Heather Bellotti receives the 2017-2018 Outstanding Achievement Award

Heather Bellotti headshotThe School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is proud to announce that Heather Bellotti, office manager for the School, has received Colorado State University's 2017-2018 Outstanding Achievement Award, which recognizes meritorious and outstanding achievement in job skills and service to the University by State Classified employees.

In her nomination of Heather, Music Therapy Professor Blythe LaGasse correlated Heather’s highly efficient and productive history of making significant contributions to the accomplishments of the department, faculty, and students to the award’s criteria. “As the office manager for the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance since 2006, Heather has been instrumental in the success of the School, including the overall office, the staff under her supervision, and the faculty at large. She is most deserving of the Outstanding Achievement Award for CSU State Classified employees,” said LaGasse.

In congratulating Heather, Dan Goble, director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance concurred. "Heather manages quite possibly the most complex office at CSU, providing exemplary support for more than 100 employees, 500 students, and the entire University Center for the Arts facility. She is a positive force for SMTD and the UCA…always smiling, no matter what the situation. Heather is a genius when finding simple solutions to complex problems. This Outstanding Achievement Award has been given to one of the most deserving individuals I have ever worked with.”

Outstanding Achievement Award recipients receive a plaque, an award of $1000, and special recognition at the 2018 Celebrate! CSU Awards Ceremony and Classified Personnel Council Recognition Luncheon, both held in April.

Dr. LaGasse’s Nomination (and a story about a mouse)

Everyone who has ever worked in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (SMTD) has had the pleasure of interacting with Heather Bellotti. Heather has been employed at CSU for 17 years, starting her employment in the Liberal Arts Dean’s office. As the office manager for SMTD since 2006, Heather has been instrumental in the success of the School, including the overall office, the staff under her supervision, and the faculty at large. She is most deserving of the Outstanding Achievement Award for CSU State Classified employees.

There are several aspects of Heather’s commitment to SMTD that are worthy of recognition. First, her institutional knowledge of the various programs makes her the ‘go to’ person for questions about policy and procedures. She has been Office Manager during times of great transition, including changes in leadership and moving from the CSU Oval to the University Center for the Arts. Heather’s unique perspective and knowledge about the workings of our office and our faculty is unparalleled. Simply put, she can answer just about any question and in the rare instance she doesn’t have an answer she is diligent in finding the information.

With her in-depth knowledge of the programs in SMTD, Heather also knows the struggles that have been present over the years. With tight budgets and limits in staffing, Heather has worked to improve the efficiency of the office and the SMTD. Heather is the first person to take on any new task or job that arises. She figures out how to manage the task, makes sure we have procedures in place, and then works with the Director to delegate the task, as appropriate. In this way, Heather is a master problem solver. These tasks are often in addition to her regular workload, yet she readily takes on the challenge.

One example of her commitment to SMTD is her voluntary role as the building proctor for the University Center for the Arts. As building proctor, she is the liaison between the building occupants and facilities. Within this position, she has helped with various tasks, such as communicating outages, arranging for work requests, and an endless stream of faculty and student issues. She navigates bats in our performance halls, AC issues, and technology. She handles her responsibilities with grace and kindness.

As a faculty member of 10 years, I have had countless interactions with Heather in the office and in committee work. There are many I can recall where she went above and beyond to be helpful. For example, this past semester I suspected I had a mouse in my office. I could hear scratching sounds in the corner but could not bring myself to investigate. I went to ask Heather about the timeline for facilities to respond to the pest control request. She saw my hesitance to return to my office and offered to come take a look. She found the mouse living in a flute case by my bookshelf. Heather gave the mouse a good scare, helped me to remove ‘homey’ items from my floor, and even removed the mouse’s makeshift house. This is truly above and beyond – not only was Heather helpful, she was happily helpful, even laughing and smiling after she found the mouse nest! The list of ways Heather helps goes on and on – from finding art for the walls in our new clinic to helping us navigate parking for adults receiving music therapy services. Heather was there to help me figure out how to put my T&P binders together. She helped me through medical leave and family leave with care, compassion, and extreme amount of patience. I know there are many similar stories across the faculty and staff.

One testament to her leadership and her kind nature is the excellent retention of our office staff. The office staff are clearly a team. Heather is instrumental in setting the tone of the work environment, with a calm confidence no matter the task and challenges. She also has an energy that can rally others to meet a mutual goal. Heather clearly leads by example - she is a leader, a wonderful colleague, and a true asset to SMTD. Heather Bellotti is most deserving of the outstanding achievement award for CSU State Classified employees.

~ Submitted by Blythe LaGasse
Coordinator of Music Therapy, Associate Professor of Music Therapy