Staff Spotlight with Angel Thayer
In each issue, the FOCUS Newsletter spotlights an ABA staff member whose work deserves mention. This edition explores ideas around "redefinition," asking how staff professionals have grown in their careers while working in ABA.
Name: Angel Thayer
Position: Lead Budget Analyst
ABA Department/Unit: Budget Planning & Administration
How long have you been with Sac State? I’ve been with Sac State since August 2005, but I've been working on campus for nearly fifteen years. I was the branch manager of STA Travel in the University Union for almost seven years, prior to working for Sac State. As the travel industry evolved and moved to on-line travel planning, I knew it was time to look for a new career path. I really enjoyed working on campus with faculty, staff and students, so working for Sac State seemed like the obvious choice.
What are some examples of your daily duties? I work closely with three special fund areas; College of Continuing Education, University Transportation and Parking Services, and Student Health Services. I help them update their pro formas, set up payroll, create positions, post revenue budget, monitor year end balances and review their direct and indirect costs. Additionally, I’m responsible for the federal work study allocations, union release time salary and benefits reimbursements, class and DeptID setup and maintenance. I also oversee the testing for CMS upgrades and maintenance pack updates that specifically affect labor cost distribution and position management. I assist with the Annual Budget Call documentation, the production of the Annual Report and the Financial Information Record Management System (FIRMS) budget submission.
How has your job changed over time? When I first started in the budget office as a budget analyst, I mainly processed budget transfers, labor cost distribution, personnel transactions forms and release time. Now that I've been promoted to lead budget analyst, I spend more of my time working with special fund areas; updating pro formas, setting up payroll, posting revenue budget, monitoring year-end balances and reviewing direct and indirect costs. Additionally, I now assist with the Annual Budget Call documentation and have a greater contribution to the production of the Annual Report. I currently have one person who reports to me, our accounting tech III, Lauren Garrett. Lauren has taken on the bulk of release time processing, but I continue to work with University Enterprises and Human Resources on a variety of release-time related issues.
How has your job influenced your professional growth? We often get last minute requests that require an immediate response, so my ad hoc reporting, research, problem solving, and analytical skills have greatly improved since I starting working in the Budget Office. The AVP encourages professional growth for her staff, and last year I attended two professional development workshops - Emotional Intelligence and An Appreciative Approach to Work.
Who are your primary customers? The Budget Office serves the entire University, but if I had to pick my "primary" customers, it would have to be division analysts, program center/college analysts, department coordinators, analysts for the College of Continuing Education, Student Health Services, University Transportation and Parking Services and grant administration officers at University Enterprises.
What are your biggest, yet most rewarding challenges? When I first started in the Budget Office I was terrified of public speaking, but with the support and encouragement of my AVP and coworkers I have become more comfortable in that arena. I have had to give a couple of presentations at the Business Partners Round Table meetings and I really enjoyed the challenge.
What do you like best about your job? It’s truly rewarding when you’re able to help someone see the big picture. They feel empowered and it benefits the University as a whole. I genuinely enjoy serving our customers and knowing that I’ve (hopefully) made their job a little easier. I work with an incredible group of people and I'm thankful for the great team that we have. Somehow, all of our unique personalities seem to complement each other.
What is your favorite aspect of working on campus? Well, there are a lot of reasons:
- First of all, I love of our mission statement and it makes me proud to say I work at Sac State.
- The campus is beautiful and Facilities Services does a great job keeping it that way. In the morning when I arrive to campus, I often see the groundskeepers out there blowing leaves, trimming trees and maintaining the lawns. It’s impossible to not appreciate their efforts.
- I really enjoy the sense of community at Sac State; there is so much diversity on this campus and even though we all come from different walks of life, we all manage to work together for the wellbeing of the university.
- It feels good to work in an environment that fosters learning. I was just walking down one of the hallways the other day and caught a glimpse of a professor giving a lecture. It reminded me of why we are here and it made me smile.
Why and how would someone contact you? I often joke that we're the "jack-of-all-trades" office, because we get a lot of emails and/or calls regarding questions for the accounting services, accounts payable, SFSC and procurement departments. We always do our best to answer what we can and when we can't, we refer them to the appropriate person in that department. When they are calling for the Budget Office, they might ask for assistance with budget transfers, position numbers, class and DeptID setup and maintenance, budget revenue, release time, salary adjustments, finance and human resources queries, SacVault (Cognos) training, federal work study allocations, budget call documentation and the annual report, just to name a few.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-278-7458.
What does the new initiative "Redefine the Possible" mean to you? It’s time to look forward and accept our changing environment. For example, we can automate systems, move to paperless processing, and work to promote alternative transportation. It's about focusing on the things that we can do, instead of holding onto what we used to do. It's recognizing our strengths and concentrating on them; we need to find out what the University is good at and focus on those areas.