A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Staff Appreciation Week Breaks Attendance Records

May 25, 2017

Chancellor Leland and a group of staff members do the Electric Slide during the staff picnic.Staff Appreciation Week (SAW 2017) was one for the record books.

With nearly 450 employees at the kickoff breakfast on May 16 and more than 600 at the picnic on May 19, this year’s events drew participation from a significant portion of staff. According to the UC Merced Fast Facts page, the campus employs about 1,100 full- and part-time non-student workers.

The kickball tournament and series of campus tours also drew crowds. Ten teams  a total of 120 players and alternates from across the campus — participated in the one-day competition. With team names such as The Wrecking Krew, Dream Crushers, Ballbarians and We are RAD, players put on their game faces for the tourney. The winning title and associated bragging rights went to Team DAR, headed up by Development and Alumni Relations. More than 90 staff members registered for tours of the Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve and the sustainable and energy-efficient Central Plant, which occurred throughout the week.

Four staff members from facilities pose with a beach ball.“I’m pleased that so many of our staff members were able to take part in Staff Appreciation Week activities and enjoy the company of their co-workers,” Staff Assembly President Pam Taylor said. “UC Merced experienced an incredible year, and staff members were behind the scenes every step of the way, working hard to ensure the success of our students, faculty and the campus at large.” 

Change of Pace

The annual celebration, organized by UC Merced Staff Assembly with generous support from both Human Resources and the Office of the Chancellor, salutes staff members for their contributions and service to the university. Staff members shared photos of week with Staff Assembly and those images appear in the SAW 2017 photo album on the Staff Assembly Facebook page.

Staff members watch as a man holds and discusses a drone.In the spirit of giving staff members a true break and opportunity to unplug, the culminating Staff Picnic was simplified and held in the shaded plaza between Classroom and Office Building 2 and the Kolligian Library. Most attendees pre-ordered boxed lunches provided by external vendors, which allowed Dining Services the time off to participate as guests and gave local restaurants a boost in business. It also streamlined the process of getting lunch and ensured that there was plenty to go around for everyone. The Cupcake Lady provided dessert while DJ Lamont Walker entertained the crowd with music and a hula hoop competition. An on-site photo booth sent attendees home with photographic mementos.

Secret Surprise

Chancellor Leland stands outdoors with Pam Taylor, David Ellington and two Council of UC Staff Assembly representatives.Record attendance wasn’t the only surprise of the week. During the Staff Picnic, Chancellor Dorothy Leland was caught off guard by the honor of receiving the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) 2017 Outstanding Senior Leadership Award.

CUCSA Chair Rejeana Mathis of UCLA and Chair-Elect Lina Layiktez of UC Davis presented the award as Taylor and Staff Assembly Vice President David Ellington stood nearby. Taylor and Ellington are UC Merced’s CUCSA delegates and nominated Leland for the award in February.

A story about Leland's Outstanding Leadership Award will appear soon on UC Merced's University News site.