Dawn Pallesen

Statement of Wonderfulness

In Celebration of

Dawn Pallesen
Student Health Services


Dawn administers three different health insurance programs for three diverse student populations at OSU.  The first is the health insurance plan for domestic students.  The second is the health insurance plan for international students.  The third is the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance plan.  It is Dawn’s work on this last plan that prompted many people to nominate Dawn for this award.

Dawn took part in many aspects of the planning and implementation of the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance plan.  Dawn was not an “official” member of the Health Insurance Advisory Committee and yet selflessly attended committee meetings, sharing her expertise on health insurance plans and OSU student health insurance plans in particular.  Dawn’s input and spirit of inclusiveness was sighted by colleagues as invaluable to the process.  In addition to participating in the planning process it is also Dawn’s job to act as the plan administrator and the primary contact for students and anyone else who needs information regarding the plan.  Once again Dawn’s colleagues noted her pleasant, calm and courteous demeanor and her ability to leave student’s feeling like they had been heard and feeling very positive about the interaction that he or she had just had with Dawn. 

The thing that I found unique when reading about Dawn was the variety of offices that supported her nomination for this award.  I received feedback from 5 different people representing 3 distinct units.  This told me that Dawn’s touch extends far on this campus.

People used words like “student-centered,” “other-centered,” “can do attitude,” “upbeat,” “above and beyond,” “committed” and “caring,” when describing Dawn.

The biggest compliment that was paid to Dawn came from George Voss who wrote, “she is the kind of employee that you never want to lose yet you want to do everything you can to help them grow so that they can continue to soar.” 

George’s words reminded me of a quote from Shawshank Redemption that Morgan Freeman delivered when thinking about his friend Andy:  “I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone…” 

Thank you Dawn for brightening up the lives of students and co-workers alike at OSU.



10th Annual Service Awards Celebration

Division of Student Affairs

Oregon State University

May 26, 2005