32-Year Career Pays Dividends for Emporia State
What started as a temporary job 32 years ago turned into a full-time position that has produced bountiful benefits for Emporia State.
Karla Rodgers, senior administrative assistant in counseling services, was rewarded for her efforts when she was named the 2012 Outstanding Classified Employee of the Year.
Associate Vice President for Student Life Lynn Hobson introduced Rodgers in a ceremony in April and read from a nomination form touting the many positive qualities she brings.
"We believe this person to be particularly deserving this year, after dedicating a tremendous amount of time and thoughtful energy to helping select our new president and providing input to help shape his agenda in the coming year," the statement said. "This Hornet treats duties and responsibilities enthusiastically and seriously and as a result has become a visible and effective ambassador for ESU."
Rodgers, who actually has 38 years working for the State of Kansas, started her temp job at Emporia State in Counselor Education and Rehabilitation on July 1, 1980 and stayed there until November 30 that year. She accepted her current position in February of 1981. She has strong Kansas roots, too, having been born in Iola, KS, and then attending a one-room schoolhouse up to 8th grade when it closed. Rodgers graduated from LeRoy Rural High School, attended Allen County Community College in Iola, Pittsburg State, and then finished her education at Emporia State where she majored in business education.
One reason Rodgers has been able to maintain such a high level of success during her time at Counseling Services is she truly enjoys the campus scene and stays involved in it. One of her best memories she says is watching the Lady Hornets win the 2010 national basketball title, while another was when a former student employee who had worked with her more than 20 years ago, dropped by her office to introduce her son, who is now a freshman at Emporia State.
Check out photos of Emporia State events on the school's Flickr page, like the recent Hornet Telethon, and it is a good bet you will see Rodgers attending or working.
Another reason for the long-lasting benefits she has brought to the university is her strong beliefs in the role Counseling Services plays in helping Emporia State students succeed in school and life.
"Counseling Services is a great place to find emotional support to help clarify concerns, gain insight into self and others, and learn ways to more effectively cope and/or resolve issues," she says.
The professional staff is made up of licensed mental health providers and interns. Counseling Services includes mental health counseling, the Alcohol/Drug Abuse Prevention Program, the Gender Program, a sexual assault prevention educator, and Biofeedback and Stress Management. Counseling Services is located with the offices of Disability Services and Health Services to make up Student Wellness located at 250 Southeast Morse Hall.
"Counseling Services helps students manage stress levels so that they can be more successful in their classes," Rodgers says. "Being away from home for the first time presents many new experiences for students, and making their independent decisions can be stressful. Relationship problems, addictions problems, and not being able to keep up with their studies are situations that can cause stress for students. Being able to visit with a professional counselor in a confidential setting can be very helpful to students."
And while visiting the offices, a dose of Karla Rodgers enthusiasm can be quite uplifting, too, as she talks about her appreciation for how Emporia State and the Emporia community are working together and how the university continues to reach out to its students and insure they have a quality education that is a great value.
"The Memorial Union renovation is a big improvement and the campus grounds are very attractive. I could list many other improvements, but I will close by saying that this is a great time to be at Emporia State University. Go Hornets!"