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Honoring campus staff who have shown their dedication to Berkeley

The annual Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards ceremony, held Thursday, April 22, recognized campus staffers who go above and beyond.

Three teams and 25 individuals were honored yesterday by presentation of the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Awards at the annual recognition event, sponsored by the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee, in International House’s Chevron Auditorium.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau greeted and posed for a photo with each awardee while his or her award citation was read aloud by either Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer or Associate Chancellor Beata FitzPatrick. Each staff member who stepped forward received a warm hand from the audience, comprised of the awardees, their nominators, and colleagues, friends, and family members.

The chancellor praised the awardees for “stepping up in this difficult time.” The awardees came from all corners of campus — the Goldman School of Public Policy, Physical Plant/Campus Services, the Graduate Division, Disabled Students’ Program, and Ethnic Studies. “Their accomplishments show the university’s commitment to excellence via hard work, perseverance, and dedication to service,” said Birgeneau.

Criteria for the award include a commitment to the university’s mission; service to the public or university; community building; diversity, equity, and inclusion; innovation; efficiency; leadership; and mentorship.

Here are the individual and team winners of the 2010 COSAs, with a brief description of the service or project(s) for which they were honored:

Inez Bailey
Administrative director, Vision Science Graduate Group, School of Optometry. Helped develop a new program that combines a residency with a master’s degree, and has created innovative programs — including the Vision Science Research Forum and the Ph.D. Dissertation Symposium — that build community among students and faculty.

Amanda Carlton
Director of student involvement, Center for Student Leadership. Served as acting director of student involvement before being selected for the job, then took on many of the responsibilities of the executive director of Campus Life and Leadership, who was on sabbatical.

COSA honorees

COSA honorees Inez Bailey, Amanda Carlton, and Francisca Cazáres.

Francisca Cázares
Student affairs officer for ethnic studies. Nominated by her graduate students, who appreciate the time and effort she makes in welcoming them to their new environment and giving them highly personalized guidance as they advance through the program.

Martha Chávez
Assistant dean, Goldman School of Public Policy. Demonstrated superior commitment and dedication to strengthening the School’s student and academic services and initiated innovative outreach efforts to support diversity.

Kathryn Day
Chief administrative officer, Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science. Recognized for developing her staff and serving the postdoctoral fellows with whom she works, as well as taking on leadership positions in the Berkeley Staff Assembly, the Council of UC Staff Assemblies, and numerous campuswide committees.

James Dudek
Business systems analyst, Student Systems Services. The driving force behind the Business Process Analysis Working Group, a staff organization that has offered more than 60 sessions on topics ranging from project management to process mapping.

Ghada Haddad
Graduate program coordinator, Community Health and Human Development, School of Public Health. Increased the number of underrepresented minority students admitted to SPH, and has helped retain them by finding them funding, organizing tutoring, and personally coaching and encouraging them.

Alicia Hayes
Scholarship connection coordinator, Office of Undergraduate Research. Advises undergraduates on competitive national scholarships, assisting them by recruiting student mentors, providing feedback on applications, and organizing mock interviews.

Raul Infante
Senior analyst, Office of the Registrar. Led the update and upgrade of the Degree Audit Reporting System, resulting in improved academic planning by students, better communications between students and their advisers, and enhanced enrollment planning.

Jonel Larson
Gardener, University House. Made the grounds more “green” by initiating composting, sheet mulching, and other sustainable methods; she also supplies the staff of University House with fresh-cut flowers for special events (saving the campus thousands of dollars).

Maggie Lazar
Administrative assistant, Institute for Transportation Studies Pavement Research Center, Richmond Field Station. Forged connections in the local community by reading to Richmond school children and arranging for several scientists and engineers from the center to judge the science contest at a local middle school.

Betsy Livak
Co-director, Systems Unit, Graduate Division. Helped put the graduate-admissions application online; allowing electronic review of fellowship applications, making the latest policies and data easily accessible, and automating many processes.

Diana Lizarraga
Director of New Experiences in Research and Diversity in Science. Has run multiple programs designed to support first-generation students of color in the sciences, and helped organize the 2008 Northern California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education and the 2009 Native American Graduate Horizons Conference.

Juan Francisco Esteva Martínez
Research coordinator, McNair Scholars Program, which prepares students from underrepresented groups for doctoral programs. Nominated by program participants, who
salute him as “a mentor, friend, and role model for low-income students of color.”

Linda Miyagawa
Publications and production coordinator, GSI Teaching and Resource Center. Described by colleagues as “a professional inspiration and a personal pleasure,“ she regularly takes on additional tasks ranging from reconfiguring the office for improved air circulation to re-designing Sproul Hall signage.

Loretta Morales
Administrative assistant, School of Social Welfare. Called a “guardian angel“ by faculty in SSW, who point to her unflagging support of the school’s mission, often working long hours and always willing to take on new roles or learn new skills.

Claire Norris
Administrator, Global Health Office and the Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability at the School of Public Health. Has mentored hundreds of students and organized the Bixby Forum last year, coordinating participation by 40 public-health leaders from all over the world.

Andrea Rex
Graduate-student adviser, Travers Department of Political Science. Credited with revolutionizing the graduate program since joining the department in 2006 by innovating
departmental communications with a digital record-keeping system and creating a fair, transparent, and efficient system for allocating GSI positions and office space.

Carla Schultz-Serafin
Staff research associate/course coordinator, Molecular and Cell Biology. Took on an additional workload to ensure undergraduates had a successful experience when the department ran an overload of sections, and again when the curriculum was completely redesigned.

Abby Scott
Executive director, Career Services, Haas School of Business. Created local internships for Haas students across the campus when the dire economic climate made it harder for graduates of the MBA program to find employment, creating a win-win solution that allowed students to build their resumes while campus departments benefited from their talent and expertise.

Terry Strathman
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research. Developed the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program 20 years ago, an invaluable service to give undergraduates carefully structured opportunities to participate in research right alongside faculty.

Abigail Tilden
Learning-disability specialist, Disabled Students’ Program. Her contributions range from initiating staff celebrations to writing the DSP newsletter, from serving as a Cal Day liaison to participating in the Interactive Theater Program as a subject-matter expert on disability issues.

Steve Tollefson
Director, Office of Educational Development. Has improved teaching at Berkeley by creating or contributing to such programs as the Distinguished Teaching Awards, New Faculty Teaching Lunches and Newsletters, the Presidential Chairs and Lecturers Programs, the Berkeley Writers at Work Program, and the Summer Reading List.

Greg Yuhas
Radiation safety officer, Environmental Health & Safety. Has shown leadership in developing many new safety systems and procedures — so much so that Berkeley is now viewed by regulators as a model of radiation safety, and is often called upon to help improve radiation safety at other UC campuses.

Phil Walz
Student-services manager, Department of Economics. Nominated twice for this award (once by faculty and once by staff), he is credited with transforming the way student services are provided through thoughtful hiring, morale-building, and process improvement.

The Lawrence Hall of Science 197 Race: Conversations in a Museum Team
(Lisa Walker, Barbara Ando, Susan Guevara, Rikki Shackelford, and Victoria Robinson)

Created and taught a leadership class that trained undergraduates to use the provocative exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?” to facilitate discussions of race — its biology, history, and social reality — with middle-school and high-school students. Since the exhibit opened, the graduates of this course have discussed it with over 700 local youth.

The Social Justice Translating Team
(Matthew Sun, Marina Moreida, Maggie Huang, and Maty Corral-Avila)

By translating documents into Chinese and Spanish, and then translating live discussions of those documents, the team was able to increase communication and engagement with front-line custodial and dining staff. They have been called upon to provide their services throughout Residential and Student Services Programs, as more and more key documents and presentations are being translated.

The Staff Fellows Program Team
(Gary Lee, Troy Gilbert, Dan Ocampo, Christina Gonzales, Susan Trageser, Maria Iglesia, Suzanne Helbig, and Christina Barnett Rajmaira)

Recognizing how difficult it can be for new staff members to acquire skills outside their assigned roles, the team developed a yearlong internship program that allows staff in the Office of Student Development to work in the areas of Campus Life and Leadership and the Career Center. The team is now developing plans on how to replicate this program.