Exemplary Staff Awards Honor
Employee Contributions to Campus and Community
Kim Wenrick | June 6, 2011
“We wouldn’t have transformed into a world-renowned research university in only 50 years without our staff,” noted Chancellor Marye Anne Fox at last week’s Exemplary Staff Awards ceremonies. Representing a spectrum of university departments and specialties from student services to health sciences to physical plant services to Scripps Oceanography to the Chancellor’s Office, ten UC San Diego employees were named Exemplary Staff Employees of the Year.
A common thread among the honorees at the 26th annual celebration was service to the community beyond the UC San Diego campus, an important theme during the univeristy's 50th anniversary year as well. Whether posting a blog to help veterans, raising money for needy schools, creating sustainability and environmental impact initiatives, organizing cooking classes for cancer patients or volunteering countless hours at numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the county, this year’s awardees have touched thousands of lives with their generosity and have made a lasting contribution to the campus and to the San Diego region.
The award winners were chosen from among 123 nominations submitted to a selection committee representing each UC San Diego vice chancellor’s area of responsibility, the university health system and the Chancellor’s Office. Thomas Leet, assistant vice chancellor for Human Resources, told the group of honorees, “You are joining a very select company, a very special category to which only a handful of people belong. You, your family and friends have every reason to be very proud.” Honorees received commemorative gifts, awards for continuing education in their specialty field and will have their names added to a permanent display of the names of previous honorees.
James Hawkins, management services officer for student affairs at the International Center, was named The Principal Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year.
The Principal Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year is James Hawkins, management services officer for student affairs at the International Center. A 32-year UC San Diego employee and a Marine Corps veteran, Hawkins was diagnosed with the rare cancer Myelodysplastic Syndrome, which his UC San Diego hematologist directly linked to his service in Vietnam. “Without UCSD health care, I would be dead,” Hawkins said. “UC San Diego hires the best; I had been misdiagnosed until I came here,” he said. Hawkins received his treatment at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.
At the university, Hawkins served the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies before moving to the International Center where he works for the dean of International Education. With the dean, Hawkins recently helped restructure the center, including numerous reclassifications and equity increase request approvals, to maintain compliance with Department of Homeland Security regulations, essential to the university continuing to receive federal grant money.
In addition to 50-hour work weeks, Hawkins is also an indefatigable advocate for veterans, working to help Navy and Marine veterans to file disability claims, which range from exposure to Agent Orange to Camp Lejeune water contamination. Since his cancer diagnosis in 2008, Hawkins has also produced a periodic blog sent to several hundred people on campus. Additionally, he sends blogs to veterans’ organizations. And his efforts don’t end there. This year, as in previous years, Hawkins donated 40 hours of his vacation time to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Program so that his fellow employees do not have to suffer financial hardship during times of need. Hawkins will be retiring from the university this year.
The 2010-2011 Exemplary Staff Employees also include:
Principal Administrative Analyst – Supervising
Student Affairs: Admissions and Enrollment Services
Community Service: Raising funds for needy schools
Community Health Program Manager
Health Sciences: Cancer Center
Community Service: Cooking classes for cancer patients
Garner Faulkner II
Respiratory Therapist IV
UCSD Health System: Respiratory Care
Community Service: American Lung Association, Habitat for Humanity, Grossmont College
Respiratory Therapist III
UCSD Health System: Respiratory Care
Community Service: UCSD Burn Unit
Resource Management and Planning: Auxiliary and Plant Services
Community Service: Sustainability programs
Principal Administrative Analyst I
Marine Sciences: Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Community Service: Environmental and botanical preservation
Health Sciences: School of Medicine Dean’s Office
Community Service: Preuss School UCSD interns, Dress for Success and American Heart Walk
Harold J. Walker
Senior Museum Scientist
Marine Science: Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director’s Office
Community Service: Education
Program Representative III
Chancellor’s Office: Special Events and Protocol
Community Service: Health and youth programs
“I was very humbled to learn I had won this great honor,” said Lauren White, events manager for Special Events and Protocol in the Chancellor’s Office and an Exemplary Staff Award honoree. “I am amazed by the contributions and accomplishments of the other honorees. I am inspired.” A UC San Diego graduate, White now attends Point Loma Nazarene University during the evenings and on weekends, studying for her MBA. Citing her “grace, good humor and perfection in execution,” her supervisor, Senior Director of Special Events and Protocol Judy Lane, noted that White was the lead planner for Innovation Day Expo and Symposia (IDEaS), one of four signature events for the 50th Anniversary. IDEaS was a weeklong series of high-profile events for the campus and the community highlighting the exciting innovation emerging from UC San Diego and generating a good deal of attention from local media outlets. She is credited with saving the university untold dollars with her long-standing relationships with vendors and university partners, in addition to utilizing her substantial graphic arts talents by creating collateral materials for special events. White contributes dozens of volunteer hours to the Alzheimer’s Association of San Diego, the Flood Church of San Diego and mentors at-risk youth.
Camilla Ingram, principal administrative analyst for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has spent her 35-year career devoted to that UC San Diego division. Ingram introduced herself to Scripps Oceanography as a junior high student, sending a letter of 26 questions about pursuing science as a profession to then-Scripps professor Martin Johnson. Ingram moved from research to development at Scripps and now manages space, capital planning and facilities renewal needs for nearly 2,000 faculty, staff and graduate students. Most recently, Ingram’s contributions were essential in a successful proposal to the National Institute of Standards and Technology for a $26.5 million research building on the Scripps campus. “I was completely thrilled when I learned I had received this honor,” Ingram said. “All I have ever wanted was to do a good job and to help Scripps meet its goals.” Outside of her university life, Ingram is a staunch advocate for “green” and sustainable best management practices in local neighborhoods. She is active in the Sunset Cliffs Association, which is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the natural environment of the area and has contributed her expertise in botany to the California Native Plant Society to provide advice to the general public about water conservation and reducing the number of non-indigenous plants to the area.
Chancellor Fox concluded, “Our honorees have the distinction of receiving their awards during a momentous time in our university’s history – our 50th anniversary year – and of excelling as team members and leaders during an economically challenging time, as well. I congratulate them and thank them for their exceptional care and commitment to our university and community.”