Sheila Barela, who passed away on January 4, 2016, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resource Management in 1998 from CSU Bakersfield and was one of the first women to graduate in that program. She became an administrative support coordinator in the CSUB Department of Safety and Risk Management in 2000 and, from 2002 on, she served as an environmental health and safety specialist. Her passion for the safety and well-being of the CSUB community was evident not only in her daily role but also through the many programs she developed, such as the medical waste program and E-waste recycling. Early in 2000, she became heavily involved with the Staff Forum, promoting staff fellowship and securing funding to support scholarships. She was fully engaged in service to the University, our students, and the community.
Michael Brandt, an administrative support coordinator in the Admissions Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, passed away in January. His many union posts during his SLO career included chair of the statewide Bargaining Unit 7 Council, steward, and local BU 7 representative. Known for his droll sense of humor, his last Facebook post was: “I just ordered a Life Alert bracelet so that, if I ever get a life, I’ll be notified immediately.” CSUEU President Pat Gantt said, "Mike Brandt will always be in our memory. We are a better union because of his involvement. He is one of my union heroes!" Indeed, Michael is still a part of all of our lives and will live forever in our memories. He touched many lives, and we are all better for knowing this very wise man.
Deb Corey worked at CSU San Marcos from 1998 to 2006, serving as union activist throughout her CSUSM career, then moving on to Oregon, where she passed away last October. CSU San Marcos Chapter 321 President Pete Rauch was just beginning his job on campus nearly 20 years ago and benefited from Deb’s assistance back then. As he puts it, “When I started working at CSUSM, I had a terrible boss. I didn’t pursue the situation through the union, but I did talk to Deb, relying on her for helpful advice. We stayed in touch and talked fairly regularly until she left the chapter. She was a great union steward, and I am truly sad to hear of her passing.” Adds one of Deb’s campus colleagues, “I remember many evenings discussing politics and the people we served at the workplace. I will forever cherish our hours-long conversations about the political climate and union shop. RIP Deb - you will always be with us in our hearts.”
Gus C. Lease, PhD, also known to many as “The Voice of the California State Employees Association,” passed away on September 4 at the age of 93. A baritone singer who performed professionally for American troops at home and abroad for two decades, he also regaled CSUEU Board of Directors meetings and other CSEA affiliates for decades with a wide array of union songs, along with “America, the Beautiful” and the “The Star Spangled Banner.” Gus was a professor of music and history at San Jose State for more than 65 years, working part-time in recent years as an emeritus professor. For decades, he sang at the university’s homecoming games and many more events. A celebration of his life was held on October 1 at the SJSU Concert Hall.
Pauline Robinson, a union activist who provided administrative support to the CSU Dominguez Hills accounting department for 26 years before retiring in 2005, passed away in late February. Pauline was a strong advocate for our members and filled many roles in what was then the CSU Division of CSEA. She started as a chapter Bargaining Unit 7 representative in 1990, went on to become the BU7 chair, was on several bargaining teams, and was a chief steward and chapter president at CSU Dominguez Hills Chapter 314. In addition, in 1996 she was the first person to hold the then-new position of CSU Division deputy director for organizing. She later served as CSU Division director from 1999 to 2003.
Calder Young, a groundsworker at the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Sports Complex, passed away last August, just months before he was planning to retire. Calder was active with CSUEU by assisting in event set-up and clean-up. Lead groundsworker and friend Dan Williams said, “Although he was not an active union leader, Calder attended all CSUEU campus events and always supported us. He was a great person and will be missed.”
Health & Safety Campaign