The UC Davis College of Engineering is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the fourth annual Staff Appreciation Awards!

  • Biological and agricultural engineering shop manager Tom Bell
  • Civil and environmental engineering research administrator Fatima Garcia
  • Dean’s Office development assistant Lamia Hajani
  • Electrical and computer engineering research administrator Christina Modica
  • Civil and environmental engineering graduate program coordinator Lauren Worrell  

The Outstanding Staff Awards began in 2017 as a way to recognize and honor staff whose performance demonstrates a strong commitment to the mission and vision of the College of Engineering. These awards are open to all staff within the college who have been with the university for at least one year. Nominees should be staff members who consistently perform above and beyond expectations.

Previous Winners

  • 2019: Alison Metzger-Jones, Sacksith Ekkaphanh, Debbie Snyder, Dave Kukis
  • 2018: Sherry Batin, Nancy Davis, Lili Scheiber, Thao Pham
  • 2017: Carole Bustamante, Kate Creveling, Victor Duraj, Veronica Stanton

Award Eligibility and Criteria

The Outstanding Staff Awards are open to all staff within the College of Engineering who have been with the university for at least one year. Nominees should be staff members who consistently perform above and beyond expectations. Nominees will be evaluated based on their recent and successful demonstration of the following:

  • Exemplary service to students, faculty, staff and/or the general campus
  • Notable contributions to the college and/or department
  • Encouragement of employee development
  • Support of campus community
  • High morale and positive attitude
  • Creative and innovative approaches
  • Strong commitment to the mission and vision of the College of Engineering and the UC Davis Principles of Community

Review and Selection

Nominations will be reviewed and evaluated by the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC). All nominations will be anonymous to the SAC. SAC members are not eligible for awards. Nominees will not be made aware of their nomination. Dean Curtis will notify winners and their nominators.

2020 Staff Advisory Committee:

  • Samantha Lynn Arcement, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Sacksith Ekkaphanh, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • David Kukis, Center For Molecular and Genomic Imaging
  • Brooke Noonan, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Alison Metzger-Jones, Development and Alumni Relations
  • Jim Moersfelder, Computer Science
  • Lili Scheiber, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Debbie Snyder, Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical Engineering

Awards Ceremony

Winners will be recognized at the College’s Staff Appreciation event later this year. They will receive an engraved plaque and a $2,500 award. Outstanding staff will also be highlighted on the College of Engineering website and in other college announcements.

How to Nominate an Outstanding Engineering Staff Member

Nominations must be submitted electronically through a Qualtrics link, provided below beginning Tuesday, January 28th through Tuesday, February 25th at 11:59pm. Submissions should include specific examples of how this person has demonstrated outstanding service. Multiple submissions are welcome. Each submission is limited to 500 words. If you need help with the process, have other questions, or would like additional information, please email

How to Write a Compelling Nomination

Below are suggestions on how to write a strong and compelling nomination. Note: Please try to use a neutral pronoun for anonymity. For example, “this person/our nominee/our candidate…”

Opening Statement: Start with a clear, direct and specific statement of why your nominee deserves recognition.

Supporting Statements: Include supporting statements with specific examples that address the award criteria. Examples should include outcomes, results and/or activities above and beyond the call of duty.

WHAT did the nominee do?
-Projects and/or activities above the nominee’s job description
-Challenges or issues encountered and overcome

HOW did they do it?
-Initiative and/or leadership
-Creativity and/or innovation

WHAT was the outcome and/or impact?
-What did the nominee accomplish?
-What were the specific benefits to the college, department and/or unit?

Helpful words and phrases:
-Consistently goes above-and-beyond to…
-Regularly demonstrates excellence, integrity, leadership, outstanding commitment to…
-Is responsible for organizing, leading, tracking…
-Has successfully organized/executed

This person is deserving of an outstanding staff award because of their regular, above-and-beyond commitment and support of the employees in their unit. For example, each month, this manager shares the latest staff development opportunities with their staff and encourages staff to enroll in training and/or workshops. This unwavering support creates a positive office environment and challenges employees to continuously grow in their roles. This person also positively affects employee morale through their regular and clear communication and support.