We are pleased to announce the most recent recipients of the UCSF HR SPOT Award. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the UCSF HR organization!

Kevin Ching: Benefits Analyst, Benefits

Reason: Kevin was nominated for a SPOT award for his impact on the annual retirement education event, “Ticket to Your UC Retirement.” The UCRP and the UCSF Retirement Savings Plan  are huge components of an employee’s total compensation package, and this annual event provides value and understanding of these great benefits, allowing them to have a financial peace of mind as they plan for their future, or are about to retire. This year, Kevin successfully enhanced the event by co-sponsoring the event with Fidelity. This partnership led to an informative webpage, online event registration, as well as both free parking and free lunch – all of which created weeks of unplanned extra work for Kevin. Kevin’s insightful and excellent spearheading of the Fidelity co-sponsorship of ‘Ticket to Your UC Retirement’/’UC Pathway’ event supports two of the Chancellor’s Priorities (“Continuous Learning” and “Transformative Partnerships”), as well as all 5 of the PRIDE values.

Some of Kevin’s impactful efforts include:

  • Created multiple occurrences of the event at different campuses to increase engagement and participation
  • Took the lead to coordinate with vendors, IT, parking, transportation
  • Met regularly with UCOP and Fidelity to work on the content
  • Secured subject matter experts to speak on every topic, including from the population of Retirees and Emeriti Association

A little about Kevin:

  • What did you find particularly interesting about the “Ticket to Your UC Retirement” event that members of the UCSF HR organization may not be aware of?
    “It is very gratifying to have a role in an event that touches so many of our employees. The University of California Retirement System really does promote the aspect of retirement and offers so much in terms of retirement benefits. Our Pathway/Ticket to Your UC Retirement event is sponsored by the Campus Benefits Specialty Office and is one of the channels that employees can attend to find out and learn more about their primary retirement benefit - as well as the voluntary opportunities available to supplement that primary benefit. It is also a great opportunity for employees to meet and address their retirement related questions with representatives from various offices, including the Social Security Administration.
  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?
    “Outside of work, I am most passionate about traveling. I love the opportunity to be able to explore and experience the people and the food in other countries.”

Michelle Lam: HR Generalist, Staff Shared Services

Reason: Michelle’s SPOT award is due to her skillful management of a project which affected MSP Staff Physicians. Roll out for the School of Medicine merit/range adjustment had to be planned quickly, and made retroactive to July 1. Without her own previous roadmap to refer to, Michelle conferred with her leadership team to better understand the end-goal. She worked in conjunction with Transactions Services Unit (TSU), and took the lead on verifying data, communicating with department management teams, answering questions from department leaders, keeping Staff Shared Services up to date on the progress, and reassembling the re-verified data into a spreadsheet that was provided to TSU. 

Even though MSP processing is only a part of Michelle’s regular duties, she applied her same principles of completing her work with high standards resulting in:

  • Very thorough and accurate work qualities, which were required for this project
  • Focus on excellent customer service by providing timely and informed responses, which were greatly appreciated by department leaders

Michelle’s management of this project exemplified why she is such a valuable member of our team.

A little about Michelle:

  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?
    “I enjoy spending time outdoors with friends and family.”
  • What is one word you would use to describe your team
    "I would say my team is collaborative."


Lizzie Kennon: HR Generalist, Staff Shared Services

Reason: Lizzie’s SPOT award is due to her excellent client relationships, her collaborative approach, as well as her continuous support of her client’s business, exemplifying the Chancellor’s Priority of Transformative Partnerships. Lizzie partnered with her client, whose department doubled in size within just a few months by incorporating an outside group which resulted in hiring 50 new employees.  Lizzie went above and beyond to ensure groups of the new staff employees had a seamless transition to UCSF. She identified and recommended the most appropriate UCSF job family and function based on one-page job descriptions for 35 of the people who were hired into UCSF, and collaborated with Talent Acquisition who approved a group of recruitment waivers.

Some examples include:

  • Lizzie coordinated a special onboarding session for the new hires and provided extensive one-on-one support to educate on UCSF policies and contracts
  • Lizzie continues to collaborate with the new management team to ensure they understand UCSF policies with the CPIC policies

Client feedback includes:

  • Lizzie is an HR Super STAR who consistently demonstrated above-and-beyond hard work, commitment, creativity, and responsiveness, all with good humor, patience and grace!
  • This rapid growth in a particularly short period of time is almost unprecedented. UCSF’s systems are generally not designed for such an “onslaught” of new hires, but thanks to Lizzie’s in-depth understanding of her craft, amazing organizational skills and willingness to take on a challenge, our department now benefits from the richness of these 50+ new staff.

A little about Lizzie:

  • Who inspires you and why? 
    “The person who inspires me the most is my mom. She has taught me many lessons over the years like hard work does pay off, do my best because no matter what the outcome was as long as I did my best I could be proud of myself, in HR there is no problem that can’t be fixed so don’t stress over the small stuff, and to never complain about a problem I wasn’t willing to be part of the solution for. She was constantly pushing my sister and me to be better and to experience new things. She did it herself and watching and learning from her has always encouraged me! She is my rock.”
  • What is one important skill that each person should have?
    ”It’s hard to pick just one! There are so many skills that make us. However, an important skill that seems to be fading (and shouldn’t!) is public speaking. The ability to speak clearly and persuasively in front of an audience, whether an audience of one or hundreds, is one of the most important skills anyone can develop that will contribute to work and life success.”


Shirley Silveira: Benefits Analyst, Benefits

Reason: Shirley’s SPOT award is due to her significant impact and support for a group of faculty from another institution that recently merged with UCSF. Approximately 30 outside faculty became UCSF faculty, which generated different changes, including to their benefits. Even though November, December, and January are the busiest months for Benefits due to open enrollment, Shirley rose to the occasion to support the faculty transition. She took the initiative by hosting special webinars, conducting phone consultations, and providing additional guidance. She also assisted a number of faculty to expedite their health plan enrollments during the week of December 24th. Shirley’s willingness to provide excellent customer service had a positive impact, and improved the overall experience for faculty transitioning to UCSF.

Some of these examples include:

  • Handling each faculty member with professionalism, patience and kindness
  • Collaborating with faculty members about different kinds of situations
  • Listened, respected, and involved faculty during the decision process, empowering them to make the right decision
  • Demonstrated accountability and was a valuable partner during the process

A little about Shirley:

  • What did you find particularly interesting about the activities around transitioning faculty into UCSF that members of the HR organization may not be aware of? 
    “I feel as through my expertise in benefits and retirement helped the faculty transition to UCSF. I was understanding and helpful during a difficult time for the group and made the transition as seamless as possible.”
  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?
    “Be kind to each other, kindness goes a long way.”

Click here for more information on UCSF HR’s SPOT Award program (MyAccess login required). Questions about the program should be directed to the UCSF HR Employee Recognition Committee.