Five staff finalists have been selected for the Alice J. Smith Staff Awards. The individuals come from a variety of departments across campus. The group was selected by the Smith Staff Award Committee based on personal recommendations from other university employers, faculty, and students.
The award will be presented on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2 p.m. in Spivey Hall.
The Smith Awards were established in 1995 by Joseph Smith as a memorial to his wife Alice. He wanted to honor her career in teaching and her love for learning, and he wanted Clayton State University to be a part of her legacy. The awards are presented annually to the most outstanding faculty and staff members, who are nominated by their peers. The selection committee chooses five finalists and, based on personal recommendations from other university employees, faculty, and students, selects the most deserving finalist as the award recipient.
Barbara Dantzler, Library, Circulation Supervisor
Barbara Dantzler is a circulation supervisor/GIL Express coordinator in the Clayton State University library. You can find her on the lower level of the library at the circulation desk, greeting students, faculty and staff with a friendly smile. Barbara has served as a staff advisor to the Clayton State University Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and as a Co-Director for the CSU Campus Ministries. She’s also a member of the Laker Angels. Barbara enjoys helping students and faculty with informational and directional questions. She feels that sharing information is a form of empowerment, especially in a learning environment.
Barbara enjoys reading, playing computer games, and talking to family and friends. She started the Clayton State University Yammer Group called “Wall of Inspiration”, where she and others post humorous and inspirational quotes. One quote she wrote that she lives by is: “Negative, negative, negative, positive, positive, positive, six words to start your day, now you decide.” She also states that in order to give and receive excellent customer service is to: “Leave your issues in your car when you come to work, because nobody got time for that.”
Lianna Fierroz, Library, Electronic Service Assistant
Lianna Fierroz is the electronic services assistant in the Clayton State University library. Fierroz started attending Clayton State University as a transient student in 2011. She worked at the HUB for many years as a student worker and then part time employee making many fond memories with students, staff, and faculty across campus. After graduating with a bachelor’s in computer science, she became the electronic services assistant at the library. She is an active member of the Alumni Association, and she loves to give back to the Clayton State community that has given her so much.
Cassandra (Cassi) Jones, Technology Infrastructure, IT Systems Administrator
Cassi Jones began working at Clayton State University in April 2004. She enjoys her job as Lead Telecommunications Information Systems Administrator in the Technology Infrastructure department. Cassi works with staff and faculty over all of Clayton State's campus, from Peachtree City to Arbor Hall, ensuring all communications systems are functioning. She is committed to verify that new faculty and staff have lines setup for phone service and the programming of each individual phone manually. Cassi was part of the initial team that migrated over our current voice over IP phone system and she is now lead technical support in implementing the new telephone system that is in process to roll out to all of our campuses. Cassi enjoys engaging in community campus events, such as, Staff Council, Laker Angels, and the Security Enhancement Committee just to name a few. Of course, with the passion she holds for her career, it goes without saying that she is currently pursuing her bachelor’s in information technology. Personally, Cassi enjoys spending time with her family and friends, her wonderful pets, and awesome husband. She also enjoys different crafting techniques, and cooking.
Christina Patterson, Spivey Hall, Production Coordinator
Christina Patterson is a proud alumnus of Clayton State University. She graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music, studying Voice with Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller. While a student at Clayton State she was the recipient of the Cheryl Boyd- Waddell Memorial Scholarship in Music and the Spivey Music Scholarship, and she was President of the Mu-Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Christina now performs regularly in the community as a vocalist and also plays the piano, organ, flute, and guitar with various groups. She also rings handbells with the Atlanta Concert Ringers which tours all over the metro-Atlanta area and beyond.
While she was still a student at Clayton State, she began working at Spivey Hall as a Production Assistant. After eleven years and two promotions, Christina is now serving as the Production Coordinator of Spivey Hall. She is responsible for all campus event and Visual Arts performance contracts and communication. During concerts she is responsible for stage management, lighting, audio/visual needs, and artist hospitality. Christina was recently hired as the Production Manager of the Peach State Opera and volunteers her production and musical expertise in the community with Davis Middle School in Rockdale County and Conyers First United Methodist Church.
In her other volunteer work, she serves as the Music and Communications Chair of the Pathway East Walk to Emmaus Board, and as the Treasurer of the North Georgia Chapter of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, where she also co-directs a Christian music camp for youth over the summer. However, despite all of her accomplishments in the arts, her greatest sources of pride are her two daughters Amber and Merideth who are both growing into wonderful young ladies with their own amazing talents and beautiful personalities.
Wanda Polite, ITS, Business Manager
Wanda Polite is a highly motivated staff member who has been in the department of Information Technology and Services at Clayton State University for nine years.
Wanda’s greatest strengths are her creativity, tenacity, attention to detail, and her ability to organize just about anything. She thrives on challenges and making things better, particularly things that help others achieve their goals and dreams.
Her passion of helping others came into fruition when she became a guardian-at-litem for abused and neglected children. This passion is illustrated in her business and personal life as she strives to make every effort possible to help somebody or to improve a process for a better outcome.
She has a wealth of professional work experiences in Georgia from two public colleges and two private institutions of higher learning, where she is known as “Wanda Woman.” At CSU, Wanda serves on several committees that involve students, faculty, and staff and is known as the campus go-to-person to get things done. On every level, she delivers!