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Rooney named January’s Civil Service Employee of the Month

Sarah Rooney - EOM January 2019
Sarah Rooney

Whether it was scooping ice cream for a large group of visitors or moving buckets in a freezer, Sarah Rooney enjoys recalling her time working at the South Dakota State University Dairy Bar in high school.

“My favorite part was seeing the faces of the customers as they were amazed they had so many flavor choices to choose from and their amazement that it was all made right here on campus,” Rooney said.

That happiness at work and can-do attitude have allowed Rooney to be South Dakota State University’s Civil Service Employee of the Month for January. Her reception will now start at 2:45 p.m. Feb. 21 in room 104 of Morrill Hall. The event was originally scheduled for Jan. 30 but was postponed due to the university's closure that day.

Rooney, a native of Volga, was a high school sophomore when she started in the SDSU Dairy Bar. After graduating from Dakota State, Rooney started as a full-time employee in loan collections and now works as a financial program assistant in accounting.

Nominators praised her personality and her willingness to take on any project.

“Sarah’s warm and kindhearted personality shines through to all,” said Pam Iverson, an accounting assistant. “There is always a smile on her face and she is more than ready to assist others when her time allows. Sarah took on a much larger role shortly after coming to accounting. She began working as our financial program assistant and faced the situation of having to do much cleanup to get the P-cards in order as well as learning the ins and outs of scheduling the SDSU airplane, which is no small task. Sarah tackled these tasks with enthusiasm, determination and a positive attitude—even when it got frustrating. Sarah's smile, sense of humor and upbeat personality make her a great co-worker.”

Carla Beckwith, a senior accountant, agrees with Iverson on several factors of what makes Rooney a great co-worker.

“If a task is assigned to Sarah, you can be sure that it will be completed and it will be done well,” Beckwith said. “She likes learning and picks up on things quickly, so it’s great having a person who can be relied on to help out with new tasks or unexpected circumstances. If she sees something that needs to be done or somebody who needs help with the workload, you can be sure she will either ask or just jump in and help. Another great aspect of Sarah is that she isn’t afraid to question things and find answers or clarifications when needed.”

Rooney and her husband, Dan, live in Brookings and they enjoy camping and attending Jackrabbits athletics events.

“I love my job and all of the wonderful people I get to work with on a daily basis,” Rooney said. “I enjoy helping others and am very passionate about what I do and about SDSU.”

All SDSU Employee of the Month selections are determined through a nomination process by the Civil Service Advisory Council. Each civil service employee of the month receives an appreciation monetary gift from the F.O. Butler Foundation. The trustees of the foundation recognize the importance of civil service employees and take this opportunity to thank them for their exemplary service.