2016 COSA Recipients

Individual Award Recipients:

  • Linda Anderberg, School of Public Health
  • Maryhelen Nicole Blake, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Carolyn Clark, Sociology and Demography
  • Bene Gatzert, University Health Services
  • Yasya Goretsky, Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty
  • Robert Hamilton, ERSO Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory
  • Paul Howl, Contracts and Grants Accounting
  • Janice Hui, Journalism
  • Catherine Jones, Departments of German, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Brent Kindle, Facilities Services
  • Mari Knuth-Bouracee, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students
  • Dr. Shaila Kotadia, QB3, SynBERC
  • Christopher Kumai, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mark Lucia, Student Legal Services,  Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean of Students
  • Kathy Mendonca, Talent and Organizational Performance
  • Chrissy Roth-Francis, New Student Services
  • Sergey Shevtchenko, Goldman School of Public Policy
  • Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Greater Good Science Center
  • Kira Stoll, Office of Sustainability & Energy
  • Heidi Wagner, School of Social Welfare

Team Award Recipients:


  • David Trinkle, VCRO/Berkeley Research Development Office
  • Tiff Dressen, Vice Chancellor for Research Office
  • Barbara Ustanko, VCRO/Berkeley Research Development Office
  • Verna Bowie, Vice Chancellor for Research Office
  • Elena Pozdniakova, ERSO
  • Caroline Remick, ERSO
  • Ruchika Dhussa, Sponsored Projects Office
  • Michelle Moskowitz, Government Affairs

Contracting at Berkeley Working Group:

  • Maria Rubinshteyn, Business Contracts and Brand Protection
  • Janice Gonsalves, Business Contracts and Brand Protection
  • Karen Etheridge, Business Contracts and Brand Protection
  • Lynne Hollyer, Industry Alliances Office
  • Andrew Goldblatt, Chancellor’s Office – Risk Services
  • Laila DeBerry, Chancellor’s Office – Risk Services
  • David Robinson, Chancellor’s Office – Risk Services
  • Pamela Miller, Sponsored Projects Office
  • Richard Taylor, Supply Chain Management
  • Tom Holdford, Chief Financial Officer – Communications
  • Laura Scudder, Lawrence Hall of Science

Global Edge Working Group:

  • Jessica Bauer*, Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
  • Michele Butler, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • James Collins, Office of the Registrar
  • John Lin, Student Affairs Business Operations
  • Diane Marcus, Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
  • Silvia Marquez, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Tracy Weber, Summer Sessions, Study Abroad & Lifelong Learning
Radiation Safety Online Training
  • Tim Bean, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Alisha Klatt, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Carolyn MacKenzie, Environmental Health & Safety
  • Jason Smith, Environmental Health & Safety

Sagehen Creek Field Station:

  • Jeff Brown, Sagehen Creek Field Station / BNHM
  • Faerthen Felix, Sagehen Creek Field Station

Staff Retirement Metrics Project:

  • Provin Dhawan, IST – Enterprise Data
  • Tim Fuson, Central Human Resources
  • Cheryl Kojina, IST – Enterprise Data
  • Douglas McSkimming, Central Human Resources
  • Mac Michel, IST – Enterprise Data
  • Shubha Narasimhan, IST – Enterprise Data
  • Indu Tandon, Central Human Resources

The Berkeley Desktop Team:

  • Stan Cheung, Information Services & Technology
  • Ben Gross, Information Services & Technology
  • Kerry Hays, Information Services & Technology  
  • Clifton Hom, Information Services & Technology
  • Vanessa Kaskiris, Information Services & Technology
  • Riff Khan, Information Services & Technology
  • Alex Kim, Information Services & Technology
  • Tim Scoppetta, Information Services & Technology
  • Jim Vaughn, Information Services & Technology

UCB Web and Marketing Team:

  • Ram Kapoor, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Sara Leavitt, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Avi Martin, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Hulda Nelson, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Laurie Frasier, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Melani King, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Kathryn Bader, Communications & Public Affairs
  • Carol Ness, Communications & Public Affairs

Undocumented Student Program:

  • Liliana Iglesias, Undocumented Student Program
  • Meng So, Undocumented Student Program

*=Ineligible for COSA award since current CSAC member

Individual Award Recipient Descriptions:

Linda Anderberg, School of Public Health
Linda works relentlessly to elevate and reinforce the value of the School of Public Health in the hearts and minds of key stakeholders by telling its stories safeguarding its brand, and ensuring the School is part of the collective conversation around health, education, and research. She oversees and maintains a robust platform of publications, including an annual alumni magazine, a monthly newsletter to alumni and friends, the School's web site, student recruitment brochures, and social media. In the past year, she has taken on internal communications, producing a biweekly e-newsletter for staff and faculty, and she developed internal resource pages on the website.

Maryhelen Nicole Blake, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Maryhelen is visionary, incredibly hard working, and dedicated to her responsibilities of providing exemplary service. She has served on the freshman yield task force and currently chairs the advanced standing yield task force. In her work with these committees, she ensures the various stakeholders are included in the transparency of information and the decision-making process. She constantly seeks feedback to ensure all voices are heard. In her management of the customer service unit, she consistently thinks of new ways to make the most current information available to the staff, identifies easier processes for the distribution of information to the public, and gives thoughtful consideration of how decisions she makes will affect her department and the campus in general.

Carolyn Clark, Sociology and Demography
Carolyn works tirelessly to foster an equitable and inclusive community by helping students from diverse backgrounds—first-generation, transfer, and international students—resolve a broad range of issues in a timely manner. She advocates for and supports the leadership of undergraduate student groups for underrepresented minority students. She organizes regular meetings for staff and faculty to hear directly from students about their experiences. Her anticipatory problem-solving of day-to-day student concerns contributes to the overall feeling of an inclusive and supportive climate in the department.

Bene Gatzert, University Health Services
Bene's initiative and leadership were instrumental in the UHS pilot of departmental strategic planning on equity, inclusion, and diversity. Bene utilized her experience, personal leadership, and problem-solving skills to advise those developing the planning process. She provided guidance and institutional understanding of the work while laying the path for UHS to change and grow in order to achieve the goals of equity, inclusion, and diversity. Her advocacy resulted in critical new efforts, such as the development of an internal equity and inclusion hiring toolkit, resource pages for international and disabled students, and the efforts currently in progress for undocumented, Asian Pacific Islander, and Cal Veteran populations. Her most ambitious accomplishment was ensuring all 220+ staff members of UHS completed the Multicultural Education Program training.

Yasya Goretsky, Office of the Vice Provost for the Faculty

In her work on the Regents' Lectureship Program, Yasya successfully overhauled the entire nomination process to ensure the university received a strong pool of high-quality lectureship candidates. Yasya eased the difficult nomination process and increased transparency by creating new application documents and a new website to support the prestigious program and assist the nominating faculty. She developed new guidelines and communications for faculty nominators and department staff to ensure smooth and efficient planning for the Lecturers’ visits to the Berkeley campus. Upon learning about certain challenges faced by the hosting departments, Yasya performed an exhaustive analysis that resulted in the development of a new funding model for the Regents’ Lectureship Program. She has provided valuable advice to departments on a wide range of issues including advertising, complex logistics, and university policies to continue the esteemed tradition of the Regents’ Lectureship Program at UC Berkeley.

Robert Hamilton, ERSO Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory
As the NanoLab Equipment Manager, Bob has been a leader in innovation, adaptation and efficiency for years, but his recent efforts highlight his outstanding creativity and exceptional initiative. Noting opportunities for significant cost-savings, Bob implemented several key initiatives to better serve the needs and budget of the lab. This included an evaluation and plan for the use of nitrogen in the pump systems, updating a new ebeam metal deposition system, scavenging all useful older parts/subsystems to be integrated into an entirely new system, and writing up these conversion efforts to present at a national conference, which lead to other labs following his example. As the lab's technical lead for more than thirty years, Bob's dedication to creativity and academic excellence is demonstrated by the ongoing success of the NanoLab and his efforts to improve its operations.

Paul Howl, Contracts and Grants Accounting
As a new research administrator, Paul immediately began looking for ways to streamline business processes, setting an example for continuous improvement. He developed a methodology/template for tracking payments to UC campuses, ensuring the ability to maintain good relationships with funders and supporting research activities. Paul also takes every opportunity to mentor, excelling at communicating complex information through the development of easy-to-follow user guides. He worked with the CGA technical team to create a document to ensure the accuracy of grant and contract billing and financial reports and translated this content into a training manual. He recently completed the first phase of a desk manual that consolidates thirty-seven training documents into one accessible user guide, contributing to effective and consistent training for the campus as a whole. His leadership has elevated the unit's effectiveness and ability to provide a high level of customer service across campus in support of Berkeley's research mission.

Janice Hui, Journalism
Through her work as Managing Director of the Investigative Reporting Program's newsroom/classroom, Janice shows strong commitment to innovation and inclusive community engagement. She has been essential to IRP's transformation into a multimedia, multi-platform organization with a first-of-its-kind partnership between the University and a non-profit newsroom. Her efforts have grown the annual Symposium on Investigative Reporting from a small seminar into the department's largest event and biggest revenue generator. She ensures the newsroom reflects the larger community, securing fellowships to bring promising young journalists of color to the symposium, and includes underrepresented voices among the speakers. Janice has created an infrastructure that is vigorously ramping up its ability to sustain itself, creating exciting new programs and initiatives and leading the IRP into a new era that utilizes its solid foundation in reporting to become a major producer of news and cutting edge investigative reporting.

Catherine Jones, Departments of German, Spanish and Portuguese
As an administrative manager with over 32 years of experience, Cathie has been an important mentor on our campus, and her work continually serves to enhance Berkeley's mission and reputation. In support of her department, Cathie has overseen faculty-publisher exchanges, most recently growing campus research productivity through her advocacy work on behalf of graduate students with early career publishing opportunities. This support furthers the campus' reputation for scholarly excellence. Cathie regularly utilizes her extensive network to connect scholar-students in her department to the proper outlets necessary to fund, conduct, and publish research. Additionally, she has served as a mentor to new staff in the department, ensuring their ability to rapidly integrate into the unit. Overall, Cathie's exceptional administrative mentoring has truly and profoundly impacted generations of graduate students, faculty, and staff enabling all to achieve their professional goals with the greatest of ease.

Brent Kindle, Facilities Services
Cal has more than 2.1 million square feet of roof, and one roofer. For more than 25 years, Brent has literally kept a roof over our heads. Brent is committed to understanding evolving knowledge in the roofing industry and is regarded as one of northern California's experts on the subject, keeping abreast of new technologies and materials. For example, when the solar panels for Eshleman Hall and Martin Luther King Student Union were installed, his knowledge of PVC roofing systems prevented future leaks by ensuring the panels were placed properly. Through excellent stewardship, Brent demonstrates a commitment to enhancing Berkeley's mission and reputation that is second-to-none. Research depends on excellent facilities, but it can also be a challenge to negotiate competing needs of departments and programs. He does so with a smile on his face, providing essential and important service to our campus and developing the right and best solutions while making time to help faculty and staff understand the nature of these issues.

Mari Knuth-Bouracee, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students
In her role in the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Student Advocacy, Mari has had a tremendous impact on the campus response to sexual violence. She prioritizes the voices of students, and provides mentorship and leadership opportunities to peer educators and student activists. She works tirelessly to create an environment that is welcoming for all, especially those from historically marginalized communities. In under two years, her unit has served nearly 200 campus community members impacted by violence, and has reached over 10,000 through prevention education and training. Mari's leadership is helping to create a violence-free campus, where all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Dr. Shaila Kotadia, QB3, SynBERC
Shaila created the Expanding Potential Program, which supports diversity in STEM and focuses on solutions that increase the retention of underrepresented groups in STEM fields. This program helps students and professionals recognize and counter social phenomena that may hinder the progress of underrepresented groups. Through this program, she holds annual workshops that tackle problems like implicit bias, stereotype threat, micro-aggressions, and impostor syndrome. The effects of Shaila's program will have a lasting impact on participants, and will increase authentic diversity and improve the atmosphere of inclusivity in STEM.

Dr. Christopher Kumai, Materials Science and Engineering
Christopher works relentlessly to ensure the undergraduate laboratories in MSE run smoothly and with excellence. He executes his responsibilities with unrivaled skill and professionalism, and when new issues arise, he takes the initiative to solve problems, mitigate risks, and safeguard the labs and student resources to ensure the highest quality of instruction. When he notices a problem, whether with the facility or materials used for experiments, he acts quickly to identify the problem and doesn't give up until it is resolved. Christopher's sustained excellence will have a lasting effect on MSE and the students he serves.

Mark Lucia, Student Legal Services, Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean of Students
As Director of Student Legal Services (SLS), Mark actively fosters an inclusive legal counseling setting for students who are often in the most need of support. His outreach and education efforts over the last three years have increased legal consultations by almost 19%. His tremendous initiative significantly grew this crucial and thriving program, which serves a high proportion of underrepresented ethnic minority, low-income, transfer, international, and all-gender students. He helps these students to resolve legal problems, improves their ability to stay in school, and offers a safe/trusting space. In addition, Mark is a leader in defining learning outcomes and assessment methodologies for student legal services offices nationwide.

Kathy Mendonca, Talent and Organizational Performance
Over the past three years, Kathy led the Research Administration Professional Development Program project for Research Administrators on campus. She collaborated with 59 unique subject matter experts across the research community to create 27 workshops covering all aspects of a research administrator's role. During the development of the program, Kathy provided extensive mentoring to the project's ten member design team on curriculum design. Through Kathy's innovation, hard work, and dedication, the RAPDP project was successful, and this program will make an enormous impact within the research community as well as throughout the UC system and beyond.

Chrissy Roth-Francis, New Student Services
Chrissy is the Director of New Student Services (NSS), and since starting in 2013, she has been an innovator and change agent. She has guided NSS through two major revamps – Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) program as well as Welcome Week program now called Getting Your Bearings. She created a new model that included interactive sessions designed to get students engaged, and individual academic advising. With these major changes, student overall satisfaction went from a rating of 79% to 89%.

Sergey Shevtchenko, Goldman School of Public Policy
Sergey created a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) for the Goldman School's core undergraduate course, Public Policy 101 Introduction to Public Policy and the Eightfold Path of Policy Analysis. Nearly 4,000 students are registered for this class, which is the School's entire alumni base over the past 40 years. He also implemented an online Course Evaluation system that has led to significant savings and impact on the Faculty Merit and Promotion process. Sergey works with faculty to adapt their research for lecture and video streaming, allowing students to "attend" virtual lectures.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Greater Good Science Center
Emiliana co-developed and co-taught the free online course, The Science of Happiness, which has so far enrolled more than 300,000 students around the world. She has shared cutting-edge insights into why and how to lead a truly happy, meaningful life. Results of the 10 week course include increases in positive emotion and in life satisfaction, as well as reduction of stress. Emiliana has helped enhance UC Berkeley's reputation, and has made the Greater Good Science Center engaging and accessible to people all over the world.

Kira Stoll, Office of Sustainability & Energy
Kira manages Berkeley's greenhouse gas program, is a member of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability, currently serves as a Co-Chair of the system-wide Climate Change Working Group, and is on UC Office of the President's Global Climate Leadership Council. She led the Cool Campus Challenge, where more than 19,000 students, staff, and faculty have pledged to save over 20 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Kira also contributed on the solar energy procurement project, to bring 1MW (megawatt) of photovoltaic energy to campus, while involving students and lowering costs.

Heidi Wagner, School of Social Welfare
Heidi has implemented reorganization and repositioning of staff resources within the School of Social Welfare, which has improved faculty support. She has developed a five-year strategic plan tying the School's budget to strategic initiatives, such as the School joining Campus Shared Services six months ahead of schedule and an overhaul of the School's financial management. Her contributions on campus include membership on a number of committees: CSS Performance Management Team, Large Lecture Hall Renewal Committee, HR Advisory Council, CAO Planning Committee, CSS/APR Quality Assessment, 9.2 BFS Upgrade Steering Committee, CalPlanning LIM, C&G Advisory Workgroup, T&E Steering Committee and Workgroups, IT Strategy Enterprise Committee (EDAC), CalTime Steering Committee, and Zero-Waste Working Group.

Team Award Recipient Descriptions:

Clean Energy Research Center for Water-Energy Technologies (CERC-WET): David Trinkle, Tiff Dressen, Barbara Ustanko, Verna Bowie, Elena Pozdniakova, Caroline Remick, Ruchika Dhussa, Michelle Moskowitz
The Clean Energy Research Center for Water-Energy Technologies (CERC-WET) team came together from across campus to support the development and submission of a major proposal, which was funded by the Department of Energy last fall. To complete this uniquely complex proposal in a short window of time, the CERC-WET team organized themselves into flexible sub-teams that employed a complex, team-based delegation of responsibility. This innovative effort involved staff from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Berkeley Research Development Office, ERSO, SPO, Government Relations, and other units. CERC-WET will enable research collaboration between the U.S. and China on issues in water, energy and climate. By working together, the CERC-WET team ensured that a successful proposal was submitted, and the new award supports the UC Berkeley mission of teaching, research, and public service.

Contracting at Berkeley Working Group: Maria Rubinshteyn, Janice Gonsalves, Karen Etheridge, Lynne Hollyer, Andrew Goldblatt, Laila DeBerry, David Robinson, Pamela Miller, Richard Taylor, Tom Holdford, Laura Scudder
The cross-functional Contracting at Berkeley Working Group came together in 2013 to provide much-needed clarity and guidance on campus contracting, including the process of creating, managing, and terminating legally binding contracts. Over two years, they identified problems, created subcommittees to address them, and designed tools to provide concrete, practical assistance to clients, culminating in the development of the UC Berkeley Guide to Contracting, an online triage process and contracting website. In 2015, the Guide and the decision tree were recognized as best practice resources by a Southern California UC Coro group for the University of California. Additionally, since the publication of the Guide, it has been downloaded more than one thousand times in locales such as New York, Japan, and Australia. Their work showcases great commitment to campus innovation, adaptation and efficiency, and serves to enhance Berkeley's mission and reputation in a far-reaching capacity.

Global Edge Working Group: Jessica Bauer*, Michele Butler, James Collins, John Lin, Diane Marcus, Silvia Marquez, and Tracey Weber
The Global Edge Working Group was called together to address an urgent need to create more space for freshmen students on campus. Sending freshman students abroad for their first semester emerged as a possible solution, and the Global Edge Working Group was formed to rapidly pull together a program in time for Summer/Fall 2015. It piloted in 2015 with 57 students in London and will expand in 2016 to 210 students in London, Rome, and Madrid. As part of the Global Edge program, students attend courses during the summer term at Berkeley and participate in a series of orientations to ensure that they feel deeply connected to the campus before beginning their study abroad experience in the fall. Additionally, the program addresses the Chancellor's goal of tripling the number of Berkeley students who study abroad, a part of a larger initiative to internationalize campus and expand Berkeley's global reach.

Rad Safety: Tim Bean, Alisha Klatt, Carolyn MacKenzie, and Jason Smith
The team created three major eLearning courses; EHS 401.1 Radiation Safety Training for Users of Radioactive Materials, EHS 401.2 Radiation Safety Training for users of Radiation Producing Machines, and EHS 401.3 Radiation Safety Training for Users of Radioactive Materials and Radiation Producing Machines. The courses allow UC Berkeley to meet Federal and State training requirements. Since their introduction in 2015, several international companies and the International Atomic Energy Agency have expressed interest in using all or portions of the courses. The courses are also in use across the UC system. Now, researchers, faculty, students and staff engaged in radiation research or working around radiation producing machines have a convenient and time effective way to learn radiation safety while complying with safety regulations.

Sagehen Creek Field Station: Jeff Brown, Faerthen Felix
Jeff Brown and Faerthen Felix worked to connect UC Berkeley faculty to Forest Service land managers, which led to a massive data collection project. They successfully found a way forward from the long-standing forest management stalemate between the Forest Service, environmentalists, wildlife biologists, and the timber industry. They led a concerted effort to get all of these stakeholders working together to find solutions to the intractable forest management dilemma. They took a totally transparent approach by reaching out to potential partners (who were very different and even antagonistic), building communication tools like test treatment plots, videos, photo plots, and a project blog, working successfully together toward common goals, and identifying solutions. Their approach is now being adopted on national forest lands far beyond the Sagehen basin. This entire project lies outside their regular job duties.

Staff Retirement Metrics Project: Indu Tandon, Mac Michel, Tim Fuson, Cheryl Kojina, Shubha Narasimhan, Provin Dhawan, Douglas McSkimming
The cross-departmental Staff Retirement Metrics team conceived and developed a dashboard project that addresses the growing problem of an aging workforce at UC Berkeley. The team realized that by putting information about the composition of the workforce in the hands of units, it would help managers make better decisions regarding their workforce planning and even help with project prioritization. Within four months of the project launch, it was live on the Cal Answers portal, and within weeks, it had the second highest query traffic. The goal of the team was to provide an effective workforce planning tool for units that was intuitive and easy to use. This type of tool had never been created by any of the UC campuses, and the team had to study dashboards across other industries and use their own creativity to come up with unique solutions. This tool has had a great impact on units, and it will be in high demand as the a percentage of the workforce prepares for retirement in the next decade.

The Berkeley Desktop Team: Stan Cheung, Ben Gross, Kerry Hays, Clifton Hom, Vanessa Kaskiris, Riff Khan, Alex Kim, Timothy Scoppetta, Jim Vaughn
The Berkeley Desktop Team developed an ecosystem that includes a custom configured operating system (OS), which enables a new or repurposed computer to be operational in approximately 30 minutes with minimal set-up. The team built this streamlined and efficient ecosystem from scratch since it would reduce costs, save time, and be a better user experience for end users and IT staff alike. The OS ecosystem includes regular updates and critical patches distributed "automagically" to the machine, keeping it secure. Software Central creates and distributes campus licensed packages via self-service for managed computers as well as via web downloads. There are over 13,000 machines in the system, 7,000 of which run the standard Berkeley Desktop image, and more than 50 departments have self-selected the Berkeley Desktop, dramatically reducing the risk of exposure to vulnerabilities. The team was recently selected for a UC-wide technology award, has been hailed as a prominent model, and the team has been asked to provide insight and guidance to other UCs.

UCB Web and Marketing Team: Ram Kapoor, Sara Leavitt, Avi Martin, Hulda Nelson, Laurie Frasier, Melani King, Kathryn Bader, Carol Ness
The Web and Marketing Team launched the Berkeley brand platform in early 2013 and set out immediately to redesign and launch the main Berkeley gateway web site. The assignment came with several major challenges: the selected platform had to be future-proof, the high visibility of the site meant a lot of campus engagement had to be included, the final design had to be flexible as a model for 900+ web sites, and the site would need to be at the cutting edge of web engagement. The team followed an aggressive timeline from kickoff to launch without compromising the final output. The result was an incredibly well thought-through website that is among the finest examples of university sites anywhere. It reflects the diversity of thought on campus, leverages the latest design language, and includes a homepage that changes daily. The overall response to the web site has been tremendous and it's a daily destination for many users. Web metrics for external audiences indicate higher engagement and a smoother web experience.

Undocumented Student Program: Liliana Iglesias, Prerna Lal*, Diana Peña, and Meng So
The Undocumented Student Program (USP) has actively worked to create safe and empowering spaces, wherein undocumented students, their families, staff, faculty, and the broader community can work together to ensure all individuals have the opportunity to fulfill their full potential. USP staff has helped researchers and national think tanks understand the socio-economic impact of immigration policy and educational practice on immigrant youth and their families. It has also illuminated important lessons learned for developing best practices at the institutional and community levels. USP's model has been published in several academic journals such as the Harvard Educational Review, NASPA Knowledge Communities, and the Chronicles of Higher Education.

*ineligible to receive award