It was a big crowd May 20 at the Conference Center, where people gathered for the Celebrate Staff Service and Excellence event, capping a Staff Appreciation Week with in-person events for the first time since 2019. The luncheon honored 178 staff members who have achieved service milestones in the UC system, including 15 with at least 20 years of service. In addition, Staff Assembly handed out its Staff Excellence Awards – peer-nominated honors that acknowledge outstanding achievement and meritorious service. And, as seen in the accompanying video, the event’s photo booth was a big hit.

This year’s Staff Excellence Awards honorees:

Holly Werner

Outstanding Customer Service and Job Performance

Seema Ahuja

Staff Excellence Award in Organizational and Leadership Abilities

Le'Trice Curl

Staff Excellence Award in Equity, Justice and Inclusive Excellence

Mohabbat Ahmadi

Staff Excellence People Management Award

Jan Zarate

Staff Excellence Award in Teamwork

Emanuel Alfaro

Staff Excellence Award in Creativity

Christine Howe

Staff Excellence Award in Staff Engagement



A sense of renewal and promise washed over the thousands who explored the campus during the most successful Bobcat Day in UC Merced history. Future scholars and their families mixed with staff, faculty, alumni and other visitors who marveled over a campus that had doubled in size over the two-year Bobcat Day hiatus forced by the pandemic. Under a cloudless spring sky, the campus rang with music from DJs and walking bands and buzzed with interactions along long rows of tables populated by student organizations, academic departments and service units. Go, Bobcats!





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