Meet Dawna O'Malley
Dawna O'Malley, who graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor's degree in behavioral science, has worked at De Anza for eight years as a financial aid assistant, a job with several components.
"The first is that of a human resources administrator. I process all student employment paperwork and assist students with payroll and timesheet issues," O'Malley says. "I also oversee the federal work-study program, which includes awarding students work-study and placing them in work positions. I also process financial aid applications."
Financial Aid and Scholarships Director Cindy Castillo says O'Malley has exemplified amazing dedication and persistence this year with the transition to the Banner HR/Payroll system and Banner Financial Aid. "She has tirelessly explained the new system to student employees and their supervisors even when the system was a bit of a mystery to us as well," says Castillo. "She worked very closely with her Foothill counterpart and the district team to make sure student employees were notified and trained on the new system."
Castillo also says O'Malley "has only one speed, high speed, and is always upbeat and tries to provide the best service to student employees, supervisors and financial aid students during a very demanding time and a very demanding transition period."
Patrick Dowling, Student Success Center secretary, agrees with Castillo. "Dawna's attitude is fantastic. She has been an incredible resource during the Banner rollout. Even when things are stressful and deadlines are looming ever nearer, she manages to maintain a calm and pleasant demeanor," he says. "She is also very resourceful, willing to go the extra mile to find an answer to your question or direct you to the person or department that can help you."
O'Malley says she is fortunate to work in one of the "best departments" at De Anza. "Each day provides me with the opportunity to assist some of the kindest, brightest and most fun students you will find on any campus, anywhere," she says. "Each day may also provide me with an opportunity to serve students who are struggling with some major issues. Many of these issues are not related to school, yet can interfere with their success here. It is very rewarding when the work we do in our department can help ease some of their struggles.