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Annual Staff Picnic Celebrates Collective Impact of Staff

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

An annual tradition to honor the commitment and contributions of UC San Diego staff members, this year’s All Staff Picnic was a hit with more than 3,000 people in attendance. Held Aug. 16 in Town Square, staff members were treated to a tasty lunch by Bar None BBQ and entertained by the Full Strength Funk Band.

The picnic was organized by the UC San Diego Staff Association. This year’s theme, “Triton Champions Unite,” emphasized the importance and impact of the collective efforts of UC San Diego staff members when united together. The event was run entirely by staff volunteers and was designed to show appreciation for all UC San Diego employees, whether part of a staff association or not. A similar event, “Celebrate the Night,” will be offered on Aug. 22 for staff members who work at night.

Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla donned a personalized “UC San Diego Staff Champion” shirt in celebration and recognition of UC San Diego staff members. “Each of you does an amazing job—our staff are champions,” said Khosla during the picnic. “You are the reason I’ve had a great first year at UC San Diego, and I personally thank you for your hard work and dedication.”

A record number of 160 staff volunteers contributed their time to making the picnic special this year. The national anthem was belted out by Lovella Cacho from the Qualcomm Institute, and the Full Strength Funk Band—led by staff member Kevin DelMastro from Student Affairs—entertained the crowd with funky favorites like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Shining Star,” drawing a group to the stage to take part in the electric slide.

“My goal was to get people to dance,” said Terece Moret, Staff Association committee member and this year’s entertainment coordinator. She added, “The camaraderie this year is great.”

In addition to the barbeque and musical entertainment, nearly three dozen booths were set up featuring games and giveaways from staff associations, campus departments and event sponsors. At the UCSD Alumni booth, staff members who are also alumni could get a free massage; Intercollegiate Athletics set up a miniature basketball net and invited people to shoot some hoops and win tickets to the upcoming water polo game; and EPTEAM (Eliminate Poverty through Education and Microfinance) sold sustainable artwork by women in the community and international artists to support impoverished communities around the world.

“It is fun cruising through the tables, visiting with people you don’t see very often,” said Michelle Ransom, administrative assistant in the Admissions and Enrollment Services. “It is great that our work [as staff members] is being acknowledged in this way; they provided a very nice meal this year,” added Ransom.

As an end-of-summer festival, the Staff Picnic transitions the campus community into the fall and leads into another UC San Diego tradition, Founders’ Celebration. Taking place November 14-16 this year, Founders’ Celebration commemorates the day the campus was officially founded in 1960. Staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends are encouraged to come together to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of Tritons at home and around the world. Visit founders.ucsd.edu for more information about the festivities. To learn about getting involved with Founders’ Celebration and other campus-wide events, email volunteer50@ucsd.edu.