2023 COSA Recipients

The Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Awards are coordinated by the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee. COSA awards are presented to individuals and teams from our staff community who, in addition to performing their normal job duties with excellence, demonstrate exceptional initiative in contributing to the Berkeley campus community. These awards are among the highest honors bestowed upon staff by the Chancellor. The official program for the 2023 award ceremony can be viewed here. Please note that while all team contributors are listed with their team in order to recognize their outstanding efforts, not all contributors are eligible to receive the COSA award. Team contributors who were not eligible are noted with an asterisk. 

2023 Individual Award Recipients

Amy Neeser, Consulting & Outreach Lead, Research IT

Amy has dedicated herself to promoting research excellence among our faculty and researchers at Berkeley, through her work leading Research IT’s consulting program. She has worked closely across Research IT to connect complementary programs,  forging collaborations at the intersection of research and technology with faculty, staff, and students. Her efforts have also led to shared workflows and cross-training, improving the efficiency of Research IT’s services. Amy is also dedicated to proactive inclusive and equitable community engagement and in uplifting underrepresented and underserved communities, through events and initiatives such as Women in Data Science Berkeley, Women in High Performance Computing Bay Area Chapter, and Love Data Week.

Anne Meyers, Student Services Manager, Department of Sociology and Demography

Anne works tirelessly to help sustain the inclusive and equitable community to which we are proud to belong, and finds ways to innovate when faced with new challenges. Her proactive problem-solving contributes to the department’s feeling of inclusion and support. Anne combines her people skills with a deep commitment to innovation, adaptation, and efficiency. For example, during the pandemic, when faced with budget constraints, she worked with stakeholders to adapt curriculum funding and hiring priorities to maintain a solvent budget. She also took a leading role in working with stakeholders to ensure equity in graduate student funding, and in doing so, reinforced the department’s values of equity, inclusivity, communication, and compassion. 

Ariana Ceja, Administration Manager, Center for Race and Gender

Ariana has shown exceptional initiative in fostering an equitable and inclusive campus community and in her dedication to the university’s mission of teaching, research, and public service. She is a proactive staff member who is constantly inquiring how the work of our research unit might better promote access and excellence and takes steps to ensure that it does so. For example, during the pandemic, Ariana conceived of and implemented a solution for a planned public event in an indoor venue, by pivoting to an outdoor venue with a livestream. She also advocated for graduate student work that evolved into the Center’s Radical Kinship Series, showcasing conversations on topics such as Black transvisibility, Afro-Latinx feminisms, and undocumented status in academia. Ariana continually takes the initiative to ensure that the Center embraces differences, fosters equity and inclusion, and maximizes the potential of the campus community.

Brian Underwood, Department Manager, Department of Mathematics

Brian is a leader who brings out the best in his team. He creates space for colleagues to be themselves and provides ample support not only for them to succeed but more importantly, for them to feel secure enough to struggle and possibly fail. This courageous approach has a deeply felt impact not only among his immediate colleagues, but within the entire department and all who interact with it. An environment where people feel safe to be themselves, to be vulnerable and take risks, and to try new things, is crucial for any community. Brian has been instrumental in administering a grant from the Equity and Inclusion Committee, and in creating a departmental staff DEIBA+ Committee to build community and connection. Through his thoughtful conduct, open and honest communication no matter how delicate the context, and care for his colleagues and their experiences, Brian has had a lasting impact.

Cara Stanley, Executive Director, Student Learning Center

Cara has served the university with purpose, intention, and conviction. Cara’s innovative spirit, infectious love of learning, and purpose-driven leadership have resulted in a high-trust, high-functioning work culture at the Student Learning Center that values difference and honors the humanity of each student and community member whom we serve. Cara advocates for inclusive excellence by continuously assessing social stressors that affect learning, and by ensuring that services meaningfully meet the needs of all students, such as students from economically disadvantaged communities, students from communities impacted by hate crimes, and neurodivergent students. Cara also led the SLC’s pivot to virtual operations during the pandemic, working with her staff to innovate, adapt, and adjust to changing conditions, all while maintaining services at pre-pandemic levels.

Ché AbramChief of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, School of Public Health

Ché embodies a deep commitment to equity and inclusion and provides mentorship and support to all members of our Berkeley Public Health (BPH) community. Ché puts DEIB into practice: she has worked with students to gather data, conduct training, and analyze processes to help BPH actualize its goal of becoming an anti-racist institution. Within this complex context, Che provides care, support, and a listening ear to students, staff, and faculty, and provides resources to help them address their concerns. of privilege, racism, mistrust and exclusion. Ché secured funding to support Restorative Justice training for 100 members of the BPH community, advocates for the BIPOC community’s needs, and builds community, all with grace, humility, and love. Ché is a champion for those without a voice.

Colin Gerker-Junsay, Senior Talent Strategy Partner, People & Culture

Colin mentors, facilitates, implements change, and leads in ways that foster equitable community engagement. He takes the initiative to research, set the groundwork, implement new processes, garner massive community buy-in, build individual, authentic relationships, and scale up effective processes. Colin is fully immersed in People & Culture and Berkeley’s staff organizations, from his role as the coaching coordinator for the Equity-Oriented Advising & Coaching Program to his contributions to the Cal Coaching Network and the BSA. He was instrumental to the implementation of several People & Culture initiatives, including Achieve Together, Strategic and Succession Planning Toolkits, and NOW Conference coaching programs. Colin’s work on coaching programs and initiatives focuses on access and representation; for example, he has grown the NOW Conference coaching cohort from less than 20% BIPOC to 40% in three years. 

Dan Sayler, Head of Maintenance, Sagehen Creek Field Station

Dan has repeatedly and consistently demonstrated the qualities of leadership, initiative, and kindness that exemplify the best of Berkeley. Sagehen Creek operates in a remote location, under extremely harsh conditions, and serves a large number of researchers, students, and agencies. Within this context, Dan has been frequently called upon to deal with unusual developing situations (such as those caused by the tens of feet of snow received during the storms of 2022-23). Dan also takes a proactive approach and plans for preventive maintenance. In these situations, Dan has displayed initiative and creative problem-solving while ensuring the continued safety of our facility, planning to avert future problems, and creating an inclusive, friendly environment for successful research, teaching, and outreach.

Doaa Dorgham, Program Director, APASD-SSWANA Office, Equity & Inclusion

Doaa is an exceptional leader who has had a lasting impact on the Berkeley community. She has successfully launched and grown an organization, The SSWANA Network, which serves as a platform for students of South Asian, Southwest Asian, and North African backgrounds to connect, build community, and advocate for their rights. Her leadership has enabled the organization to grow to a thriving network of over 200 students who find solace and strength in this community. Doaa has worked to create programming to engage in meaningful dialogue about the issues that affect SSWANA students and has organized events to make the campus more inclusive and diverse, such as a Ramadan Iftar dinner, an Eid celebration, and a Holi Festival. Through her dedication and hard work, Doaa has made Berkeley a better place for members of the community, regardless of student or staff status.

Emily Suran, Senior Complaint Resolution Officer, Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination

Emily’s exceptional public service and promotion of Berkeley’s values of access and excellence are evident in all she does. Emily is a change leader, moving the university forward by making substantive improvements to OPHD’s processes and structures on micro and macro levels. For example, she created the OPHD Internal Procedures Manual to centralize processes and templates, which has improved the office’s operations and efficiency. She is generous and diligent in her endeavors to improve and streamline her practices and the team’s practices, and creates opportunities to build and strengthen the OPHD team. Emily also represents OPHD to the campus community to build awareness of the office’s resources, working with individual groups based on their unique needs. Emily’s compassion, expertise, and professionalism are always present in her work.

Hanna Knight, Assistant Dean for Academic Personnel, Division of Biological Sciences

Hanna is a dedicated team member who always strives to create a positive impact at Berkeley. She consistently looks for ways to improve the experience of the community she serves. In just the past few years, she has been pivotal in multiple cross-campus initiatives and process improvements related to academic personnel. Her work has had a tangible impact on the new faculty experience in the Life Sciences. Hanna continues to create opportunities for Berkeley to improve and is always willing to do the work to make them a reality. She is unfailing in her dedication to seeking out new funding opportunities, supporting new and innovative initiatives, and supporting the much- needed work of fostering an environment of belonging across all the departments in the Life Sciences.

Isela Pena-Rager, Assistant Director, Letters & Science, Office of Undergraduate Advising

Isela is a catalyst for student success. She embodies student-centered advising and advocacy that helps students thrive, and works to advance equity through campus partnerships. In addition to her 50,000 advising sessions (and counting), she has collaborated with students and faculty to improve advising services across programs; worked with Letters & Science deans to establish an equitable process and criteria for all students who request additional semesters or units to graduate; and advocated for hybrid and flexible work schedules for Letters & Science staff. Isela was also a core faculty and coordinator for the Equity-Oriented Advising & Coaching program, which equips advisors and student services staff with evidence-based practices that have increased student engagement, success, self-efficacy, and belonging. Isela leverages her working relationships to improve the engagement, success, and belonging of all communities.

Joan Kask, Director of Administration, Interdisciplinary Social Science Program

In her nearly 40 years on campus, Joan has helped students, staff, and faculty to navigate numerous unforeseen challenges. She is the co-worker whose acts of everyday kindness you never forget. She is the supervisor whose integrity and commitment you seek to emulate. Joan proactively builds bridges and advocates for those in need; she makes every community member feel valued. Her practices of transparency and information sharing have helped staff better understand campus processes, and have empowered them to adapt to change. Joan is a skilled mentor to program directors, lecturers, academic personnel analysis, student advisors, and student assistants. Through her calm leadership and deep institutional knowledge, she has repeatedly found ways of helping Berkeley work better for all of us.

Laura Dixon, Associate Athletic Director, Sports Medicine, Intercollegiate Athletics

Laura has set a high bar for hiring and retention, while providing high-quality healthcare and service. She has developed new systems to develop new and less experienced staff so they are equipped with the right training and a shared foundation of knowledge, to provide continuous professional development over time, and to optimize staff schedules to provide high-quality services. She has also fostered collaboration across Intercollegiate Athletics and with University Health Services, through initiatives such as CPR/AED training that certifies healthcare providers. She is a hands-on mentor who plans ahead and thinks outside the box, knowing that adapting to new staff and new techniques in medicine is the norm.

Lien Truong, Interim Senior Advisor on Equity & Belonging and Director of Multicultural Affairs, Student Affairs 

Dr. Lien Truong is a first-generation woman of color, the daughter of a refugee mother, and the first in her family to obtain a doctorate. She is dedicated to partnering with students and empowering them to be advocates for current and future generations. She centers the holistic student experience to ensure their personal, academic, and social wellness and health. Through her mentorship, she brings a unique perspective to her work by sharing her lived experience and providing a safe and welcoming environment. Her philosophy is based on honoring student voices and ensuring they have a seat at the table. For example, in her five years with bridges, she has supported yearly programming of 100+ events that serve 1,000+ first-generation, low-income students of color across California. Beyond the work to plan and implement programming, develop MOUs, and hold stakeholder meetings, Lien offers a safe, welcoming, and empowering environment in all of her day-to-day interactions.

Mara OteroEmployee and Labor Relations Consultant, People & Culture

Mara’s tireless dedication, patience, thoughtfulness, and follow-through in the areas of employee and labor relations at Berkeley are evident in all of her work. Mara worked quickly to support the implementation of new provisions and processes from the recently ratified UAW contracts, with the goal of ensuring compliance with labor requirements and that processes and systems are in place to support workers. In doing so, she served on multiple campus committees, including leading the Labor Contract Training Committee. Mara is committed to strengthening employee relationships and to incorporating the nuances and complexities of the university’s workforce into her training and initiatives. She makes time to build awareness and understanding through multiple approaches, from group trainings to one-on-one mentorship

Marieka SchotlandExecutive Director of Innovations for Youth, School of Public Health

Marieka champions the use of mentorship and community-engaged scholarship to support Berkeley students. She has worked tirelessly to improve the experience of underrepresented students in research through continuous feedback and iterations of the Youth Equity Discovery Initiative. Marieka centers equity in all of her efforts and works to create a collaborative and engaged environment for the community partners, colleagues, and students with whom she works. She has expanded access to research by fostering connections among students who may have previously felt excluded from the research community, mentoring these students through sustained engagement and listening. Marieka also generates opportunities for mentorship on multiple levels -- for faculty and graduate students mentoring undergraduates, and undergraduates mentoring one another.

Mikaela Auerbach, IT and SEVIS Manager, Berkeley International Office

Mikaela is an invaluable and pioneering member of the Berkeley International Office (BIO). For example, in Fall 2020, she leveraged her data analysis skills in drawing on multiple campus and federal data systems to create reports that helped the university plan for Fall 2021 instruction for international students. She is adept with technology, using her skills to help BIO improve the student experience, such as creating a new student service model that incorporates an online appointment system and efficiently connects students to advisors based on their specific needs; and such as working with student advisors to transition forms to an online system in order to streamline the process for students. Mikaela is a strong collaborator with a keen understanding of the work of student services professionals.

Mike Leong, Math & Statistics Program Co-Director, Student Learning Center

Mike has demonstrated his commitment to innovation and inclusivity throughout his decades of service to the university. Most recently, this has manifested in his consistent generosity of his time and talent bridging the learning gap for students -- a gap only exacerbated by the pandemic. His countless evening and weekend tutoring sessions and his boundless energy to meet students where they are and address their learning needs are only surpassed by his drive to innovate his practices in data collection, educational technology, and formats of service. Through the creation of a new format of service, the learning pod, Mike provided an innovative way for students to engage in peer pedagogy, develop agency and self-efficacy, and identify and address their own learning needs. By leveraging data, Mike has kept the team’s services relevant and efficient, allowing the team to make data-driven decisions to ensure that the SLC is effective in narrowing achievement gaps and responding to the needs of all students.

Natalia SemeraroFood Resource Coordinator, Centers for Educational Equity & Excellence

Natalia has and continues to demonstrate her empathy, dedication, and resourcefulness with the Food Pantry in the face of obstacles like the COVID pandemic. Natalia has shaped this emergency resource that serves more than 10,000 campus members in an academic year, while always striving to expand the Pantry’s impact. Natalia approaches obstacles and limitations with a tenacious work ethic and resolute confidence in her team’s ability to energize the Pantry. Natalia motivates her team, leading by example through her deep cultural empathy and passion for basic needs. She has taken the initiative to reduce language barriers between staff and Pantry visitors, which has fostered more effective communication and improved capacity to answer questions. Her work in supporting under-resourced communities is the backbone of a program that serves thousands of students, staff, and their families.

Nili OvaiciStudent Information Systems Service Manager, Berkeley IT

Nili is a change maker who has transformed our Student Information Systems (SIS) culture and organization by focusing on mentorship and the professional growth of others. She is thoughtful and inclusive when streamlining processes, and ensures that all voices are heard. She supports receiving and giving feedback, and helps identify employee stretch goals and career pathways. Through her practice of allowing team members to identify topics for in-depth evaluation and assessment, she has guided discussions on topics from resource and capacity strategies to Achieve Together conversations, all with a DEIB lens. Nili is dedicated to breaking down silos and cross-training staff; she truly cares about all of her colleagues and is committed to developing others so they are seen, heard, and valued.

Rana Silver, Director, Student Information Systems, Berkeley IT

Rana is a strategic thought partner -- she is dedicated to nurturing a culture rich in partnership, innovation, inclusivity, and equity. Her unwavering commitment to growing and developing others has opened the doors of professional development for staff throughout the Student Information Systems Unit in Berkeley IT and the OneIT community. Rana’s investment in others is contagious, causing a ripple effect within her entire unit as her managers model the practice of lifting team members up. Her contributions to maturing the Berkeley IT organization via User Groups and an IT governance framework have helped foster trust, ensure representation from diverse campus communities, and guide the committee to focus on IT priorities that support campus strategies and initiatives. Rana’s partnership, empathy, and intention help Berkeley IT adapt to changing conditions and deliver excellent service to the campus community.

Rica AndersonManager, Education & Community Programs, Cal Performances

Rica is an exemplary colleague who consistently inspires her coworkers with her warmth and authenticity. No matter the challenge, Rica has shown those around her how to carry on with kindness and dedication to purpose, such as adapting during the pandemic and departmental changes to ensure that programs for local underserved youth, such as Berkeley/Oakland AileyCamp, ran smoothly in a virtual format. She also models and fosters community and inclusivity as Cal Performances’ DEI Committee co-chair, which has nurtured a work environment where staff are welcomed as their unique and authentic selves. Rica’s efforts to bridge the boundaries between staff members is a critical component of creating a workplace that maximizes every member’s potential.

Tiffany Melendez, Health Educator/Interim DEIBJ Coordinator, University Health Services

Tiffany has led University Health Services’ (UHS) Dismantling Anti-Black Racism and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice initiative, in an expansion of her role at UHS. In this role, she has co-led an internal review of UHS policies and practices with recommendations and evaluation metrics, and developed funding proposals for anti-racist and DEIJ training. In all of these efforts, she has prioritized meaningful engagement of the diverse range of UHS staff, particularly BIPOC staff and those in non-management positions, through a range of approaches from one-on-one conversations to staff retreats. This thoughtful engagement has helped strengthen staff members’ sense of community and belonging. Tiffany also continues to support and mentor students and student leaders through her work as a health educator, bringing wellbeing principles and activities to all students, particularly underserved or underrepresented students.

Wood Foster-SmithSIS Data & Reporting Lead, Berkeley IT 

As the Data & Reporting Lead for Berkeley IT’s Data Solutions team, Wood’s steady, behind-the-scenes work building student data reporting infrastructure enables much of the Berkeley campus to function more effectively and efficiently. Every day, hundreds of faculty and staff utilize data processes and tools that he designed and implemented, using them to obtain insights for decision-making, track progress, and proactively identify areas needing improvement. Without Wood’s innovative and flexible approach to designing system processes, much of Berkeley’s current student data reporting would be less accurate, less accessible, and much more difficult to use. The creativity, thoroughness, and collegiality that imbue all of his work ensure that essential campus reporting processes will meet the needs of Berkeley faculty and staff well into the future.

Yuvi PandaIT Architect 3, Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society

Yuvi is the architect of the campus DataHub, where students easily access standardized computing environments. DataHub has gained a wide reach within Berkeley, cutting across a broad range of disciplines such as Engineering, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities. Students only need a web browser to get started, removing barriers to entry for courses that previously did not have access to institutionally supported data science platforms. As an active mentor to other involved staff and students, Yuvi was essential to the project's conception, development, and deployment. His leadership of DataHub exemplifies the university's mission to support teaching, learning, and discovery for thousands of students. He is widely recognized as a world-class technical expert in this area, and his support of Berkeley's outreach to other institutions has helped reinforce this community's awareness that Berkeley is deeply invested in its mission of service.

2023 Team Award Recipients

Archaeological Research Facility Staff

As a team, Nicholas, Sarah, and Kathleen successfully developed a new archaeological field school in 2022. This innovative program aimed to meet the critical need for local field school opportunities that provide the training and experience required for students to pursue careers in archaeology. To help traditionally underrepresented students prepare for careers in archaeology and to expand BIPOC participation in archaeology, they successfully ran a local, commuter-based field school for six weeks. The team worked collaboratively to complete all aspects of this program, drawing on their strengths and experience, from fundraising, setting up a Berkeley class, enrolling students through a competitive application process, processing full tuition and stipends, developing the curriculum, providing lunches, and teaching elements of archaeological research.

  • Kathleen Cazier*, Administrative Assistant 3, Archaeological Research Facility
  • Nicholas Tripcevich, Staff Research Associate 3, Archaeological Research Facility
  • Sarah Kansa, Policy Analyst 3, Archaeological Research Facility

Berkeley Research Infrastructure Commons

The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated campus lock-down were a tragedy for humanity and the campus -- but the crisis activated a Berkeley initiative to solve a long-standing problem in Berkeley’s core R&D facilities. That initiative leveraged our campus’s culture of collaboration and innovation and spawned a novel platform called the Berkeley Research Infrastructure Commons (Berkeley RIC). After several months of multi-unit collaborations, the Berkeley RIC has become a key asset of the campus’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, leveraging and maximizing utilization of over 20 Berkeley core R&D facilities, generating over $1 million in revenue, and becoming a beacon of attraction to the world’s change-making entrepreneurial students and faculty, and startups.

  • Donna Hendrix, Managing Director, QB3 Institute
  • Hasan Celik*, Director, College of Chemistry NMR Facility
  • Mike Cohen, Director, Innovation Ecosystem Development, Office of Technology Licensing
  • Omar Qarshi, Director, Equity Solutions Group, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Quan Luc, Senior Business Contracts Officer, Business Contracts and Brand Protection

Cal Dining Foothill Culinary Management Team

The Foothill Culinary Management Team has persevered through an acute labor shortage to assist Cafe Ohlone, located in the Art and Anthropology Building, in its mission to educate people about native traditions. The team provides guidance in running a commercial food service operation to Cafe Ohlone’s founders, as well as labor to support its operations, including deliveries and prep work. The team’s efforts have contributed to Cafe Ohlone’s mission to sustain community access to, and education of, Ohlone cultural traditions.

  • David Murray, Executive Chef, Cal Dining
  • Lawrence Honorio, Sous Chef, Cal Dining
  • Michael King, Sous Chef, Cal Dining

Equity-Oriented Advising and Coaching Program Development & Implementation Team

The Equity-Oriented Advising & Coaching Program equips advising and student services participants with adaptive equity-oriented pedagogies (AEP) that increase student success and belonging. The team prioritized equity and inclusion in their collaborations by leveraging the needs, strengths, and interests of each team member. The team co-developed a common vision and program plan in partnership with student-facing divisions, including key leaders from Student Affairs, Undergraduate Education, Equity & Inclusion, the Graduate Division, People & Culture, Cal Coaching Network, and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. In its pilot cohorts, the team trained 200+ participants (e.g., advisors, instructors, managers) to use student data to examine biases and reduce equity barriers, with positive feedback from the participants.

  • Andrew Phuong*, Consultant and Program Developer, Equity & Inclusion
  • Christopher Hunn, Director of Undergraduate Instruction, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Colin Gerker-Junsay, Senior Organization Consultant and Co-Chair of the Cal Coaching Network, People & Culture
  • Denzil Streete, Chief of Staff and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Graduate Division
  • Donna Vivar, Manager of Advising Strategy & Training; Research, Teaching, and Learning
  • Fabrizio Mejia, Associate Vice Chancellor, Equity & Inclusion
  • Fan Huang*, Former Visiting Scholar, Berkeley School of Education
  • Heather Yaden, Disability Specialist, Disabled Students' Program
  • Isela Pena-Rager, Assistant Director, Letters & Science, Office of Undergraduate Advising
  • Jimmy Vo*, Health & Safety Specialist, LBNL EH&S
  • Judy Nguyen*, Researcher/Program Developer, Consultant for EOAC
  • Katrina Pantig Naval, Learning & Development Strategist, People & Culture
  • Laurence Jackson, Interim Senior Associate Director, Career Center
  • Layla Naranjo, Interim Executive Director, Student Affairs Administration
  • Liza Schlosser-Olroyd, Communications Specialist; Research, Teaching, and Leaning
  • Marcos Ramos, Academic Achievement Counselor, Center for Educational Equity & Excellence
  • Richard Patz*, Distinguished Research Advisor and Mathematics Instructor, Berkeley Evaluation and Assessment Research Center
  • Susan Hagstrom*, Former MAST; Research, Teaching, and Learning
  • Syrhonda Calhoun, Events and Office Support Coordinator; Research, Teaching, and Learning
  • Ying Kuah, People and Organization Development Lead, People & Culture

Facilities Services DEI Team

The Facilities Services DEI team has created significant change in short order, in addition to their work as plumbers, custodians, engineers, technicians, and many other essential roles that keep the campus running. The team has made many contributions to the Facilities Services DEI knowledge base and presents educational and informational Town Halls every month as well as a regular newsletter notifying Facilities Services staff about important and current campuswide information. Through their town halls, the team also provides a forum for Facilities Services staff to engage on DEI topics. The team is instrumental in Managers’ and Supervisors’ DEI training events and has worked with People & Culture on DEI hiring practices.

  • Alisha Cannon,  Facilities Services
  • Arturo Saavedra, Human Resources Generalist II, Facilities Services
  • Bobby Foy Jones, Custodian, Facilities Services
  • Bobby Mitchell, Assistant 3, Facilities Services
  • Celiwe Jones, Regional Asset Manager, Facilities Services
  • Darryl Winn, Electrician, Facilities Services
  • David Yates, Mechanical Engineer, Facilities Services
  • Haley Manibusan, Steamfitter/HVAC, Facilities Services
  • Heidi Sachs, Zero Waste Technician, Facilities Services
  • John Camello, Carpenter and Locksmith, Facilities Services
  • Karen E. Bennett, Civil Engineer, Facilities Services
  • Kayvan Komarizadeh, Facilities Management Specialist 2, Facilities Services
  • Kelly Johnson, Assistant 3, Facilities Services
  • Rhenijald Walker, Steamfitter/HVAC, Facilities Services
  • Rodney Enis, Logistics Department Specialist, Facilities Services
  • Romerio Sherman, Steamfitter/HVAC, Facilities Services
  • Sally McGarrahan, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Services
  • Shante N. Emmanuel, Assistant 3, Facilities Services
  • Sugi Harto, Abatement, Insulation and Roofing Shops Manager, Facilities Services
  • Todd McFerren, Skilled Trades Manager, Electrical and Lighting; Facilities Services
  • Tracie Nicole Mennenga, Supervisor of Access Control, Metal Keys and Alarms; Facilities Services
  • Willard Green, Gardener, Facilities Services

Financial Planning Post-Strike Implementation Workgroup

The Financial Planning Post-Strike Implementation Workgroup was a collaboration among several campus teams to develop future-looking financial modeling, implement UAW contract terms and develop contract billing, effort reporting and training on the new contract provisions. The workgroup effectively mobilized stakeholders from across campus and developed critical information for decision making, all while never losing sight of the real-world implications of their work. Their operational expertise, coupled with an extraordinary sensitivity for the affected campus communities involved, is responsible for a quick and comprehensive response to the new UAW contract. As the university continues to look for new methods to achieve long-term financial sustainability and drive equitable access, finance staff play a critical role in helping to realize that future.

  • Aaron Smyth, Campus Finance Lead - Student Fees; Budget Office
  • Allison De Gros, Executive Director, Fund Stewardship and Compliance; University Development and Alumni Relations
  • Amy M. Robinson, Assistant Executive Dean, L&S Deans' Office
  • Andrea Rex, Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services, Graduate Division
  • Anna Meister, Data Systems Analyst, Finance Systems
  • Chris Stanich, Associate Vice Chancellor, Financial Planning & Analysis
  • Cruz Grimaldo, Associate Vice Chancellor, FASO Financial Aid Operations
  • Crystal Parkinson, Director of Payroll Controls and Timekeeping Integration, Payroll Office
  • Cynthia Weekley, Executive Director, Erso; and Assistant Dean, HR, College of Engineering
  • Dat Le, Assistant Dean, College of Engineering
  • Diana Harvey, Associate Vice Chancellor, Public Affairs
  • Doug Au, Business Systems Analyst, Office of the Registrar
  • Douglas McSkimming, Director of Communications, People & Culture
  • Elizabeth Brashers, Chief of Staff, Vice Chancellor for Research Immediate Office
  • Elizabeth Chavez, Director, Contracts & Grant Accounting, Extramural Funds Accounting
  • Eric Armstrong, Campus Applications and Data, Berkeley IT
  • Eugene Whitlock, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief People & Culture Officer, People & Culture
  • Heather Archer, Assistant Vice Provost, Academic Personnel Office
  • Henry Chan, Contracts and Grants Manager, Berkeley Regional Services; SHARE Region
  • Hervé Bruckert, Finance Lead, Recharge and CBR; Budget Office
  • Janet Gilmore, Senior Director, Strategic Communications; Public Affairs
  • Jesse Arp, Project/Policy Analyst, People & Culture
  • Joacim Benitez, Senior Financial Analyst, Capital Finance
  • Ken Mahru, Director of Graduate Student Funding, Graduate Division
  • Leslie Wills, Service Manager, Campus Applications and Data; Berkeley IT
  • Mara Otero, Labor Relations Representative, People & Culture
  • Mary Hoang, Graduate Student Fund Analyst, Graduate Division
  • Michelle Teoh, Financial Analyst, Extramural Funds Accounting
  • Mike Riley, Controller and Associate Vice Chancellor, Controllers Immediate Office
  • Rita D’Escoto, Director, Central Resource Management; Budget Office
  • Rosemary Kim, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Finance Immediate Office
  • Sara Tecle-Habtay, Project Manager, Budget Office
  • Stacey Alvarez, Director of UCPath Campus Operations, People & Culture
  • Stephanie Tang, Senior Academic Analyst, Academic Personnel Office
  • Teal Sexton, Regional Director, Berkeley Regional Services; SHARE Region

Student Affairs Business Operations - COVID Response Team

The Business Operations team’s guiding value and service orientation is “to help those who help students” and are consistently identifying ways to innovate, adapt, improve, or be more efficient in support of this. The team came together to swiftly respond to COVID-related needs including opening testing sites, ordering PPE, ensuring staff had the equipment and tools they needed to complete their job from home, and transitioning processes from in-person to virtual or electronic. The ability of the BusOps team to innovate, adapt, and seek efficiencies greatly impacted staff and students’ ability to continue working and learning, respectively. Many of the process improvements or adaptations they implemented have been continued post-pandemic, highlighting their value to the university.

  • Alan Prejean, Administrative Assistant, Student Affairs
  • Brittany Olson, Imaging and Mail Services Lead, Student Affairs
  • Ryan Adelman-Sessler, Business Relations Manager, ASUC Student Union
  • Stephen Furman, Operations Manager, Student Affairs
  • Stephanie Ngan, Divisional Safety Officer, Student Affairs

Summer Salary Process Streamlining and Automation Team

The Summer Salary Process Streamlining and Automation team helped to improve the intake process for the Summer Salary Process across campus, support the compensation for faculty to do their research and other projects, provide better timelines and transparency for requests, reduce the time it takes to enter transactional data and increase on-time, accurate pay for faculty. This team exemplifies how collaboration and agreement between departments to use congruent communications, steps, tools, and technologies can produce an improved process. In this case, these process improvements virtually eliminated pay issues in the Summer Salary Process, drastically decreased bureaucracy, improved policy compliance, and reduced hundreds of hours of complex, manual data entry to a few dozen hours of automation.

  • Arliss Nakken, Communications Manager, Administration
  • Carlos Ascasibar, HR Generalist, Berkeley Regional Services; BEST Region
  • Diana Zhang, Payroll Specialist, Berkeley Regional Services; BEST Region
  • Hany Jong, Research Administrator, Berkeley Regional Services; BEST Region
  • Henry Chan, Contracts and Grants Manager, Berkeley Regional Services; SHARE Region
  • Isabel Nguyen, Senior Project Manager, Business Process Management Office
  • Janet Speer, HR Manager, People & Culture
  • Kelly Peeples, HRIM Specialist, Berkeley Regional Services; BEST Region
  • Rachel Kuo, Project Policy Analyst/HR Report and Project Analyst, People & Culture
  • Stephanie Tang, Academic HR Analyst, Academic Personnel Office

Targeted Injury Project Team

The Targeted Injury Project (TIP) was developed in partnership between Student Affairs Business Operations and Environment, Health and Safety to support high-risk groups within Student Affairs in reducing injury claims. These high-risk groups are primarily represented employees, with multiple language needs, and are behind the scenes. The program's goals were to reduce injuries and develop job safety training that was accessible and met the language needs of staff. In its first year, the TIP focused on senior custodians. Through site visits, the TIP team shadowed and observed senior custodians performing their job tasks. These observations informed the development of targeted training and supplemental materials to reinforce the learning. The TIP’s face-to- face approach resulted in greater trust with staff, buy-in for the program, and contributed to the success in the reduction of injury claims.

  • Elijah Aquino, Safety Specialist, Environment, Health & Safety
  • Gary Bayne, EH&S Specialist, Environment, Health & Safety
  • Louise Allman, Operations Coordinator, Student Affairs
  • Michael Bean, Training Manager, Environment, Health & Safety
  • Patrick Kaulback, Assistant Manager, Health & Safety; Environment, Health & Safety
  • Stephen Furman, Operations Manager, Student Affairs
  • Stephanie Ngan, Divisional Safety Officer, Student Affairs

University Village Residential Life

The University Village Residential Life team went above and beyond during summer 2022. This team strengthened the Basic Needs program, organized a Back-to-School Bash that distributed $10,000 worth of school supplies to UVA families and held monthly Vibin’ in the Village social programs where residents connected with one another and with staff. Amidst these programming efforts, the team and their staff were essential in responding to challenging conditions, including a master key theft, staffing shortages for summer recreation programs, and changes in leadership. The team continually adapted throughout the summer as their roles underwent various changes, while also expanding resources and meaningful programming for the community.

  • Aisha Younis, Director of Community Engagement, Residential Life
  • Analee Scott, Community Director, Residential Life
  • Claudia Hall, Community Director, Residential Life
  • Justine Erickson, Family Housing Administrator, Residential Life
  • Tanisha Muquit, Basic Needs Coordinator, Residential Life
  • Vic Sanchez, Assistant Director, Residential Life