2015 COSA Recipients

Individual Recipients

  • Joacim Benitez, Haas School of Business
  • Ruben E. Canedo, Centers for Educational Equity & Excellence
  • Jon Crumpler, Educational Technology Services
  • Phillip Denny, The Blum Center for Developing Economies
  • Mary W. Elings, The Bancroft Library
  • Mark Kinnard, Residential Student Services Program/Residential and Housing Services
  • Diana Lizarraga, Cal NERDS Program
  • Teresa McGuire, Graduate School of Education
  • Johanna Metzgar, Office of the Registrar
  • Lisa Min, Social Services, University Health Services
  • Kari Peterson, Student Affairs Business Operations
  • Lisa Peterson, School of Public Health
  • Tiffany Shaleen Reardon, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science/Engineering Student Services
  • James Sanner, Recreational Sports
  • Rebecca Ulrich, Office of Strategic Academic & Facilities Planning

Team Recipients


  • Annalyn Cruz, Learning and Development
  • Glenn DeGuzman, Residential & Housing Services
  • Debbie Fong, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion
  • Roseanne J. Fong, Letters & Science, Office of Undergraduate Advising
  • Heather Iwata, Admissions & Student Affairs, School of Optometry
  • Maria S. Jaochico, Center for Student Conduct
  • Jenny Kwon, Division of Equity & Inclusion*
  • Sunny Lee, Ombuds Office for Students & Post Doctoral Appointees
  • Marcia Gee Riley, Ombuds Office for Students & Post Doctoral Appointees
  • Rodolfo T. Santos, Office of the Registrar
  • Donna Vivar, Educational Opportunity Program
  • Walter Wong, Office of the Registrar

Berkeley Builds Capacity Project Team

  • Sarah Gamble, Health Promotion, University Health Services
  • Meckell Milburn, Health Promotion, University Health Services
  • Tobirus M. Newby, Social Services, University Health Services
  • Marie Lim Palo, Health Promotion, University Health Services

RSSP Think Tank Task Force

  • James A. Carroll, Residential & Housing Services
  • Glenn DeGuzman, Residential & Housing Services
  • Markie Gayles, Residential & Housing Services
  • Joe Gentile, Student Affairs Business Operations
  • Robin Hershkowitz, Residential & Housing Services
  • Nancy Jurich, Residential & Housing Services
  • Jessica Snider, Residential & Housing Services

Individual RecipientS

Joacim Benitez
Haas School of Business
Joacim led a project that rebuilt the financial reporting platform at the Haas School of Business. He challenged conventional thinking and system constraints to develop new financial reports after consulting with key stakeholders and identifying pain points in the existing system. Joacim’s innovation, flexibility, and eye for continuous improvement led to the creation of a solution that resulted in better trained program directors, a simplified reporting process, and an increased ability to make organizational strategic plans.

Ruben E. Canedo
Centers for Educational Equity & Excellence
Ruben’s work on food security, youth outreach, and undocumented students has led to lasting impact in student equity. Among his many results are a functional food pantry and a raised profile across campus on the issue of hunger. Through Ruben’s leadership, UC Berkeley has gained national prominence and $300,000 in grant funding for advocacy and services for undocumented students. His outreach efforts have helped demystify higher education for families from under-resourced communities.

Jon Crumpler
Educational Technology Services
Jon is the manager of the ETS student staffing service, which includes over one hundred students. He creates an environment in which students are encouraged to take risks, try new methods, and maintain a growth mindset, despite encountering setbacks or failures. He ensures that his team provides high quality service to the campus and he builds strong relationships with student workers, helping them develop leadership and professional skills during their time spent at UC Berkeley.

Phillip Denny
The Blum Center for Developing Economies
Phillip manages Big Ideas @Berkeley, a campus competition designed to support students who want to achieve social impact. Under Phillip’s leadership, Big Ideas has evolved from an annual contest to an entire ecosystem aimed at providing funding, mentorship, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students. He has also made significant contributions to the field, including authoring an online toolkit that outlines contest strategies, best practices, and honest reflections so that other universities can initiate Big Ideas competitions.

Mary W. Elings
The Bancroft Library
Mary has played a pivotal role in fostering a new campus community of practice around digital tools and methodologies. She has been an enthusiastic and founding member of the Townsend Humanities Center’s Digital Humanities Working Group. Mary’s efforts to break down organizational silos and bring together students, faculty and staff have led to innovative projects that laid the groundwork for a $2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to develop a Digital Humanities program on campus.

Mark Kinnard
Residential Student Services Program/Residential and Housing Services
Mark, the Principal Custodial Supervisor for Southside Residential Housing Units 1, 2, and 3, routinely goes above and beyond to make sure staff and students get what they need. He monitors the availability of new environmentally responsible cleaning supplies and encourages his staff to run pilot programs to find products that are a fit for Berkeley. Additionally, Mark has made significant contributions to the Student Affairs Division initiative to create a “Cohesive and Supportive Culture” for staff. His passion and commitment to supporting staff through this initiative has been contagious.

Diana Lizarraga
Cal NERDS Program
Diana provides mentorship and a supportive community for Cal NERDS, the New Experiences for Research and Diversity in Science program, and her devotion to diversity is exemplary. She partnered with UC Merced to create the Faculty Centric Research Poster Judging Method, which was adopted by a statewide undergraduate research conference, and was instrumental in securing a highly competitive $1 million NSF diversity STEM graduate student fellowship grant for Berkeley. She also helped to secure a $500,000 gift to start the Women in STEM Undergraduate Scholarship and Mentorship Program.

Teresa McGuire
Graduate School of Education
Teresa leads outreach for the Graduate School of Education community. She goes above and beyond to promote initiatives focused on building community and collaboration among staff. Teresa has supported the Dean and the School in fundraising $15 million in contributions since 2010. Teresa has also been instrumental in securing funding for educational research that will transform the GSE and position UC Berkeley as a hub for global education in alignment with Chancellor Dirks’ vision of The Global University.

Johanna Metzgar
Office of the Registrar
Through the creation and development of the online Berkeley Academic Guide, Johanna pushed Berkeley to the forefront as a national leader in the evolution of the college catalog. By developing an online replacement for the paper catalog, she improved service by providing new ways for students, staff, and faculty to grasp and share knowledge about the wealth of campus academic programs and course offerings, and she has received national recognition for her accomplishments.

Lisa Min
Social Services, University Health Services
Lisa is a compassionate, supportive, empathetic social worker in UHS who is a beacon for survivors of sexual assault on campus. She facilitates an oasis of healing for students who have experienced trauma by providing a safe place for them to work on recovery while continuing their academic studies. She also mentors counseling trainees and has developed training for other practitioners on inclusion, equity, and how to effectively work with survivors of trauma.

Kari Peterson
Student Affairs Business Operations
Kari works tirelessly and passionately to identify hazardous conditions and work practices that could jeopardize the health and safety of students or staff, and she develops programs to eliminate or control these hazards. Kari’s deep commitment to providing a safe work environment has resulted in a marked decrease in the frequency and severity of preventable injuries within RSSP. Her devotion, vision, reliability and sound judgment continue to deliver lasting results.

Lisa Peterson
School of Public Health
Lisa’s position within the Center for Public Health Practice greatly expanded as she assumed increased duties and responsibilities to provide leadership for new projects such as developing communications strategies for CPHP. Under Lisa’s direction, the Center has a consistent and ongoing social media presence publicizing activities and programs. She has imagined and innovated, turned challenges into opportunities, and has had a positive impact on staff, students, and community partners.

Tiffany Shaleen Reardon
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science/Engineering Student Services
Tiffany has been instrumental in making the EECS department a diverse and inclusive community for students, staff, and faculty. She spearheaded new initiatives to support and broaden student diversity in undergraduate and graduate programs. She has been strategic in involving faculty in programs to break down barriers between faculty and underrepresented minority and women students, including the CS Scholars Program and the program for diverse newly admitted graduate students.

James Sanner
Recreational Sports
James’s innovative and ecologically sustainable work as Rec Sports’ sole groundskeeper includes goat weed-eating, hillside stability, outside grant funding for organic Liquid Tea fertilizer, and water-saving technologies. One example of his creativity and resourcefulness is a water conservation initiative that involved planting 45 fruit trees which will produce fresh fruit for local food banks, and will give local school children the opportunity to participate in field day experiences of natural fruit picking.

Rebecca Ulrich
Office of Strategic Academic & Facilities Planning
Rebecca has worked above and beyond her normal duties to ensure that UC Berkeley remains committed to building community. As Chair of the Black Staff and Faculty Organization (BSFO), Rebecca led campus efforts to engage in the national response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. She collaborated with key senior leaders and BSFO members to organize a silent protest on the Savio Steps of Upper Sproul. Her dedication, leadership and diplomacy brought together staff and faculty to support the black community on campus.

Team Recipients


  • Annalyn Cruz
  • Glenn DeGuzman
  • Debbie Fong
  • Roseanne J. Fong
  • Heather Iwata
  • Maria S. Jaochico
  • Jenny Kwon*
  • Sunny Lee
  • Marcia Gee Riley
  • Rodolfo T. Santos
  • Donna Vivar
  • Walter Wong

APASA promotes and supports community, professional development, and networking opportunities for Asian and Pacific Islander staff and faculty across the campus. Following the departure from campus of many of the founding members, the organization was idle for many years. The APASA team revived the organization and rebuilt it into a thriving, sustainably funded and financially sound organization. APASA now has more than eight hundred members, a twelve person committee with annual elections, and expanded program offerings including a Women’s Roundtable, an API Men’s Group, and an LGBTQIA subgroup. The APASA team’s commitment, hard work, innovation, and vision rejuvenated and strengthened this essential organization on campus.

Berkeley Builds Capacity Project Team

  • Sarah Gamble
  • Meckell Millburn
  • Tobirus M. Newby
  • Marie Lim Palo

The Berkeley Builds Capacity team has created real and sustained change in the provision of HIV services for underrepresented and underserved students at UC Berkeley and other East Bay colleges. With the goal of reducing HIV and related substance abuse, the team worked to build capacity among community services, identify systemic issues, and create lasting bridges across campus constituencies and with community partners. The project has empowered student volunteers to test thousands of people for HIV and provide education and support to thousands more. The BBC team goes above and beyond the standard model for providing medical services in order to support members of the community who previously fell through the cracks.

RSSP Think Tank Task Force

  • James A. Carroll
  • Glenn DeGuzman
  • Markie Gayles
  • Joe Gentile
  • Robin Hershkowitz
  • Nancy Jurich
  • Jessica Snider

The RSSP Think Tank Task Force was launched in January, 2014 to improve Move-In weekend which welcomes 6700 new students to the campus residence halls. Team members used metrics from prior years to identify opportunities, they researched best practices, and they developed innovations. Their work led the implementation of 5 initiatives that positively impacted Move-In 2014, including the use of social media to communicate with new students and the development of an ambassador program to welcome students and parents. Their willingness to change past practices using data to inform decisions, their use of project management tools to ensure accountability, and their leadership in the change process was exemplary.

* Team members ineligible to receive award.