Student Affairs Staff Spotlight: October 2020

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Each month, Student Affairs recognizes one of its outstanding staff members for their hard work, dedication, and passion for serving the UW Tacoma community.

Zvon Casanova

Unit: Student Involvement & Leadership

Hobby: I enjoy creativity in multimedia production ranging from music, YouTube videos, and graphic design. Also, every now and then I like to stay up late researching conspiracy theories on the world and UFOs.

Favorite Place on UW Tacoma campus and Why: I would say the Mattress Factory. That’s where my involvement on campus all started back when I was a student. I have tons of great memories and stories being in that building: connecting with folks, building friendships, participating in programs/events, late night studying, gaming, being haunted by ghosts, and simply lounging between classes. If I could choose a second place it’d be Prairie Line Trail. I’m a fan of its openness and how it’s basically a historical landmark that cuts across campus and through the downtown Tacoma area.

Nominated by: Surtida Shelton, Associate Director of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity

Nomination: When I started working at UW Tacoma in 2014, Zvon Casanova was a student on campus who was very involved with different communities within our campus. I got to know him first when he participated in one of the CSL’s Spring Breakaways. As a student, Zvon was a quiet leader who often posed the reflective questions that were needed to propel a group forward. When the Program Assistant position came open on the then Student Engagement team, we were all very supportive of Zvon applying for it as he exemplified all the things we believed in when it came to supporting students, and more importantly – moving them forward. 

In his tenure on the CSI staff, Zvon has always put students and their success first. As the face at the front desk (originally) when students walked into the CSI, he always made time for any question, and made sure no one walked away from the UWY without being listened to or feeling supported. He started the photography club as there were students who were interested and gave them the creative voice they needed, including finding a space off campus to showcase their work. If ever a staff member in Student Engagement needed help, he was there to assist.

This year, Zvon agreed to work with Nedralani Mailo and me on a series of videos for The Pantry so we can help students really learn how to create a series of nutritious meals by supplementing with items from the food pantry on campus. Without hesitation, he agreed to work on this because he believes this will help remove taboos around using the school’s food pantry, something he believes we need to do so that students can become food secure. I know, I personally have always appreciated Zvon’s creative input (you just have to look to the incredible videos he has created for OSCARs every year since he came on staff!), his deep commitment to student success, and his unwavering support of anyone on his team.

Zvon’s story is why UW Tacoma is a success, and he wants to give back. I feel he is truly deserving of this recognition.

September 28, 2020
Media contact: 

Chanda Chen,