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Lone staffer, multiple roles

Not many people actually end up with the job they say they are going to have as a child. When Dana “DeeDee” Torgeson was little, she would come to work at WSU with her now retired mother, Diane Clark.

“She would let me help her and I loved it; I told her that this is what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

Torgeson, administrative manager for the Department of Philosophy, actually became what she wanted to be as a little girl. For the past 19 years, she has worked for WSU.

“I love it here,” she said. “The students are fun, and the people I work with are outstanding!”

As the sole office person in the Department of Philosophy for the past eight years, Torgeson has assumed a wide range of responsibilities — from office management to student advising to department publications and website upkeep.

“I am completely amazed by her ability to handle many tasks simultaneously,” said David Shier, associate professor and chair. “She completes it all at the highest level of quality.”

Her work for WSU even extends into her volunteer efforts for the Colfax Eagles Club, where — as cancer chair — she has helped the club raise $150,000 over the past few years that was donated to WSU for research. As state Eagles Auxiliary president, her mother is raising funds statewide that will go toward WSU research this summer.

“This is such an honor,” said Torgeson of her award. “When I received the phone call from President Rawlins, I was quite shocked.”

It may be shocking to Torgeson, but this award comes as no surprise to those who work around her. She was an integral part of ensuring the success of the Potter Lecture last year that brought Noam Chomsky to the Pullman campus.

“DeeDee was essential to having this event be the overwhelming success it was,” said Erich Lear, dean for the College of Liberal Arts. “Everyone appreciated her graciousness and helpfulness.”

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