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Staff Excellence Awards Guidelines

UC Merced Staff Assembly is pleased to announce the 2022-23 Staff Citation of Excellence Award Program. The purpose of the Staff Excellence Awards program is to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding achievements and meritorious service. Up to seven individuals will be honored this year and presented with the award in the fall. Each recipient receives $500*. the fund may be subjected to change.

NOTE: career CX and KM unit employees are the only represented employees eligible to receive the cash award at this time and a crystal award. A perpetual plaque with the names of the award recipients is prominently displayed on campus.

Submit Nominations Here

Nominations for the 2023 Staff Excellence Award Cycle must be submitted by March 22, 2023


The Staff Excellence Awards will be awarded to one individual nominated in each of the following seven categories. Individuals may be nominated to more than one category of award, but no person may win more than one award in the same year.

Criteria of Each Award

Outstanding Customer Service and Job Performance

Demonstrated and sustained outstanding performance that consistently exceeds goals and job expectations in quantity and quality, resulting in significant achievement or significant impact upon UC Merced.

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate and exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Provides excellent customer service by proactively building relationships to understand, predict, and respond to customer needs with the motivation to go above and beyond to ensure the customer needs are met.
    2. Demonstrates excellent communication skills and best practices; proactively keeps others informed through various communication channels; ensures stakeholders involved in a task or project are well-informed of the status of the project or task.
    3. Anticipates and actively problem solves with minimal assistance from supervisor; recognizes when decision is necessary and involves relevant stakeholders.
    4. Understands and consistently demonstrates project management; very effective in establishing and organizing priorities; anticipates deadlines and performs tasks on time, accurately, and with few errors; balances multiple deadlines and demonstrates readiness for higher level responsibility.
    5. Understands all phases of the job and its relation to other positions; awareness of how their work directly impacts the success of their team; sets professional goals, self-monitors progress and self-corrects performance to meet goals and communicates with the supervisor.


One-time innovation or creation resulting in a significant impact on the process, workflow, or department and/or unit function. This may be either reflected in efficiency gains, increased work product, or morale improvements in the department/unit.

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate and exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Innovation or creation resulting in a significant impact on process, workflow, or department and/or unit function.
    2. Proactively pursues results and looks for creative solutions on a regular basis and often contributes innovative ideas and solutions to existing problems
    3. Created product or idea draws on a wide variety of sources, including different texts, media, resource persons, or personal experiences
    4. Created product is interesting, new, or helpful, making an original contribution that includes identifying a previously unknown problem, issue, or purpose
    5. Organized and reorganized ideas into different categories or combinations and then evaluate whether the results are interesting, new, or helpful.


Acting as an exceptionally effective and cooperative member of a team dedicated to making positive change.

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate and exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Communication is of the highest caliber; clear, persuasive, accurate, and focused on the needs of specific individuals and groups.
    2. Exemplifies respect and promotes a welcoming work environment; inspires collaboration by bridging gaps among diverse individuals and units.
    3. Consistently goes beyond direct responsibilities to achieve team and department goals; welcomes new challenges.
    4. Demonstrating superior interactions and a positive influence on managers, peers, supervisors, subordinates, and the university community

Organizational & Leadership Abilities

Demonstrated extraordinary leadership resulting in the accomplishment of significant goals or objectives that serve the good of UC Merced.

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate or exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Significant UC Merced community/departmental improvement or significant project management
    2. Demonstrated drive and initiative involving people, events, programs, projects, and/or teams.
    3. Promotes a respectful and supportive work environment and inspires others to learn and grow.
    4. Demonstrated above average judgment in evaluating situations and making sound and ethical decisions
    5. Demonstrated exceptional service to the institution and/or community at large (e.g. voluntary participation in campus committees).
    6. Extended their self to help others with a high degree of excellence, professionalism, and integrity in their work

Staff Engagement

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate or exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Engages in campus activities such as committees and/or initiatives, workgroups, advising/mentoring of staff or student organizations above and beyond their campus role
    2. In the spirit of our campus principles of community, employee will demonstrate the ability to hold themselves accountable and invites colleagues and peers to do the same.
    3. Providing inspiration as a role model to encourage others to engage in campus activities
    4. Engages in innovative thinking setting an example for other colleagues.
    5. Team player, employee will demonstrate the ability to collaborate and works exceptionally well with other staff on campus.

People Management

An outstanding manager or supervisor leads and engages people to maximize organization and individual performance through alignment with the University mission and attainment of strategic and operational goals.

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate and exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Is a leader in addressing conflicts through an empathetic leadership framework, promptly using strong communication skills, and making suitable referrals or recommendations; exemplifies ability to gather and utilize constructive feedback
    2. Consistently and effectively acknowledges employees' initiative to improve skills, enhance contributions, and show appreciation and understanding 
    3. Has a positive attitude and manages with respect, fairness, transparency, and honesty; humanize the work environment and treat employees as people
    4. Empowers employees' professional development training and career development. 
    5. Creates a shared vision of organizational and operational excellence; connects department goals and individual contributions to vision.
    6. Promotes teamwork while supporting individuals' well-being and represents the values and norms that contribute to a supportive workplace culture that is free of discrimination, microaggression, and bullying.

Equity, Justice, and Inclusive Excellence

Recognizes a staff or manager for the work they do that cultivates a culture of dignity and respect, ensuring that all members of the community thrive as their authentic selves through equitable and inclusive structures, policies, and practices.

  1. The selected nominee will demonstrate and exhibit the following outstanding skills:
    1. Contributes to fostering, creating, or sustaining a healthy campus culture at UC Merced, deepening the collective appreciation for equity, justice, and inclusive excellence
    2. Engages in work or activities that promotes cultural competency, reflects equitable practices, affirms the Principles of Community and are inclusive in scope and depth
    3. Communicates and engages in difficult dialogues related to diversity and inclusion
    4. Encourages personal or professional growth of self or colleagues through leadership in positive interactions and communications related to equity, diversity, or inclusion
    5. Participate, support or lead activities that have promoted a campus environment that is welcoming, supportive, and nurturing of cultural, ethnic, racial, class, gender, sexual orientation, language, and other differences
    6. Contributes to raising awareness and consciousness about diversity and inclusion within the context of the university’s mission and for the greater good of the Merced community


  • All eligible Nominees must have a minimum of one year of UC Merced employment by the nomination deadline date of ***
  • Nominees must be Professional and Support Staff (PSS) members, or Managers and Senior Professional Manager (MSP) members who are not in a Career Tracks “Manager” classification. Nominees may be non-represented or represented
    (NOTE: Based on labor agreements, only CX represented and KM represented employees are eligible to receive the cash award at this time).
  • Members of the Managers and Senior Professional (MSP) group who are in a Career Tracks Manager classification, Senior Management Group (SMG) programs, academics, and student employees are not eligible to be nominated for the following award categories: Outstanding Customer Service and Job Performance, Creativity, Teamwork, Organizational/Leadership Abilities, and Staff Engagement. However, they are strongly encouraged to nominate PSS OR Non-Manager MSP employees.
  • Eligible nominations for the People Management award must be an individual who oversees the work and timesheets of direct staff reports and must have been in the role for a minimum of one year. Confirmation of supervisory status will be determined by Human Resource. 
  • All staff may be nominated for the Equity, Justice, and Inclusive Excellence award if they have met eligibility criteria 1.
  • All Nominations must include the Statement of Nomination and a Statement of Endorsement. Nominations without both statements and endorsement, will not be considered for eligibility.
  • Nominees are not eligible for the same award if they received an award in that category within a three-year period. For example, if someone won an award in 2015 for Teamwork, they would not be eligible again until 2019 for a Teamwork award but would be eligible for any of the other categories.

Submission Requirements

  1. A principal nominator and one endorser are required for each nomination submitted for eligibility consideration.
  2. Each nomination submission must include an award category selection that the candidate is being nominated for.
  3. An individual may serve as a principal nominator for three (3) nominations
  4. An individual may serve as a principal endorser for three (3) nominations
  5. Nominations of family members or relatives will not be allowed.
  6. Submitted materials will not be returned.
  7. Statement of Nomination narrative from the principal nominator should not exceed 5,000 characters.  Nominator should include examples of how the nominee meets the criteria. Provide personal and observational examples.
  8. The endorser's contact must be included in the application.  The committee will contact the endorser to confirm endorsement.
  9. Supplemental materials beyond the information submitted on the application will not be considered.


  • Forms can be completed and submitted online only via the Staff Excellence Awards - Nomination Form 2021-22. If you have any questions about or need assistance with the online form, contact the Co-Chair of Communications at
  • Nominations must be submitted by March 15, 2023

Review Committee (Judges)

  • The Review Committee consists of 5 to 7 members, including a previous award recipient, one to two faculty members, an academic staff member, an administrative staff member, and a member of the Executive Board of Staff Assembly (typically the Past-President).
  • The Review Committee is proposed by the Staff Excellence Awards Committee and confirmed by the Staff Assembly Executive Board.
  • The Review Committee will evaluate all eligible nominations submitted and determine the award recipient in each of the Six categories.
  • Review Committee members are barred from submitting nominations or endorsing a nominee and cannot vote for a family member or relative.

*Subject to tax withholding