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2011 Staff Excellence Award Winners

Ricardo Arias

Principle Custodial Supervisor, Facilities

Ricardo Arias

Ricardo Arias provides vision and leadership for the campus Custodial Operations. I most admire the way he approaches his work and the genuine care he demonstrates toward his people. Custodial Services is not a glamorous job but an essential function for our campus to succeed. Ricardo is a man of extremely high standards. He knows what needs to be done, and gets it done. I have watched him interact with his staff, always smiling, respectful, and sincere. He maintains complete composure. His “Can Do” attitude is something to be admired. Ricardo believes no task it too big, let’s figure out how to make it work. Ricardo’s work touches the lives of each of us daily including the endless visitors to our campus. UC Merced is extremely fortunate to have such a valued member of our team who takes pride in his work to ensure that we have clean and healthful facilities to conduct our daily business.

Marilyn Kennedy

Programmer/Analyst, Information Technology

M Kennedy

When one thinks of exceptional talent, the person that best represents this is Marilyn Kennedy who embodies every skill set that personifies exceptional talent. Day in and day out, Marilyn demonstrates professionalism, commitment, teamwork, and work ethics that are above and beyond to ensure her campus constituents are served with the utmost quality. Marilyn's contribution to the success of UC Merced has been exceptional and it is something that most of the functional offices that she has come in contact with agree. She is a huge contributor to every team, whether a participant or lead. She has stepped into many roles here at UC Merced and excelled at them all. She is continually thinking of creative ways to solve problems and maximize the functionality of their automation. Marilyn’s contributions to UC Merced are invaluable; she embodies high level of expertise coupled with excellent teamwork in delivering outstanding support.

Rachael Martin

Coordinator, Graduate Student Services

Rachael Martin

Rachael Martin is an asset to the graduate students, the UC Merced campus, and its vision of graduate studies and student support. Many staff members at this university strictly limit their duties by their job description. UC Merced, being a new university, requires its employees to go above and beyond their formal job descriptions to forward the University’s progress as a whole. Rachael Martin does just this. I am impressed at her dedication to the students and believe she is a light for many graduate students with concerns for their education. Graduate students, doing most of the active research on campus, teaching almost all of the discussion and labs, and suffering from being only 5.5% of the student population, need a strong advocate. Rachael Martin has gone above and beyond her position to provide this.

Fatima Paul

Principal Analyst, Academic Senate

Fatima Paul

Fatima has a dedication that erases the boundary between work and home, a tact that enables her to seamlessly schedule five different meetings at different places for eight people from six campuses, a sense of humor that can make any difficult situation an easy one, and an openness to ideas that allows her to continuously improve the process. No other person could fulfill the Principal Analyst’s responsibilities as well as Fatima. Fatima genuinely cares about the mission of the Senate and consistently demonstrates this by being well versed on the current issues as well as being creative in her input toward committee work. She is organized, efficient, and good humored, often being the person who can tell us what needs to be done. Fatima is a superb problem solver and has a very strong sense of how to initiate work process improvements. She is the embodiment of service, commitment, creativity, leadership, and collegiality. UC Merced is truly benefiting from a talented, dedicated and caring staff member like Fatima Paul. Quite simply, Fatima is a rock star.


Adriana Signorini

English Language Institute Specialist and Lecturer

A. Signorini

Adriana Signorini has been one of the most active members of the entire faculty and staff here at UC Merced. Since the beginning Adriana has been driven to create meaningful and important student support programs for UCM to help new and active students to transition and stay in college. Adriana not only created a way of assessing the academics of UCM, but also makes large contributions to the improvement of each and every class or program. No other faculty member has demonstrated such commitment to helping out the school and its students than Adriana Signorini. She is truly the most important stepping stone here at UCM on the path to excellence for staff and students. Because of her contributions and efforts, we can all be proud to say that we worked/graduated from UC Merced.