The Office of CSU Events and Donor Engagement strives for excellence in all its endeavors.

Back Row (left to right): Brooks Phillips, Nicole Franklin, John T. Rogers, Michelle Bradley, Kate Cooper, Melissa Bokovitz, Matthew S. Helmer.
Front Row (left to right): WiL Galarza, Kelly Liggett, Elyssa Yanas, Marilyn Pullin, Jillian Spencer

Team Profiles

Melissa Bokovitz

Melissa Bokovitz

Title: Assistant Director, Advancement Events & Donor Engagement
Clients: College of Business
Strengths: Empathy | Responsibility | Harmony | Adaptor | Consistency
Hometown: Edmonds, WA
Most Exotic Vacation: I studied abroad while in college. I went to France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to get back to Europe.
Favorite Musician: Josh Kelly
When not working, I enjoy: Hanging out with my husband and son, being around friends and just having a good time!

michelle-1Michelle Bradley

Title: Engagement & Events Manager
Clients: Athletics, Warner College, College of Engineering, AP Council
Strengths: Achiever | Relator | Analytical | Command | Activator
Hometown: Denton, TX

Why you choose this career/profession: I started planning events in high school but had no idea it could be a profession. I started college as a music education major thinking I’d be a band director one day. One semester made me realize that wasn’t for me and I discovered the hospitality management program. I had found my passion and lifelong career. There is something amazing and satisfying about seeing months of planning come together in controlled chaos resulting in a successful event!
Most Exotic Vacation: Traveling to New Zealand was a life changing experience. Next, I want to check out Iceland.
When not working, I enjoy: Hiking, eating (not cooking), snowboarding (I just learned how!). traveling and discovering new things about myself and the world around me.

Kate Cooper

Title: Assistant Director, Advancement Events & Donor Engagement
Clients: Alumni Association and Department of Athletics
Competition | Communication| Maximizer | Activator | Ideation
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
CSU Alumni: 2007

Reason for choosing this career/profession: Event Production is like solving a new puzzle, with different challenges, goals and twists for, each event. I enjoy this profession where I can work in a partnership with clients to create new, meaningful events and put a different spin on old events to shape the experience for the guests. I take great satisfaction in seeing an event executed successfully.
Favorite Quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou
When not working, I enjoy: heading out to local events and discovering new places to play with my family, trail riding with my horse and passing time with friends and family on my back patio.

 Nicole Franklineventsweb-175

Title: Assistant Director, Event Communications
Strengths: Learner | Adaptability | Consistency | Discipline | Intellection
Hometown: San Diego, CA
CSU Alumni: 1998

Favorite Quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” —Ferris Bueller
CSU event I most enjoy and why: President’s Fall Address because the campus and community get to enjoy time under the elm trees of the Oval hearing from Dr. Frank on the state of the University.
When not working, I enjoy: Spending time with my husband Shaun, renovations, reading, dancing and cycling.

Matthew S. Helmer

Title: Executive Director, CSU Events & Donor Relations
Strengths: Input | Significance | Strategic | Communication | Ideation
Hometown: Monroe, LA
Reason for choosing this career/profession:Honestly, I think the profession chose me. Where I am today is not where I imagined my career path taking me, but I can’t really imagine doing anything else. This field allows me to dream, to create – to inspire others by bringing to life the amazing University that they love and illustrating the many ways they make a difference in her success. Demonstrating gratitude is exceptionally fulfilling. And very few industries challenge their professionals to continuously look for ways to innovate and unleash excellence in the way ours does. It’s simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting – and I absolutely love it!
Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Quote: “The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The antidote to exhaustion is whole-heartedness. It is those things we do half-heartedly that really wear us out.” —F!SH Tales

Brittany Johnson

Title: Engagement & Events Manager
Strategic | Input | Activator | Learner | Intellection
Hometown: Elizabeth, CO
In the animal kingdom, which animal would you be and why: A cat, because they train people instead of people training them.
Favorite Musician: Garth Brooks
When not working, I enjoy: Riding horses, spending time with my dogs, friends and family.

Kelly Liggett

Kelly Liggett

Title: Director, Advancement Events & Donor Engagement
Strategic | Input | Activator | Learner | Intellection
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, PA
Favorite Books: Pride and Prejudice, The Grapes of Wrath, The River Why
Favorite Musicians: Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen
When not working, I enjoy: Spending time with my family, hiking, camping, fishing skiing and running

Brooks Phillipsbrooks-3

Title: Guest Relations Manager
Woo | Consistency | Adaptability | Competition |Activator
Hometown: Helena, MT
Favorite Musician: Eric Church
Role Models: My parents, they are both very driven and supportive.
When not working, I enjoy: Fishing, Rafting, Mountain Biking, and Skiing

Marilyn Pullin

Title: Operations & Donor Relations Coordinator
Strengths: Empathy | Connectedness | Achiever | Developer | Maximizer
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
In the animal kingdom, I would be: a giraffe
Favorite Quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” —Mahatma Gandhi
When not working, I enjoy: Traveling

John T. Rogers

Title: Assistant Director, Presidential Events & Student Programs
Clients: President’s Office, Foundation Relations
Strengths: Deliberate | Harmony | Relator | Analytical | Achiever
Hometown: Odessa, TX
Favorite book: Any book of historical fiction
Favorite quote: “Never give up, for that is just the time and place that the tide will turn.”  Harriet Beecher Stowe
When not working, I enjoy: Traveling, shopping, trying new restaurants, spending time with friends

Jillian Spencer

Jillian Spencer

Title: Engagement & Events Manager
Clients: College of Liberal Arts, Alumni Relations, University Advancement Development
Strengths: Developer | Discipline | Harmony | Responsibility | Consistency
 Stockton, CA
CSU Alumni: 2013

Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Quote: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”
CSU Event I most enjoy and why: 1870 Dinner. It is one of the larger events that our office does and not only is it a blast to coordinate, it’s amazing to sit back and see how much people enjoy something that you helped put together.

Elyssa Yanas

Elyssa Yanas

Title: Engagement & Events Manager
Clients: College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Annual Giving, President’s Office, University Events
Strengths: Adaptability | Ideation | Developer | Activator | Futuristic
Hometown: Texas City, TX
Favorite Musician: No Doubt, Led Zeppelin, Amy Winehouse, Zac Brown Band
Favorite Quote: “because the only people for me are the mad ones…”
When not working, I enjoy: creating, crafting, designing, going to concerts, playing outside with my dog and being in the water.

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