SAB Staff Recognition Program

The Staff Advisory Board is proud to annouce the Staff Recognition Program.

The goal of the program is for staff members to recognize and celebrate fellow staff members. The staff recognition program is strictly "peer-to-peer" and is open to all staff employees to nominate fellow colleagues.

There is no monetary or performance award associated with this recognition program.  This is also not an "employee of the month" program.

The staff recognition review committee is looking for very thoughtful and compelling nominations. 

A new staff member will be featured each month.

All UCSC staff members are eligible and encouraged to make nominations!

If you know someone who deserves some recognition, please nominate theem by filling out the
STAFF RECOGNITION FORM.


April 2017 Featured Staff MemberDeShonne Keller photo

Name: DeShonne Keller

Unit: Kresge College

Years of Service: 5

Official Title: Kresge College Assistant & Mailroom Manager

How would you describe your work?
Exciting, challenging and rewarding. It’s never a dull moment and I’m in constant learning mode each day, I love it! I enjoy being in a place where I learn something new. It’s important to form relationships and make students aware I’m here to help! It’s all about giving back to my community and UCSC has allowed me to achieve my goal.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
We work in the forest! I couldn’t ask for a better view. My co-workers and supervisors make it easy to come to work. The students encourage me and keep me young. It’s the best feeling getting to know someone as a freshman, watch their academic journey and see them walk across the stage four years later. It’s a feeling I can’t describe. Just knowing I’ve played a very, very small part in journey is rewarding!

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
A smile goes a long way. First impressions are extremely important. Be courteous and helpful. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

What are your outside interests?
Spending time with my family as well as taking time for myself is most important. I LOVE Football, GO SAINTS!! I enjoy traveling, dancing, concerts, comedy shows and going to the movies with my husband.


February 2017 Featured Staff MemberLiz Evanovich photo

Name: Liz Evanovich

Unit: University Relations

Years of Service: 15

Official Title: Senior Coordinator, Alumni Engagement & Advancement Services

How would you describe your work?
I support two units in University Relations  – Alumni Engagement and Advancement Services. My support is in the area of budget review/reconciliation of monthly financial transactions, foapal counsel, staff reimbursements, purchase requisitions, invoice payments, procard purchases, etc. I’m also a resource for staff for any problems or questions that come up in the workday. I particularly enjoy welcoming new staff to the team and making sure they have everything they need to begin their new position with us. I believe that the “first day” impression of University Relations and UC Santa Cruz sets the tone for long-term job satisfaction.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
I am very lucky to work with so many intelligent, hard working, and oftentimes hysterically funny, people in University Relations. The camaraderie and collaborative culture is a big part of why I enjoy walking through the doors in the morning.  I’m continually amazed at the level of innovative and creative thinkers we have in our division. My colleagues are truly committed to making UC Santa Cruz a first class university for the world to see - and support.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
For some reason when I read this question a few lyrics from a song by Tim McGraw came to me. I’m somewhat embarrassed that it might seem corny – but here you go anyway!

“When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride but

Always stay humble and kind”

What are your outside interests?
Activities that include family - the newest joy in my life is my first grandchild, Gaby, who just turned two years old on Christmas Day. I’m a Santa Cruz native and also a UCSC alum (Cowell College). I enjoy walking as my daily exercise (West Cliff Drive is one of my favorite spots), mountain biking at Wilder/Gray Whale Ranch, and on occasion will join my husband when he takes his boat out to go salmon and rock fishing in the Monterey Bay. When at home you will most likely find me working in the garden. One of my guilty pleasures at the end of the day is sitting on the patio or in the hot tub with a glass of wine. My husband and I enjoy quick getaways – nearby favorites are Cambria, Napa/Sonoma and Lake Tahoe.


November 2016 Featured Staff MemberMary J. Sierra photo

Name: Mary J. Sierra

Unit: Porter/Kresge College

Years of Service: 20

Official Title: Budget Analyst

How would you describe your work?
In short, absolutely fulfilling! I have the pleasure of working closely with incredible students & staff and various units/departments within the University. As a Budget Analyst for both Kresge and Porter College, I work closely to ensure expenditures of funds exceeding 9 million dollars combined are administered for their intended purpose. While no day is ever the same, my responsibilities include: training staff on policies and procedures, providing unit managers with current materials (budgets and financial reports), manage review processes, establish appropriate internal controls, and ensure deliverables are processed in a timely manner.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
This beautiful campus for starters! We have the privilege of being nestled in one of the most exceptional locations in California! We're so lucky! However, I believe it goes without saying that a great deal of my motivation comes from the community of staff/students I have the pleasure of working with day-after-day. I work with incredible minds that challenge me and help keep me fresh. I like to think that a combination of the vibrant energy staff/students motivates me to constantly improve and make things better!

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Always be mindful, honest and never forget your roots. Everyday life can get tiresome and sometimes we get bogged down by the mayhem. Take time for yourself to regain perspective and know that our staff/students rely on you. We are part of an institution that can only thrive just as long as we do too. May we never forget the power of a warm hello and kind smile.

What are your outside interests?
I love bopping around town, trying new restaurants, enjoying the beach, traveling and spending time with family and friends. I'm fortunate enough to have most of my family here in Santa Cruz, well, with the exception of my two oldest daughters who live in San Francisco. However, I really enjoy having lunch with my youngest daughter who is currently a student at UCSC.


October 2016 Featured Staff MemberLisa Morgan photo

Name: Lisa Morgan

Unit: Economics Department, Social Sciences Division

Years of Service: 29

Official Title: Undergraduate Programs and Peer Advisor Coordinator

How would you describe your work?
I advise students on all majors within economics, their academic goals, and making sure they take all the required major courses in order to graduate on time. I also hire, supervise and motivate our amazing peer advisors throughout the year so that they can give their best and be an excellent resource for students. I work very closely with the department manager, and undergraduate program directors for administration of the department’s undergraduate major programs as well as work directly with the accounting faculty in ensuring they have highly qualified teaching practicum students each quarter. I plan and coordinate quarterly faculty and undergraduate events as well as and share responsibility for managing the M.S. and undergraduate graduation reception. There is so much more and I don’t want to bore you, but basically I am involved with the coordination of anything to do with our undergraduates!

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
I love what I do and love working with people. We have such a diverse group of people here at UC Santa Cruz and it’s never boring! And, it is always changing with new faculty hires, new undergraduates, in addition to our graduate students, and then add to that the amazing department I get to work with. We get to step outside and breathe in this incredible scenery, the Redwood Trees, the rolling hills! Where else can you say, “the crazy male turkey chased my truck again today and pecked my tires!” Then you turn the corner and momma deer is watching her twin Bambie babies jump through the grass — so adorable and amazing.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Treat each other nicely and with respect. I’ve been fortunate to have kept my relationships with faculty and staff here from day one because I truly value those relationships. Have fun or BRING fun to your position — laughing is the best medicine and is good for the soul. Say thank you more often and sincerely, people appreciate it.

What are your outside interests?
Spending time with family and friends, being outside in nature, playing beach volleyball, camping, boating, fishing, charades on the beach and laughing as much as possible.


June 2016 Featured Staff MemberPhilip Johnston photo

Name: Philip Johnston

Unit: Learning Technologies, ITS

Years of Service: 17

Official Title: Instructional Technologist

How would you describe your work?
In the broadest sense, my job is to assist students, faculty and staff with using audio, visual and computing technology to support their learning, teaching, research and special events. Fulfilling this role takes many and varied forms and puts me in contact with all facets of the campus community in locations both on and off campus. At any given moment throughout the day, students, faculty and staff using our classroom-installed and field equipment may rely on me to operate, troubleshoot, analyze and recommend solutions for their instructional and event technology. As the person who oversees the operation of the campus test scoring service, I routinely engage with faculty and TA’s regarding the accurate and timely administration and processing of their exams. To assist with our front office operations, test scoring, classroom and special event support, I hire, train and supervise anywhere from six to ten student employees.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
As a UCSC alumnus (College 5 / Porter), my experience as a UCSC student was truly life defining and transformative. As a staff member, it is uniquely rewarding to work directly with students, faculty and staff to create a similarly transformative environment. Working at a world-class research institution like UC Santa Cruz offers amazing access to new ideas and information, often directly from the researchers themselves. Ultimately, it’s inspiring to contribute to the research and teaching mission of the campus, and we all do it in our own unique ways. Playing a role in and being a part of something so important is its own reward.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Cultivate and build relationships across campus, both within and outside your department and division. Over time, these connections create a stronger sense of community and become a springboard for opportunity and friendship. Never take for granted that you work in a phenomenally beautiful place. Get outside and walk around campus, and take time to explore a roundabout detour along the way. There are surprising gems tucked all over that can inspire and renew.

What are your outside interests?
Pursuing outdoor adventure, playing music, holistic health, cooking, working for environmental, social and economic justice.


May 2016 Featured Staff MemberJosephine Stovall photo

Name: Josephine Stovall

Unit: University Library

Years of Service: 29

Official Title: Circulation Coordinator

How would you describe your work?
I’m in charge of the main service desks for both McHenry and the S&E Library. I make sure the libraries are open and functioning every day. I hire and train the staff at the desks to make sure the main desks are staffed, open and ready for business whenever the library is open. Since we’re the main service point, so we’re there to help. We check out books, answer questions, deal with people issues, we make sure the library runs smoothly. We handle a lot of different issues in the building, either by taking care of them or by calling others to come fix the problem.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
As much as I complain about it, I enjoy working with people, I enjoy working with the public. And I enjoy working and interacting with the students. They have new ideas and they still have a bright idea of what the future can be. The fact of the matter is they are our future, and it’s nice, after being around for so long, to find people who still have high hopes for what this planet can be. I like that. It kind of gets me excited too, to think what we could do to the planet to make it better.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Take advantage of what the campus has to offer. Walk around campus and enjoy the beauty area we have the pleasure to work in. This is one of the most beautiful campuses I’ve ever seen. Every day when I leave and see the bay I get this awe moment. The culture here, the art, staff training & development classes, all here to enrich our lives so please get out there and enjoy it.

What are your outside interests?
I like to go hiking, museums, theater and wine tasting.


April 2016 Featured Staff MemberBruce Horn photo

Name: Bruce Horn

Unit: Learning Technologies, ITS

Years of Service: 20

Official Title: Classroom Operations Manager

How would you describe your work?
I manage the day-to-day operations of 86 general assignment classrooms at UCSC. Making sure that the media equipment in all of those rooms works properly and meets the needs of our faculty, teaching faculty how to use media equipment and presentation software and researching new technology to determine what will best support teaching and learning is always a fascinating and challenging task. I am also in charge of the test scoring service and the Distance Education facilities on campus and work with other Learning Technologies staff to provide media support and videography for campus events.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
It is all about the people! I really enjoy working with all of the faculty, staff and students at UCSC, especially the wonderful folks in my department who make working here as smooth and pleasant an experience as possible. It takes many different people to provide the quality learning, research and public service support needed to make this University as great as it is and I am proud of the part that I play in that.

I get great satisfaction from the knowledge that we are helping faculty to provide our students with a wonderful learning experience.

As a UCSC/Kresge College alum, I also feel a strong commitment to keeping both the physical and educational environment here as unique, healthy and innovative as it is.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
My advice is for all UCSC, but particularly for managers and supervisors. Try as much as possible to treat your employees and colleagues with as much kindness as possible and create a pleasant work environment for them. Although there will always be challenges such as the budget that are beyond our control, the most important factor in determining whether we enjoy our jobs is how the people around us treat us.

What are your outside interests?
Travel and landscape photography, reading, movies, cooking, gardening genealogy and travel.


March 2016 Featured Staff MemberMelody Litt-Louris photo

Name: Melody Litt-Louris

Unit: Retention Services

Years of Service: 11

Official Title: Senior Budget Analyst

How would you describe your work?
I work collaboratively with Retention Services units (EOP, LSS, DRC, Career Center, SOMeCA, STARS, and the Resource Centers) directors and business staff to manage budgets and administrative workflow in a strategic manner. I regularly work on financial and business analyses that allow for optimal use of resources while advancing Retention Services’ ability to provide high-quality support to students.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
Retention Services units are on the forefront of program creation and outreach that engages underrepresented populations and attempt to bridge gaps in privilege that hold some students back. It is inspiring to be surrounded by and help so many people that are so important in the success of our students.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Change is always around the corner here at UCSC; don’t be afraid to embrace it. Try and get out of the office a few days a week to walk some of the great trails and come to the ARCenter patio for the best view on campus.

What are your outside interests?
Enjoying time with my husband and kids, traveling to tropical places, music, good food and hanging out at the beach with family and friends.


February 2016 Featured Staff MemberKen Smith photo

Name: Ken Smith

Unit: Infrastructure and Operations, ITS

Years of Service: 8

Official Title: DBA Team Lead

How would you describe your work?
I manage the Database Administration (DBA) team. The DBA team supports many of the Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL databases in the Campus Data Center. Some examples of services our databases support are: Academic, Finance, Student Housing Office, and Pharmacy. In a nutshell, the role of the DBA team is to ensure the health, security, and stability of the databases we support.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
There is a tremendous amount of pride surrounding UCSC from our students to employees to the community. In many ways, the University is the epicenter of Santa Cruz. What we do in our department in part contributes to the success of the University. It is also tremendously impactful working with other universities as a collective brain trust to share ideas and to collaborate on what is working and what is not. It all goes back to what is best for the University and our students.

Additionally, I work with one of the most professional and skilled teams I have ever been associated with. They are all incredibly dedicated individuals who encompass what it means to be a team. I am very fortunate to work with them.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Much of our adult, waking hours are spent at work, and many people seem to wish away their week to get to the weekend. Try to enjoy and embrace those hours at work and view them as a way to enhance your and others' lives. Otherwise, we are wishing away 5/7ths of our working lives if we try to get to the weekend too quickly.

What are your outside interests?
I ride my bike 3-4 times a week to work, so biking plays an important role in my life. I appreciate what Santa Cruz has to offer, and I enjoy all aspects, from the beaches and mountains, to the downtown. My greatest passion, though, is watching the success of my children and helping them develop as young adults, students, and athletes. It's a fun and priceless journey watching them grow.


January 2016 Featured Staff MemberAndrea Cohen photo

Name: Andrea Cohen

Unit: Office of the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Years of Service: 16

Official Title: Special Projects Coordinator

How would you describe your work?
Always interesting, dynamic, and challenging, I work closely with leadership, faculty, staff, students, and alumni across the campus and within the community to staff, organize, develop, and manage: executive recruitments and searches, executive leadership development programs, confidential five-year review committees, fundraising initiatives and priorities related to the Transformative Student Experience (TSE) within the Campaign for UC Santa Cruz and in particular the Quarry Amphitheater Restoration Project, as well as other special projects as needed. In each project, I perform research, collect and analyze information, draft proposals and budgets, consult widely, and craft and implement project plans, timelines, communications, and events. I make every effort to ensure the leader/committee’s work is as streamlined and efficient as possible. Collaborating across divisions/departments and focusing every day on launching, implementing, and successfully completing projects is fun … for me!

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
Working with smart, genuinely passionate (and fun and funny) people who have diverse talents, perspectives and interests; collaborating with others individually or in small/large groups; providing access to a high-quality college education; working on challenging issues; simplifying where possible; streamlining processes and/or solving problems; and, opportunities to be part of the solution(s). Oh, and The Place – I have seen a lot of universities and colleges in my day, and this really is … The Most Beautiful Campus.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
This month, I’m the individual person honored and delighted to receive this recognition. Any accomplishments or successes attributed to me are, frankly, due to the input and contributions of many amazing, intelligent, skilled, thoughtful, and supportive people – like you. Thank you!

And, for actual advice, I bet you've heard this before. Stay focused, but remain flexible and open to new information and ideas. Ask questions. Have your latest, greatest 15-30 second “self-brag” at-the-ready, just in case you have a moment with someone who is interested. And, don’t sweat the small stuff.

What are your outside interests?
Exploring and taking long walks in the hills or along the beach, yoga, dancing, mountain bike riding, rollerblading, hiking, backpacking, climbing, skiing, traveling, photography, spending time with my family, learning new things, volunteering in our community, playing with our cat, playing piano (more like stumbling along), gardening, socializing, organizing, hosting parties and events, and cooking.


December 2015 Featured Staff MemberTara Gooden photo

Name: Tara Gooden

Unit: User Services & Resource Sharing, University Libraries

Years of Service: 7

Official Title: Head of Interlibrary Loan

How would you describe your work?
In interlibrary loan (ILL), we help faculty, staff, and students obtain research materials not available locally. We facilitate the borrowing of books, journals, articles, media items, and other research materials from other libraries in the UC system, in the country, and even worldwide. We also lend items to other libraries and their patrons. In addition, in User Services & Resource Sharing (US&RS), we are the public face of the library. We circulate and maintain books, course reserves, media, and other materials, and operate the public services desk. We introduce and connect users to library services.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
I am motivated and inspired by my colleagues in ILL and the library. It’s also very rewarding to help researchers locate materials they wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. Obtaining a rare book that is vital to someone’s research is a very rewarding process. It’s nice to be a part of so many peoples’ UCSC experience. Working closely with students is also very motivating. I learn something new every day.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Take advantage of what UCSC has to offer as an employer and embrace what makes this campus unique. There are a lot of opportunities for professional development and growth and there’s a culture here that you won’t find at many other places. And, challenge yourself. Your job and work day is what you make of it.

What are your outside interests?
Reading, writing, film, learning life lessons from my one year old daughter, and sharks.


November 2015 Featured Staff MemberMary Palmer photo

Name: Mary Palmer

Unit: Enterprise Financial Systems

Years of Service: 14

Official Title: Web Support Analyst

How would you describe your work?
Financial Affairs web maintenance support, budgetary support, database maintenance.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
I enjoy the working environment and the people I work with.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Enjoy the good times, get through the not so good times.

What are your outside interests?
Family, pets, walking on the beach, going to museums, eating, and occasionally spending days being a couch potato!


October 2015 Featured Staff MemberYamindira Kanagasundaram photo

Name: "Yamindira" (Kanagasundaram)

Unit: Financial Affairs Purchasing

Years of Service: 25

Official Title: Purchasing Specialist/Buyer

How would you describe your work?
I work collaboratively with the campus units to solve their purchasing questions and at the same time save money and the environment with green purchasing.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
To support students in expanding their knowledge to learn and never stop learning.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
No ego, no drama, no problem.

What are your outside interests?
Blending spices to create new recipes with Spicy Secrets.


September 2015 Featured Staff MemberJeff Rockwell photo

Name: Jeff Rockwell

Unit: Special Events Office, University Relations

Years of Service: 25

Official Title: Director of Special Events

How would you describe your work?
I throw parties for a living! My team coordinates 60-75 events per year for the campus. Our focus is on events that are related to fund raising, or of high visibility and importance to the Chancellor and the campus. We coordinate lectures, receptions, building dedications, VIP visits, etc.

What about working at UCSC motivates you?
I love the place, and I take satisfaction in thinking that the events we run help to raise funds for the campus and highlight the amazing things happening at UC Santa Cruz. I'm lucky to have a job that is always exposing me to interesting people and new experiences. After 25 years, I still find myself learning as I go. This month for example, I'm coordinating the rigging of an 18' pole that will be used by acrobats at the upcoming Founders Celebration Dinner, and I'm working with our University Catering Team and staff of Alice Waters /Chez Panisse to design a menu featuring produce from the UCSC farm that will be served at that same Founders Celebration.

What advice do you have for UCSC staff?
Find joy in your work. You only get one ride around this merry-go-round called life; don't waste that opportunity. The University has a huge array of positions, so if you don't feel happy in your current position, look around; it's likely you can find one that better suits your interests and skill set.

What are your outside interests?
Fishing, hiking, photography, cooking, world travel.