David Soorenko Named April 2011 Employee of the Month

Posted: March 30, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: March 29, 2011 at 8:29 pm

By Aisha Jamil

David Soorenko

David Soorenko, Mason case management specialist for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), has been named Employee of the Month for April 2011.

“This award is a superb way to recognize staff members, and I am honored to receive this distinction,” says Soorenko, who has been with Mason for about 11 years.

Soorenko graduated from Mason in 2004 with a BA in psychology and started working for the College of Arts and Sciences, which later became CHSS.

As a case management specialist, Soorenko is responsible for handling student requests for exceptions regarding academic policies. Soorenko communicates with students and listens to their concerns regarding not only academic policies, but university policies as well.

“That David handles these difficult situations so well testifies to his communication and interpersonal skills,” says Jack Censer, dean of CHSS. “What a contribution to CHSS at Mason!”

Soorenko is tasked with handling requests that are out of the ordinary and are often very complicated. Sometimes these cases involve emotional, angry and confused students and parents.

“David is often on the receiving end of all the anger and frustration students have. He has students who yell, and students who cry,” says Jamie Cooper, associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs for CHSS. “However, even through all this, David remains calm and composed, and acts with the utmost professionalism, advising students in accordance with the university’s policies and procedures.”

Soorenko remains sympathetic to students’ frustrations.

“It’s understandable, given the circumstances that many of the students are dealing with at the time, so I do my best to be calm and helpful with all interactions. Nevertheless, it can be stressful in the moment,” Soorenko says.

Even with all the day-to-day stresses of the job, Soorenko enjoys coming into work every day.

“I do enjoy the work that I do. Coming to work in this office is special because every day is different. We handle such a wide variety of requests and questions that it is nearly impossible for one day to be just like another.”

According to his peers, Soorenko raises the bar when it comes to building camaraderie and adding levity to the office.

“David more than deserves this award for the consistent effort he puts forth and the sound ethics with which he approaches the job,” says Kathleen Clare, assistant dean for the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. “He is an integral member of this office and of the Mason community, too.”

President Alan Merten will formally present Soorenko with the award in his office, 103 Mason Hall, on Monday, April 4, at 2:30 p.m. All of Soorenko’s family, friends and co-workers are invited to attend the ceremony.

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