Congratulations to COSA Award Recipients

April 7, 2022

Kudos to COSA winners

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me in congratulating several members of the One IT community for their outstanding service and leadership in support of important projects to benefit the campus. The following staff members have contributed to improving Berkeley's IT environment over the last year and are among twenty-three staff members and eight staff teams, who have been awarded the esteemed 2022 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award (COSA)! The COSA is presented on an annual basis to individual staff members and teams who demonstrate exceptional initiative to create a significant positive impact on the UC Berkeley campus community. 

Cristóbal Olivares, Student Affairs Information Technology demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that UC Berkeley is an equitable, inclusive, and just environment for everyone. He builds community for the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx staff across One IT, and bridges to leadership to enhance and improve the experiences of the staff under them. Taking the initiative to create and sustain a much-needed resource at the height of the pandemic and social unrest has benefited countless staff.

Gary Thomas, Information Technology installed, configured, and put into production a brand new Wi-Fi management and control system to allow for a nearly seamless transition to a modern platform. Gary has managed the upgrade of 8,000 plus Wireless Access Points on campus from 2018 to present. Gary’s efforts have made UC Berkeley a top-tier partner with Aruba and a trusted and valued member of the Aruba family, which have included invitations to speak and participate in multiple Aruba forums.

Kelly Mann, Office of the Registrar provided campus leaders with information and alternatives to address needs at both a departmental level and at a campus-wide level. These needs were due not only to COVID-19, but to other dynamics on campus including spiking growth in undergraduate enrollment, staff turnover, and reductions in campus support for student systems training. In many cases, Kelly supported or solely implemented actions to empower campus decisions. Kelly provided outstanding service to the campus during this unprecedented period. 

Phil Stiltson, Information Technology was nominated as a strategic thought partner for his contributions to impactful initiatives that have transformed our organization as we wrapped up the SIS Phase 2 project and stood up our Operations model. The nominators also commend Phil for his unwavering commitment to growing and developing others. He embodies remarkable leadership by nourishing the talents of staff across the organization and advocating for equitable compensation and opportunities. It has been a pleasure working alongside Phil as he contributes to the maturation of our organization.

Susan Hagstrom, Research, Teaching, and Learning launched the Advancing Practice workshop series to provide mutual mentorship, connection, community, and a foundation for inclusive and evidence-based advising and coaching. She piloted Equity-Oriented Advising and Coaching program events equipping 200+ staff with strategies to reduce stereotype threats and increase a sense of belonging for students and staff. Susan created more equitable and accessible learning environments for staff and students, advancing Berkeley’s reputation and mission

COVID Compliance Campus Access Badge Technical Team

Team members: 

  • Anji Gannavarapu, Information Technology

  • Aswan Movva, Information Technology

  • Chara Bui, Information Technology

  • Desi Gallardo, University Health Services

  • Naresh Meda, Information Technology

  • Sanghamithra Bandi, Information Technology

  • Tamer Sakr, Information Technology

  • Terri Kouba, Information Technology

The Campus Access Badge project, sponsored by the executive-level COVID Recovery Management Team, is a collaboration among several One IT technical teams, including the Berkeley Mobile App, PeopleCards Portal, University Health Services IT, Data & Analytics, and Engineering and Integration Services. The Campus Access Badge fosters an equitable campus access experience for users by providing a coherent picture of one’s access status. Due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic and the constantly evolving compliance requirements, the team designed an innovative solution that was equally dynamic and that could quickly be adapted to new and shifting policies.

One IT COSA Winners

Additional members of our One IT community who were part of teams that won the COSA:

  • Kimberly Carl from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for her work with the Grant Life Cycle Team. 

  • Christine Huhn, David Moles, and Lynne Grigsby from University Library IT for their work on the Library Course E-Reserves Design and Implementation Team.

Learn more about these projects and view all recipients of this year’s COSA

Watch the COSA Award Ceremony on April 13

Recipients of the COSA will be recognized by Chancellor Christ on Wednesday, April 13, 2-3 p.m.Please RSVP if you’d like to view the livestream broadcast. 

One IT In Action

Not only are the COSA awards among the highest honors bestowed by the Chancellor, but also the work of these individuals and teams exemplifies the collaborative spirit that drives our One IT efforts, for which we can collectively be proud. Want to recognize a colleague for being awesome? Pay IT Forward is a way to thank staff for work well done or just being generally fantastic to work with.

Congratulations again and a sincere thank you to all the award winners for your cross-campus collaboration in furthering the goals outlined in ourIT Strategic Plan


Jenn Stringer, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer

Related Links: One IT | COSA Info & Past Recipients | Pay IT Forward