Comings and Goings: Get to Know HR’s Newest Employee Toa Suruki
September 18, 2020
This month, Toa Suruki joined Human Resources as the new Administrative Assistant replacing Pam Wassmer who retired in August. See the full list of new employees and recent retirees below—and get to know Toa in the following Q&A:
Please tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to Lewis & Clark.
I am originally from Southern California and studied Japanese linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I moved to Portland about six years ago with a job that created homestay programs for Japanese students in the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, I worked with a private independent school in the advancement department and fell in love with the education world. What attracted me to Lewis & Clark was to further my experience in education and to challenge myself in higher education.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I am most excited to learn more about the Human Resource world and to be part of a team that will ultimately assist every department/person at Lewis & Clark; whether that is through onboarding, guiding benefits, or overall improvements to the work environment.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
In my spare time, I love to play taiko; which is the traditional Japanese drum. I am currently playing with Portland Taiko in the trainee program to someday be a performer. I also love the great outdoors and spend most of my days off camping, backpacking, or hiking.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I am eager to meet everyone at Lewis & Clark, so please do not be shy to stop by to say “hello” or virtually meet me through email!
Several people have joined the community recently, and some continuing employees have taken on new roles and responsibilities at Lewis & Clark:
Bridgett Buss, legal fellow, Earthrise Law Center; Suparna Chaudhry, assistant professor, International Affairs; Juliane Corpus, area director, Campus Living; Zachary Hanks, assistant forensics coach, Rhetoric and Media Studies; Dae Ho Kim, project coordinator for information technology, National Crime Victim Law Institute; Susan McBerry, adjunct faculty, Music; Cyrus Partovi, adjunct faculty, Social Sciences and International Affairs; Alexis Rehrmann, community engagement coordinator, Center for Community and Global Health; Yoshiko Reynolds, lecturer, CAS Core Curriculum; Cody Riggs, area director, Campus Living; Matt Scroggs, visiting assistant professor, International Affairs; Sweta Suryanarayan, assistant professor, Mathematical Sciences; Jenna Tamimi, consortium for faculty diversity fellow; Theatre; Travis Willse, visiting assistant professor, Art; Ahyoung Yoo, lecturer, CAS Core Curriculum; and Carolyn Zook, associate director, Center for Community and Global Health.
The following people have left Lewis & Clark. Here’s wishing them good luck in their new adventures:
Robin Beaudry, assistant director of grounds, Facilities Services; William Cole, assistant professor with term, Psychology; Janet Davidson, associate professor and director of academic advising, Psychology; Natasha Dolezal, director of International Animal Law Program, Center for Animal Law Studies; Kim Stafford, associate professor and director, Northwest Writing Institute; Morgan Staric, legal fellow, Earthrise Law Center; Pam Wassmer, administrative specialist I, Human Resources; and Stephen Weeks, associate professor and Department Chair, Theatre.