Rob Littrell, assistant director for emergency management, was named the Professional Staff Association (PSA) staff member of the year for 2020. The award was announced at the PSA business meeting held virtually on Oct. 29.
In his role, Littrell is responsible for the comprehensive emergency management plan for campus, which includes mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery planning. Through the implementation of the campus emergency operations plan, he oversees the emergency operations center (EOC) for the university, and is responsible for monitoring and recording data related to emergency situations on campus.
The EOC has been active since March when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the university to shift to a mix of remote and limited in-person learning.
“Having the EOC active during the pandemic has highlighted, for many, Rob’s immense responsibilities and devotion to his work,” said Randi McDermott, vice president for campus operations and chief operating officer. “But, it is important to note, he devotes the same level of time and attention to each event and emergency situation that comes along.”
In addition to managing the EOC during an emergency, Littrell is responsible for conducting training exercises for university leadership, coordinating responses with other local, state and federal emergency management agencies, and monitoring weather situations to determine if a closure of campus is warranted.
“In the winter months, Rob can often be found personally inspecting the road conditions in the early hours of the morning,” McDermott said. “I’m not sure he ever sleeps, actually.”
“I am very humbled by the award since there are many other Boise State employees working hard in these challenging times, especially those with children at home juggling their schoolwork and a full-time job,” Littrell said. “I wish there was an award we could give to everyone.”
Littrell also has a son who attends Boise State, further fueling his commitment to the university’s safe operation.
“Everything I do for the campus is accomplished with the same expectation any parent would have of ensuring a safe campus for their students,” he said. “My son is my personal litmus test.”