Melissa Yamamoto - Student Affairs Service Award 2003-04

Statement of Wonderfulness

In Celebration of

Melissa Yamamoto
University Housing & Dining Services


Melissa is an Assistant Director of Residential Life, Leadership Development and Cooperative Houses.  She is responsible for the overall administration of cooperative house residential programs, including the hiring, training, and supervision of cooperative house directors, budget management, student conduct, programming, counseling and crisis issues, and leadership development.  She is also the faculty advisor to the Residence Hall Association, Inter-Cooperative Association, and executive board officers.

She participated in a Student Affairs staff exchange in Lyon, France, in June 2001, is a National Residence Hall Honorary, a CSSA graduate program as an instructor and faculty liaison to assistantship supervisors, a First Year Experience Advisory Council, and a member of the Student Events Advisors Network. Melissa is the ROCK for the leadership development efforts and has been instrumental in the work of the Leadership Initiative for Campus.  Additionally, she teaches classes nearly every term and provides countless hour advising students and mentoring student leaders

RFP Selection Committee, Center for Student Involvement Review Committee, NWACUHO Conference Host Committee, Student Leadership Initiative, UHDS Staff Development Committee.

BOT, Leadership Initiative, Student Affairs Recognition Group, Various other campus and departmental committees and work groups.

Colleagues describe her as deserving, contagious and dedicated. They also say (with a laugh), that she is a “Nut.” She’s very silly and she has a great sense of humor.

One colleague says: “To me, Melissa is WISDOM - to quote Ruth Gender:  “…. Wisdom has a quiet mind. She likes to think about the edges where thins spill into each other and become their opposites.  She knows how to look at things inside out . . .  Questions of time, depth, and balance interest her…"

Fun Facts . . .

  • Been here forever.
  • Was an RA in Weatherford .
  • Came to OSU from Eastern Washington – Eagles.
  • HUGE Mariners fan. Rumored that she Is going to elope with Brett Boone.
  • Dedicated to the students and to Brett Boone.
  • Lovingly referred to as “MO.”

Her colleagues have much more to say about her:

“I've worked with Melissa for almost nine years now.  She was the first person I met when I arrived at OSU and I immediately recognized her by her infectious laugh from our numerous phone calls.  She was a strong support for me then, as I began my career in student affairs and continues to be an important colleague and friend.”

“Melissa surely deserves recognition for all that she does above and beyond her "job" and for the joy and energy she brings to everything she does.  Her work with the CSSA master's program is an excellent example of this type of collegial and positive attitude and her commitment to the student affairs profession.  Melissa teaches an introductory course on developing professional competencies.  She also graciously and bravely took on a new role a few years ago to serve as the liaison between our graduate faculty and our graduate assistantship supervisors.  This was an area that was clearly lacking, but without direction and focus.  When we proposed the liaison idea we had no idea how the process would emerge and had little advice to share.  Melissa was undaunted by this and took co-leadership of this role along with Jackie Balzer.  Her efforts to encourage collaboration, foster campus-wide connections, and improve the CSSA program for students, faculty, and assistantship supervisors alike have truly made a difference in the work we do (so much so that I expect we'll be asking her to continue her leadership for another year)!”

“Melissa gives her time and talents - she is unfailingly supportive of the efforts of students and staff in helping align our work with other departments and with our student leaders and student groups.  Melissa is always thinking about the big picture - helping others to see a side of an issue that may be challenging to perceive. “

“I love Melissa's sense of what is important - to students and to our organization.  Also, she is so giving of her time and really goes out of her way to make sure that students needs are met.  She is an outstanding example of the Campus Compact Principles to other professionals.”

“Melissa creates community by empowering her students to be learners and doers. She is open to change and growth - always asking the hard questions and encouraging others to ask hard questions. She is fair and just in all her dealings with others. Melissa acts and serves students and OSU using the Judicious Leadership model - this model is a beacon for disciplined communication that enhances our community. Melissa BLEEDS care for others. Never a holiday, birthday or special event slips by her radar screen for her staff or her colleagues/ Melissa helps us all Celebrate and encourages recognition of others.”


9th Annual Service Awards Celebration

Division of Student Affairs

Oregon State University

May 24, 2004