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COSA recipients applaudingCOSA recipients applaud as fellow honorees are commended by the chancellor. (Jonathan King/UC Berkeley)

Campus staffers honored for 'going beyond' daily responsibilities

Chancellor recognizes individual and team efforts at ceremony

| 16 April 2009

Three teams and 22 individuals were honored last week by presentation of the Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Awards (COSA) at the annual recognition event, sponsored by the Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee, in Barrows Hall's Lipman Room.

Chancellor Birgeneau greeted and posed for a photo with each awardee while his or her award citation was read aloud by either Associate Vice Chancellor for Health and Human Services Steve Lustig or Vice Chancellor for Administration Nathan Brostrom. 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 "going beyond" the call of duty during these financially difficult times not just through the everyday hard work they perform, improving campus systems and helping staff and faculty alike work more efficiently, but for "making us a more inclusive and welcoming campus community. Because of their leadership and commitment," he observed, "they inspire those around them, and are highly respected and valued by their colleagues."

Here are the individual and team winners of the 2009 COSAs, with a brief description of the service or project(s) for which they were honored:

Monica Albe
Senior museum scientist and manager for the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology; created MVZ Undergraduate Apprentice program and is active in re-cruiting students to the Biology Scholars Program.

Maritza Aguilar
International-admissions specialist in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; helps diverse students navigate the complex admissions process while serving as their advocate, ally, and mentor.

Mary Ajideh
Graduate-affairs officer in theater, dance, and performance studies; honored for "creating a vibrant intellectual community" within TDPS and for the program's success in placing 100 percent of its graduates.

Evelyn Borchert
Graduate-student adviser for the School of Law's advanced-degree program; worked to help this office accommodate 20 percent growth in applications during the 2008 admissions cycle while redesigning the program website to make it more user-friendly.

Terry Buehler
Lower-division labs manager for the physics department; played a key role in moving and organizing all the labs into a renovated building while continuing to mentor new instructors and revise lab and discussion materials.

Delores Dillard
Administrative assistant, geography; her "solutions-oriented" approach extended this year to learning a new software program to aid a faculty member with a book project while she organized members and events for the California Studies Association.

Inette Dishler
Manager, Leadership Development Program; assembled diverse, gender-balanced groups of participants in the campus's leading staff-development program, preparing them for leadership positions in the future.

Nancy Finkle
Undergraduate-major adviser, integrative biology; honored for her "supportive and caring" commitment to students.

Ann Fischer
Staff research associate, molecular and cell biology; took the initiative to take over a facility being closed by another institute, saving more than $150,000 in equipment costs.

Emma Duran-Forbes
Administrative assistant, Lawrence Hall of Science; promotes, manages, and coordinates the rental of LHS while meeting the administrative needs of the directors of Operations and the Public Science Center.

Michael (Mick) Franssen
Senior laboratory mechanic, mechanical engineering; created a "useful tools" website that lists local providers of materials and services, teaches students to manufacture fixtures and tools.

Mary Keegan
Director of development communications, University Relations; chief strategist for the "Thanks to Berkeley" marketing campaign and the "Give to Cal" online giving site.

Mark Kinnard
Principal custodial supervisor, Residential and Student Service Programs; chairs RSSP's social-justice committee while supporting training and educational opportunities for supervisors and staff.

Moira Perez
Chief administrative officer, Graduate Division; introduced two major forums for graduate-student administrative officers (GSAOs): monthly meetings and a bSpace website.

Eliahu Perszyk
Facilities manager, College of Environmental Design; served last year as a senior adviser to students in sustainable-design and water-recycling courses, helping to organize a first-of-its-kind water-metering project in Wurster Hall.

Marilyn Seid-Rabinow
Assistant director for language proficiency, Graduate-Student Instructors Teaching and Resource Center; created Berkeley's language-testing program, established language standards for international GSIs and professional-development instruction for graduate assistants and student-affairs officers.

Linda Rico
Associate director, development and community relations, Student Affairs Development Office; her office has raised more than $43 million over the past 11 years to help economically disadvantaged students maintain access to Berkeley.

Jose Rivas
Program director, Solano County Educational Consortium (Center for Educational Partnerships); created a program to train Berkeley students to counsel, tutor, and prepare underserved middle-school students for high school.

Judith Sykes
Department manager, mechanical engineering; unified a previously divided staff, reorganized work, and improved structures to ensure sound succession planning.

Cynthia Turner
Clinical social worker, University Health Services; as part of the social-services unit at UHS, she developed groups for women who have experienced sexual assault and led UHS's HIV team, as well as leading multicultural and professional-development seminars.

Seana Van Buren
Grants administrator, School of Public Health; developed Staff Talent and Role Sharing Program (STARS) for the Berkeley Initiative for Leadership on Diversity while serving as vice chair of the school's staff advisory council and co-chair of its Recognition and Enrichment Committee.

Faye Yeager
Computer-resource specialist, mathematics; also serves as Faculty Technical Manuscript Specialist, the only provider of this service for a 55-member faculty, 35 emeriti, 20 postdocs, and visiting scholars.

Academic Program Support Team (Stephanie Lim and Deborah Johns)
Organized, coordinated, and facilitated molecular and cell biology's symposium "Humanity's Genes and the Human Condition," attended by more than 500 people.

CalMail Dynamic Duo (Paul Fisher and James Blair)
They have revitalized and improved CalMail a critical piece of campus infrastructure that provides 24/7 e-mail service for more than 70,000 accounts for long-term reliability and sustainability over the past few years.

Bancroft Library Move Team (Diana Vergil-Bolling, Iris Donovan, Lorna Kirwan, Lee Anne Kolker, Neda Salem, Susan Snyder)
Planned, executed, and oversaw the five-month-long move of the Bancroft from temporary off-campus quarters back into the renovated Doe Library Annex, meeting weekly with library and university staff as well as with moving-company staff to ensure the move's success.