Celebrating excellence at Brandman
Innovation, service, teamwork, integrity, respect. Those were the values being celebrated by Brandman faculty and staff Tuesday at the annual Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (C.A.F.E.) dinner. Richard Carnes, site director at the Hanford campus, received the overall award for excellence and Dr. Lata Murti received the Faculty of the Year award.
Chancellor Gary Brahm presented the C.A.F.E. awards, created to recognize employees who have excelled in their roles and responsibilities and contributed in a positive way to the culture of Brandman University. Chosen from dozens of nominations, the winners for the five values categories were:
Innovation: Lisa King. The One Stop specialist at the Walnut Creek campus was described as “a team player and committed to our students.” She developed, organized and implemented new procedures for enrollment management and action plans.
Service: Mala Sharma, assistant vice chancellor, military services. Sharma “has gone the extra mile since arrival at Brandman to help ensure the needs of the organization, campuses and students are met by bringing resources together in order to address the overall needs” of each constituency.
Respect: Dona Sheets, faculty services specialist at the Roseville campus. A long-time employee with nearly 30 years with the university, Sheets spent many years working in financial aid. “She worked with each student as they experienced job loss, marriage, divorce, death in the family, bankruptcy and foreclosure. Our students knew that they could come to her with their most personal of pains and be treated with the most professional and respectful service.”
Integrity: Alan Dumke, senior academic advisor at the Ontario campus. Describing integrity “the value we have when no one is watching … it is the trait that at the end of our days , we hope this would be one quality that people remember about us,” Dumke’s nominators said he was “never too busy to stop and listen” and “in this crazy work, with many people wanting only for themselves, to work with a person like Alan allows a hope that mankind is going to be alright.”
Teamwork: Henry Balanza,information technology. The programmer analyst “always looks at problems as opportunities and suggests and implements unique solutions for each one, going above and beyond the call of duty.” Able to communicate well with those who don’t always understand technology, Balanza was described as being an asset to any team he is on.”
Award for Excellence: Richard Carnes, the Hanford site director and recently appointed Modesto campus director. Carnes was described as always having the “what’s best for Brandman attitude” and praised for being “an excellent staff member who brought energy and excitement to a group of employees who had not experienced this type of leadership before.”
President of the Faculty Assembly Dr. Tim Becker announced the faculty of the year winners for each school:
Arts and Sciences: Dr. Leigh Ann Wilson. In addition to teaching and developing history courses, Wilson was praised for working across disciplines and schools to create meaningful curriculum for Brandman students. Those nominating her said, “She has worked tirelessly to update history classes to make them interesting and relevant to Brandman students, while maintaining academic rigor.” Among her many strengths: creating relationships and connections.
Education: Dr. Carla Piper. Described as “the consummate professional and lifelong learner,” Piper was praised for taking the lead in developing best practices for the synchronous meetings and mentoring multiple and single subject candidates at the Modesto and Visalia campuses, in addition to all the instructors in the system. Her contributions to the recent successful NCATE and CTC assessments were described as invaluable.
Nursing: Dr. Vanessa Kalis. Described as a pivotal member of the faculty, a team player and expert in adult-gerontologic acute care, Kalis, despite many outside activities, “loves teaching and is constantly working with her students to ensure they enter the workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge.” Her students have a 99 percent pass rate on certification exams.
Business: Dr. Jalin Johnson. In addition to attending multiple symposium, mentoring students, developing new techniques to align students to real world concepts, Johnson “hit the street running” this year and was praised for working with emerging young leaders.
University: Dr. Lata Murti. “In almost every sense, Lata defines the root meaning of the word colleague-ship (to work or gather together as peers),” wrote her nominators. In addition to teaching, mentoring and research, Murti was also a new member of the Governance and Appeals Committee where she “has been instrumental in moving forward the committee’s work.”
Executive Vice Chancellor Charles Bullock formally announced 12 faculty promotions at a luncheon earlier Tuesday, three times as many as in previous years.
Promoted from assistant to associate professor: Dr. Ellen Derwin, Arts and Sciences; Dr. Christopher Deulen, Arts and Sciences: Dr. Helen Eckman, Business and Professional Studies; Dr. Marnie Elam, Arts and Sciences: Dr. Faith Polk, Education; Dr. Isa Ribadu, Arts and Sciences; Dr. Alan Enomoto, Education.
Promoted to professor: Dr. John Freed, Arts and Sciences; Dr. Bill Hale, Education, Kat Ringenbach, Arts and Sciences and Dr David Sloan, Education; Kathy Theuer, Education.
Bullock said all had demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring and service.
Dr. Betty McEady was named professor emeritus in the School of Education. She was honored with a special Brandman watch and a proclamation praising her for her contributions to the university, her work as a mentor to teachers and students at the Walnut Creek campus and her service to the Bay Area community including serving on the San Francisco Unified School District advisory council and the leader of Alternatives to Violence program in Oakland.
McEady said she was making the transition from happiness through Brandman to happiness the Buddhist way, citing a favorite author Buddhist comedian Sylvia Boorstein. Motioning to Bullock and Chancellor Brahm, she said, “Thank you for making it the university that you promised you would make us.” She praised Brahm for always being willing to answer the faculty’s questions and offering leadership and support.
Brahm said, “More and more people ask, ‘how does Brandman do it.’ I say it’s all about the faculty. Our faculty embraces what we do and makes it happen.”
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