Lugo, Khristine and Cathey, Erin (Special Events) are Stepping Beyond

“The names Khristine and Erin may not be familiar to you, but odds are high that these amazing event planners have touched your life somewhere at SJSU. Did you swing by the faculty & staff welcome outside the Event Center this year to grab a pastry? Notice the great SJSU balloon display onstage for the President’s welcome address? Attend or volunteer at a convocation or commencement ceremony, the Celebration of Research, or Grad Slam? Then you’ve crossed the path of these two remarkable women.

Erin and Khristine organize and staff multiple SJSU events each week, putting their creativity and apparently boundless energy to work for the benefit of many – and somehow doing it all with a smile, even though their work days often run well into the evening. They are early adopters of new technologies, and have implemented efficient solutions within Google Suite and other platforms for event plans and shared communications. Their team produces some of the university’s highest-profile events, but Khristine and Erin also generously share their expertise and resources with those who are responsible for event planning at a department or division level. From software templates to vendor recommendations to creative suggestions for the look-and-feel of an event, they graciously support others in “upping the game” of event planning across the university.

It has been my pleasure to work as a volunteer with these ladies (and the whole Advancement and Alumni teams) on commencement ceremonies from before the pandemic until May 2022. Erin and Khristine are responsible for ensuring that up to 600 candidates at each ceremony are seated in the correct rows so that they cross the stage with their degree/program. Every single student at each of up to a dozen ceremonies that span three or four days interacts with them, albeit briefly. And after each 14-hour day, Khristine and Erin cheerfully get up and do it again the next day.

I learn something new every time I interact with Erin and Khristine, and I am grateful for all they do for SJSU.”

– Lisa Laymon

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