Congratulations to Denise Cooper, Santa Rosa Junior College’s Employee of the Month for October 2015. Hired in 2005, Denise has dedicated over ten years of service to the College: from 2005-2006, she worked as an Admissions and Records (A&R) Technician III; from 2006-2012, as the HOPE Center Coordinator; from 2012-2013, she was an A&R Specialist; and in 2013, she obtained her current position as an A&R Coordinator for SRJC Petaluma.
Dr. Jane Saldaña-Talley, Vice President, Petaluma Campus, commends Denise for being a dependable leader and compliments her tremendous reputation and success at SRJC’s Petaluma campus. “I knew when we hired Denise that her skills, talent and passion for serving students had the potential to transform our A&R office and she’s far exceeded what I imagined. Denise has a deep understanding of the way in which A&R can serve and support students and her ‘high touch’ approach to resolving student issues has led countless students to the conclusion that SRJC Petaluma is a caring place.”
Having accomplished so much on both campuses, Denise tells us, “My greatest accomplishment would have to be the work I did with the HOPE grant. It was rewarding to take it from paper to practice and see the joy in students’ faces every day.”
Today, as an A&R Coordinator Denise is responsible for the day to day operations of SRJC Petaluma’s A&R including: enrollment and admission procedures, verification, residency and roster functions. In addition, her office sells various types of parking permits and supports Petaluma’s Assessment office by scheduling student placement tests. She also performs outreach and special enrollment services in the south Sonoma County area to increase the visibility and reach of the Petaluma campus. “Denise, along with others at Petaluma, founded the JumpStart program with local Petaluma high schools… The program is being expanded to other high schools, based on its success,” adds Matthew Long, Dean II, Student Services Petaluma Campus.
Aside from work, Denise enjoys camping, boating and spending time on the lake with her family and friends. She also enjoys traveling and zoning out online on Pinterest. Denise volunteers her time as a representative to SRJC’s Classified Senate, and Student Success & Equity committees.
Born in Vallejo, but raised in Petaluma and Rohnert Park, Denise attended Rancho Cotate High School. She received an AA from SRJC, then her BA in Psychology from Sonoma State University, and an MA in Counseling from USF. Prior to SRJC, Denise worked at the American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Sonoma County Family YMCA and Holland America Cruise Lines.
Denise said she was deeply honored to be selected as Employee of the Month, and celebrates this recognition with her husband, John Cooper, their twelve-year old daughter Emily, and ten-year old son Ryan, and year and a half old black Labrador, Brodie.
Denise adds, “I am fortunate to work with such a wonderful team here in Petaluma who give so much of themselves every day to our students, and I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful team.”