- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Yang, who joined the Bohart Museum nine years ago, coordinates museum tours, classroom visits, special weekend hours, summer camp programs, and other outreach activities that connect science and scientists with the public. She collaborates with interns, undergraduates, staff, graduate students and faculty to accomplish the outreach program.
Yang received a cash prize of $1000 as a “gesture of appreciation" for her contributions to the campus community, according to Stacey Brezing, chair of the UC Davis Staff Assembly Citations of Excellence Committee.
Nominations for the service award are based on achievements such as fostering engagement and inclusion in campus community, leadership, and volunteerism.
Yang was nominated, confidentially, by Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC Davis; senior museum scientist Steve Heydon of the Bohart Museum, and Kathy Keatley Garvey, communications specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
They wrote: “Our nominee is a treasure, a one-of-a-kind gem and an all-around ambassador who exemplifies all that is good and great about UC Davis. A friendly and caring person who joined the campus museum workforce in 2009, she makes all of us feel needed, wanted, and appreciated as if we were ‘Person of the Year.' Throughout the year, she engages more than 20,000 children, families, students, faculty and staff who visit the museum or attend her science outreach programs. She enthusiastically and freely gives of her time to plan and participate in weekend open houses. She co-founded the annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day six years ago, which this year drew 12 participating museums and an attendance of 3000. This year she chaired the committee."
“Five years ago, she launched an annual summer camp for children that is so popular it draws youths from around the nation, resulting in multiple camps and waiting lists. She helps coordinate the UC Davis Picnic Day activities in the museum, engaging more than 3500 excited and enthusiastic visitors. At the Solano County Ag Day, she shared scientific information with 3000 youngsters over a four-hour period, always smiling and genuinely interested in each person."
The nominees praised her exemplary service, high morale, encouragement, passion and inclusion and described the qualities as a treasure trove...she is kind, caring, thoughtful and never without a smile or a word of encouragement."
One volunteer at the museum said: "Wherever I go, her name is legendary. People just rave about her and her work." Said another: "She is one of the most patient, outgoing individuals I know who loves to teach and share information."
Said her supervisor: "She has greatly expanded our outreach programs, participating in Solano County Youth Ag Day, and many other STEM programs offered at libraries, schools and county facilities. She gives science outreach programs to about 15,000 adults and children every year. She is particularly good at working with groups of children and maintaining discipline at the same time as engaging them in the topic, so that everyone can see, hear and learn. We always request an evaluation from groups she talks to and they always rave about her presentations."
The 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, supervision and innovation. There is also a team award for campus community contributions and service. Teams include project or program staff, office staff, or other similar groups. (Names of the 2017 recipients, along with photos, will be posted soon on the Staff Assembly website.)
The Bohart Museum is a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It also maintains a live “petting zoo,” featuring walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and tarantulas. A gift shop, open year around, includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free.
More information on the Bohart Museum or on group tours (a small fee is charged) is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or email@example.com.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Sometimes you'll see him sitting cross-legged on the floor, circled by first graders. They're asking questions like "What is an insect?" and "How long do insects live?" and "What do they eat?"
Sometimes you'll see him holding Madagascar hissing cockroaches and explaining why they hiss.
Other times he's engrossed in answering questions from a fellow scientist, a walk-in visitor or a journalist.
Very dedicated, committed and enthusiastic. That's Steve Heydon, senior museum scientist at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis.
That's why we're glad to see Heydon receive the top award in the general contributions category at the UC Davis Staff Assembly's Citation for Excellence awards ceremony, held Aug. 2 at the chancellor's residence.
Chancellor Linda Katehi presented him the award.
Heydon was among two other individuals and two teams singled out for distinguished awards. Their names will be engraved on a perpetual plaque at the Walter A. Buehler Alumni and Visitors' Center.
Katehi praised them for their time, efforts and investments. “I’m so proud of you,” she told them. Rob Kerner, Staff Assembly president, read the accolades and described them as the “cream of the crop” of UC Davis employees.
“Steve is a true UC Davis goodwill ambassador in that he takes pride in the university, his department, his colleagues, and his work, which in itself, has drawn national and international acclaim, Kerner said, in announcing the award.
His colleagues, who nominated him for the award, lauded him for bringing out “the best in everyone” and as someone who “sincerely cares." They added: "In his collaborations with other universities and government agencies, he is known for his almost intuitive competency and his quick response to queries. In short, he is a prized employee, the best of the best.”
Anyone who knows Steve Heydon (who has a doctorate in entomology) knows that he is "always willing to drop what he’s doing to help out a scientist, reporter, staff member, volunteer or the public," his colleagues wrote. "Steve treats everyone with the utmost respect and understanding, an earmark of an outstanding UC Davis employee."
Steve Heydon joins other outstanding UC Davis employees as 2012 recipients of the distinguished awards.
Individual Award, Supervision: Kathy Canevari, a former supervisor with UC Davis Extension who retired earlier this year.
Individual Award: Campus Service: Paul Cody, coordinator of the Campus Union Center for Student Involvement.
Team Award: General Contributions: School of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Office, Curricular Support, comprised of Mike Beech, Melinda Carlson, Robin Houston, Linda Royce, Erin Seay, Linda Souza, Teresa Suter, and Ken Taylor.
Team Award: Campus Service: Office of Student Development management team comprised of Catrina Wagner, Courtney Robinson, Richard Ronquillo, Chuck Huneke, and Lisa Papagni.
What's it all about? The Staff Assembly annually seeks nominees for these honors. UC Davis employees must have distinguished themselves in one or more of the three areas of outstanding achievement: general contributions, campus service or supervision.
Hats off to all the winners and nominees who make UC Davis proud!