College of Engineering

2021 College of Engineering Outstanding Staff Award Winners

Each year, the UC Davis College of Engineering recognizes and honors staff members who show a strong commitment to the mission and vision of the college and consistently perform above and beyond expectations.

All staff within the college who have been with the university for at least one year are eligible to be nominated for an Outstanding Staff Award. Nominations are submitted by peers in departments, units and centers the nominees work with and the award winners are selected by a committee of staff members that includes winners from previous years. Each winner will receive an engraved plaque, an award and will be featured during the College of Engineering’s Staff Appreciation event on May 27, 2021 from 3-4 pm.

2021 Outstanding Staff Award Winners

Eveline Gibson
Eveline Gibson

Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)

Eveline is knowledgeable, organized and responsive to faculty and graduate student needs and goes above and beyond the duties of her job description.

As MAE’s graduate program coordinator, she effectively works with her colleagues across campus and in Graduate Studies to stay up-to-date on academic policies. She ensures timely communication of any policy changes to students and faculty, regularly solicits input from current graduate students and collaborates with the graduate program chair to improve the program.

In her work with the department’s undergraduate students and current work with graduate students, Eveline has demonstrated consistent leadership through her advocacy on behalf of students. She actively listens to student concerns and works with each individual to develop a course of action specific to their needs and to provide them with referrals to various campus resources. She effectively communicates student concerns to faculty, department leadership and other campus resources to ensure students are receiving the support they need.

Through her interactions with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff, Eveline has demonstrated cultural competency and an appreciation of diversity. She has participated in various diversity trainings and conferences offered by UC Davis and the National Academic Advising Association and has used what she has learned about diverse populations to foster an inclusive environment.

“Eveline is exceptional in her administrative abilities and is very hard working. She has an excellent understanding of people, keeps all groups organized and functioning smoothly and does her job professionally and precisely with great empathy for others,” said one of her colleagues. “She is a very nice person to work with and is always positive and handles the many demands on her time with grace and an energetic, fun attitude.”

Jessica Hazard
Jessica Hazard

Environmental Lab Manager/Safety Officer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

While her work is always excellent, during the past year Jessica has proven herself a leader dedicated to using creative and innovative approaches to help CEE faculty, students and staff work both safely and successfully in the labs.

She played an instrumental role in helping to coordinate both phases of the research ramp-ups. She proactively communicated with faculty and researchers on their needs and took the initiative to create a shared standard operating procedure for use across all labs in Ghausi Hall, which became the standard for all of their faculty research. Recognizing how much work occurs in labs shared by multiple research groups, Jessica led the coordination of multi-group/multi-lab activities that allowed research to continue. She also took a lead role alongside department leadership in developing their COVID prevention worksite plan. She has also been instrumental in helping new faculty integrate into the shared lab culture.

Jessica is also committed to equity and has proactively created an inclusive lab culture in many ways. She routinely seeks feedback from researchers, formally and informally, about how the department can improve operations and create a culture of safety. She is attentive to student needs and concerns and consistently provides useful suggestions to overcome challenges and resolve conflicts as they arise.

“Jessica takes pride in her work and through her diligent efforts, our researchers are able perform their work safely and successfully in their labs,” said her colleague.

Nena Herrera
Nena Herrera

Financial Operations Manager, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Throughout her time in CEE, Nena has overseen staff changes and has participated in all recruiting activities, personally ensuring that any new staff member is trained up to the standards she sets for all analysts. This effort maintains continuity and coherency across staff and an evident support system.

Nena has trained others on understanding budgets and their constraints and has taken the time to help develop their budgets and patiently work through them. She also has the ability to resolve and offer solutions for difficult administrative issues related to faculty actions like no one else.

“The old-fashioned way of simply saying with my own words what I need, found eager ears and full understanding by Nena and the job was done in an exemplary way like never before,” said one her colleagues in regards to a project that Nena helped manage.

Nena has also been consistently committed to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout her training other staff, talking to students, talking to faculty, standing up for faculty in conversations with the Office of Sponsored Programs and equipping the department with the tools necessary for success.

“Her behavior is also impeccable no matter who she speaks to, from senior faculty to undergraduate students, her door (or zoom!) is always open and very welcoming to all. Our university should promote and support staff members like Nena because they are the backbone of all our efforts to carry the research mission of this institution.”

Rachel LeBrett
Rachel LeBrett

Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

Rachel is in her second year as the lead undergraduate advisor for the civil and environmental engineering department and has established herself as an exemplary advisor within CEE, the college and campus advising community.

Rachel not only excels at performing her regular job duties, but she strives to always go above and beyond to support the department and the college.

While the graduate advisor was on leave, she stepped up to help the student services team even though it was outside her role. She understood that the team needed extra support and was willing to volunteer and take on additional work, from graduate admissions to administrative tasks that are outside her job description. She also increased her own advising for the undergraduate students.

Rachel is also considered a valuable resource and mentor by other departments. As there is not a formal mentorship program in the college, she was recommended to mentor a new advisor in another department. She capitalized on her own experience as a new advisor to provide guidance, resources and empathy for the new staff, welcoming them into the college.

“In my opinion, Rachel has been the most outstanding undergraduate program advisor during my time in CEE. First, she is extremely competent and also very wise,” said a faculty member. “She seems to have an instinct for knowing when more consultation on an issue is necessary and when she can handle an issue herself. Second, her zest for new challenges is impressive.”

College of Engineering Years of Service Awards

These staff members have reached a milestone for their length of service at UC Davis. They will also be recognized at the College of Engineering Staff Appreciation event on May 27.

  • Veronica Stanton, Administrative Assistant, Departments of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, 15 years
  • Jason Sison, Undergraduate Program Advisor, Department of Computer Science, 10 years
  • Inna Revzin, Academic Personnel, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 15 years
  • Sarah Tam, Imaging Research Associate, Biomedical Engineering 10 years
  • Victor Reveles, Research Technician, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 20 years
  • Manju Kaul, Budget Analyst, Engineering Dean’s Office, 25 years
  • Everett Wilson, Director of Strategic Analysis and Decision Support, Engineering Dean’s Office, 25 years
  • David Miller, Contracts and Grants Analyst, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 20 years
  • Charles Smith, Staff Research Associate, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 10 years
  • Duane Bennett, Senior Development Engineer, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 30 years
  • Kin Yen, Development Engineer, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 25 years
  • Megan Villasenor, Chief Operations Officer, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 15 years
  • Craig Patterson, Contracts and Grants Manager, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 15 years

College of Engineering STAR Awards

The staff members below are the recipients of the 2020-2021 STAR awards as part of the UC Davis Staff Appreciation and Recognition Plan. STAR awards recognize employees who have gone above and beyond in support of the campus’ core values.

  • Alexandra Villanueva, Communications Associate, Marketing and Communications
  • Alyssa Bates, Graduate Student Affairs Officer, Department of Computer Science
  • Jessica Stoller, Graduate Students Services Advisor, Department of Computer Science
  • Steven Lucero, TEAM Laboratory Manager, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Nancy Davis, Academic Advisor, Engineering Undergraduate Office
  • Jennifer Torres, Contracts and Grants Analyst, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Femi-Jide Akinmoladun, Office Support Assistant, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Marjorie LeGrand, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Phil Young, IT Manager/Computer Support, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Sacksith Ekkaphanh, Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Gwen Caramanica, Financial Analyst, Departments of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Jason Fearing, IT Service Desk Manager, Information Technology

Primary Category