Did someone you know make a positive change in how employees are treated in the workplace? Does your department have policies that are supportive of staff?  If yes, we want to recognize these efforts!

Award purpose and criteria

The Classified Personnel Council instituted the Positive Action Award in 2006. The purpose of this award is to recognize individuals, groups, units or departments that have made a positive contribution to State Classified employees at Colorado State University. The award is meant to showcase new efforts or “best practices” that foster a supportive work environment, improved campus climate, and/or positive work experiences for State Classified employees.

This award recognizes individuals, groups, units or departments that have made a positive contribution to State Classified employees at Colorado State University.

Nomination Form

Positive Action Award

Past Recipients


  • Living Wage Committee
    • A committee, with representatives from across the institution, including the employee councils, worked to determine a living wage for CSU employees. The committee agreed that the first step in this process was to increase salaries that are below $30,000 to $30,000. Which meant full and part-time state classified and administrative professional employees with annual salaries below $30,000 would receive an increase bringing their salary to $30,000. The implementation of the living wage initiative was approved by campus administration and was implemented on September 1, 2018. Approximately 375 state classified, and 25 administrative professional employees were impacted by this initiative.The committee also worked to identify appropriate increases for employees earning an amount just above the line of the new living wage, so that their pay also increases to reflect their current job level and years of service. This situation is referred to as wage compression. Employees affected by wage compression were also being notified of wage increases. Increases addressing compression were determined by the years of service, the level of an employee’s classification, and most current performance rating.
  • Lauri Loyd and Jean West
    • Jean and Lauri are the heart of the Administration area within Housing & Dining Services and have made tremendous contributions to the morale of all employees in the department in the following ways:
      • Jean has served on the Communications and Morale committee that includes an employee recognition program and planning department events that recognize our employees.
      • Lauri provides support for staff training and workshops to employees with an annual three-day conference-style training.
      • They both provide support to the HDS Human Resources department which includes Payroll and Employment. Employees come in sometimes distraught or nervous about meetings and Jean and Lauri always make them feel supported and comfortable.
      • They always have the best interest of all of the HDS staff at heart when decisions are being made that may affect staff. It may not seem like much, but HDS has almost 500 full-time State Classified and Admin Pro employees.


  • Marsha Benedetti
    • Under the leadership and vision of Marsha Benedetti – the office of Talent Development made several key hires. Concurrently, developed the curriculum and delivery format for a Supervisor Development program and a path for supervisors to earn a Certificate in Supervision.Over the past two years, Marsha and the office of Talent Development have crafted, improved and delivered a series of Foundational, Core and Elective Classes – all part of the (now required!) Supervisor Development Program.

      While the program may still be young – the first group of Supervisor Development Program graduates is now actively utilizing and applying their new skills and knowledge across campus. It will not be long now before we (hopefully) begin to see an upswing of positive comments related to supervisors in our Campus Climate Survey. Who do we have to thank – Marsha Benedetti. Marsha has been a steady and committed champion of supervisor development. Her continuous and collaborative efforts are delivering results to the CSU community – making CSU a better place to work for state classified employees and all employees. I may have a few of the details wrong but, there is no one more deserving of recognition of a CPC Positive Action Award than Marsha Benedetti.


  • Erika Borges and Kellie Rainwater
    • Erica Borges has worked in the Office of the VPUO for ~7 years
    • Kellie had worked in the VPUO for ~5 years
    • While it may be a part of their position descriptions to provide support to numerous Council activities – the CPC is very happy to recognize these two individuals for their tireless assistance, endless patience, and gracious
      • Outstanding Achievement Award management – schedule, pictures, framing, etc.; support and logistics for the Educational Assistance Awards; Milestone letters for SC employees; welcome letters for new SC employees, scheduling our meetings with Lynn; and assist with annual the CPC new member election process; and likely millions of other little details I will never know because they are handled so seamlessly
    • Thank you thank you – for all you do – know that it matters and we are grateful


  • Teri Suhr and Jackie Swaro – Human Resources Benefits Unit

    • Teri and Jackie were recognized for providing resources to empower State Classified employees to make the best benefit decisions for themselves and their families. Without their dedication, few (if any) State-sponsored vendors would have attended the 2015 State Classified Benefits Fair since the State of Colorado decided to discontinue holding benefits fairs across the state.
  • President’s Commission on Women & Gender Equity

    • The Commission was recognized for leading the Ripple Effect Grant Proposal process and creating workshops to teach employees how to write a proposal.  They were also nominated for their University-wide efforts to ensure equal access and opportunity for all employees and giving women a stronger voice.


  • Lanai Greenhalgh – Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program

    • Lanai was recognized for the assistance she provided to employees who lost their homes or were displaced from natural disasters. Her remarkable way of reaching out to offer support without being intrusive helped many employees deal with the emotional impact and the physical realities of their situation.


  • Amy Parsons & Commitment to Campus program – University Operations

    • Amy Parsons and the task force was recognized for all the work that has gone into Commitment to Campus.  There are a variety of benefits offered to all employees of the University.  These benefits make employees feel valued especially during an economic downturn and salary freezes.


  • Melissa Shrader – Facilities Management

    • Melissa was recognized for her dedication to the lactation room program, as part of the Commitment to Campus initiative.  She researched and provided the use of viable locations with underutilized spaces.  She measured, prepared diagrams, and estimated the costs for each location. Once that was all approved, Melissa created the work orders, ordered the furniture, and revisited the sites as needed to bring each room up to the conditions needed for new moms to use.  Finally, Melissa took on the responsibility, without being asked or expected to do so, of being the “front door” of the program by volunteering her contact information online so that there is always someone available to help schedule a room, explain how to get access, and address any problems or issues that might arise.


  • The Office of the Vice President for Research
    • Since Fall 2009, the ODLA team significantly contributed to State Classified by promoting professional development, employee recognition, and staff events. The ODLA team, comprised of a state-classified or administrative professional representative from each of the six divisions plus the OVPR, was chaired by Margaret Saldana, Organizational Development and Learning Assessment coordinator.


  • Tom Biedscheid – Student Financial Services
    • Tom was recognized for his innovative ideas which promote positive experiences for both employees in Student Financial Services and the students they serve.  Tom coordinated “Green Team” in SFS and guided the department in reducing their paper usage. Tom also organizes staff events which promote working together and also allowed for exploring the competitive side of the SFS staff.  Tom’s co-workers stated his leadership style encourages them to set the bar very high for goals within the department and at a University level.


  • Tag Team Towers – Operations Management, Housing and Dining Services
    • The Tag Team Towers (a group of State Classified and Administrative Professional employees who provide custodial and maintenance services as well as administrative and residential support for Durward and Westfall halls, known as “The Towers” on campus) was recognized for the way the staff members on the team have come together and modeled positive communication and team-building for other teams in the department.


  • Facilities Process Improvement Committee
    • This Committee was recognized for its work in building a foundation of cooperation by encouraging open communication and respect. Positions on the Committee are open to front line employees who work together in leadership roles to improve the morale of employees. The Committee has used employee surveys to engage others and direct their energies in avenues of value to the employees.


  • Bill Cole – Operations Management, Housing & Dining Services
    • Bill encouraged and supported employee efforts to launch several innovative programs. His leadership models integrity, credibility, and follow-through and was the driving force for the positive changes in the Division.


  • College of Veterinary Medicine & Bio-Medical Sciences
    • For efforts in surveying employee needs and acting on results such as piloting feedback mechanisms for supervisors and increasing employee recognition efforts.