The Student Disability Center is one of eight offices within the Student Diversity Programs and Services cluster, which is housed in the Division of Student Affairs. Alisha Zmuda, coordinator of alternative testing accommodations, has worked within the SDC for five and a half years, and in her current State Classified role for just over three years.
Zmuda works closely with CSU students to ensure that they receive their accommodations from SDC. Her day is often filled with scheduling exams for students, supervising student staff and non-student hourly who support the testing center, working with faculty to implement accommodations for exams, proctoring exams for students who use SDC services, answering questions about accommodations and processes at the SDC, and providing a space for students to come to for advocacy and support.
As an alum of CSU with a Bachelor of Fine Art, Zmuda never expected to be working for the University in her current capacity, but she says it has been one of her best career decisions. She can relate to students who come into the SDC a little differently because of her experiences as a CSU student — for example, offering her perspective as someone who might have been in similar classes during undergraduate studies, encouraging participation in campus activities, or giving her favorite restaurant recommendations around town.
“I believe that this perspective has really allowed me to build strong relationships on campus and advocate for students more effectively.”
Like many CSU employees, Zmuda’s job has had significant changes due to COVID precautions and the need to physically distance in the office. One such aspect is the logistics of how they operate within the Alternative Testing Center. She has devoted her time to learning new technologies for proctoring exams, launching virtual proctoring through the Alternative Testing Center while maintaining academic integrity. She also has provided virtual supervision of student staff and non-student hourly employees, and made sure the physical testing center is as clean and operational as it can be for students coming into the space.
Advocate for students
Zmuda’s favorite part of working at the Student Disability Center are the students and staff. She praised the regular support and encouragement the team provides.
“They do everything that they can to advocate on behalf of students who use our services to ensure that they are receiving their accommodations.” Having the opportunity to work with many students at the Alternative Testing Coordinator, Zmuda said, “it’s exciting to see each of them grow as an individual and as a student during their time at Colorado State.”
When not at work, Zmuda is busy hiking, fly fishing, reading, creating art, eating, and spending time with her family and friends. She loves food. In fact, two of her favorites are ice cream and pickles – though not together! She revealed that she almost always has at least three to four containers of pickles in her fridge at a time, and at least one to two half gallons of ice cream in the freezer.
We thank Alisha Zmuda for her ongoing service to CSU as a State Classified employee, and for sharing with the CSU community about the day-to-day parameters of her position.
To recommend a State Classified individual or group to feature in a future “Day in the Life,” let CPC know.