Employee of the Month - August 2023
Oliver Espejo Mamangun,
Enrollment Services Financial Aid and Scholarships
Assistant Director, Scholarships
Awarded Tuesday, August 29, 2023, via Zoom Virtual celebration. Oliver was joined by President Jane Close Conoley, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Services Donna Green, Director of Financial Aid Nicholas Novello, and numerous Enrollment Services, campus colleagues, and family.
Oliver is an Assistant Director of Scholarships in the Enrollment Services’ Financial Aid department. His passion for education, technology, and helping others has provided him over fifteen years of opportunity in education and non-profit work.
Prior to that, he spent many years honing his employable skills at multiple job experiences. Starting with his first job at the local mall’s KFCs, then supervising at a call center that transcribed and sent your text messages before you could do it yourself. He also survived multiple layoffs during the dot.com boom of the 90s at a startup in Silicon Valley that competed with Ask Jeeves, a natural language search engine that predates Google. Oliver also spent many years handling cookware, cheesecakes, and cocktails, depending on the shifts for the day. The record for number of jobs held at one time was three.
While he was working full-time, he continued to take classes at various community colleges to learn more about higher education and what career he ultimately wanted to pursue. It wasn’t until he was accepted into the CSU via SJSU that it clicked. He went on to complete his undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies and a multiple subject teaching credential at SDSU, sending him on a pathway into the field he is now and eventually to his current position with CSULB.
Oliver’s colleagues from various departments at CSULB have recognized him for his outstanding service and skills within his role.
Jina Flores, the Associate Director of the Career Development Center, expressed her appreciation for Oliver, “Oliver has been a positive support throughout the year as the Career Development Center navigated the process of scholarship paperwork completion. When we would reach out to him with our numerous questions, he would promptly answer our inquiries and provide additional information and examples to paint a clearer picture. Despite the demands on his time, Oliver would always provide a comfortable space for us to ask questions when we were in doubt. We appreciate his kindness and patience.”
Sovandany “Dany” Wang, a former employee from the Student Accounting Services department, has witnessed multiple occasions in which Oliver displayed compassion, leadership skills and his Financial Aid expertise. She shared, “He's assisted Student Financial Services, specifically my department, with transitioning some of our third-party payers to Financial Aid. Oliver has shown that he's able to go above and beyond for others and provided necessary knowledge to our department. He's very open, kind, and passionate when it comes to the students. He's very reliable when it comes to completing projects. I've even seen Oliver carry two 5-gallon waters across the way to ensure his team had enough for the day.
“It's just been great interactions overall and I can see his leadership shine throughout campus. He's behind the scenes, but shows exemplary service to both the campus and the students. I am grateful to work with Oliver who shows their hard skills in different forms, but more so Oliver's soft skills is what I value most. The strength and resilience he has when tackling difficult situations definitely motivates me.”
Sarah Len, the Community Partner Program Analyst in the Film and Electronic Arts department, shared her experience with Oliver, saying, “I have now worked with Oliver in three major colleges on campus. Each college that I have worked in has had a different and unique need in regard to scholarships. Oliver has gone above and beyond in serving that need in such a professional, collaborative, and wholesome fashion. I know I can always count on him to clearly define guidelines, deadlines, and always willing to explain the financial aid process. I am constantly amazed at his depth of knowledge, work ethic and how effortlessly his professionalism and care come across as he works with a variety of areas and people all over campus. He is by far the embodiment of ‘Best of the Beach’.
“This past year in Film & Electronic Arts within the College of the Arts, Oliver helped me implement new procedures and processes with our department review committee, allowing them to utilize more of Beach Scholarships and create a more efficient workflow. Oliver is also such a pleasant person to interact and collaborate with and always willing to go the extra mile for our students, he is a real treasure at CSULB, we are so very lucky to have him.”
In Oliver’s spare time, he is an avid gamer of all types: video, board, and card. He also enjoys talking about food, cooking food, and mostly eating food. Oliver also finds refuge in music, books, and dance.
Lastly and most importantly, he cherishes the relationships he has forged throughout his life. It is through these relationships that he has “learned what it means to be human” and to accept others and himself.