Coaker, who is originally from Neligh, NE, has lived in Vermillion for the past 19 years. Coaker has been an employee at USD for 15 years in the Academic Affairs Office. She was nominated for the honor by three of her co-workers and her boss.
"Deb is always very helpful when I need something," said Barb Weyrich, one of the nominators. "She is in an extremely busy office, but takes the time to answer questions or give me the information that I am asking for."
Coaker was also recognized for her extraordinary energy and enthusiasm in dealing with multiple projects in the office and because she is so thorough.
"Deb always has a cheerful attitude, she is willing to take on any task and she works from sun-up to sun-down," said Royce Engstrom, provost and vice president of academic affairs. "She accepts any challenge and she is great with students."
"I never believed when I started working here that I would still be here 15 years later, but here I am. It never gets dull," said Coaker. "The pace is always fast moving and new and exciting and the people that I have had the privilege to work with in our office over the years make coming to work everyday worthwhile."
Coaker lives with her husband, John, in Vermillion. She has one daughter, who is a business management major at USD.