CWU News

CWU Dining Services welcomes new assistant director

CWU Dining Services recently hired Denise Payton as its new assistant director. She joins the CWU community after working for eight years at Oregon State University (OSU).

Payton holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education from OSU and has served in numerous capacities at various organizations. 

“I’ve got a little bit of everything in my background,” she said. “But primarily, the constant theme has been training. I’m really big about working with people and helping develop programs to support them. I really like building those cultures.”

During her time as the operations and training manager for University Dining and Housing Services at OSU, Payton developed extensive training and onboarding programs for students and staff. 

“I love working with people and systems and creating a culture,” she said. 

Once Payton learned more about the new position at CWU, she saw an opportunity to build the training program for CWU Dining Services as well.

“I came down, loved the campus, really enjoyed everyone that I met during the interview process, and loved the community,” she said.

Payton’s role with the newly created assistant director position will be to develop training and onboarding programs, oversee systems and cash office operations, and manage and streamline warehouse and sourcing. 

CWU Dining Services Director Dean Masuccio said the department already has benefited from Payton’s extensive background.

“I’m excited to have Denise on board to assist in the leadership of our program,” he said. “She has jumped into the role from day one and is committed in ensuring our team has the tools it needs to be successful.”

Given her experience and background, Payton is especially looking forward to working with students and staff and develop effective processes and programs for training. 

“I’m really excited to introduce a student leadership program so that our students can learn career-readiness skills when they leave us and have that opportunity to promote up within our organization, instead of having to go somewhere else to find that,” she said.

Masuccio said Payton’s initial guidance is just the beginning of what she will bring to CWU.

“The initiatives Denise will be leading and introducing to our program will be invaluable in the Wildcat student experience, both as employees and as guests to our operations,” he said.

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,