2016 Citations of Excellence

jessica potts

Jessica Potts 2015-16 Staff Assembly Chair at the 2016 Staff Assembly Awards ceremony.

Citations of Excellence Overview:

UC Davis Staff Assembly’s annual Citations of Excellence awards program provides recognition for individual staff and staff teams, who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in one of the following areas:

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Service
  • Innovation
  • Supervision
  • Campus community contributions

Thanks to generous support from the Office of the Chancellor, this year Staff Assembly awarded nearly $13,000 to eleven individual staff members and three staff teams.

2016 Citations of Excellence Award Ceremony

On June 27, at the Alumni Center, Staff Assembly and Acting Chancellor Hexter, recognized the following staff and employee teams who distinguished themselves in one of several areas of outstanding achievement. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination.
alyssa bunn

Innovation - Alyssa Bunn, Office of Research

Alyssa developed an innovative workbook that can be used to quickly and accurately create budget spreadsheets for extramurally funded grant proposals. She also updates the workbooks with new information as it arises and distributes copies of the workbooks to over 100 individuals in the campus community and to the entire Sponsored Programs Office. By creating a tool that leads to greater accuracy, transparency, and consistency, for information that is submitted to federal sponsors, she has reduced our institutional risk for submitting erroneous information.

Furthermore, by creating and continuously refining this tool she has demonstrated her true understanding and appreciation of the concerns of many individuals on campus. Her workbook have enabled dozens, if not hundreds, of grants analysts at UC Davis to perform better in their jobs and is now the standard (and often required) tool used by hundreds of individuals.

jennifer renzullo

Research - Jennifer Renzullo, California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project

The project is an innovative partnership between UC Davis and California’s commercial fishing community. The Lost Gear Project aims to remove more than 90 tons of lost and abandoned fishing gear and other marine debris from California’s coastal ocean, resulting in reduced threats to marine life and a cleaner ocean for all users. Transferring “ownership” of Dungeness crab gear recovery work will be a true win for this project and for UC Davis, exemplifying campus’ commitment as a land grant institution to serving the state and improving the lives and livelihoods of California citizens.

The tremendous success of this project is largely due to the vision, creativity, energy, and goodwill of Jennifer. She has quite literally spent hundreds of hours on docks and on fishing boats, patiently listening to fishermen and incorporating their ideas and guidance. Perhaps most incredibly, because of her truly exceptional communication skills and dedication, the nominee has fostered willingness on behalf of many fishermen to speak on behalf of the project and the university to their peers and stakeholders, including in public meetings. She has literally created an “outreach crew” out of the commercial fishing community that openly and gladly advocates for our project and UC Davis. The level of collegiality and service orientation that Jennifer and the fishermen have developed through this project is wholly her doing and the overarching impetus for this award.

sylvia sensiper

Service - Sylvia Sensiper, Office of Graduate Studies

Sylvia Sensiper is the Director of the Guardian Professions Program. This is a support program for former foster youth pursuing graduate degrees, and Sylvia is the one-woman powerhouse of innovation, support, and commitment to diversity at the helm. Overall she has assisted students collectively leverage over $1.4 million dollars in graduate and professional school fellowships and grant funding.

She has independently written grants for the GPP that total $640,000, with another $150,000 in grant awards pending. On an individual level, Sylvia is a practical, empathetic and patient mentor. Sylvia's commitment to diversity, compassion for students, and track record of programmatic success is nothing short of commendable, which any of her 40 (and growing) students will tell you.

michelle arnold dominguez

Supervision - Michelle Arnold-Dominquez, Facilities Management

Michelle shares Staff Assembly’s mission by actively supporting employee development, teamwork, open communication, and demonstrates leadership that her nominators would like to see modeled across campus. As supervisor she has volunteered her time for campus-wide employee development initiatives as well as activities specific to our department.

She has worked tirelessly since then to help her group feel connected to the university and fosters teamwork within the newly formed group. The group’s thoughts on process improvement are routinely solicited and when change comes to the department in the form of new programs, technology, etc. They are invited to participate in planning groups implementing the change. They have thrived since day one because of Michelle’s leadership. She does a fantastic job blending cheerfulness and positivity with delegating tasks and managing productivity that is required to get the job done. They are a more prepared and productive team because Michelle personally cares for each of them.

michael clegg

Teaching - Michael Clegg, Food Science & Technology

Michael is providing extraordinary support for the department’s instruction program with his excellent level of teaching and mentoring to students as well as the time and energy he contributes to the department’s mission and success. Even with the doubling of preparation needed for such efforts, he has ensured there have been no sacrifices, and the delivery for students has remained excellent.

What is truly incredible has been his continued, unwavering, and consistent support of graduate education at the same time that tremendous growth has occurred in the undergraduate major. In addition to his impact on teaching, he supports the Department Chair in the development of startup packages for new faculty members, identifying analytical resources, and finding creative methods to reduce analytical equipment costs. He has helped support the development of five startup packages and has enabled the savings of approximately $250,000 by identifying used equipment that was modified to meet new faculty needs. Again showing his dedication to the success of the department and to its mission.

Team Category Winners

undergratuate advising team winners

Undergraduate Advising Team Winners - l/r Anya Gibson, Areil Collatz, Acting Chancellor Ralph Hexter, Laura Barrera, and Caitlyn McCarthy. 

Campus Community Contributions - Undergraduate Advising Team

Laura Barrera, Ariel Collatz, Anya Gibson, and Caitlyn McCarthy

Anya, Ariel, Caitlyn, and Laura created a collaborative workgroup to develop a curriculum and shared outcomes for academic advising, designed to help students shape a meaningful educational experience through ongoing reflection and discussions, integrating all the elements of their college experience - enabling them make the most of their education. The awardees have implemented this advising curriculum for their combined 5,500 students and have presented their advising program at conferences here on the Davis campus as well as sharing their curriculum at a National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Academic Advising Assessment Institute.

The team created advising materials to accompany their curriculum – including “UC Davis 101” a comprehensive quick reference guide that contains a snapshot of the advising resources on campus, academic tips for success, and additional non-academic support services on campus. These materials have been adopted by many programs across the campus and have been made available for all, in the advising community, to utilize.

What is unique about the work of this voluntary team is the foresight of the team to realize the benefits of uniting and ensuring that students have a consistent and intentional academic advising experience across the college. With the significant migration that occurs between majors (over 50%), having a consistent approach to advising outcomes, expectations, and curriculum is key to students having a successful and connected experience that transcends major. They have emerged as leaders in innovative programming at the major level, forging a new direction in collaboration that is unprecedented at this institution.

Honorable Mention - Individual Recipients

By category

Service - Stephani Shone, CHEDDAR Cluster
Service - Phil Daley, Music Department
Supervision - Erum Syed, Sociology and Anthropology
Teaching - Jillian Meri Emerson, Chemistry
Research - Tanya Garcia, Wildlife Health Center in Vet Med

Honorable Mention - Team Recipients

graduate studies team

Honorable mention - Graduate Studies IT - l/r David Scott, Eli Richmond, Acting Chancellor Ralph Hexter, Georg Kaiser, Joshua Eilers.

Campus Community Contributions - Graduate Studies IT Team
Joshua Eilers, Brian Gallagher, Georg Kaiser, Minh Nguyen, Eli Richmond, and David Scott

library access and delivery team

Honorable mention - Library: Access and Delivery Service l/r Pat Lopez, Antonio Navarro, Karen Jones, Claudia Whitfield, Acting Chancellor Ralph Hexter, Heidi Hugli, Katica Got, and Derek Sisneros.

Campus Community Contributions - Library: Access and Delivery Service Team
Katica Got, Bonnie Hain-Anderson, Heidi Hugli, Karen Jones, Patricino Lopez, Antonio Navarro, Jason Newborn, Derek Sisneros, and Claudia Whitfield