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UC Spotlight: May 2024

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Winners of the UC Santa Barbara 2024 Staff Citation of Excellence Awards pose with Chancellor Harry T. Yang and Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Garry Mac Pherson.
Winners of the UC Santa Barbara 2024 Staff Citation of Excellence Awards pose with Chancellor Harry T. Yang and Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Garry Mac Pherson.

UC Spotlight is a new UCnetwork feature that celebrates UC locations, teams and individual staff members who are helping to make UC a great place to work. Fiat Lux!

Individual and team recognitions

  • Ten UCLA Health nurses received Off the Chart awards from the Simms/Mann Family Foundation, recognizing their leadership, ingenuity, and expertise in caring for fellow human beings. Honored were: Stacey Carew, Mary Gay C. Dacquel, Christine Haddad, Billal Khan, Lynn Mayer, Ana Liezl Cruz Meyer, Jan Xavienne Nunez, Adrienne Puglisi, Jesica Suarez and Sarah Wagstaff.
  • The UC Santa Barbara 2024 Staff Citation of Excellence Awards celebrated 10 staff members who represent “the commitment staff have to our campus, our students and the university’s mission.” Recognized were: Kristine Duarte, Katelynn Ellison, Michelle Fredrich, Stephanie Hernandez Carbajal, Kelsey Leonard Moore, Christina Nguyen, Quinn Rioz, Tiffany Sabado, Tricia Taylor and Kathryn Tucciarone
  • The UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach team organized a special graduation and awards ceremony to celebrate Black, Latinx, Indigenous and other people of color, disabled, LGBTQ+ graduates and religious minorities from UCSF professional schools and Graduate Division. 
  • David Dunham, UC Merced’s executive director of athletics and recreation, was named Athletic Director of the Year by the California Pacific Conference. He was recognized for top-tier graduation success under Dunham while also fielding competitive programs; for his role in the expansion of athletic programs and facilities; and for fundraising success.
  • Joy N. White, director of clinical care operations at UC Irvine Health, has been included on Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2024 list of Black Leaders in Healthcare to Know. In bestowing this recognition, Becker’s noted that, “The UCI Health System has witnessed a paradigm shift in patient throughput under her leadership, setting new benchmarks in operational efficiency, safety and quality of care.”
  • Veronica Pellegrino, R.N., UCLA Health, is preparing to launch Popsy, a pill-package-opening device she invented to save nurses’ time and help reduce repetitive stress injuries. “Veronica’s experience is a perfect example of how someone with an innovative idea, along with focus and determination, can access a range of resources to turn their concept into reality,” said Jennifer McCaney, Ph.D., associate director of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute. 
  • More than 250 UC Irvine Health staff, faculty and students raised nearly $24,000 in support of heart and stroke awareness by participating in the 2024 Orange County Heart & Stroke Walk — surpassing their goal by $4,000.
  • Colleagues from several teams at UC San Diego Health have partnered to divert unused food from landfills and to instead help those in need. Nearly 7,000 pounds of food have been donated to local nonprofits since 2023.

Campus recognitions

  • The Human Rights Campaign Foundation recently released its 2024 Healthcare Equality Index, which recognizes inclusive care for LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. UC Davis Health, UCLA Health and UCSF Health were recognized as LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leaders. UC San Diego Health was recognized as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality High Performer.
  • In its latest rankings, the Leapfrog Group — an independent national watchdog organization that evaluates hospitals’ ability to prevent medical errors and harm to patients — gave its top ‘A’ ranking to UC Irvine Health and UCSF Health.
  • UC Irvine Health has opened the first medical campus in the United States to be completely powered by an all-electric, clean-energy central utility plant.

Systemwide recognition

The 2023 EnergyCAP Eco Champion Awards named UC as this year’s Most Sustainable Organization.

Submit an achievement

UC Spotlight honors workplaces, teams and individual staff members that make UC a great place to work. To send a recognition or achievement for consideration, email the relevant URL to ucnetwork@universityofcalifornia.edu. Please note that UC Spotlight is intended to reflect staff-specific achievements; to that end, we do not accept recognitions that are student, faculty or alumni-related. Submissions are chosen for publication at the editor’s discretion. Funding and promotion/hiring announcements are not appropriate for this feature.

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