UC ANR staff appreciation and recognition awards were presented to 22 individuals and three teams on June 14 during a statewide Zoom event hosted by Human Resources.
Stacey Amparano, Desert REC, for growing the Farm Smart program.
Sibani Bose, Nutrition Policy Institute, for her creative problem-solving.
Katie Churchill, UCCE Capitol Corridor, for sensitivity to the social, cultural and emotional needs of staff that clearly fosters inclusivity and a culture of open communication.
Julie Clark, UCCE Ventura County, for over 28 years of outreach on invasive insects and weeds, post-fire recovery and environmental issues.
Maria Fernandez, Development Services, for taking on tasks beyond her scope of work to help her team and bring projects to completion.
Terri Gonzalez, Kearney REC, for significantly improving organizational efficiency and productivity at Kearney, resulting in a greater level of effectiveness and customer service.
Jennifer Henkens, 4-H Capitol Corridor, for routinely going above and beyond, even in support of non-4-H colleagues.
Julia Kalika, Program Support Unit, for covering extra duties when PSU was short-staffed.
Rachel Lloyd, Office of the Controller and Business Services, for sustained exceptional performance, which helped her unit meet its goals for the client satisfaction survey.
Cristina Luquin, UCCE Central Sierra. As an Interim Program Supervisor, she has overseen four counties, five offices and 12 staff and mentored and trained all 12 staff in the CalFresh Central Sierra program.
Mario Monroy-Olivas, UCCE Tehama County, for his collaborative efforts with internal and external partners, which have resulted in expanded garden sites, an increase of extenders for nutrition education and youth engagement work.
Karen Motley, West Side Research & Extension Center, for helping the Lindcove REC staff review and improve their operational system, ensuring that they were executing tasks accurately and efficiently.
Kathleen Patrocinio, Sustainable Agricultural Research & Education Program, for coordinating the administrative and physical move of SAREP from the UC Davis campus to UC ANR, with five of seven staff positions vacant or in transition, including the director position.
Jacob Roberson, UCCE Fresno-Madera Small Farm Program, for assisting 52 farmers representing a total of 1,144 acres in applying to California's State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). The farmers received $4.3 million of incentives grant funding directly, which has been used to repair or install pump and irrigation system components.
Beatriz Rojas, UCCE Kern County, for initiating nutrition education with schools, head start classes and migrant worker families in locations where UCCE never before served clientele.
Becky Sisman, Human Resources, for helping resolve pay issues by working with ANR Payroll, HR Ops and UCPath.
Angela Urrea, Human Resources, for providing stellar customer service and support during UC ANR's unprecedented hiring boom, including identifying compliance issues and helping solve complicated wage issues.
Melissa Ussery, UCCE Sutter-Yuba, for her pivotal role in coordinating community partners to provide nutrition education for youth in Sutter County for a Sierra Health Foundation grant that had to be accomplished in a short time frame.
Karyn Utsumi, California Naturalist, for supporting 24 partner organizations in 15 counties in central and northern California. After being hired in October, she helped with 10 CalNat courses and two Climate Stewards courses.
Susan Weaver, Santa Clara County 4-H, for organizing and implementing a five-day nature camp for Latinx children K-3rd grade at Escuela Popular, a bilingual K-12 school in East San Jose. The camp increased public awareness of 4-H in the Latinx community and with new public and private partners.
Patrick West, Kearney REC, for exceptional performance in managing the physical plant staff and budget for Kearney REC.
Clara Wilshire, UCCE San Bernardino. An EFNEP educator for nearly 30 years, she promotes not only EFNEP but Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, and 4-H in San Bernardino County, which has expanded the reach of UCCE.
Program Support Unit – Bridgette Alvarez, Maria Alvarez, Sherry Cooper, Julia Kalika, PJ Kelly, Mariette Malessy and Kate Lyn Sutherland. For the UC ANR Statewide Conference, not only did the PSU provide exceptional services, they went above and beyond in response to feedback about the food nutrition and single-use ware. They were able to raise the nutrition quality of the snacks from ice cream and chips to vegetable and hummus. They were also able to persuade the facility to stop providing styrofoam single-use ware.
Nutrition Policy Institute Operations Transition Team – Kassandra Bacon, Celeste Felix, Danielle Lee, Erica Martinez Resendiz and Reka Vasicsek – for recruiting a new school district when a partner in a USDA study pulled out, then scrambling to collect student surveys and food and solid waste data over two days at 20 elementary schools for a solid 40 days of challenging work.
CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Tulare-Kings counties – Marina Aguilera, Elia Escalante, Grilda Gomez, Mariana Lopez, Arianna Nava, Alyssabeth Navarro and Teresa Spicer – for nurturing and leveraging strong partnerships with local organizations and school districts to collectively create meaningful and positive changes in the lives of people in their counties.
A recording of the STAR award presentations is posted at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/All_Hands.
- Author: Michelle Simone, Communications Strategist, UC Office of the President
UC ANR is unique in the UC system. Its advisors and staff work in 57 out of 58 counties in the state, supporting Californians with university-based research in the areas of healthy families and communities; sustainable food systems; sustainable natural ecosystems; water, including quality, quantity and security; and pests — endemic and invasive pests and diseases. Administrative staff support business operations, development services, resource planning and management and more.
Although there was a longstanding desire to create a staff mentorship program, ANR leadership realized that their organizational complexity would require a unique and focuses approach. They deemed creating a mentorship program a priority people goal in the 2016-2020 strategic plan, and after several years in the making, the first Mentor Orientation took place in December 2018.
“To develop the ANR Staff Mentorship Program, we adapted from UCOP, UC Davis and external organization mentorship program models,” explained Learning and Development Coordinator Jodi Azulai. These efforts led to a nine-month program, which consisted of three in-person workshops and monthly meetings between mentors and mentees — most of which took place via phone- or video-conferencing due to the geographic spread of their work locations.
July 23, 2019, marked the end of the successful pilot year. Since participating in the program, two participants have moved to advanced job classifications. A majority of mentors reported that their mentorship experience helped them to learn about themselves and would benefit their careers.
“The mentorship program granted me the privilege and honor of having an exceptional mentor — a leader, role model and friend who helped me gain the confidence and guidance I needed to grow within UC ANR and beyond,” shared one participant.
“We each have so much to offer one another, whether we serve as a mentor or mentee. The hard part is finding the time to listen,” said another mentee. “When someone makes time to feel, understand and relate to another person, we all grow. It has a ripple effect.”
Among the programs encouraging outcomes are the following:
- 100% of program participants found that the program benefits mentees
- 94% of participants found that one-on-one meetings were meaningful and that participating in the program enhanced their self-awareness
- 89% observed professional growth as a result of their participation
- 88% found that participating in the program grew their interpersonal communication, leadership, technical and other skills
- 84% have identified actions to enhance their development as a result of participating
“We understood the benefits of mentoring relationships before our program began, but we now have photos, data and personal feedback from attendees that reflects the significance for continuing this program,” Azulai said.
She and her team plan to send a six-month follow-up survey to 2019 participants in January to learn how mentees have come to regard their personal and career development and outlook since participating in the program. The second Staff Mentorship Program cohort will begin in January 2020.
This story was originally published as part of a series on staff mentorship programs in UCNet.
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Dear UC ANR staff members,
Please complete UC's Staff Engagement Survey by June 7 if you haven't done it already. Your unique survey link is in an email from Willis Towers Watson. We are currently at 39% response rate, in third place for responses, trailing UC Merced staff at 42% and UC Santa Barbara staff at 40%.
UC is conducting the biennial Staff Engagement Survey to learn more about non-represented (policy-covered) staff impressions about working at the university.
During the week of May 13, UC ANR's policy-covered staff members were sent an email from Willis Towers Watson, a firm conducting the survey on UC's behalf, with an invitation to take the survey.
The survey was developed by the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) in collaboration with Systemwide Human Resources and Willis Towers Watson.
This is not spam so please do not delete the email invitation.
The Staff Engagement Survey aims to help UC better understand the views, experiences and needs of policy-covered staff on topics related to working at UC ANR, including career development, performance management and workplace collaboration.
This is the fourth staff engagement survey; the last survey was in 2017. ANR's past survey results led directly to ANR Staff Assembly's increased focus on wellness, including guidelines for health meetings and UC Walks. By comparing the results of the past surveys, ANR Staff Assembly and Human Resources will get insight into areas where progress has been made and areas that need further effort and focus.
You can find information about past survey results on the ANR Staff Assembly website: http://staffassembly.ucanr.edu/Council_of_University_of_California_Staff_Assemblies/2017_UC_Staff_Engagement_Survey/
We encourage you to complete the survey, if you should receive it. It is an opportunity to provide direct feedback that will help shape how we work at UC ANR.
The survey is completely confidential. Individual responses to the survey and personally identifying information will not be shared with UC.
Note that union-represented employees will not participate in the survey because UC receives their feedback through their union representatives during the collective bargaining process.
If you have questions about the survey, please contact EmployeeSurveySupport@willistowerswatson.com.
Chair, UC ANR Staff Assembly
Executive Director, UC ANR Human Resources
The annual performance appraisal is an opportunity for staff and supervisors to recognize accomplishments, identify opportunities to build skills, and align individual efforts to high-level unit and division goals. Take time in the next month to review and reflect on the past year, and plan your future work with your supervisor.
The staff performance review period runs from April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2019. An annual appraisal should be completed for all ANR staff employees, including represented and non-represented, career and contract employees with at least six months of service as of March 31, 2019.
This year ANR Human Resources has modified the Employee Performance Appraisal Form to align with the UC system-wide core competencies and to prepare supervisors and employees for the future online appraisal process. Please plan to attend one of the upcoming webinars to learn more.
ANR Human Resources will host Zoom webinars for staff and supervisors during the month of March. Please hold one of these dates/times on your calendar:
- Employee Role: March 5, Tuesday, 9 a.m.–10 a.m.
- Supervisor Role: March 6, Wed., 3 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
- Employee Role: March 20, Wed., 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
- Supervisor Role: March 26, Tuesday, 3 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
- Zoom: https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/8151602829
- Telephone US: +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 558 8656
- Meeting ID: 815-160-2829
If you are a supervisor, you only need to participate in a supervisor session.
More information about the annual process, including timelines, guidelines and Performance Appraisal Tools are available on the ANR Human Resources website http://ucanr.edu/sites/ANRSPU/Supervisor_Resources/Performance_Management.
Note: ANR staff based at the Office of the President will follow the UCOP-HR performance process with separate trainings, timelines and forms.
If you have questions regarding the appraisal process, please contact Mary Vlandis at email@example.com.