TSTC Publishing salutes two of its staff for winning top honors. Projects Manager Grace Arsiaga won Waco’s TSTC Employee of the Year and Departmental Secretary Melanie Peterson won a 2010 NISOD Excellence Award.
Grace received a plaque and a gift certificate during the recent noon Employee Awards Day ceremony on the Waco campus. Publisher Mark Long, who nominated Grace, said she “is a true TSTC success story. Her position’s myriad responsibilities are not ones that would necessarily bring out the best in most people; happily, the best word to describe her is “unflappable” as she is always calm, cool, collected and has a smile on her face for everyone around her. At every step of the way she has demonstrated the exemplary qualities that anyone would be well served to emulate: honesty, dedication, dependability, and the desire to do what needs to be done to help both the school and her colleagues to succeed.”
“I was just so surprised,” said Grace, about when she heard her name called. As Project Manager, Grace oversees the development and production of 10-15 new book titles a year, coordinates three large print runs each year to fill each semester’s book orders, and manages 5-10 TSTC Waco ADP graphics interns as well as a pool of graphics and editorial freelancers.
“This is a job that requires an intense attention to detail while, at the same time, not becoming overwhelmed by the 15-20 overlapping projects going on at any given time,” said Long in his nomination. “Her job also requires ongoing problem-solving and critical-thinking skills combined with the ability to make and execute decisions on her own to make sure projects are completed on time and under budget. In addition, she is required to build and maintain solid working relationships with TSTC Waco departments such as Printing Production, Marketing, the IDEAS Center, and faculty in a variety of technologies, as well as external vendors providing additional printing, distribution, and marketing services.”
Melanie attended a recent awards ceremony at the annual National Institute for State and Organizational Development (NISOD) annual conference in Austin. She joined three other Waco recipients: Kelly Contella, Human and Organization Development advisor; Jeffrey Beene, Aviation Programs director; and James Bryant, chair of Avionics Department.
Each year, NISOD college presidents submit names of those they want to recognize for excellence in education. These then become NISOD Excellence Awards recipients, who receive a special medallion and are featured in an awards booklet. The awards program is intended to honor the best in community colleges, according to NISOD Director Dr. Evelyn N. Waiwaiole.
“I believe that, in general, the title “departmental secretary” is almost always woefully inadequate in describing the work done by those holding that position,” said Publisher Mark Long of TSTC Publishing, who nominated Melanie. “In Ms. Peterson’s case, however, this is especially true. In addition to performing those duties typically associated with her job, she is also responsible for keeping track of all our financial records in QuickBooks and Colleague, serving as the point of contact for bookstores and other entities around the country placing orders with us, being in charge of packing and shipping those orders, and serving as the de facto office manager, especially when I am out of the office.
“But, it must be noted, what Ms. Peterson does is not nearly as important as the kind of person she is. She works hard, complains little (if ever), and is always ready to do her job to the best of her ability when she arrives each day,” said Long. “She also cares about her co-workers, our interns, and all of the people we work with in a variety of places on and off campus. She is the kind of genuinely good person who all of us strives—or at least should strive—to be.”
We at TSTC Publishing are especially proud of Grace and Melanie and want to publically congratulate each on these awards.