A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Education is a Big Part of Staffer's Life

August 26, 2014

Education seems to be in Ariel Banda’s blood.

She was born and raised in Merced, earned her associate’s degree at Merced College in 2010, her bachelor’s in psychology at California State University, Stanislaus, in 2012, and went back to Merced College, where she recently earned her associate’s in business administration.

It seems inevitable that her career would be at a place of higher learning.

In early October, Banda will have worked at UC Merced for four years, always with the Office of Research. But she might look familiar to some people who have never visited her office – her older sister April also works at UC Merced, in Academic Affairs.

Working with her sister seems inevitable, too, because Banda said she comes from a large, close-knit family.

Please describe what you do in the course of your job.

I work in the operations unit of the Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED). Operations provides varied and general administrative and financial support to several departments, organized research institutes and core service units. My job duties range from reconciling our department’s accounts to organizing department events. In addition, I train new administrative staff members, process the recharges for the Department of Animal Research Services (DARS) and our Stem Cell Instrumentation Foundry (SCIF), and am the lead administrative officer for travel and procurement requests.

What brought you to UC Merced?

I was born and raised here in Merced, so when I saw a position posted to work here in the community that I grew up in, I jumped at the opportunity.

What do you like best about working here?

Working at UC Merced while it’s still developing allows staff members to develop skills in so many different areas. Each day is a new adventure as we all navigate our paths.

What are some of the challenges you face at work and how do you overcome them?

Like many others, a major challenge that I face at work is time. In my everyday duties, sometimes it’s difficult to find enough time accomplish all that needs to be done. It’s key to have a solid foundation of support you can call upon when necessary. I am fortunate enough to work with great people, in my department and outside, who readily lend a hand or invaluable knowledge to ensure my department’s needs are met.

Tell us something about yourself that most people here probably don’t know.

About two years ago I took up running. Having never been a runner before, I did not realize how much I would truly enjoy it. I have now completed two half marathons and will complete my third half marathon in November.