Chancellor Presents Staff Excellence Awards

Quick Summary

  • 13 individual recipients and an award for the “Developing Deeper Advising Relationships” team
  • Chancellor May lauds their contributions to the university and commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity
  • The chancellor says: “They create an environment that allows our colleagues and our students to flourish”

Gary S. May recently presented Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Awards to 13 individuals and a team of 20, acknowledging the extraordinary work they do on behalf of their fellow staff members, faculty and students, and the public, including patients.

The individual award recipients, from the Davis and Sacramento campuses, cover a wide range of staff positions, from executive assistant and intellectual property officer, to program directors and administrative managers in academic and health units.

The award-winning team comprises academic advisors and student affairs advisors who lead an initiative whereby they assist their colleagues in “Developing Deeper Advising Relationships” within a student body that is expanding in number and diversity.

Nomination forms, submitted by the recipients’ colleagues, reference the recipients’ important contributions to the university and its mission, as well as their commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity — creating an environment, Chancellor May said, “that allows our colleagues and our students to flourish.”

The chancellor presented the awards during a reception at the Chancellor’s Residence.

‘Exemplifying our core values’

“The spirit of these awards speaks to me deeply on a personal and professional level,” May said. “I established the Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award to recognize staff who not only consistently go above and beyond their job responsibilities but also exemplify our core values as affirmed in our Principles of Community.”

He said a climate of dignity and respect nourishes our achievement and excellence and promotes constructive dialogue, and appreciation of our differences opens our minds to new and exciting ideas, friendships, collaborations and opportunities.

“Your university is a better place today because of your accomplishments, because of your hard work and because of your dedication to excellence,” the chancellor said.

Individual awards

Michael Carriere mugshot
Michael Carriere

Intellectual property officer
Innovation Access, Office of Research

Described as an effective witness who was key to a jury verdict in favor of the UC Davis strawberry breeding program, allowing it to retain access to germplasm and establishing precedent under which the university owns title to tangible material created in the course and scope of research.

Zachary Frieders musghot
Zachary Frieders

Study Abroad

He is noted for innovations such as a Nepal program that is held between quarters, allowing more students to participate, and for pioneering the development of domestic study abroad programs whereby students have opportunities to gain international experience in the states.

Jennifer Kellogg mugshot
Jennifer Kellogg

Chief administrative officer
Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine, UC Davis Health

Praised for listening to staff, knowing their professional interests and being a mentor, she also receives kudos for her efforts to improve patient flow and other processes, and, ultimately, patient satisfaction. In her regular rounds of the clinic, she stops everything to ensure every child has a coloring book or toy.

Alissa Magorian mugshot
Alissa Magorian

Executive assistant
Enrollment Management, Office of the Provost

Beyond her regular job, she is considered “one of the foremost champions of inclusive excellence at UC Davis,” through her work with the Staff Diversity Administrative Advisory Committee, Umoja, First-Year Aggie Connections, Guardian Scholars and other programs.

Sonia Mora mugshot
Sonia Mora

Lab research supervisor
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (Biotechnology and Virology)

She has devoted her UC Davis career to achieving diagnostic testing excellence — knowing that producers’ and families’ livelihoods depend on accurate results — while consistently inspiring teamwork and a strong culture of inclusion, respect, honesty and kindness to others at work.

Jennifer Moylan mugshot
Jennifer Moylan

Program coordinator and advisor
Study Abroad

She’s led two First-Year Aggie Connections (and “jumped at the chance” to participate), and created and hosted two Spoken World Story Jams, promoting inclusiveness and a deep understanding and respect for the diversity of cultures, values and beliefs that make up our international university.

Lisa Nguyen mugshot
Lisa Nguyen

Web marketing, Graduate School of Management

“She masterfully orchestrated a content marketing symphony that helped drive social media engagement and web traffic to record levels,” said her nominator. “We all benefit from her entrepreneurial, responsive, forward thinking and the passion she brings to her work, the GSM and our mission — which enhance the entire institution’s brand.”

Patricia Schetter mugshot
Patricia Schetter

Autism education initiatives, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, MIND Institute

She led the establishment of and continues to facilitate the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, or CAPTAIN, now more than 400 members strong, with representatives from every county, to improve services to children and other youths with autism spectrum disorder.

Erin Schlemmer mugshot
Erin Schlemmer

Program coordinator and advisor
Study Abroad, Global Affairs

As the coordinator of a new program in Costa Rica, she came to the rescue: When an apartment needed cleaning, she did it; when a bug bite landed a student in the hospital, she stayed with her; and, most important from an academic perspective, when internships fell through, she quickly arranged new ones.

Tamara Scott mugshot
Tamara Scott

Ambulatory care administration, Department of Surgery, UC Davis Health

Lauded as an outstanding professional, mentor and colleague — but, most importantly, as an outstanding leader. In implementing change, she has managed to maintain the highest professionalism and composure and worked through each challenge as it arose with grace and dignity.

Kevin Sitz mugshot
Kevin Sitz

Writing Support Center, Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers

Used to be students would grab any available nook or cranny to work on their writing while they waited to meet with tutors at the Writing Support Center. Then Sitz established the Writing Studio, affording students a dedicated and larger space to practice their writing while receiving support.

Darolyn Striley mugshot
Darolyn Striley

Student services manager
Office of Medical Education, UC Davis Health

Formerly the graduate coordinator in English and chair of Staff Assembly on the Davis campus, she showed a special commitment to food-insecure students, by rallying staff members to volunteer at The Pantry and launching the “Pay It Forward” campaign (providing pizza slices to students in need).

Erum Syed mugshot
Erum Syed

Chief administrative officer
Social Sciences Green Cluster, College of Letters and Science

Recognized as much for being an excellent manager with the ability to mediate among groups and interests, as for her work on behalf of diversity and inclusion throughout the university. Her efforts included organizing the “Muslim American Experience” Diversity Dialogue Series last year.

Team award

Group of 15 people
Chancellor Gary S. May hosted an awards reception at the Chancellor’s Residence, and posed for this photo with members of the Developing Deeper Advising Relationships Team who were in attendance. Pictured, from left: Front row — Lauren Worrell, Alma Martinez, Lina Mendez, Letia Graening, Chancellor May, Dionica Bell, Anya Gibson, Katherine Parpana and Eric Sanchez. Back row — Michael Lemus, Josh Chave, Nancy Davis, Julie McGilvray, Sarah Driver and Brenna Dockter. Not pictured: Julie Agosto-King, Ariel Collatz, Leanna Friedrich, Krissy Ocampo, Annalisa Teixeira and Alyssa West. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)
Developing Deeper Advising Relationships

This team of facilitators presents a four-part workshop series, for other staff members who work directly with students, on social justice, self-awareness, cultural humility and communication.

Carolyn Thomas, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education, joined Brett MacFarlane, executive director of academic advising in Undergraduate Education, in celebrating the Developing Deeper Advising Relationships Team at the awards reception.

“Advisors, with Brett’s support, wanted to create a better shared understanding of equity and inclusion, especially as it relates to our undergraduate students, across the advising community,” Thomas said in her prepared remarks.

More than 200 advisors have gone through the training, “walking away with a critical awareness of self, critical social constructs and cross-cultural competencies,” Thomas said.

“The self-reflection and critical awareness (that) participants learn in the curriculum — largely because of these facilitators — yields a greater capacity for us, as a whole community, to shift our campus climate toward inclusivity and equity. And this is already positively impacting students’ sense of belonging, resilience and ultimately persistence toward their desired degrees and post-graduation outcomes.”

Thomas noted that UC Davis’ Developing Deeper Advising Relationships program has become a model for other campuses across the country, citing as an example the number of people who clamored to learn about the program during a recent national meeting on advising.

The vice provost also said of the team: “They truly embody the spirit of the Principles of Community. They not only help us become the Aggie community we long to be, in word and in deed, they also facilitate training in a manner that allows for mutual understanding and respect for all participants.”

  • Julie Agosto-King, director, Center for Opportunity Scholar Success,
  • Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services
  • Dionica Bell, student affairs officer, Department of African American and African Studies
  • Josh Chave, conduct coordinator, Student Housing and Dining Services
  • Ariel Collatz, undergraduate programs supervisor, Arts Group Advising Center
  • Nancy Davis, academic advisor, undergraduate office, College of Engineering
  • Brenna Dockter, assistant director, first-year academic advising, Undergraduate Education and Advising, College of Letters and Science
  • Sarah Driver, graduate program coordinator, Department of Mathematics
  • Leanna Friedrich, academic advisor, departments of Economics, History and East Asian Studies
  • Anya Gibson, undergraduate programs supervisor, departments of East Asian Studies, Economics, History and Military Science; and Hemispheric Institute on the Americas and Jewish Studies Program
  • Letia Graening, assistant director, international academic advising, Undergraduate Education and Advising, College of Letters and Science
  • Michael Lemus, first-year coordinator, dean’s office, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Alma Martinez, academic counselor, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • Julie McGilvray, academic advisor, Arts Group Advising Center
  • Lina Mendez, associate director, Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success
  • Krissy Ocampo, community advisor, Student Recruitment and Retention Center
  • Katherine Parpana, academic advisor, dean’s office, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Eric Sanchez, diversity and inclusion educator and specialist, Office of Campus Community Relations
  • Annalisa Teixeira, coordinator, success coaching and learning strategies, Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services
  • Alyssa West, program coordinator, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies 
  • Lauren Worrell, graduate program coordinator, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Parpana and Sanchez served as the team’s first co-chairs, 2015-17, while Graening and Worrell took on co-chair duties for 2017-19.

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