Account clerk earns award for exceptional work

Annual accolade highlights assistance, guidance

By Cody Casares, Photo Editor

This year, the Frank Hernandez Service Award has been given to Contra Costa College’s Senior Account Clerk Jacqueline Lopez from the business services department.

The award is given annually to the faculty or staff member who helped the students succeed with their goals.

“Students constantly see the staff around the college, but do not see what the staff does for the college as a whole in the background. This award brings some recognition for their hard work,” Student Life Coordinator Erika Greene said.

Associated Student Union Board members determine the recipient of the award and announce the winner at All College Day each August.

“It’s not about who is your favorite. There needs to be examples of going above and beyond,” Greene said.

Senior Administrative Secretary Maritza Guerrero said Lopez has shown examples of why she is deserving. When the biology department needed a new fridge to store perishables, Lopez made it her job to find the best choice and talked to an array of vendors.

In the end, the biology department spent much less than originally anticipated, Guerrero said.

Lopez also helped the ASU tighten up on its finance procedures, allowing it to get things done in a timely manner making sure that everyone was on the same page, Greene said.

“I had no idea I was going to get the award,” Lopez said.

When ASU President Nakari Syon was on stage at All College Day announcing the winner, he began listing off jobs that seemed similar to the ones she had done for the ASU. “I still thought it was someone else,” she said.

“I was very happy that she won. She is an extremely helpful, dedicated and approachable person,” Guerrero said. “I hear nothing but compliments from people who go to see her.”

Lopez is no stranger to going above and beyond in the workplace. Prior to her days working as senior account clerk at CCC she moved to Southern California where she worked as a cashier at one of MiraCosta College’s three bookstores, she said.

She was promoted to supervisor when the existing supervisor was out on maternity leave. 

During her time at the college bookstore she created new protocol for the shipping and receiving of everything as well as maximized the space available in the small store.

Lopez has contributed to CCC prior to her position as business department senior account clerk as well.

Moving from Southern California, Lopez returned to the East Bay where she started work at Admissions and Records on campus, she said. She worked there for two years. “I wanted to quit,” Lopez said, “I was working two jobs: three days at Admissions and Records and three days at AAA.” 

While working in Admissions and Records, Lopez applied for the human resources position in the business department and although she failed to meet the qualifications to get the job she made an impression.

Lopez was hired as senior account clerk after a conversation with Business Services Supervisor Nick Dimitri during her lunch break, Lopez said.

Dimitri became aware of Lopez’s potential through her application the previous year for the human resources position.

“He told me that the senior account clerk was leaving and that I had a week to train. I was super excited and I took it. I rapidly put in my application for it,” Lopez said. “It’s a great spot for me.”

“It’s a tough job, but she handles it with style and class,” Dimitri said.