Happy Staff Appreciation Week: Celebrating Our STARs

June 13, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

In celebration of Staff Appreciation Week, I want to extend a note of gratitude for all the hard work and dedication each of you bring to our IST/OCIO team. We are fortunate to have an extraordinary number of talented people who are an integral part of our One IT community. We appreciate your efforts in providing excellent customer service, meeting the needs of our campus partners, and playing a key role in the initiatives that are vital to the success of IT and UC Berkeley.

Celebrating Our STARs

Through the UC Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) program, we have the opportunity to acknowledge and reward exemplary performance and contributions by individual employees or teams each year. Please join me in congratulating the 2017-18 IST/OCIO STAR award recipients listed below for their accomplishments. In IST/OCIO, achievement award nominations are reviewed on an annual basis in late spring but you can always thank or celebrate a colleague throughout the year by nominating them for Spot Awards or Pay It Forward. We will host our annual One IT staff appreciation event this fall, stay tuned for more info!

Summerfest is Today

As a reminder, Summerfest will be held today, Wednesday, June 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food trucks available for the duration of the event. Managers are encouraged to stagger their staff’s time-off to attend over the three hours as business needs allow. You must bring your staff Cal ID card to Summerfest where it will be scanned to get a ticket for food and a t-shirt. This event is for people currently in a staff job classification title as well as our library colleagues.

Thank you for your service to the UC Berkeley community!



2017-18 IST/OCIO STAR Awards Recipients

Quotes included below are summary statements from the award nominations.

Achievement Awards

Individual Recipients

Darin Clarke

"Over this past year, Darin has been an incredible partner with untangling the Gordian knot of phone lines and ancillary bill types for Residential & Student Service Programs (i.e. UKHDS). Fire alarm and security alarm lines have been inconsistently billed across campus, and over the course of this last year, Darin has: 1) consulted (many times) with various campus partners to clearly define the policy, 2) obtained buy-in from various campus entities (PPCS, UCPD, etc.) on the refined policy, 3) cleaned up phone line recharges for fire and safety lines across campus based on the clarified policy, and 4) worked with Billing Unit colleagues to research lines that are were not clearly labeled to determine if they really are alarm lines and ensure they are billed accurately. With this year long review, Darin has been able to clean up billing for hundreds of lines across campus and his research has given assurance that fire alarm and security alarm lines are now safely with the appropriate areas (e.g. PPCS or UCPD) enabling us to cancel remaining unused lines in UKHDS and not fear cancelling critical lines."

Jon Conhaim

"I am nominating Jon Conhaim for his impressive work this year on his Telling Our Story work, one of the ReIT Strategic Plan tactics. This effort included months of work conducting research to create three brand new workshops, working with others to get feedback and refine the class materials, piloting one of the workshops with IT directors, then leading the workshops -- Creating Stories for IT Services and Projects (April 12), Creating Value Propositions with Your Customers (May 10), Creating and Giving Effective Presentations (June 14) -- to help IT service providers around the campus learn how to more effectively communicate the value of the IT services we deliver."

Chris Doane

"Over the last year, Chris has stepped up to take on additional responsibilities for the security team. He has become a subject matter expert and security liaison for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance across the entire Campus, interfacing with the Controller's office and various units processing credit card transactions. Each year, he takes on the months long task of meeting PCI requirements for numerous merchants on Campus, critical work for supporting campus business processes involving credit card payments. In a short amount of time, Chris got up to speed on various security requirements and policies mandated by outside organizations such as California's Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). These requirements must be met by a wide variety of academic and other researchers on Campus in order to receive data from the outside organizations. Ensuring compliance with these security requirements is essential in enabling Pls on Campus to receive sensitive data sets and conduct their research. Chris often goes the extra mile to help these researchers meet the requirements on tight timelines (sometimes within days of a deadline), ultimately allowing them to obtain sign off to receive the data and conduct research in a secure manner. He consistently receives good feedback from research stakeholders."

Anji Gannavarapu

"Over a five month period, Anji worked tirelessly, through multiple evenings and weekends, in order to meet the timelines and requirements of several critical initiatives: 1) automating the manual processes used to refresh student enrollment data for the AskOski Student Course recommendation platform, 2) rolling out UCPath to UC Merced, the Associated Students of UCLA, and UC Riverside, 3) managing several modifications in support of the October Student Applicant data refresh, 4) for the Grad Div Fund Balance reporting initiative, Anji worked with the EDW Development manager to develop requirements for a pilot dashboard, and 5) he demonstrated technical leadership in his management of the Informatica PowerCenter upgrade."

Martin Garcia

"Martin’s attitude and work performance has been an inspiration to me and his peers. He has taken on additional project work previously handled by two employees, with successful, sustained results for the majority of this fiscal year. Without his incredibly positive attitude and dedicated work ethic, many of our large projects would have floundered and the University goals and objectives for construction of networking in new office space would have been missed. Some of the larger projects that he stepped in to successfully manage were Le Conte, Mulford and 2000 Carleton Risers. These required managing the design and construction of complete re-builds of those building’s Telecommunications infrastructure. He had to coordinate with Capital Projects, designers and, most-importantly, the building occupants.  These projects are very intrusive and disruptive to the departments. Martin handles this most-important aspect with a maturity and skill that is exceptional. Additionally, he managed many other projects throughout this time period that would normally have been shared among three senior Project Managers."

Naresh Meda

"Naresh successfully completed the high visibility Cal Answers Award Processing Time dashboard working tirelessly with offshore consultants. The “follow the sun” approach enabled the Research Administration End-to-End – Award Set-up project to be completed on-time and on-budget. Also over the past year, Naresh successfully implemented all 4 Releases of Cal Answers Finance & HR dashboards, played a key role in the BAIRS retirement project and handled multiple requests delivering finance dashboards along with operational activities like Oracle Critical WebLogic Security Patches, Student tickets, and Production issues simultaneously."

Judy Meers

"Judy has always been an exceptional employee but has truly taken it to a higher level over the last year taking on work of two employees who retired (and the positions will not be filled). Judy picked up projects like creating and reviewing Cable ID floor plans and schedules then immersed herself in the Business Analyst world to work with our Dev team and other internal IST/Telecom people to provide exceptional support in major ServiceNow enhancements (including a significant effort to create, document and implement the business processes required to meet a Capital Projects mandate to completely change the way our Premise Wiring recharge activity was conducted). Additionally, Judy spearheaded the DPM side in working with Terri Kouba for another ServiceNow enhancement that involved bringing 20 years of historical fiber data into ServiceNow. Judy has been completely self-directed and continually amazes me with her proactive efforts."

Joe Mitola

"For the last several years Joe has been an unfailing supporter and active-doer in my effort to obtain an electronic signature offering for campus. All of his work has been driven by his belief in its value and by his consistent dedication to innovation, simplification, and automation. Examples of his work include creating a sample integration between DocuSign and the Imagine service software. Joe did this for several reasons: technical proof of concept, his own learning, and to help campus understand the opportunity and value DocuSign represents. Last summer, Joe helped me crunch the numbers from a survey measuring eSignature interest on campus; this information was used to help build the business case for purchasing DocuSign. Since we got DocuSign, Joe has been the sole technical team member and my r'ight hand man' for getting ready to offer it to campus: he is learning how to implement SSO, is working with me to determine the best way to manage accounts and access, and has dug deep to learn how to administer the technology. All of this work is in addition to his already full plate on Imagine which always includes finding ways to better do the work via automation and technology and which always includes a collaborative approach. Joe has been invaluable to this work."

Aswan Movva

"Aswan has stepped up to lead the Business Intelligence team, develop Cal Answers Dashboards as part of stakeholder’s high priority projects, and built strong relationships with business partners. In addition, at a One IT event Aswan met Anthony Suen from the Data Science department and collaborated with Students on an innovative proof-of-concept to make it easier for users to get their hands on data. They’ve successfully created a prototype so users can type in questions similar to Google by having it autosuggest and spit back the answer."

Marc Pechaitis

"The SIS Summer Aid Estimator team worked closely with a cross-functional team in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and Summer Sessions to develop a tool for students estimate the aid they will receive if they take summer sessions. The new tool was developed to provide students with more financial decision-making support and increase summer sessions enrollment. This project took extensive analysis with three units over three months with extensive development in Campus Solutions and CalCentral. When the Summer Financial Aid Estimator was released, the summer enrollment trends for UCB students greatly improved. This project was an example of both 'we imagine and innovate' and 'we focus on service' operating principles."

Rob Taber

"Rob has shown sustained, exceptional performance for the past six months, and has contributed to the team’s ability to handle hundreds of new file transfer requests. He is an example of our operating principles 1) We include and excel, together, 2) We simplify, and, 3) We imagine and innovate."

Box Team Recipients

Jennifer Bellenger and Ian Crew

"Through Ian Crew’s thorough analysis and Jen Bellenger’s change management planning we were able to successfully clean up several issues tied to the original integration of Box in ways that have gone mostly unnoticed by campus users. Their combined dedication to focus on service has lead to a greatly simplified campus integration to Box that positions the service to be a key solution for campus going forward."

Cal Answers Finance Team Recipients

Quin Bligh, Peter Cava, Sameer D’Souza, and Frances Kendall

"The Cal Answers Finance Project is a collaborative effort between the Enterprise Data Warehouse and the OCFO to vastly improve how the campus accesses, tracks, manages and explores its financial activity by making the data available via Cal Answers, the enterprise reporting and analytics tool. This effort is focused on the We Simplify operating principle because 1) it provides a more powerful analytic tool that allows users to navigate their data directly and eliminates the tedious and time-consuming practice of users downloading all of their transactions to reconcile summary reports; and 2) it consolidates enterprise reporting in a single tool where users can also access student, research, human resource, and procurement data. The team has been engaged in this complex and lengthy effort all of fiscal year 2017-18, and as of the close of the fiscal year will have had seven major campus releases. Major achievements have included architecting the data for consumption by Cal Answers, integrating Foundation financial data with campus financials, support for both accounting and statement style reporting and adapting to a more open security model in support of campus financial transparency."

CalNet 2-Step Authentication Team Recipients

Karl Grose, Brian Koehmstedt, Jeff McCullough, Ronnie Ong, Jeremy Rosenberg

"Over the past 6-8 months, the team has worked diligently to develop the Duo 2-Step service including communications, documentation, service, support, training, and onboarding. The CalNet team has on boarded 32,300 2-Step users and support 50,000 2-Step authentication events per day. The project was well managed, well communicated, and implemented professionally while meeting budget and timing expectations. We have received extremely positive feedback from many users and department heads across the campus. The implementation of 2-Step significantly improves our overall security posture minimizing the risk of successful phishing attempts."

e911 Next Gen Deployment Team Recipients

Marina Bennett, Irma Donaldson, Geovanni Herrera, Terri Kouba, Jovie Soliman, Jim Williams

"In April 2018, IST successfully deployed Motorola Callworks Next Generation e911 Solution for UCPD to replace end of life Spok e911 platform. The new Callworks platform provided UCPD with an autonomous solution capable of surviving a full network and Avaya PBX outage without any interruption while still maintaining integration with UC Berkeley’s environment during sunny day operations. During the migration we had no escalations or service interruptions to UCPDs critical life safety operations due to the dedication and hard work of all teams involved. This project due to high visibility and impact with regards to the overall life safety on campus actually took more than a year's effort involving UCPD, Contracts and Procurement, Telecom and various vendors. The lack of escalations and uneventful deployment is a true testament to the long hours and dedication the team displayed to ensure it was a smooth transition."

Enrollment Working Group (EWG) Team Recipients

Rachel Hollowgrass and Ross Stivison

"During the fall of 2017, the Council of Undergraduate Deans, The Office of the Registrar, and SIS formed an enrollment working group to identify and address issues impacting the enrollment experience. The working group developed and modeled a new approach to problem definition, design, and delivery that involved end-users and subject matter experts from the outset. In doing so, they were able to identify and develop process changes, technical updates, and training requirements that helped to meet the overarching goal. As one example, the Roster Management tool (released on May 1) provides enrollment managers a way to process multiple enrollments in a single attempt, rather than one-by-one. This feature will save countless hours of staff time and was met with applause when previewed with user-audiences. Another example is a feature that allows a course to be setup so that students can enroll, even in the event that the scheduled meeting time(s) conflict with another class. This feature saves frustration for students and reduces the number of support inquiries from students to advisors, schedulers, and enrollment managers."

New Admit Experience Team Recipients

Chara Bui and Barbara Sowden

"The SIS New Admit Experience team worked closely with a cross-functional team in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid and Scholarships to redesign and improve the user experience for Freshmen and Transfer admits. The new process was developed to streamline and clarify the first impression for new admits to accept their admissions offer, see their financial aid and awards, pay their admissions deposit and begin their UCB onboarding tasks. In addition to improving the experience for admits, the new design also helped the support staff in all the areas with fewer request for assistance. This project took extensive analysis with 4-5 units over 5 months. An improved CalCentral design resulted in development for both CalCentral and Campus Solutions. When the new admit design was demonstrated at the A&E Staff meeting, the crowd cheered with appreciation. In addition, we could see that the new admits were able to easily navigate to see their awards - a critical component for UCB to recruit world-class students."

PeopleSoft Team Recipients

Srilatha Chennamaneni, Glenda De Guzman, Francis Gomes, David Hathorn, Lyuda Kerman, Zoey Lin, Jeff Makaiwi, Pradeep Narayanan, Adam Ng, Venkat Tetali, Padma Vemula, Alan Willcuts

"The people who support Peoplesoft in IST are tireless professionals. The work is constant, challenging, stressful. Last year we completed the BFS web/app split. This year we completed a major BFS PUM upgrade, a BFS tools upgrade, and HCM tools upgrade, and the HCM/BLU web/app split. And in between the support teams patched, patched, patched… 26 separate pieces of software across 72 servers combined. Thanks are well deserved to the IST staff that made this happen, recognition for their ability to work in this complex environment, the team’s commitment to minimizing impact to the campus, and perseverance to make it happen despite reduced resources and long days/weekends."


Spot Awards

Steve Aguirre

Saundra Alexander

Eric Armstrong

Jennifer Bellenger

Tyrone Bennett

Lisa Chang

David Cheng

Srilatha Chennamaneni

Evan Cheung

Kim Chhay-Wade

Kong Chou

Peter Collins

Ian Crew

Janhavi Deshpande

Johnny Dunn

Jeff Foster

Ernest Gomes

Franciler Harper-Brown

Jon Hays

Tim Heidinger

Peter Hsieh

Blaine Isbelle

John Lee

Ralph Lieu

Zoey Lin

Andrea Lloyd

Anne Lyttle

Josh Maloney

Katy Maloney

Isaac Mankita

Adrianne Mann

Rich McGowan

Max Michel

Jason Miller

Laurie Milward

Joe Mitola

Raghu Musini

Deepthika Nallaparaju

Rosalind Nevels

Elizabeth Perri

Marc Pechaitis

Stella Pretzlaf

Keerthy Puttagunta

David Rieger

Nolan Ross

Kaz Senoglu

Stephanie Sorensen

Barbara Sowden

Ahmed Syed

Rob Taber

Anne Tambe

Santhosh Thimmaiah

Olga Tomenko

Leslie Wills

Brian Wood

Margarita Zeglin

Related Links: Learn More About STAR | Excellence in Management Award Recipients | One IT | Pay IT Forward | Ask Questions