Winners of the 2016-17 ANR Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) program were announced June 14.
The outstanding contributions of UC ANR staff were recognized and celebrated at an event held at the UC ANR building in Davis. The honored staff members received plaques and cash awards for their exceptional performance, creativity, organizational abilities, work success and teamwork.
The STAR winners are named below, followed by a quote from their nomination letter.
“Shanna moved our local 4-H program into a force to be reckoned with in the local community and on the state and national stages. She challenges and mentors youth to be their personal best, is well-respected by leaders, volunteers and staff, and has increased membership significantly. Her leadership and innovation has transformed 4-H programming in Imperial County.”
“Maria requested a higher level of responsibility about one year ago and since then she has been performing the duties of a community education specialist. In addition, Ms. Alfaro fills in for her director as a full-fledged trainer, leads coordination of the annual shelf home-use pesticide surveys and triages most of our customer support requests.”
“Laurie met the challenges of workload and unique issues this past year. She performed the work of two office support staff with a positive, friendly can-do attitude while learning new tasks with incredible proficiency. Ms. Askew demonstrated excellent customer service, good humor, and a high level of productivity. Because of her abilities, the IREC team thrived through challenging circumstances.”
“Stephanie's work transformed our 4-H enrollment and our connection with club leaders and volunteers. She demonstrated extraordinary leadership in developing online platforms and marketing tools and in instructing our team in their use. We have seen a 50 percent increase in attendance for Presentation Day, received great feedback from volunteers, and now work at a greater level of effectiveness.”
“Consuelo demonstrated extraordinary work in accomplishing program goals. She possesses a reputation of teamwork, excellence and professionalism and is sought by her colleagues for input on projects, nutrition lessons and provides training at staff meetings on teaching strategies and internal databases. Because of Ms. Cid's creativity, professionalism, teamwork and efforts, the UC CalFresh Fresno-Madera MCP will continue to thrive for many years to come.”
“Darrin managed 30 demanding research projects, 47 individual field trials, and last-minute research requests working long hours in inclement weather. His performance is a primary reason IREC successfully completed the largest project load per FTE of any of the RECs. His success brought many compliments to the Center and a high level of satisfaction from both researchers and clientele.”
“Steve's work is always exceptional. This year, he received two awards from the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture and Natural Resources — a gold for a story about safflower in California IPM and cropping systems and a bronze award for a photo essay on New Mexico integrated pest management. Mr. Elliot's work has culminated in a renewed communications strategy for the Center and transformed the way we talk about IPM and the Center.”
“Chris volunteered to help the REC system navigate a substantial series of unanticipated service and administrative gaps that required extraordinary leadership, problem solving, extensive additional time, and creating and leading new teams. She sustained this increased workload with exceptional service, grace, kindness, care and respect for her colleagues and made difficult transitions possible, which led to a stronger and closer team.”
“Maria joined our team just over one year ago during an enormous reorganization. From the start, she embraced opportunities to build our unit's capacity and streamline processes by taking on tasks outside of her job scope. Her work helped us navigate this huge task with determination, creativity, and the impressive diplomatic skills necessary to ensure success in implementing our new structure and expanded operation.”
“Susan has significantly increased the Master Gardener profile in our local community through her excellent coordination of the Garden Sense program. She is a well-respected resource and requested lecturer on the topic of water conservation. Her efforts have helped to enhance the recognition of our Master Gardener Program as a sought after sustainable home gardening resource.”
“Cynthia worked closely with an external partner to produce an exceptionally high-quality video, ‘We Are UC ANR,' which tells a compelling story of ANR while providing key information about the division and the value it offers Californians. Her teamwork, creativity, branding, storytelling and can-do spirit resulted in a product that Strategic Communications will use to execute a broader public awareness campaign.”
“Petr's excellent communication, creativity, high standards of mutual respect, and professionalism has resulted in quality deliverables, and better communication with our advisors and staff. Petr's expertise in online learning has pushed forward our efforts to generate recovery funds. He has created a culture supportive of his staff by providing them with the skills and tools they need to be successful.”
“Kendra engages clientele in a positive manner, effectively assisting, offering guidance, and resolving stressful issues. Her insights, expertise, subject matter knowledge, and outstanding skills allow her to tackle the most difficult and complex projects with ease and proficiency. She constantly improves her skill set in research administration, and actively promotes best practices with clients and sponsors.”
“When not spearheading the move of an entire CE office, Kathleen assisted with numerous programs and projects including general office support, the Master Gardener program and Elkus Ranch administrative tasks. Thus spanning three separate CE programs, Ms. Stewart's incredible organizational skills allowed her to stay on top of everything, as she seamlessly traversed three separate buildings with different staff at Elkus Ranch while remaining available to all UCCE team members as well as visitors.”
“Chanelle made an outstanding impact on our communities, accomplishing two significant NFCS/UCCalFresh program goals — promoting a healthy lifestyle through direct and indirect education and implementing a Policy, Systems and Environmental change. The UC CalFresh Shasta, Trinity and Tehama Nutrition Education Program is fundamentally better because of Ms. Vincelli's leadership and work this year.”
“Mary's work ethic, team player, organizational, and leadership skills have consistently contributed to the growth of our CalFresh program in terms of staffing, recognition, and influence across three counties. In the absence of an advisor, she went beyond her expected workload to maintain and build county partnerships. Ms. Vollinger's work has contributed to more efficient use of program resources and improved staff productivity.”
Strategic Planning Team:
Katherine Webb-Martinez, Sherry Cooper, Kit Alviz, Saundra Wais, Lauren McNees, Vanessa Murua and Jennifer Caron-Sale
“The Strategic Planning Team contributed significantly to UC ANR by coordinating strategic planning for all nine RECs. The team developed a unique, customer-tailored process to meet UC ANR needs. The process strengthened and expanded important relationships and subsequently leadership commissioned the team to continue this work for the 10 Statewide Programs and Institutes.”
UC Youth Families and Communities Team, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties:
“Relying on creativity, organizational abilities, team building, and individual responsibility, our team brought together programs that were previously supervised separately.
UC CalFresh Healthy Living Ambassadors Team, San Mateo and San Francisco counties:
Mary Carp, May Woo, Elaine Sliver, Marisela Magana Chavez and Melissa Morris
“We are fortunate to have such a talented Healthy Living Ambassadors team committed to each other, their community, and the success of UCCE programming. The teams worked with a high level of cooperation, creativity and organization through a severe staffing shortage throughout the fall, winter and spring not only to ensure program success, but improved our program against the odds.”