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Organizational Excellence

Staff Recognition Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 Winners

In an effort to further recognize the exemplary work of our staff we launched the Staff Awards program in January 2020. (This program was the result of a 2018 Bold Idea and recommendation of a CAIFE team and was modeled after the Provost’s awards).

Nominations were accepted from January 20 - March 20, 2020. 

A review team (Bernadette Muscat, Tammy Pullins, John Fugatt, Peter Robertson, Brad Barker, Amanda Banks) reviewed all of the nominations and forwarded the top 3 nominees in each category to the Cabinet for consideration.

After much deliberation Cabinet selected the 2020 winners.

We had hoped to announce these awards at the 2020 STAR Day but could not due to the pandemic. Instead, President Castro shared the news with each winner via a video call. Highlights of those conversations are shown in the video above. 

Congratulations to each of the 2020 winners. 

Bulldog Spirit 2020 Winner

Leticia (Lety) Saavedra

Leticia (Lety) Saavedra, Office of the University Registrar

The Bulldog Spirit award recognizes a staff member who displays exceptional Fresno State pride and spirit. The winner demonstrates spirit, passion and pride for working at Fresno State and embodies and embraces Fresno State traditions, values and Bulldog Pride.

An excerpt from the nomination submitted by Jenny Diaz and Erica Lassen:  

“Lety loves being part of the Fresno State community. She is engaged in her work and dedicated to making this a better work environment for her and those around her. She attends football and basketball games regularly and wears red every Friday...  Lety is a fierce advocate for Fresno State. She not only talks about Fresno State all the time, but she is very encouraging about working here... Lety is a very kind and hard working individual. She is always thinking of ways to lift the spirit and morale in our office… I can't think of anyone I know on campus that encapsulates what this award celebrates more than our Lety.” 

Congratulations Lety!

Spirit of Innovation 2020 Winner 

Christopher Cruz

Christopher Cruz, Technology Services

The Innovation Award recognizes a staff member who has made exceptional contributions and improvements to his/her department or division through creativity and innovative thinking. The winner contributes creative ideas and service improvements leading to more effective and efficient processes, improvements to teaching and learning and/or cost savings. The winner encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among co-workers to achieve positive outcomes and goes the extra mile to ensure the success of the team and consistently delivers high quality service.  

An excerpt from the nomination submitted by Yoshiko Takahashi

“Christopher instigated the idea of implementing a virtual lab (Apporto) in the college… He carefully evaluated its performance, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendliness by obtaining feedback from faculty. His Apporto Pilot report, published in Spring 2019, became an excellent resource not only for the College of Social Sciences but also for others ...His initiatives and contributions have helped shape the campus technology in a new direction whereby students can remotely access all needed software… His foresight and initiative in sharing expertise has helped the campus community think about what we do in new ways.” 

Congratulations to Chris! 

Modeling the Principles of Community 2020 Winner

Marcee Vare

Marcee Varela, Division of Research and Graduate Studies

The Principles of Community Outstanding Staff Award acknowledges a staff member who upholds Fresno State’s Principles of Community and consistently excels in his/her work. This award seeks to recognize a staff member who maintains a positive attitude, interacts with others in a friendly, welcoming and inclusive manner and inspires others to model these behaviors. 

 An excerpt from the nomination submitted by Misty Brazil: 

“Marcee not only embodies Fresno State’s core values, she exemplifies them and truly leads by example when it comes to the Principles of Community...Marcee’s genuine willingness to listen and value all perspectives at the table allows her to be an effective leader, colleague, mentor, and advocate for student success...I have witnessed her compassion, empathy, care, and concern for Fresno State students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Marcee truly honors her word and the commitments she makes to others and she does so in the most respectful, understanding, and genuine way we can only hope to emulate.” 

Congratulations Marcee!

Lifelong Learner 2020 Award Winner

Evangelina Owens

Evangelina Owens, Accounting Services 

The Lifelong Learner Award recognizes the staff member who attends the most professional development classes in person and online offered through the Office of Organizational Excellence in an academic year.

Eva participated in 41 different learning opportunities offered in 2019-20 including the Administrative Academy, Mentor Program, numerous Leadership Lunch and Learns, Navigating Fresno State and other learning opportunities.  She has been on-campus throughout the pandemic crisis as a critical member of the Accounts Payable team. She is a deeply loyal employee, passionate about Fresno State and one of the most positive employees we know!