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Staff excellence recognized with awards and scholarships


UCLA staff members were recognized for their outstanding contributions and encouraged in their career aspirations during a festive celebration June 17 at the Faculty Center. The awards were presented by UCLA Staff Assembly and the Administrative Management Group. staff assembly awards reception 2009

Rhea Turteltaub, vice chancellor of External Affairs, set the stage for the awards — which showcase the diversity and depth of talent that is the hallmark of UCLA staff members — with introductory remarks.

“It’s a pleasure to be here and to be able to acknowledge the impact that the staff of this campus — 25,000 strong — has on this university,” Turteltaub said. “That we are able to accomplish the kinds of things that UCLA is widely known for is in large measure because of the people here who support our students and our faculty in their pursuits. This institution could not run without you and your colleagues across the campus.”

Incoming Staff Assembly President Maureen Wadleigh, associate director of Business Operations and Chief Administrative Office of UCLA Recreation, presented the Chancellor’s Excellence in Service Awards. The award, which in previous years was given to a single person, this year went to four individuals in categories that best embody the key priorities of Chancellor Gene Block, including Civic Engagement, Diversity, Sustainability, and True Bruin.


Award nominees were:

Margaret Leal-Sotelo, acting assistant provost in the Center for Community Partnerships
Sarah Madsen, senior research associate in the Department of Neurology
Earl Weinstein, assistant director of licensing and business development in the Office of Intellectual Property

The winner of this award was Bridget Le Loup, resident director in the Office of Residential Life. She provides leadership to the Hedrick Summit community with its more than 900 undergraduate students, 26 student staff and assistant resident director. Le Loup was recognized for, among other accomplishments, collaborating with Professor David Gere of the Department of World Arts & Cultures and Faculty in Residence at Hedrick Summit. Le Loup and Gere created “The Global Summit” project, in which students were encouraged to pursue the ideals of global citizenship through study and action. Le Loup and Gere led students as they initiated quarterly philanthropic programs in the Los Angeles area and beyond.


Award nominees were:

Tiffani Garnett Brown, SAO at the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center
Emily Le, SAO in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
Rosemarie Lerma, SAO in the Graduate Division
Laura Sencion-Mendoza, acting director of the Academic Advancement Program
Bruce Sanders, adjunct professor and assistant dean in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Office of Student Affairs
Teresa Valenzuela, SAO in the School of Nursing

The winner of the Chancellor’s Excellence in Service Award in the category of Diversity was Ginger Holguin, senior production manager in the Department of World Arts and Cultures. Colleagues who nominated Holguin said that she “creates a welcoming and meaningful intellectual environment within one of the most culturally diverse departments on campus.” Her production management credits include, among many others, “Monster,” which examined the cultural-meaning of Jewishness; “Dance Under Construction,” a symposium on Dance and Dance Studies; and “Cup of Java,” a concert that brought the arts of Indonesia to audiences both on and off campus. Holguin also developed a partnership with UCLA Live to present works of historically under-represented ethnic groups on stages at Kaufman Hall.


Award nominees were:

Joseph Alcocer, administrative assistant in Facilities for the School of Dentistry
Rob Kadota, assistant director of Residential Life
Patricia Menton, associate director of communications for Transportation Services
Keith Steele, finances and resources director for Pediatrics
Tom Trappler, director of software licensing in the Office of Information Technology

April de Stefano (left) and Vice Chancellor Rhea Turteltaub. Photos by Reed Hutchinson.
April de Stefano (left) and Vice Chancellor Rhea Turteltaub. Photos by Reed Hutchinson.

The winner in the category of Sustainability was April de Stefano, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Women. April was recognized for her extensive efforts to advance campus sustainability. Since her appointment as assistant director, de Stefano completely reorganized the Center for the Study of Women office and transformed the center into a flourishing research enterprise. She also implemented environmentally sensitive policies and procedures, an effort that was cited in UCLA Today. After “greening” the center, de Stefano drafted a UCLA Green and Sustainability Policy, “CSW Green Office Practices,” which was forwarded to the UCLA Sustainability Committee and became the basis for the Sustainability Committee’s recommendations for staff sustainability efforts. This statement served as the precursor for the new web-based Faculty and Staff Sustainability Handbook



Award nominees were:

Janet E. Brown (posthumous)
Paul Chelf, External Affairs messenger
Erika Chau Klein, chief administrative officer for the departments of Sociology and Anthropology
Robin McCallum, graduate adviser in the School of Public Affair’s Department of Urban Planning
Adrienne Thompson, student affairs analyst in the School of Nursing
Tracey Wong, senior administrative analyst in the Department of Neurology

Winner in the category of True Bruin was Caleb “Q” Na, management services officer for the Rolfe-Campbell Humanities Group. Na, who attended UCLA as an undergraduate and worked here for the whole of his professional career, manages three academic departments: Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, and Spanish and Portuguese. In his three years as MSO, he led significant projects that including department renovation, personnel changes, and implementing major administrative funding cuts. In particular, it was noted in a letter of nomination, Na keeps staff morale high during difficulty budgetary times, leading to a very high level of staff efficiency. “Caleb’s unfailing civility, combined as it is with remarkable administrative talent, makes him a most valuable member of our Department and an important contributor to the University as a whole,” wrote a colleague who nominated him for the award.


Staff Assembly also presented the Faculty/Staff Partnership Award to Professor Michael S. Goldstein of the School of Public Health, and chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate.

Nominees for the award included Clara Chue; David Gere, co-chair and professor in the Department of World Arts & Cultures; Sylvia Hurtado, professor and director of the Higher Education Research Institute; Kathleen McHugh, professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of Women; and Dmitri Shlyakhtenko, professor and graduate vice chair in the Department of Math.


The Administrative Management Group gave two 2009 Excellence in Leadership (EXCEL) Awards. This award is designed to recognize those individuals who have had a significant and lasting impact on the people they lead, exemplify management excellence, and have made broad contributions to the campus as a whole. The winners were Rosemary Chavoya, assistant dean of the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, and Kathy Molini, director of the Office of Students with Disabilities.

Nominees for the award were Marsha Brown, management services officer in the School of Public Affairs’ Department of Urban Planning; Rory Constancio, chief financial officer in Education; Jacquelean Gilliam, director of the UCLA Parent Program in External Affairs; Elizabeth Gong-Guy, director of Counseling and Psychological Services; Sam Morabito, administrative vice chancellor for Administration; Michelle Popowitz, assistant dean for administrative and external affairs in the School of Dentistry; and Jacquelyn Trang, management services officer for the Department of Electrical Engineering.


Staff Assembly Scholarships were awarded to 15 staff members to support career enhancement and professional growth.
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