Veteran Volunteer to Homeless, Sick, Receives Staff Impact Award
Ioana Patringenaru | April 13, 2009
Alonso Noble, one of the campus’ recycling gurus and a longtime volunteer with many charitable organizations, received a Staff Impact Award from the UCSD Staff Association Thursday. Noble is a model representative of UC San Diego, officials said. Noble said he was really excited to receive the award, but doesn’t do his volunteer work to be recognized.
“I hope it inspires other people to serve as well,” he said.
The Impact Award recognizes an employee who made a clear and significant difference on the job that furthers UCSD's mission—teaching, research, and public service—or made a positive impact on the local or global community. “It’s important to honor staff members’ contributions both at the university and in the community,” said Rich LaClair-Zoehrer, outgoing chair of the UCSD Staff Association.
Noble, an assistant superintendent in Facilities Management, has worked with the campus’ Housing, Dining, Hospitality division to collect non-perishable food donations and transport them to a Brother Benno’s Foundation facility. The food helped the organization assist the local homeless population.
In addition, he also is a volunteer with the Prison Ministry, North County Solutions for Change, a shelter for battered women and children, and the St. Thomas and Elizabeth Hospice, where he works with medical caregivers to provide support for the terminally ill.
As part of the Prison Ministry, he has worked at the Vista Detention Facility, where volunteers organize services and Bible study groups for inmates, male and female. He says volunteering there was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
“I feel like I’m doing something meaningful,” he said. “There’s a lot of pain, a lot of misery, a lot of bitterness there, especially among women.”
On campus, Noble entered UCSD into the Recyclemania contest, a friendly recycling competition between U.S. colleges and universities. He also motivated students and staff to increase awareness of existing recycling program on campus. He also is a member of the Campus Emergency Response Team program and Critical Incident Stress Management program.
Noble is originally from the Philippines and came to the United States in 1982, looking for better opportunities for his family. He started out in Ventura County and then moved to San Diego. He got a job at UCSD on Jan. 15, 1985, and has been on campus ever since. In the past 21 years, he worked his way up from groundskeeper to assistant superintendent, working as an equipment operator and lead groundskeeper along the way. His son, Rowan, is a UCSD alumnus. His daughter, Cymbeline, is studying to become a nurse at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Before enrolling, she had served as an Airman 1st Class in the Air Force, also in Nevada.
In addition to Noble, nominees for this year’s award were:
- Darlene Mercado, student organizations advisor and special events coordinator at the Center for Student Involvement
- Deborah Davis, manager of member relations at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center
- Macy Huynh, assistant student affairs officer in the department of philosophy
- Jo Adamcik, office manager at the UCSD Ratner Eye Center
- Shannon Free-Cleveland, marketing representative in UCSD Extension
- Patty Camacho, fiscal officer in the department of neurosciences
- Richard Belmontez, training manager in Environmental Health and Safety
- Barry Niman, director of Accommodation Counseling and Consulting Services
- Linda Thai Schlossman, home loan coordinator/Human Resources analyst, in the office of the Senior Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs
- Cesar Figueroa, assistant resident dean at Earl Warren College
- Peggy Chambers, recruitment specialist for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study in the department of neurosciences