Each month Santa Rosa Junior College recognizes excellence on campus with an Employee of the Month Award. Visit the Employee of the Month Nominations page to find out how to nominate someone you feel deserves this distinction. Here is a list of past EOM recipients.
Previous recipient: Daisy Cardenas - November 2023
December 2023 - Milena Kalagorgevich
Congratulations to Milena Kalagorgevich, the December 2023 Employee of the Month at Santa Rosa Junior College. Milena is the Coordinator for Science Labs, supporting both the Chemistry and Physics labs.
Milena is an SRJC alumna, and while at SRJC, she worked as a Student Lab Assistant from 2007-2010. She went on to receive her B.S. in Biochemistry from San Francisco State University. After receiving her B.S., she returned to SRJC as an STNC Science Lab Instructional Assistant from 2013-2015, transitioning to a full-time Classified employee in 2015. She has held her current position as coordinator since 2022.
Milena’s primary responsibilities include overseeing the operations and maintenance of instructional labs. She plans, coordinates, and implements lab exercises and experiments, preparing all of the materials and equipment for students. She assembles, tests, and installs new equipment and instruments, and also performs routine maintenance and calibration on a variety of scientific instruments.
Milena also oversees student employees in the Chemistry stockroom, where she serves as a supervisor and mentor to students who are pursuing careers in STEM. Victor Tam, Dean, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, said, “Milena fosters an environment where students feel a part of the department and their efforts never go unrecognized.”
Dean Tam went on to say, “Milena is extremely dedicated to the success of students, support of faculty, and the college community. Beyond being a wonderful person, her calm demeanor and commitment has helped the department overcome two recent challenges: the pandemic and moving the program to the Lindley Center for STEM Education. As part of preparing for the move, Milena has gone above and beyond – working weekends and long days, attending numerous design and planning meetings, coordinating with her staff and faculty, and connecting with multiple equipment vendors and specialists, all to create a brand new learning environment for students and faculty.”
Milena said that preparing and planning for the move into the new Lindley Center has been, in fact, her biggest challenge so far. But she also feels like she learns something new every day.
Milena credits her success to her fellow colleagues. “I would not be able to do my job well if it wasn’t for others sharing their own knowledge and experiences with me, and for that I am forever grateful.”
Mas Iimura, Chemistry & Physics Department Chair, stated, “Milena is an indispensable member of our department. I can’t even imagine what things would be like without her in the stockroom. I can honestly say that we could not have offered any in-person labs during the pandemic without her. It was her can-do attitude, kindness, and commitment to assisting the students that helped us successfully offer in-person labs starting in the Fall 2020 semester here at the Santa Rosa campus. She prepared individual stations for students and created videos and slides for instructors for all the lab courses, illustrating the setups. And, thanks to the amazing work done by the stockroom staff and Milena's attention to detail, I am confident that the move and transition into the Lindley Center will be successful.”
Milena enjoys playing and producing music, swimming, hiking, and rock climbing, learning about new technology, reading, cooking, and trying out new craft beer. She loves spending time with her family and friends.