Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Awards / Honors

Everyday Hero Sheela Backen

March 11, 2009

Sheela Backen is responsible for coordinating trash and recyclable materials removal for the campus community each and every day, 365 days a year.

Sheela Backen
Program Assistant II
Facilities Management

Backen was nominated by Jonathan Peterson, a Materials Handler II at Facilities Management. She has been in her present position since the year of the flood in 1997. What a way to start your new position. Backen began with CSU fourteen years ago. “I wanted to find a job where I could take care of my kids, work daylight hours, and have weekends off.”

This is what Peterson had to say about Backen in his nomination:

I would like to nominate Sheela Backen for your Everyday Hero award. She is the ISW (Integrated Solid Waste) Recycle Departments supervisor for Facilities Management. She is responsible for coordinating trash and recyclable materials removal for the campus community each and every day, 365 days a year. It is a huge undertaking, especially when school in session. She also takes care of hazardous materials if and when the need arises

She has also organized the Great Sofa Roundup each fall, which is held in the Z parking lot at Lake St. and College Ave. People can bring their old used sofa’s to Recycle (way better than leaving them on the front yard with a Free sign on them) and browse through several good used sofa’s to take home for at no charge. The event is open to the public, so it not only impacts our institution but the surrounding community as well.

Last year she was involved with the D.N.C. in Denver and volunteered our services for help with the clean up during and after that event as well.

Backen has a big hand in keeping our campus and community a great place to live.

Backen is involved with the Live Green Team, the Colorado Association for Recycling, and is in her 9th year of the Great Sofa Roundup. She also belongs to the National Recycling Coalition and her plans for the future include expanding the recycling at CSU.

Cares about her job and the university

What does Backen want her fellow employees to know about her? “That I care.”

She thinks being nominated for Everyday Hero is 'great.'

"It’s nice somebody notices you do something extra every once in awhile.”


Do you have a colleague who deserves recognition, a co-worker who makes the workplace better or someone who just “made your day?"

Everyday Hero is a special recognition program sponsored by the Classified Personnel Council for recognizing outstanding employees within the CSU community. All Colorado State University state classified staff, administrative professionals, and faculty members are eligible to receive the award.

Contact: Sara Boots-Whitfield
Phone: (970) 491-7693