2013 COSA Recipients

Individual Recipients

  • Suzan Akin
  • Linda Algazzali
  • Kira Blaisdell-Sloan
  • Sue Burchfield
  • Jeff Davis
  • Gillian Edgelow
  • Malcolm Gaustad
  • Jeannie Imazumi-Wong
  • Ruben Mejia
  • Lily Mirels
  • Maria Lucero Padilla
  • Paul Riofski
  • Katherine Walsh
  • Rachel Winheld

team recipients

Cal Day Digital Communications and Design Team

  • Kathryn Bader
  • La Dawn Duvall
  • Ram Kapoor
  • Melani King
  • Sara Leavitt
  • Steve McConnell
  • Hulda Nelson
  • Emily Strange

Coalition for Education & Outreach

  • Meltem Erol
  • Avi Rosenzweig
  • Kate Spohr
  • Rachel Winheld

The Operational Excellence Productivity Suite bConnected Team

  • Ian Crew
  • Gabriel Gonzalez
  • Mimi Mugler
  • Bernie Rossi
  • David Scronce
  • Jon Skelton
  • Michele Tomkin

Stay Day

  • Jackie Blossom-Garcia
  • James Carroll
  • Annalyn Cruz
  • Kristin Delo
  • Courtney Franks
  • Sabina Garcia
  • Rachel Klein
  • Je Nell Padilla
  • Lance Page
  • Marcia Gee Riley
  • Avi Rosenzweig
  • Jen Siecienski
  • Steve Sutton
  • Deborah Tatto
  • Erin Wixson

Student of Concern Committee

  • Susan Bell
  • Connie Chiba
  • Ivor Emmanuel
  • Diane Hill
  • Hallie Lewis Hunt
  • Nicole A. Miller
  • Jeff Prince
  • Michael Tran-Taylor

Technology Transfer Program

  • Helen Bassham
  • Laura Melendy
  • Dana Oldknow
  • Eduardo Cuenca Serafin
  • Bernadette Tan Edwards
  • Afsaneh Yavari

Individual Recipients

Suzan Akin, Cal Corps Public Service Center. Suzan serves as a leader in community engagement for faculty and students. As the first person to serve as the program manager for Faculty and Graduate Student Programs, Suzan created many new programs and resources to support community-based research and teaching engaged scholarship courses, including an excellent 40-page handbook that is used across campus and by other campuses nationally. Suzan is the designated staff person to advise all faculty and staff on risk management policies and procedures for credit-bearing experiential learning activities. Suzan also staffs the annual Chancellor's Awards for Public Service, which includes coordinating hundreds of nominations, staffing two selection committees, and planning the event with other campus partners.

Linda Algazzali, Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics. Linda exhibited extraordinary leadership and adaptability in meeting multiple challenges resulting from the retirement, resignation, and loss of staff and faculty in 2011-2012. Linda took on the responsibilities of multiple positions to ensure all of the needs of the Fisher Center were met, while she maintained a pleasant, optimistic, and constructive approach to the resulting changes. Linda’s dedication and effective problem-solving were instrumental in getting the Fisher Center through a challenging period.

Kira Blaisdell-Sloan, Department of History. In the newly-developed position of Student Services Coordinator, Kira has been a model of efficiency and innovation, replacing paper-based processes with digital tools, improving analysis of available funding for graduate students, and training undergraduates to serve as peer advisors. Called a “superstar” by her nominators, she played a leadership role in overhauling the History website, and is always ready to take on new challenges.

Sue Burchfield, Biosciences Divisional Services. Sue provides seamless support to faculty and staff in Molecular & Cell Biology, modeling best practices in customer service and commitment to excellence. Because she is always willing to go above and beyond, her commitment ensures that research in Principle Investigator labs is never impacted because of a non-processed order. Sue exemplifies the Operating Principle “we are accountable to each other” through her unwavering commitment to supporting research and her mentorship and recognition of staff. Sue is a steward of University resources, an effective leader, and an example of how, through the support of staff, faculty and students can focus on teaching, research, and service.

Jeff Davis, Department of Music. Jeff is the University Carillonist and is responsible for the bells in the Campanile, which is perhaps UC Berkeley’s most famous symbol. As Carillonist, Jeff has greatly expanded the UC Berkeley carillon program, enhanced the University’s reputation as one of the most prestigious schools offering studies in carillon performance, and faithfully performed thousands of daily concerts for the benefit and enjoyment of the campus community. He not only oversees a running roster of associate carillonists to perform daily concerts, but also single-handedly auditions, trains, and mentors many generations of Cal student carillonists. Jeff works behind the scenes to bring the charm and majesty of our campus bells to vivid life.

Gillian Edgelow, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies. Gillian is an essential team player who embraced change during a recent departmental restructuring process. Gillian helped ensure optimal functioning as her duties expanded from managing the Beatrice Bain Research Group to dealing with three departments’ visiting scholars. Gillian embraces the Operating Principle “we simplify” through her proactive work in improving organization and program procedures which saves administrative time and smoothly facilitates applicant processes. In each task Gillian undertakes, she shows strong commitment not only to professionalism, but also to compassion for the myriad of challenges international scholars encounter in moving to Berkeley from abroad.

Malcolm Gaustad, Capital Projects and Inspection Services. Malcolm restructured business processes and introduced new technologies to streamline operations and improve service. With Malcolm’s adoption of mobile devices in the field, he exemplified the Operating Principle “we imagine and innovate,” allowing inspectors in Capital Projects to increase collaboration and reduce response times despite reductions in staffing, saving time and money on major campus projects such as the renovation of Cal Memorial Stadium. His focus on training and professional development has reinvigorated staff in his unit, and has allowed his team to be more efficient and effective in their support of the University’s mission. He also worked with peers throughout UC to establish systemwide best practices in his field.

Jeannie Imazumi-Wong, Department of Ethnic Studies. Jeannie has served as a change leader for her department and the administrative cluster of African American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. As these three departments were grouped together, Jeannie took initiative to ensure administrative tasks were completed. Jeannie organized and delegated work, provided necessary staff training and took on new responsibilities herself, such as BearBuy Implementation. Jeannie has assisted faculty, lecturers, students and staff with the best possible customer service. She is known as a team player and is a major part of the glue which keeps the Ethnic Studies department and administrative cluster together.

Ruben Mejia, Letters & Science Dean’s Office. In the newly-created position of Facilities Manager for six large, academic buildings, Ruben built a first-rate facilities management office. As manager of the refurbishment of three buildings and over 100 offices, classrooms, and other spaces, Ruben made possible over $400,000 in cost-savings. Ruben exemplifies the Operating Principle “we focus on service” by engaging building occupants in the decision-making and problem-solving process, building consensus and community, and earning the trust of key stakeholders across campus.

Lily Mirels, Berkeley Stem Cell Center. Lily’s dedicated efforts to build a community among the Center’s faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates—who are spread across three institutions (UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Children’s Hospital Oakland) and eight UC Berkeley departments—have been instrumental in advancing the Center’s mission to stimulate stem cell research. Her coordination and co-writing of a robust grant application resulted in an award of $4.5M. Lily plays a mentorship role for the Center’s students and fellows and has provided strong advocacy for its junior faculty.

Maria Lucero Padilla, Ethics, Risk, and Compliance Services. Maria is a champion for diversity and inclusion who we salute for her efforts in bringing the Interactive Theater Project to the Department of Psychology to lead a workshop on mental health issues in the classroom, despite the fact that the ITP is no longer funded. Maria’s commitment to dialogue and community-building embodies the Operating Principle, “we include and excel, together.”

Paul Riofski, Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute (BNNI). Beyond his important work as a manager at BNNI and other units, Paul has made enduring contributions to the campus community through his many years of volunteer service on staff organizations. He has been a leader on the Berkeley Staff Assembly (BSA), Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), and Academic Business Officers Group (ABOG), and was instrumental in establishing the highly-respected BSA Staff Mentorship program.

Katherine Walsh, LEAD Center - ASUC Auxiliary. Katherine is the coordinator for The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) and since joining the project in 2010 has substantially expanded its publicity and outreach efforts. The Green Initiative Fund, through Katherine’s leadership, has become a resource for our campus and surrounding institutions of higher education. Katherine has published newsletters, launched a new website, created a Facebook page, and started a blog – all designed to encourage students, staff, and faculty to connect with TGIF and pursue sustainability projects for the entire campus. Katherine routinely goes beyond the scope of her job description to ensure that the UC Berkeley campus strives to be a paragon for green initiatives through work with students, faculty, staff, and the local community.

Rachel Winheld, Science@Cal. In her part-time position, Rachel Winheld has developed Science@Cal into a networked, cross-disciplinary effort to inform and engage the public about the diversity and depth of science research at Berkeley and the resulting contributions to society. Rachel used innovative and efficient methods to connect the campus science community, enabling the pooling of resources for greater education and outreach achievements, including a lecture series, a Passport to Science@Cal activity at Cal Day, the Cal Science & Engineering Festival, and a “science in art” show in collaboration with the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

team recipients

Cal Day Digital Communications and Design Team The creativity, collaboration and innovation of the Cal Day Digital Communications and Design Team helped lift Cal Day 2012 to new heights. Working with the same budget as in previous years, the team took a fresh, strategic approach to Cal Day, overhauling the outdated branding with new graphics, creating a dynamic website that incorporated sharing and social networking, and orchestrating a slew of standing-room-only events. The team used smart tools to improve efficiency and build a community of Cal Day coordinators across more than 60 departments and organizations. Cal Day 2012 was the most successful yet, with a record number of visitors to campus and to the website.

Coalition for Education & Outreach (CEO) CEO is a new, all-volunteer “community of practice” that brings together staff, faculty, and students engaged in education and outreach in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The founders of CEO have created a valuable network for staff mentoring, professional development, and K-12 outreach, with a special focus on underrepresented students.

Operational Excellence Productivity Suite bConnected Team This team led a project to select and implement Google Apps for Education for all students, faculty, and staff at UC Berkeley. The team, assembled from academic units, campus IT, and central administration, worked together seamlessly with a constant focus on the University mission and making a smooth migration. Working tirelessly over nights and weekends, they moved 3.4 million CalAgenda meetings and 330 million CalMail email messages to Google for annual savings of $350,000 and the sunset of nearly 30 servers in the campus data center. The implementation of Google Apps brings modern, integrated online tools for collaboration to campus.

Stay Day Stay Day is a cross-divisional professional development conference that exemplifies the innovative spirit of UC Berkeley staff. The Stay Day program brings together student service professionals to share ideas and best practices that help them cultivate student learning and success. This small team of volunteers planned what has become an essential professional development event focused on the UC Berkeley student experience. The Team identifies a theme specific to a particular aspect of the student experience and creates poster sessions, roundtable discussions, and educational sessions around that theme. The annual event has grown to include two networking opportunities during the year which are open to all UC Berkeley student services professionals interested in networking, discussion, and collaboration. The work of the Stay Day team demonstrates leadership, innovation, and a strong commitment to the success of our students.

Student of Concern Committee This interdisciplinary team provides early intervention for at-risk students, working tirelessly with campus departments to recognize at-risk student behaviors, provide consultation, and find creative methods to support students through crisis. The Committee handled over three hundred cases in its first year of existence, adhering to changing policies from the Department of Education & Office of Civil Rights, and adapting to the needs of the evolving student population at Cal. The work of the Committee exemplifies UC Berkeley’s commitment to student excellence by holistically supporting students in need of assistance. The team’s dedication is leading the campus toward a more alert and caring culture.

Technology Transfer Program The Technology Transfer Program provides training to professionals in the transportation field. In 2011, the program lost its state subsidy of over a million dollars, and was forced to shrink from 20 to 6 employees. In the face of these drastic cuts, the remaining staff banded together to save the program from closure. Showing tremendous commitment, innovation, and adaptability, they re-invented this public service program as self-supporting and sustainable.