- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Honored are the duo of CAMBP director Elina Lastro Niño, associate professor of Cooperative Extension and a member of the faculty of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and co-program manager Wendy Mather, staff. Niño founded CAMBP in 2016.
They will receive the award from Chancellor Gary May at a fall reception.
"The award seeks to highlight teams who actively develop and encourage faculty/staff partnerships and as a result are able to make notable contributions to UC Davis that contribute to the University's Mission of Teaching, Research, and Service; and who exemplify outstanding achievement and/or service," according to Staff Assembly officials.
Since 2016, CAMBP has:
- Given 32,000 hours of volunteer time (Beneficial Educational Experiences) and served 186,630 individuals in education, outreach and beekeeping mentorship. If a volunteer hour is worth $26.87, the program has given $859,840 back to the state of California in service of science-based beekeeping and honey bee health.
- Enrolled 185 Honey Bee Ambassadors (a level established in 2021), 494 Apprentice, 93 Journey level candidates and certified 20 Master level beekeepers. There are 12 members in 2023 participating in their Master Capstone projects.
- Since the team began tracking Continuing Education Experiences in 2020, they're recorded 3752 hours
- They're also working on updating a safety manual.
Thanks to generous support from the Office of the Chancellor, Staff Assembly will award the staff winners with a total of some $17,000. Niño is one of three faculty recognized. (See list)
Niño and Mather are being honored as "The Bee Team."
Elina Niño, in addition to being the Extension apiculturist for the state of California, a member of the entomology-nematology faculty, director of CAMBP, and a honey bee researcher, serves as the faculty director of the UC Davis Bee Haven, a half-acre bee garden on Bee Biology Road.
"My primary responsibilities are in providing professional support and education to California's beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, and other stakeholder groups," she writes on the CAMBP website. "I teach numerous beginner, intermediate and advanced beekeeping workshops, the culmination of which has resulted in the establishment of the first ever California Master Beekeeper Program serving beekeepers of California and neighboring states. I am also currently working on the development of apiculture education for veterinarians in collaboration with the Western Institute of Food Safety and Security (WIFFS). In addition to teaching formal workshops I serve on various commodity boards as a research liaison and adviser allowing me to directly impact California Agriculture. (See more)
Wendy Mather, a beekeeper since 2007, says she enjoys sharing her passion for bees, education, environmental stewardship and program design with the CAMBP. She achieved her Journey Level Beekeeper certification from the University of Montana in 2015. She owned and operated Hardscrabble Honey, self-described as "a modest sideline operation in central Ontario which averaged 1000 kgs of clean wildflower honey each year." She also worked as the Honey Bee Health tech representative for NOD Apiary Products in Canada and the United States.
As a social service worker and adult educator, Mather taught community development, program design and portfolio development at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario. (Kian Nikzad serves as the co-program manager of CAMBP but as a new employee, was ineligible to be nominated.)
Citations of Excellence
UC Davis Staff Assembly's annual Citations of Excellence awards program provides recognition for UC Davis and UC Davis Health individual staff and staff teams, who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in one of the following areas: teaching, research, service, innovation, supervision, mentorship, team awards and faculty/staff partnership award.
The Faculty/Staff Partnership Award is meant for those who "go above and beyond the minimum requirements of their positions," according to Staff Assembly officials. "This award is intended for small teams of 2-4 individuals consisting of at least one career staff and one faculty member. Faculty are eligible to be nominated and to win this award, but are not eligible for the monetary prize." The narrative for the Faculty/Staff Partnership Award is limited to 4000 characters (approximately 750 words). Under the rules, nominations are confidential, and names and gender of the nominees and their departments are withheld.
The nominators wrote that the bee team "provides a program of learning, teaching, research, and public service, goes above and beyond in delivering comprehensive, science-based information about honey bees and honey bee health. They continually and consistently develop, improve, and refine their statewide curriculum that educates stewards in a train-the-trainer program to disseminate accurate, timely, and crucial information. Honey bees pollinate more than 30 California crops, including almonds, a $5 billion industry (no bees, no pollination, no almonds). Indeed, California produces more than a third of our country's vegetables and three-quarters of our fruits and nuts. However, colony losses are alarming due to pesticides, pests, predators and pathogens. Since 2016 our team has (1) donated 32,000 hours of volunteer time and served 186,630 individuals in education, outreach and beekeeping mentorship (note that if you calculate a volunteer hour at $26.87, our team has given $859,840 back to California in service of science-based beekeeping and honey bee health and (2) enrolled 185 Bee Ambassadors (a level established in 2021), 494 Apprentice, 93 Journey level candidates and certified 20 Master level beekeepers. Note that of the participants, 75 are current or former UC Davis employees or alumni. Since 2020, our team has recorded 3752 hours in Continuing Education Experiences."
"Our team lengthens their office hours, going above and beyond in helping others (such as “My colony is overwhelmed with varroa mites—what can I do?”) listening to them and resolving issues. At Zoom meetings, phone calls, and office meetings, they praise participants for their questions before responding! “Good question, so glad you asked that!” is commonplace and helps build and maintain high morale. It also exemplifies the values of collaboration and collegiality."
"Their website is a wealth of information, including course offerings and knowledge-based information, including backyard beekeeping, bees in the neighborhood, bees and beekeeping regulations, defensive bees, live honey bee removals, and protecting pollinators. This information is available to the public, not limited to program participants."
"Our team has posted the UC Davis Principles of Community on its website and has added to it. 'We affirm the dignity inherent in all of us, and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another…We acknowledge that our society carries within it historical and deep-rooted injustices and biases. Therefore, we endeavor to foster mutual understanding and respect among the many parts of our whole.' "
"Bottom line, our 'B' Team is really an 'A' Team, an outstanding example of UC Davis teaching, research and service; a team providing exemplary service and contributions; and a team that creates and maintains high morale and embodies the Principles of Community."
Also recognized for a Faculty-Staff Partnership Award:
Graduate Mentoring Initiative
- Elizabeth Sturdy, director of Mentoring and Academic Success Initiatives, Graduate Studies
- Pamela Lein, professor, Molecular Biosciences
- Ambar Kulkarni, associate professor, Chemical Engineering
Other recipients of Citations of Excellence awards include:
Innovation Award: Faye Perata, director, Residential Operations, Student Housing and Dining Services
Mentorship Award: Mike Waid, technical lead, Information and Educational Technology (IET)
Service Award: Grace Dell'Olio, administrative assistant, Animal Sciences
Supervision Award: Meshell Louderman, chief administration officer, Engineering Computer Science
Teaching Award: Joseph Pacini, curriculum coordinator, Veterinary Medicine: Dean's Office
Team Award: Orientation Team, New Student Academic Services, comprised of:
- Catrina Wagner, director, New Student Academic Services
- Amy Oleynik, Lead Orientation Program coordinator, New Student Academic Services
- Joseph Villegas, Orientation Program coordinator, New Student Academic Services
- Jessica Acuña, Orientation Program coordinator, New Student Academic Services
- Gabe Bellue, Orientation Administrative Assistant, New Student Academic Services
- Lian Boos, director, Center for Student Involvement
Co-chairs of the 2023 Citations of Excellence program are Darolyn Striley, manager, UC Davis School of Medicine Office of Student Development, and Mary Carrillo, business office manager, UC Davis Languages and Literatures. Lauren McDiarmid, chair of Graduate Studies, serves as the 2022-23 chair of Staff Assembly.