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Executive Board Candidate Statements 2019-20

To view Executive Board Candidate Statements 2019-20, please click on their name below.

Candidate Statements

* indicates winner

Vice President

Secretary

Finance Officer-Elect

Co-Chair for Programs, Events and Outreach

Co-Chair for Communications


Yesenia Curiel *

Current Position Title

CARE Director

Current Department

CARE

Years of service with UC Merced

3

Years of service with UC

3

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

Currently, I serve as the director of the Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE) unit, which provides sexual violence (domestic violence and stalking) prevention and advocacy services. I am a founding member and co-chair of Staff and Faculty of Color Association at UC Merced. Staff Assembly has appointed me on search committee and other campus wide committees. I collaborate with various units on campus to bring awareness of the role that each staff member plays in ending gender-based and interpersonal violence. Prior to relocating to Merced, I worked for Santa Barbara County providing mental health services for people with sever and persistent mental illness. I have over 17 years experience working in the anti-sexual movement through my work at a rape crisis center and coalition work on a state-wide level. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

I serve on the following:

  • Co-Chair- Staff and Faculty of Color Association at UC Merced
  • Co-leader- Language Accessibility Committee Focus on supporting UC Merced to become culturally and linguistically competent
  • Member- UC System-wide CARE Directors
  • Member- Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (CACSW)
  • Member- City of Merced Parks and Recreation Commission

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

This year I was not as involved as I have been in the 2 years prior due to capacity issue with my unit. In the past I was involved in outreach meetings when Jay was on Staff Assembly. I was appointed to serve as the Staff Assembly representative when we hired for a new Chief of Police. I used to attend meetings via Zoom and in person when I was available. We are in the process of hiring a new coordinator in my unit. I am confident that I will be able to attend all the meetings and activities.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

I am confident that I will be a strong representative and advocate to staff members at UC Merced. I believe that I will empower staff to become more involved with Staff Assembly, I will contribute my experience as an active listener and advocate. Serving as the Vice President of Staff Assembly, I will contribute to the team my excellent skills in organization, problem solving and innovation.

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Danielle Dai'Re *

Current Position Title

Research Compliance Analyst

Current Department

Research Compliance & Intergrity

Years of service with UC Merced

10

Years of service with UC

10

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

I have been a compliance analyst in the Office of Research for over 6 years. In my position I am responsible for administering the export controls compliance program and helping administer Human Subjects Research (IRB) compliance. Previously, I spent 3 years in the Graduate Division as the administrative specialist handling purchasing, travel arrangements/reimbursements, and front desk customer service. Prior to joining UC Merced, I worked in commercial lines insurance in Fresno for 5 years.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

While attending Merced College I volunteered to start and lead the History Club, and serviced for 2 years as President and Vice President. Additionally, I volunteer in several areas weekly at my local church.

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

Within the past year I have made an effort to attend all staff assembly events possible, including the town hall meetings, Staff appreciation week and executive board meetings (via video/audio conferencing).

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

If selected my contributions to UC Merced, staff and the executive board will be my communication skills, hard work and positive disposition. My 10 years of experience as a staff member at UC Merced has provided me with a wealth of knowledge, specific skills and connections across campus. I am knowledgeable about UC Merced policies and procedures in several areas. Over the years I have developed the skills necessary for this position, specifically, experience in scheduling, record keeping and organization. Lastly, my time here has provided the opportunity to build relationships with other staff in a variety of departments.

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Alvin Cha *

Current Position Title

Degree Audit and Graduation Analyst

Current Department

Office of the Registrar

Years of service with UC Merced

4.5

Years of service with UC

4.5

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

Currently, I am the Degree Audit and Graduation Analyst for the Office of the Registrar. In my role, I oversee the University’s degree audit system which includes the maintenance, upgrades, and building and encoding our degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, I provide support and services to students who have submitted their graduation application and over see the degree clearance process at the end of each term.

Prior to my time in the Office of the Registrar, I was the Systems Specialist for the Office of Admissions and handled the application data for perspective and incoming students as well as overseeing the function of the systems and processing team.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

  • UC Merced Alumni Association Board
  • Chair of the Student Alumni Relations Committee
  • Board Member since 2017

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

Most of my roles in Staff Assembly has been through participation in events hosted by Staff Assembly.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

If selected to fill this role, I hope that I can provide a new perspective to the challenges presented to the Executive Board, a new voice for staff and become an even stronger advocate for the University of California, Merced.

My experiences in the past have taught me that trying to satisfy 100% of your customers or constituents is nearly impossible. However, just because it might be impossible, it doesn't mean that my goal should ever change from trying to reach 100%. The skills and knowledge that I have picked up over the years from working with different people and systems, as well as my educational background in business administration, has helped me grow professionally and personally. I also know and accept my own weakness and am striving to make up for these areas by working harder to compensate and acquire the skills, knowledge or experience needed for me to continue to grow.

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Wendy Ewald *

Current Position Title

Research Administrator, III

Current Department

School of Engineering

Years of service with UC Merced

11.5

Years of service with UC

13.5

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

Research Administration, pre and post awards from, NIH, DOE, CEC, NSF, NASA, DARPA. Including federal and state reporting. Complete, student appointments and faculty summer salary requests. Also, working with operational accounts in CITRIS and SOE which include balancing the funds each month, year end closure and carryforward amounts.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

Co-chair of the Conflict of Interest Committee for FDP. Volunteer for NCURA Conferences and SRAI Meetings.

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

I have been a volunteer for Commencement and Innovate to Grow events and this year will be supporting the Bio Engineering Symposium.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

My contribution would be team oriented, no one person is better or worse than any other. I also bring many years of UC finance experience as well as policy and procedural experience which I feel is an asset to the Assembly and Executive Board.

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Jennifer Heinrich

Current Position Title

Study Abroad Advisor (Project Policy Analyst 3)

Current Department

Office of International Affairs

Years of service with UC Merced

10

Years of service with UC

10

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

I spent the first 4.5 years with the Office of Admissions in various positions but made the transition to Academics in 2013. I have been with study abroad ever since.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

  • Member, UCEAP Annual Conference Planning Committee 2019, UC Education Abroad Program
  • Member, Minority Serving Institution Task Force 2019, Diversity Abroad
  • Member, General Education Implementation Committee, UC Merced
  • Scholarship Reader, Benjamin A. GilmanScholarship Selection Committee
  • Scholarship Reader, Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship
  • Member, Welcome Week Steering Committee, UC Merced

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

I have attended a couple meetings via Zoom and have joined the Staff Appreciation Week planning committee.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

Although I do not have the background for a finance position, I am motivated to learn new skills and very interested in learning more about finances and budgeting. I am dedicated employee that is fully invested in the positions I have held on campus. I think this shows in the amount of time I have remained in my positions. This is particularly important with the finance elect position since it is a two year commitment.

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Brenda Rojas *

Current Position Title

Scheduling Analyst

Current Department

Office of the Registrar

Years of service with UC Merced

2

Years of service with UC

2

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

I currently work in the Office of the Registrar as the Scheduling Analyst. I coordinate the reservation of instructional classrooms on campus and am the main point of contact for Astra room requests. I also assist with updating the academic schedule and processing class changes. Previously, I worked under contract positions with Admissions as an Articulation Assistant and the Office of the Registrar as the Graduation and Degree Audit Specialist.

I am also an alumni from UC Merced and as an undergraduate student I was a Peer Mentor for the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

  • Staff and Faculty of Color; Co-Secretary
  • Language Accessibility Committee; member
  • Enrollment Management Engagement Committee
  • Special Olympics; Coach

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

In the past year, I have become more active in attending Staff Assembly events and meetings through zoom.

Now that I am more familiar with Staff Assembly, I would like to become more involved.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

If selected to be on the board, I can use my knowledge of room and event scheduling to improve the coordination of programs and events that Staff Assembly hosts. I actively push towards transparency in whatever group or activity I participate in and would like to extend this to the work I can do as a Co-Chair for Events and Outreach. I think this would help with creating more visibility for Staff Assembly; in hopes of getting more staff to be active. Furthermore, as a newer staff member, I can also add my perspective on how to outreach to recently hired staff members. I believe this would be a great opportunity to meet more staff members and learn how I can better advocate for others on our campus.

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Austyn Smith *

Current Position Title

Events Coordinator

Current Department

SSHA

Years of service with UC Merced

5

Years of service with UC

5

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

I am currently the Events Coordinator within the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts and have been in my position nearly two years. I previously worked in the Center for the Humanities and UC Merced Library.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

I was a volunteer in the California 4-H Program for 5 years and a member for 10 years before that. At UCM I am part of the SSHA Staff Appreciation Committee and Professional Development Committee and helped to execute appreciation events and programs as well as team building and professional development events and programs.

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

I have attended events organized by Staff Assembly.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

Since I currently work as an events coordinator, I would have knowledge of the processes and policies needed to help create new events and programs as well as make sure current events and programs are appropriately planned and fulfilled. I am interested in learning more about Staff Assembly's role at UC Merced and becoming more involved in my campus and be able to give back to our staff. I was a student at UC Merced and was a recipient of the Staff Assembly Scholarship for Children of Employees and so I feel I want to be able to help build and grow that program to help our students.

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Sonal Gadre *

Current Position Title

Research Compliance Analyst

Current Department

Office of Research and Economic Development

Years of service with UC Merced

6

Years of service with UC

6

Provide a brief history of your work experience, beginning with your present position

I handle Research Subjects Protection for UCM to make sure the exceptionally talented researchers; faculty and students are in compliance with state and federal laws. I believe the work(research) done by my researchers will make a difference, so I strive to provide excellence in my multiple roles as their advisor, advocate, and a leader. Prior to my current position, I was managing the Intellectual Property operations and portfolio for the Office of Technology Transfer where I was always amazed by the inventions and helped the faculty in trying to commercialize them.

List any UC, committee, community service, or other major volunteer commitments, including the name of the organization and your role (especially leadership roles) therein

Whenever I have a chance, I try to serve the UCM community. I served on the DCC Parking and Security Committee and I am an active DCC Assistant Building Safety Officer. Within my unit, I always try and help whether it is Research Week or ORED social events.

In the past year, how have you played an active role in Staff Assembly? This can include committee work, participation in events or attendance at Executive Board meetings

I feel I have always supported the Staff Assembly by attending the Staff Appreciation events. Initially, when I started my career and then had my second child, time became a luxury. As I have grown in my career and now that my children are independent, I have managed to strike work and home life balance and I'm ready to serve my UCM community further by serving the Staff Assembly.

If you are selected to fill this role, what do you feel would be your contribution to the University of California, Merced, staff, and the Executive Board? How have your past experiences given you the knowledge and skills to provide this contribution

I believe in people and the mission of the Staff Assembly. My education and skills developed over the years will help me in serving on this committee. However; I believe in making real, honest and authentic connections as people matter. 

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