On top of her responsibilities as an SFSU human resources representative, Robin Bates, January's STAR of the Month, always has plenty of what she calls "outreach projects" off the job. In the past year alone, those projects have included developing Web sites, organizing a film festival and leading an international tour.
Last November, Bates helped launch the first annual International Black Women's Film Festival in San Francisco, which hosted 15 films from around the world. In Paris during the summer, she led African American Women on Tour, a five-day cultural mélange that acquainted participants with the City of Light and its long history as a European nexus for African American writers and cultural luminaries. And somewhere in between she gave French lessons to children at her church.
Bates began working at SFSU as a student assistant while completing her bachelor's degree in French. As part of her program, she studied French culture and civilization for two years at the acclaimed Sorbonne University of Paris. In 1997, she took her current position with human resources.
Known to her colleagues as something of a cultural savant, she feels equally at home debating politics in a French café as she does explaining employee benefits and risk management at SFSU.
"She broadens other people's horizons because she's so engaged internationally," said Denise Fox, director of human resources.
Not surprisingly, Bates has made a point of getting involved in projects on campus. She is a member of the Human Resources Consulting Team, a group responsible for conveying human-resources information to various parties at the University. From that collaboration, Bates produced a model for presenting information to the administrative cabinet.
"She's sought after to work on project teams because of her style and creativity," said Marcia Allsopp, manager of benefits and professional development.
Fox explained why: "I think she is a real bridge builder. She has a wonderful skill for bringing people together."
Recently, Bates has taken on the task of revising the human resources Web site. There she has a hand in everything from writing to programming and design.
But Bates credits her co-workers for her successes. "I would like to dedicate my award to the entire Human Resources department," she said. "They are very supportive, they're very customer service oriented, and they trained me very well."
"I learned from the best," she added. "They set the tone and the standard."
Please join us in congratulating Robin and thank her for making such a difference.
As the STAR of the Month, Bates will enjoy four free lunches on campus, a free parking pass or equivalent in one month's public transportation costs, and more. She will also be eligible for the STAR of the Year award.
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