Eight UCR Staffers Honored at Outstanding Staff Awards Ceremony

Awards recognize campus difference makers; a total of 48 employees receive nominations in five categories

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The finalists for the 2012 UC Riverside Staff Assembly Awards with Chancellor Timothy P. White and Staff Assembly President Steve Lerer

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Eight University of California staff members were recognized at the 2012 Outstanding  Staff Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 5, 2012 at the residence of Chancellor Timothy White. The annual ceremony is sponsored by UCR Staff Assembly.

A total of 48 UCR staff members were nominated and 24 selected as finalists for awards in five categories: Staff Who Make a Difference, the Tartan Soul Award, the Commitment to Diversity Award, the People Helping People Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award. Individuals were nominated by their colleagues and supervisors and chosen by a selection committee.

“Each of the 24 finalists can take pride in being among the finest staff members on this campus,” said outgoing Staff Assembly President Steve Lerer. “The all excel in their professions, as community volunteers and as campus leaders. Through their innovation, creativity and acts of kindness, they exemplify the best that our campus has to offer.”

Four winners were selected for the Staff Who Make a Difference Award, and one each for the remaining four awards. The winners were:

Staff Who Make a Difference

Presented in four employment categories:  administrative support, professional, service, and technical. Nominees are selected based on their demonstrated support of the university’s principles of community, diversity, equal opportunity, and affirmative action objectives, as well as what of note they have accomplished in the performance of their duties to positively impact the campus, the community, and beyond.

Rachell Enriquez

Rachel Enriquez

Administrative Support – Rachell Enriquez

Enriquez is an administrative analyst in the Medical Scholars Program (MSP). In addition to her regular work preparing undergraduate students for a career in the field of health, Enriquez has created a “De-Stress” week during week 10 of each quarter that promotes activities related to stress reduction, fitness and final exam preparation.

In addition, Enriquez worked with MSP’s Adopt-a-Street program and joined the MSP Fitness team for evening and weekend hikes to the “C” and Mt. Rubidoux.

“It is clear that Rachell goes well above and beyond her job description. Her commitment to the UCR mission is manifest daily. UCR could not recognize a finer example of a staff member who surely does make a difference in living and sharing the promise,” Lerer said.

Leandro Gomez

Leandro Gomez

Service – Leandro Gomez

Gomez is a custodian in Olmstead Hall. Part of his responsibility is the cleaning the University Honors offices, which sees a great deal of student traffic.

But he is more than just a custodian; he is considered an integral part of the Honors community and a friend and advocate to many in the department.

“Leo is a true example of what it means to be a Highlander among the staff. He displays pride in his work, developing and implementing ways to maintain his area to the highest university standards. As a team player, he assists his fellow employees with weekly projects,” Lerer said. “It is a pleasure and an honor to work with a colleague who takes so much pride in serving the campus community.”

James Lin

James Lin

Technical – James Lin

Lin works in the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) and is responsible for integrated technology efforts within the college. During his time, he has developed systems and programs that enabled CHASS and its many and varied departments to work more effectively and efficiently, and to have the necessary information to make informed decisions for the future. He has repeatedly developed programs and processes that have enhanced college effectiveness.

Lin also supports undergraduate students by engaging them in high level research projects. His model of internships provides students with real world challenges that have prepared them for careers beyond UCR.

“James is an exceptional individual. Even while his focus has been on technology, he really is a modern day renaissance man. Clearly, he is an outstanding employee who has earned the highest degree of respect and admiration of his colleagues.” Lerer said.

Linda Latendresse

Linda Latendresse

Professional – Linda Latendresse

Latendresse is the assistant director of employer relations in the Career Center and works to help UCR students enter the job market by bringing employers to campus to recruit them. Last year, she played an integral role in raising almost $30,000 in employer sponsorships to help fund additional student programming at the Career Center. Her “Bringing Employers to U,” campaign helps keep employers engaged with UCR.

“For 15 years, Linda has committed her heart and soul to advocating for UCR students before employers. Her commitment to UCR makes her a most deserving recipient of this award,” Lerer said.

Other finalists were Debra Badillo of the Child Development Center, Paul Ditty of Plant Services, Brian Griffin of Administrative Computing, Jill Hishmeh of Computing and Communications, Virginia Lerer of Event Management and Protocol, Gigi Morgan of Housing, Dining, and Residential Services, Tonantzin Oseguera of Student Life, and Denise Stadelbacher of Highlander Union.

Tartan Soul Award

Recognizes staff who are committed to the four pillars of “Tartan soul” — integrity, respect, accountability and excellence.

Robert Penman

Robert Penman

Robert Penman

The marketing and communications manager in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Penman is a terrific role model who, as a UCR graduate, is wholly committed to his alma mater.

Evidence of this level of care can be seen in the annual Discover Day, a day-long celebration of all things UCR. His care and devotion in planning and execution helps to positions the campus well to enjoy a high yield among the most desirable applicants.

Penman is meticulous in seeing that all details are tended to in recruitment events, publications, emails, and other forms of messaging to the UCR prospective and admitted student base. He takes a collaborative approach to best ensure a successful outcome and has set a high standard for the quality of his work.

“Robert bleeds blue and gold. He is extremely loyal to UCR and spends his time strategizing how to move UCR into the future in the best positive light. He is a passionate and dedicated employee, who UCR is fortunate to have on board,” Lerer said.

Other finalists were Sahra Klawitter of the library and Deepak Sharma of Student Mental Health.

Commitment to Diversity Award

Created in conjunction with the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action, the award takes into account valuing diversity, promoting cultural competency and adapting to diversity.

Cathy Eckman

Cathy Eckman

Cathy Eckman

Eckman, a finance and administration manager with Student Affairs Administration. She has been instrumental in the creation of the Diversity Program for Student Affairs, which has helped the institution build the capacity to be better able to respond to the needs of the diverse student body.

She also volunteers as co-chair for the Making Excellence Inclusive Diversity Certificate Program Alumni Group. This group, which will include 109 members with the next graduating class of May 2012, has created a vehicle for the alumni to continue to learn, grow, and contribute to the campus’ diversity mandate.

“Cathy is a bold, an innovative, and a forward-thinking staff member. She is dedicated to identifying, creating, developing, and implementing ways to promote diversity and foster a sense of community inclusivity,” Lerer said.

Other finalists were Valerie Hodge of International Education Programs and Jan Wildman of University Advancement.

People Helping People Award

Recognizes staff who exemplify service to the surrounding community.

James Dixon

James Dixon

James Dixon

Dixon works as a grounds equipment operator assigned in Physical Plant and also serves as a safety officer. Outside of the workplace, he is a volunteer for the San Bernardino Search and Rescue Team and was recognized regionally for his efforts in locating a young boy in 2011. Dixon was part of a four-man team that found Joshua Robb, an 8-year-old autistic boy, in the wilderness near Lake Arrowhead.

“It is an honor to recognize James Dixon as this year’s recipient of The People Helping People Award. His efforts in locating a vulnerable young boy in the mountains clearly exemplify service to our community,” Lerer said.

Other finalists were LeDeana Lee of Housing, Dining, and Residential Services and Deborah Pecora of Physical Plant administration.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Recognizes outstanding Staff Assembly volunteers

Lilia Ramos

Lilia Ramos

Lilia Ramos

Ramos is an administrative analyst in the School of Medicine Dean’s Office and has been a devoted and reliable volunteer for Staff Assembly for the past four years. She has volunteered for a multitude of events, from outreach events to general meetings.

She is also an active member on the Recognition and Fundraising Committees. As a member of the fundraising committee, she has involved in multiple projects, including social media for the Community Partner Fair, the Stateline turnaround trip, and UCR Staff Assembly and Society ’54 lapel pins design projects.

“Lily’s enthusiastic involvement and the understanding support she receives from the School of Medicine Office of the Dean serve to remind all of us here at UCR it is not our dollars, but ourselves that are most valued,” Lerer said.

Other finalists were Leigh Gleason of ARTSBlock and Ana Kafie of SOBA.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-5893
E-mail: ross.french@ucr.edu

Additional Contacts

Tim Willette, Staff Assembly President
Tel: (951) 827-7321
E-mail: tim.willette@ucr.edu

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