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Faculty, Staff Continue Making a Difference During Pandemic

As Cal State San Marcos faculty and staff continue to go above and beyond on behalf of students and the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re pleased to highlight some of the campus heroes as nominated by students and colleagues.


Chad Huggins, technical director, CHABSS School of Arts

Responsible for the Arts building, Huggins has been on campus numerous times during the pandemic to supervise upgrades and major repairs, including replacing the dance floor. The nominator noted that he also led and supported all on-campus efforts, including classes that met on campus during the fall and ones meeting on campus this spring.

“This has meant much work with health and safety to establish distancing guidelines, access to PPE, etc., in our classrooms and throughout the building,” the nominator wrote. “It has also meant planning and budgeting kits for students who pay lab fees for their classes. Chad has worked with shop technician Judy Ryan to budget, purchase and distribute these kits that include materials and supplies for students so they can benefit from their art studio classes. Chad has worked with technician Albert Rascon on the digital equipment, including check-out that gives access to photo and video equipment to our students.”


John Pili, library services specialist, Library User Services

Pili was lauded for continually seeking out new methods of connecting with students, including starting up Virtual Library Learn sessions and providing students with encouraging study spaces through Virtual Study Sessions.

“John has been so thoughtful and compassionate toward our students while we all attempt to navigate this virtual world,” the nominator wrote.

“John always puts our students first, and he has not let COVID-19 get in the way of that. He is using this unique opportunity to expand upon his skills in order to improve the experience of our users and ensure they are getting the most out of their experience at CSUSM.”


Blake Schilling, Inspiration Studios coordinator, IITS

Before the university moved to virtual learning last spring, Schilling contacted instructors to make arrangements for them to visit Inspiration Studios to record their lectures as quickly as possible. The nominator noted that when one instructor wanted to visit to record his lectures last fall, Schilling redesigned the learning glass technology so the instructor could record without needing Schilling’s assistance to ensure social distancing.

“Blake further revised the method of using the learning glass so the instructor could record the lectures to the cloud and have immediate access to post them for the class,” the nominator wrote. “The instructor was so pleased with the new functionality, he continued to come weekly and recorded lectures he had previously made because the quality had improved so much.”


Rosa Solorio, custodian, Facility Services

Solorio is assigned to Craven Hall, and her nominator noted her diligence in ensuring that all areas are clean and disinfected.

“I see her disinfecting all of the high-touch surfaces multiple times a day,” the nominator wrote. “There have been so many tasks and cleaning duties added to her already busy schedule, and she has taken them on with a smile and a great work ethic. I have never seen her sitting down or taking a break. I feel safe working in Craven Hall because I know Rosa is there doing her best to keep us safe.

“The work of our custodial team plays a key role in the university’s return-to-campus policies. Without their hard work and dedication, returning to campus would not have been possible. Rosa stands out in that essential department.”


Hugo Wong, library services specialist, Library User Services

Wong was nominated for his instrumental role in ensuring users continue to receive services from the library throughout the pandemic. The nominator noted that Wong’s impact extends beyond the library, as he also monitors the university’s CougarBot.

The nominator noted that during the transition to virtual hours, Wong has helped support numerous events, including the library’s virtual open house and other virtual services.

“With his constant drive to learn and help others learn, I am grateful to work with Hugo and have more opportunities to hear what new skills he has discovered and how we can use those skills to improve our services and workflows,” the nominator wrote. “Hugo has always gone above and beyond, and he continues to be an essential part of the University Library and of CSUSM.”

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist

ebreier@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7314