” Arellano has no plan leaving USU Eastern.
“I feel like our administration is 110 percent supportive of all that I have done and hope to do in the future,” Arellano says , “the administration takes the time and asks us questions.”
As the distance education director, she has taken the position to new heights. She is extremely busy, but with a well-trained staff, they evolved the department into one of the best run departments on campus. “I never have an off-season, we are busy all year round.”
The best way to describe Arellano’s department is a well-oiled machine, even though there are many moving parts; they all are run perfectly and in sync. There is no doubt why she is the staff member of the year.
“The best part of my job is graduation, it is so fulfilling, no matter what position that I have had on campus,” Arellano says, “everyone from the grounds people to the testing center and the administration to the distance education department. We all helped those graduating students, we provided a service to make it possible for the USU Eastern student to graduate, that is a very fulfilling feeling.”