The UCSF HR Employee Recognition Program Selection Committee is pleased to announce the most recent recipients of the UCSF HR SPOT Award: Jenny Cho, Daniel Fleming, Emily Hong, Linda Howze, Candy Lam, Wilson Lee, Alice Chan, Chelsea Chatin, Lydia Rodriguez, Margery Lazarus, Brad Nakano, Dan Hrabosky, and Julie Millhollon! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the UCSF HR organization!

Margery Lazarus – Lead HR Generalist, Academic Shared Services

Margery was nominated for taking the initiative to improve academic processes. She quickly learned a complex processes and procedures, the terms and the UC, UCSF, and department policies. She mastered the process of appointments and advancements with aplomb, as well as rewriting procedures to help streamline the process. Margery also made the process more efficient by transitioning the group from a paper-dependent process to electronic, and helped the group learn about Zoom which brought more flexibility into timing aspects for meetings and discussions.  Her ability to provide quick judgement and optional suggestions increased participation and involvement. With busy schedules, Margery stayed positive, calm, and was ready to solve problems. Her customer orientation is phenomenal as well as her ability to handle various situations.

A bit more about Margery:

  • What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

“Super cool is the monthly Advance Ambassadors meetings. The meeting brings together stakeholders from VPAA and HR to improve a key software product for faculty advancement. Working together we prioritize enhancements for the software, and those improvements help me, my fellow HR academic generalists, as well as our faculty and department clients. It’s a win-win progress each time we meet. Love it!”

  • What is the most important trait you bring to your job?

“I’m most effective when I bring critical thinking to help diagnose the problems that we face and help to devise effective solutions.”

Team Spot Award: Lydia Rodriguez (Transactional Services, Analyst), Alice Chan (HR Business Services, Unit Assistant) and Chelsea Chatin (HR Business Services, Coordinator).

Alice, Chelsea, and Lydia were nominated for their significant contributions to HR staff morale and engagement. When the View Café at Laurel Heights closed in June 2019, HR Business Services (HRBS) was tasked with a temporary solution to provide snacks and accommodations for all HR suites at Laurel Heights and MCB. As a team, they analyzed cost, discussed and planned logistics, and implemented the project for over 150 employees. Despite the many challenges they faced, it didn’t hinder their process flow, which at times, varied on a weekly basis and created additional arrangements. They provided valuable suggestions for organizing shared common areas and schedules that didn’t interrupt operation hours. This was an extremely difficult task as HRBS, at the time, experienced a wave of employee onboarding and offboarding, while also completing the Emergency Action Planning (EAP) and annual space inventory.

Alice, Chelsea, and Lydia exemplified all five PRIDE values of Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence during a critical time for our HR organization.

A bit more about Alice:

  • Who inspires you and why?

“The spirit of innovation inspires me because it gives hope that there is more and there is better in this world. It’s what drives progress forward to the next level of living and the vehicle for new discoveries and developments. I find that inspiring.”

  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?

“Live life to exceed expectations and adapt a forward-thinking attitude – that’s how you win in life.”

A bit more about Chelsea:

  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?

“I passionately invest in my community. I became aware of my privileges at a young age and because of this, I have always felt a responsibility to share opportunities, knowledge, and skills with the people in my community. I’ve coached youth sports, mentored teenagers, and successfully connected many people in my community to job opportunities. This passion led me to study Public Health at San Francisco State, and ultimately to my career at UCSF.”

  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?

“Take care of yourself first. I am a huge promoter of self-care. As employees of UCSF, we have a large responsibility to support the university and meet the needs of our clients. We are constantly responding to our clients, our supervisors, our teams, our families, our children, our schooling and often we push our own needs and priorities to the side for the benefit of others. But we can’t take care of others if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Here are some FREE things that I do: Free Saturdays at the De Young Museum for SF residents,  go for a hike, do yoga, or try this meditation app.”

A bit more about Lydia:

  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?

"Well, a piece of advice that I like to share is to always be a team player. Help as much as you can, be understanding, be compassionate, listen first and then speak. Just treat everyone the way you want to be treated.”

  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?

“My two passions outside of work are things I share with my husband: rock concerts (such as Iron Maiden and KISS and others) and our local sports team (SF Giants, SJ Giants, 49ers, Warriors, Sharks).”

Team Spot Award: Jenny Cho (Talent Acquisition, Specialist), Dan Fleming (Staff Shared Services, HR Generalist), Emily Hong (Compensation, Senior Analyst), Linda Howze (Staff Shared Services, HR Generalist), Candy Lam (Compensation, Senior Analyst), and Wilson Lee (Compensation, Lead Analyst).

This is a team SPOT nomination for the SME workgroup that worked on the Straight Replacement / New Position, Like Job Process that launched to the Campus on December 9, 2019. This new recruitment process was developed to improve turnaround timing for certain types of staff recruitment requests. The implementation of this new process resulted in changes for our clients as well as for our HR colleagues in Compensation, Staff Shared Services, and Talent Acquisition. Clients needed to understand new definitions and eligibility criteria and what documentation is required to submit these types of requests. The aforementioned HR teams needed to understand the same, as well as new internal handoffs, new routing for PeopleConnect Management Actions recruitment cases, and new internal turnaround timing for recruitment requests.

Beginning in April 2019, the new process was piloted to a select group of clients, along with the Job Builder system (a University of California, Office of the President (UCOP) system that allows users to create, edit, and share electronic job descriptions within a UC-wide tool). The SME workgroup was responsible for providing support to clients and HR colleagues during the pilot, and bringing questions and findings back to weekly team meetings so we could troubleshoot, find solutions, and create improvements where applicable. Because they were conducting two pilots at once, they needed to always decipher whether the issues and challenges were based on the new process, need for user education, or system functionality. Each SME applied expertise from their personal area of work to help solve problems and determine the most effective solutions. This workgroup provided their effort in additional to all the regular work they normally carry out in each of their roles.

Individual contributions include the following:

  • Jenny Cho and Candy Lam: Volunteered to meet and design a sub-process for the consultation process between Talent Acquisition and Compensation
  • Emily Hong: Provided deep analysis and detailed feedback on process steps, and expert-user feedback to UCOP on the Job Builder system
  • Linda Howze: Created a job aid which guides clients on how to locate previously-approved job descriptions so they can attach them to their PeopleConnect Management Actions requests
  • Wilson Lee: Attended bi-weekly meetings with UCOP focusing on the Job Builder system and discussed UCSF user-experiences to help make improvements to the UC-wide system
  • Dan Fleming and Linda Howze: Contributed to the new sub-process that outlines how Staff Shared Services and Compensation will collaborate on the types of recruitment that route directly to Compensation.

A bit more about Jenny:

  • What are you passionate about?

“I love yoga (more specifically hot yoga) and applying yoga principles and philosophy on and off my mat. Yoga keeps me grounded and gives me the opportunity to grow in ways I’ve never imagined. Yoga challenges my physical boundaries, brings awareness to my breathing, and teaches me how to be more mindful in my day-to-day life.”

  • What is one important skill that each person should have?

“Our team just finished reading “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goldman as a part of Engagement Action Plan so we may understand and apply emotional intelligence in the workplace (which is as equally important in people’s everyday lives). Emotional awareness is a skill where the individual is aware of the emotions they are experiencing as well as those who are around them. It’s an important skill to have to determine our success in the workplace, in our relationships, and ultimately, our own well-being.”

A bit more about Candy:

  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?


  • What is one word you would use to describe your team?


A bit more about Emily:

  • What did you find particularly interesting about participating in this SME workgroup that members of the UCSF HR organization may not be aware of?

“Working with a cross functional team on this project was interesting, and we were able to bring our different perspectives together and focus on what was important.”

  • What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

“Job evaluations.”

A bit more about Linda:

  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?

“My advice is that in order to communicate well, you have to be a good listener.”

  • Who inspires you and why?

“Oprah. I love that she is such a compassionate and giving person. One of her best skills is she really listens to people and she’s very empathetic.”

A bit more about Wilson:

  • What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

“Job Builder Implementation and Union Contract Wage Implementation.”

  • What is one important skill that each person should have?

“Humility – Staying humble will allow one to see what needs to be improved upon; whereas, ‘arrogance’ will hinder it.”

A bit more about Daniel:

  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?

“I’m passionate about working together with team members to combine our strengths and achieve common goals. Outside of work I’m passionate about collecting and listening to vintage vinyl records.”

  • What is one important skill that each person should have?

“If there’s one important skill I think everyone should have, it would probably be critical thinking. We’re all inundated with a high volume of information, much of it lacking in quality, so the ability to carefully consider incoming messages and weigh them against the few things we know to be true is key. I’m always trying to improve my ability in this area!”

Team Spot Award: Dan Hrabosky (Executive Assistant to Jenny Schreiber), Julie Millhollon (Staff Shared Services, HR Generalist), and Brad Nakano (HR Communications, Communications and Website Analyst).

Dan, Julie and Brad recently assisted the Staff HR Managers and their team members with a process mapping project that needed quick turnaround. Dan, Julie, and Brad were highly responsive and worked with the Staff HR Managers and their teams to brainstorm, capture ideas in real-time, and develop and revise Visio process maps to reflect streamlined and improved processes for different actions carried out by Staff Shared Services. They spent time learning the Visio program and then updated and revised numerous versions of the maps in addition to responding to numerous daily project emails. This level of responsiveness was paramount to the project’s success, especially the translation of brainstormed ideas into Visio maps.

The nominators noted that the SPOT recipients “were all a true joy to work with, and their reliability, dedication and can-do attitude must be recognized. In addition to assisting on this time-sensitive project on short notice, they still had the responsibility of workloads and deadlines in their normal day jobs.” The nominators also note that this project should “make a huge impact on our overall customer service index scores.”

A bit more about Dan:

  • What is one word you would use to describe your team?

“Work with an awesome HR department.”

  • What are you passionate about (either at work or outside of work)?

“Love ancient Roman and Greek history – my vacations are to visit ancient history sites.”

A bit more about Julie:

  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?

“I would share this advice spoken so well in first person by our former FLOTUS: ““I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”” ~ Michelle Obama

  • What is one word you would use to describe your team?

“My one word for the team would definitely be supportive. I enjoy watching many team members often reaching out to help other members with workload, even when they themselves have much on their own plates -- True teamwork. I feel grateful to work with such gracious people.”

A bit more about Brad:

  • What are you passionate about?

“Outside of work, I’m passionate about playing competitive basketball, practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and going to the gym. Even though these activities exert a lot of energy, there is a piece of mind because I have a little more control over these environments. I appreciate seeing progress and growth, and not just my progress but others. I learn a lot from my opponents, teachers/coaches, and the people I engage with. I’m also very passionate about being a dad and even though my son is still too young to partake in sports, I enjoy watching him learn and take interest in the activities I’m passionate about as well.”

  • What great piece of advice do you like to share with others?

“The one piece of advice that I like to share with others is to enjoy life, slow down, take your time and relish the moments, and eat and eat and eat all the food you can!”

The next submission deadline for the UCSF HR SPOT nominations is Thursday, February 27, 2020. For additional information, please go to the HR website and learn about UCSF HR’s internal Employee Recognition Program.