BROOKINGS – Whether it is a company interested in printing a T-shirt with South Dakota State University on it or a faculty member trying to figure out how to get paid, Deb Coaker calmly answers the questions and helps explain the process.
For those efforts, Coaker was named the university’s Civil Service Employee of the Month for September. Her reception will be Monday from 3-4:30 p.m. in the University Student Union’s Campanile/Hobo Day Room on campus.
Coaker is a program assistant II in the SDSU Office of Finance and Business.
“I have worked with Deb for the past seven years in managing the university’s trademarks and licensing program. She was instrumental in helping to relaunch a program that once generated around $125,000 annually in royalties to one that is approaching $400,000 in yearly revenue. The money is used to provide student scholarships,” said Mike Lockrem, director of University Marketing and Communications.
“Deb’s primary role with the program is to manage the contracts and royalty payments for more than 250 licensed vendors. Her organizational skills and leadership are critical in this area,” he continued. Coaker, a Nebraska native, worked at the University of South Dakota for 20 years before taking a job at SDSU in 2010.
“It is a great honor to receive this recognition and I am just grateful that I get to work with so many great people, not only in my office but throughout campus,” she said. “When I transferred to South Dakota State University, I was a little nervous. I had worked with the same supervisor for 20 years at USD and didn’t know what I would be getting myself into with a new position … but everybody was very welcoming and I very soon felt like I had been a Jackrabbit all my life.”