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Peoples Picked By Peers

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Debbie Hildreth Pisarcik

Tanisha Peoples Photo by Michael Sullivan

Tanisha Peoples
Photo by Michael Sullivan

Tanisha Peoples, Director of the College of Liberal Arts’ advising center, was recognized recently by her peers as employee of the month.

The CSULB graduate with a master’s degree in student development in higher education from 2001 was shocked and excited to be recognized with the honor.

“The College of Liberal Arts’ advising center coordinates with the college’s departments to advise more than 9,000 students,” Peoples explained. “The students work with a team of advisors to make sure they are retained and eventually graduate. It is important to the center that students know they have a place for all their questions.”

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley praised Peoples for her professionalism, positive attitude and ability to build strong relationships with faculty staff and students. “Tanisha has excellent people skills and always goes the extra mile to assist others,” she said.

One reason Peoples believes she was recognized was her interaction with the College of

Liberal Arts students, faculty and staff. “I try to be a friendly person,” she said. “You’ll usually find me smiling. I work hard to connect with people no matter who they are and to be there for anyone who needs me. To do that, I partner with faculty, staff and students. I am a team player and I work with an excellent team.”

A director of the CLA advising center needs a special skill set to do her job including the ability to listen.

“I need to know plenty of information about our students such as the general education requirements for their majors,” she explained. “I need to know what resources are available for students and to provide guidance to those who are struggling or are trying to find their way at CSULB. My job is to guide students, not to judge them.”

She points with pride to the advising center’s use of the ATLAS Network (Advising Teaching Liberal Arts Students), a collaboration of professional advisors and faculty committed to the satisfaction and success of liberal arts majors at CSULB.

“Our trained advisors are not only qualified to assist students with their overall degree and general education requirements, they are also experts at guiding students in the exploration of academic options, reviewing academic requirements, and troubleshooting student issues and concerns,” she said. “We’re here to help students on their road to graduation.”

The average day brings plenty of challenges to the advising center including the knowledge that things do not usually go as planned.

“People are always coming to us with questions,” she said. “The center needs to be ready for whatever waits for them. That may mean interacting with students, faculty or staff. There are plenty of meetings and plenty of work on a variety of projects. I like that every day is different.”

Despite the nonstop pressure, Peoples enjoys working in the Advising Center. “It is a friendly, upbeat place to work,” she said. “Yes, it’s true we are busy and there is plenty of stress that goes with that. But we also have fun. It is important to feel good at work, I feel, and I work hard to make that happen. I want to make a difference at CSULB. My main goal as director is to provide good customer service to our students. There is a family atmosphere in this college which I really enjoy. Our college embraces a team spirit. Partnership is our goal. Our college works as a team to make student success happen.”

When she isn’t at work, Peoples enjoys spending time with her family and going to jazz festivals with the occasional trip to Las Vegas.

As far as goals are concerned, she is always exploring possibilities. “What is the next step?” she asked. “I am always interested in refining and enhancing my leadership skills. I work hard to be a student advocate.”

Peoples received several gifts along with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, a gift certificate for See’s Candy, a $25 gift card for the Cheesecake Factory and two certificates for Tommy’s Original World Famous Hamburgers.

–Richard Manly