2019 COSA Individual Recipients

Russ Acker

Associate Director, Information Systems, Office of Planning & Analysis

Russ contributes in meaningful and lasting ways to our campus’ data culture and infrastructure. On the Student Information Systems (SIS) Replacement Project, Russ was a bridge between the IT and Institutional Research worlds, drawing on his knowledge of Berkeley and of its data reporting requirements to help design practical solutions. Russ continues to provide invaluable behind-the-scenes support for Cal Answers, thus helping to deliver accurate and timely data that is widely used around campus to support decision-making processes. Russ also supports his fellow data analysts in the form of training, knowledge sharing, active listening, and problem solving. If you have used Cal Answers, you have benefited from Russ’ contributions to the campus.

Trenna M. Davis

Supervisor of Realtime Captioning and ASL Interpreting Services, Disabled Students' Program

Trenna demonstrates a tremendous commitment to making UC Berkeley an equitable and inclusive campus, helping to ensure that students’ needs are met, and that they can participate fully in their courses. Trenna actively builds bridges to other campus units to enhance captioning services throughout campus, from Educational Technology Services to Cal Performances and Intercollegiate Athletics. She is a tireless advocate for solutions that meet the community’s needs,  helping to show the campus what is technologically possible. The determination to aim high extends to her colleagues: Trenna has spent countless hours helping her staff to develop their strengths and acquire new skills. Trenna pushes those around her to do better and go beyond the status quo. 

Danner Doud-Martin

Associate Director, International Business Development Program, Haas School of Business

Danner Doud-Martin brings her passion for sustainability into her professional environment to effect lasting and tangible change. Danner has steadily incorporated sustainability practices into the operations of the Haas School of Business, from reducing energy and water consumption to promoting reuse of existing furniture and green events. Her efforts contributed to Chou Hall’s trifecta of sustainability certifications: TRUE Zero Waste, LEED Platinum, and WELL. In her free time, Danner continues to lead the effort to make sure the building operates sustainably with a particular focus on zero waste. Her team’s work has borne fruit: 90% or more of the materials leaving the building can be recycled or composted. Danner sets an example that reflects Berkeley’s status and excellence as a leader in sustainability.

Katie Dustin

Project and Portfolio Management Office Supervisor, Student Affairs IT

Katie has broken new ground in the creation of the Cal Assessment Network (CAN) staff organization, which has become the campus’s largest community of practice, with over 900 members, representing 150 campus units. Launched in 2009, CAN offers a forum where like-minded colleagues can make connections, find support, receive training and share best practices on the topic of assessment. Katie designed CAN to be open and inclusive, and it serves not only as a knowledge-sharing forum, but also as a catalyst for professional development, collaboration, and networking. Katie has led the curation of over 100 CAN session, with over 8,000 participants. Katie is a role model for other staff on successfully creation and cultivation of a community of practice.   

Meltem Erol

Director of Graduate Outreach, College of Engineering

Meltem’s commitment to inclusive and equitable community engagement is best described as “full in spirit.” Meltem creates an environment where all minority engineering graduate students feel comfortable, often starting before students even arrive on campus. Half of the 2019 cohort of minority graduate students attended their Grad Preview Day, a recruitment program that Meltem initiated. However, Meltem doesn’t stop at recruitment -- she cares equally about retention. To students of color, Meltem is a trusted advisor and the calm in the calamity of graduate school: her ongoing encouragement and guidance have helped countless students thrive in their graduate studies. Meltem’s contributions deeply enhance Berkeley’s mission and reputation. 

Sarah P. Gamble

Assistant Director for Prevention, PATH to Care Center

Sarah and her team specialize in sexual harassment and sexual violence (SVSH) prevention efforts, towards creating and sustaining a healthy and inclusive environment for learning, working, and research. This year, following engagement with a  working group of students, faculty, and staff, Sarah rolled out the Prevention Toolkit, a how-to guide for academic departments seeking to prevent SVSH in their community. The Toolkit addresses a gap in campus prevention efforts, which had previously focused on students; it provides the essential tools to prevent SVSH before it occurs, while remaining adaptable to each department’s unique needs. It is an innovation in this field that reflects Sarah’s effectiveness as a thought partner, a deep subject matter expert, and a stellar collaborative leader.    

Liliana Iglesias

Program Director, Undocumented Student Program

Liliana is a devoted champion and unwavering advocate for student equity and success. As she has said, “Education should not be a question of politics, but rather a commitment to opportunity.” Liliana has brought to light the diversity of undocumented students’ experiences. She has effectively engaged campus leadership in understanding their aspirations, the systemic challenges that prevent them from realizing these dreams, and the strengths and tenacity that propel them forward. She has transformed support into action, including grants for basic needs, a safe and confidential resource center, and partnerships with student organizations and campus units. Liliana works tirelessly to create a place of mutual support, where no person is illegal, and where all feel valued for their intrinsic human dignity.

Alex Jordan

Principal Laboratory Mechanician, Mechanical Engineering

Alex’s innovation, adaptation, and systems optimization are a key component of the department’s world class, internationally renowned instructional labs. This work can be invisible to end users: outwardly, it appears as though everything is operating as normal. However, Alex’s development of innovative service and maintenance procedures have extended the life and dependability of critical lab functions, in support of the teaching mission. Alex also attends classes and mentors student organizations as a technical advisor, allowing students to leverage the breadth and depth of his expertise in support of their education; many students regularly seek his assistance and advice. Alex’s willingness to share knowledge and his enthusiastic dedication to assisting students, faculty, and staff, are contagious.

Andrea D. Lampros

Associate Director, Human Rights Center, School of Law

In 2016, Andrea co-founded UC Berkeley’s Investigation Lab in the Human Rights Center. The first of its kind in the world, the lab trains students across disciplines in cutting-edge methods of online fact-finding, and provides high-quality, pro-bono investigative support of human rights violations. The lab's investigations have contributed critical key facts to a number of investigative reports, including Pulitzer Prize-winning work. It also goes beyond fact-finding: Andrea created a resiliency program on how to mitigate the psychological impact of viewing graphic footage online, a program sought after by campus units and external organizations alike. The lab highlights Berkeley’s reputation as a global leader in the use of social media for human rights and social justice; Andrea is the unsung hero who makes it possible.

Jen Loy

Associate Director, Government and Community Relations

Cal Move Out (CMO) seeks to decrease the impact of campus waste from residence halls and off-campus housing during move out, which can be stressful for students, as well as the campus, the City of Berkeley and the campus’s neighbors. As the campus lead for CMO in 2018 and 2019, Jen developed a new approach that minimized bureaucracy and leveraged our students’ dedication to sustainability, engaging a broad coalition of student leaders, City staff, and campus units. Jen ensured the program’s success, envisioning how resources could be utilized most effectively. For example, Jen challenged students to re-imagine the outreach that underlies CMO’s success: they responded with a multi-faceted approach that can be replicated in the future. Jen’s collaborative approach has laid the foundation for productive relationships with students, campus units, City colleagues, and neighbors.

Michele Rabkin

Associate Director, Berkeley Connect

Michele’s leadership is helping to revolutionize the undergraduate experience for Berkeley students. Michele helps lead Berkeley Connect (BC), an innovative mentoring program proven to increase undergraduates’ confidence, sense of belonging and academic achievement, serving over 2,000 students a year. Michele recently helped expand BC through a pilot program bringing BC mentoring to all Summer Bridge participants, many of whom are first-generation college students. She is continuously looking for ways to make a positive contribution to a culture of equity and inclusion in our community, as evidenced by her extensive volunteer services as a workshop facilitator, as a contributor to campus policies, and as a voice for mentoring as a key element of an inclusive Berkeley experience. Michele enhances Berkeley’s mission.

Jacob Robert Schroth

Director, Major Gifts, Haas Development and Alumni Relations

Jake served as chair of the campuswide Fundraising Council (FRC) in 2018-2019. During his tenure, Jake focused FRC meetings around the theme “One Berkeley,” with the vision of unifying campus fundraising goals across units, and of bringing together staff with diverse roles. He engaged campus leadership in discussion panels, to share information and to discuss the strategic linkages between fundraising, campus initiatives, and the academic enterprise. Throughout his tenure, Jake emphasized inclusion: to support all advancement roles. This vision was put into action through interactive activities that highlighted the importance of getting to know each other, and of sharing best practices. Jake’s efforts have set the FRC on a future course that ensures all are working toward common goals.

Anthony Suen

Director of Programs, Data Science Education Program

Anthony sees Data Science as an opportunity to develop innovative ways for units to work together and transform the student experience. He has helped to build programs in efficient and impactful ways, from establishing partnerships with the academic and technical campus units, to supporting student analytics teams and matching students to Discovery projects. Anthony operates with an eye for Berkeley's national leadership in data science education, from learning and research to the infrastructure that supports it, and to incorporating transferable skills like team building and leadership that equip students to become tomorrow’s leaders. Anthony has also advised other schools and organizations on their own data science programs. Anthony exemplifies Berkeley’s national leadership in data science.

Samantha Zepeda

Annual Fund Officer, School of Law

Samantha is a change leader. Her establishment of the UC Berkeley New Moms Group in 2018 supports workplace diversity and family- friendly policies, as well as building community. As the founder of this group and support network, Samantha effects change through her optimism, communication skills, and desire to bring together diverse stakeholders. She has partnered with the Tang Center on courses for new mothers; monthly meet-ups include staff, graduate students, and academics from multiple departments. She has become an expert and advocate for campus mothers, bringing her knowledge to bear in a working group to recommend family leave policy recommendations. Samantha is committed to making the campus a better, more inclusive, and welcoming place for women and parents.