California State University, Long Beach
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FMIS’s Vargas Named Employee of the Month

Published: January 15, 2010

Belen Vargas, an equipment system specialist in Financial Management Information Systems, was recently named by her coworkers as Employee of the Month.

“I was overwhelmed,” said Vargas, who joined the university in 2006.

President F. King Alexander praised Vargas for her efficiency and knowledge. “She performs her job with a great deal of courtesy and professionalism,” he said. “She is always willing to assist with unplanned events and emergencies that occur throughout the day.”

Vargas came to campus from a IT career in the mortgage industry. When recession hit the mortgage industry, she looked around and decided on Cal State Long Beach for a career. As an equipment systems specialist, it is her responsibility to help campus faculty and staff to deal with their computer problems and the campus copiers.

“I network and configure new and existing machines,” she explained. “I program and network the machines so that staff and faculty can do everything from scan to their e-mail to printing from their computers. I want to help them take advantage of everything a copier can do.”

With associate degrees in electronic robotics and information processing from places as different as the Southern California Institute of Technology and El Paso, Texas, she works hard to keep pace with technological change.

“Copiers, for instance, are different in size and how they are programmed,” she explained. “I often meet with manufacturers like Konica or Ricoh and go over new changes.”

Vargas believes one reason for her recognition is how well she covers the campus. “I am everywhere,” she laughed. “It is one of the challenges I face every day that I am all over campus and even off campus. I update databases and create a list to keep track of what needs doing. I answer lots of calls from everyone from the Controller’s Office to the print shop. Whatever the problems are, I am there to help.”

She enjoys working in Financial Management Information Systems. “I like the quiet atmosphere where most of my peers are busy programming or working on databases,” she said. “I like how our area keeps to itself.”

When she isn’t working to keep the campus copiers copying, Vargas enjoys clearing her mind with crocheting. “I learned how to knit from a teacher in elementary school and it was a short step from there to crocheting,” she explained. But her three daughters, Jessica, Jacqueline and Francis, don’t leave her much time to relax.

Photo by David J. Nelson
Employee of the Month Belen Vargas (l) with President F. King Alexander.

Vargas enjoys the many resources offered by the campus and especially its natural beauty. “When I first arrived on campus for my job interview, I noticed right away how many trees there are,” she said. “I love nature and especially trees. I love the Japanese Garden and I’ve visited Kaleidoscope.”

Vargas is glad she made the choice to join CSULB. “This is a nice, professional place to work,” she said.

Vargas received several gifts with her distinction including a CSULB sweatshirt, a $25 gift certificate to Buono’s Pizzeria, two tickets to Battlefield Band at the Carpenter Center, a $10 gift certificate to Finbar’s Italian Kitchen, a gift certificate for Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers and a gift certificate for one free Whopper at Burger King.

–Richard Manly