Dan Larson - Student Affairs Service Award 2004-05

Statement of Wonderfulness

In Celebration of

Dan Larson


Dan Larson has worked for Housing and Dining for over 5 years and each day exemplifies the 6 principles of the Campus Compact.  Purposeful in his actions, disciplined in the work he achieves, open to new ideas, caring about others and the total student experience, just in decision making, and celebrative of the human spirit. 

Dan has an amazing ability to connect with people in a way that shows he truly cares.  Dan excels at taking big picture issues and providing detailed logistics for how to make it happen.  He is very generous with his time and resources.  He sees himself as part of a team with big goals and is very thorough in his work.  Many in the department depend on his ability to sort through an issue and get right at the heart of the situation.  Dan involves others in his work, asks intentional questions that help refocus on the purpose.   He takes his work very seriously, yet doesn't lose perspective of what is most important or his great sense of humor.

“Often, Dan’s work is behind-the-scenes, as he strives to enhance the customer service orientation of the department through committee work and presentations, or to standardize routine processes to be more consistent and efficient.  In other instances, Dan’s work brings him face-to-face with student and other customer concerns.”  For the past two years, Dan has taken the time to meet with every student who has cancelled their housing contract to see if there are common themes as to why they are leaving our halls.  Dan takes the information and feedback he receives from students, and turns it into action items to better the total student experience in Housing and Dining.

Dan is a caring and skilled supervisor.  With a diverse staff exhibiting a variety of skills and talents, Dan takes the time to nurture these unique skills in each staff member.  Dan is supportive to all his staff, and is receptive to their needs.  Dan goes beyond the traditional role of supervisor to be a mentor to his staff.  One of his staff members expressed, “Dan has helped me achieve my goals as I head towards a professional career in Student Affairs.  He has truly supported my endeavors to attend Master’s level classes while I maintain my full time work responsibilities.  Through his guidance and support, I know I can achieve whatever I set out to accomplish.”

Dan has been instrumental in providing collaborative leadership in the development of a curriculum model for Weatherford Residential College that is innovative and progressive.  This curriculum model combines the diligence of academia with the life-skills of student services to provide a holistic academic experience for students.  Through Dan’s dedication to the project, Weatherford reopened this fall as one of the first Residential Colleges in the western United States.

Customer service is a passion of Dan’s, and he continually shows this through the development and refinement of various customer service models.  Dan has developed several customer service models and presentations including:  The Spirit of Customer Service, the Complete Service Model, and has expanded upon the FISH Customer Service Model. Dan has made presentations to various groups within UHDS, to other departments at OSU, and has presented at the University of Oregon, the Corvallis Downtown Association, and Portland State University. 

University Housing and Dining Services operates on a higher level of success due in part to the selfless work of Dan Larson.  Dan continues to raise the bar on the level of service provided to students, staff, and parents throughout the university.  It is these qualities and more that make Dan very deserving of this award.


10th Annual Service Awards Celebration

Division of Student Affairs

Oregon State University

May 26, 2005