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2013 Staff Excellence Award Recipients

Stefanie Stepp

Physics Instruction Lab Coordinator -School of Natural Sciences

Stefanie’s performance as the Physics Lab Coordinator is exemplary.  She strives to give undergraduate students in the physics labs the best possible experience through the research of new labs and reinvigorating current labs. Through her own initiative, Stefanie has worked closely with Physics faculty to develop new and interesting demonstrations to aid instructors in teaching undergraduate students.  She champions the use of lecture demonstrations and through her creativity has greatly improved the amount, scope, and quality of the lecture demos, which has increased the use of these valuable teaching aids.  Physics faculty have expressed their huge appreciation of her work and how she makes their job as instructors easier.  Stefanie is an invaluable staff member.


Enrique Guzman

Coordinator of Student Involvement & Special Events -Office of Student Life

Enrique has served students as on the UCM campus for the last eight years and in that time he has welcomed and entertained thousands of students and their families via Welcome Week, Family Weekend, and hundreds of other events.  He is highly effective at training, mentoring, advising, and supporting the student interns he supervises as he strives to develop their leadership skills and promote a team atmosphere.| His events are well planned and relevant to student life while being creative and innovative and often engaging student ideas and talent.  He demonstrates a strong commitment to creating opportunities for UC Merced students to engage on campus and within the greater Merced community.  Enrique’s service and commitment to UC Merced is outstanding and worthy of this Citation of Excellence Award


Molly Bechtel

Coordinator of Fraternity/Sorority Life and Women’s Programs-Office of Student Life

As Coordinator of Fraternity/Sorority Life, Molly works diligently to provide guidance, structure, and training.  This year, Molly planned and executed the first ever retreat for FSL leadership.  Molly also assisted the FSL community in developing numerous programs. In her other role as Coordinator for Women’s Programs, Molly has been no less impactful.  Molly has put on dozens of events ranging from one-hour presentations to weeklong topics.  She also planned a Women’s Empowerment conference and a recognition luncheon for outstanding women.  Molly is selfless with her time as she serves on many committees including Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women, the planning committee for the annual Leadership Conference and the Food Pantry committee.  She is an excellent team member in OSL. 


Rodney Trevathan

Payroll Supervisor- Administrative Operations and Payroll

Rodney joined U C Merced 5 years ago, bringing 10 years of payroll experience with him from UCLA.  With that experience, he brought best practices to our campus including peer reviews for payroll transactions and vacation and sick leave accrual reports as a tool for managers and supervisors. He has extensive knowledge of union contracts and he uses that knowledge to ensure proper payments.  Because of this, payroll grievances and overpayments have been almost completely eliminated.  Rodney is always looking for ways to streamline processes while ensuring the integrity of the department.  Within this last year, the department has successfully taken on responsibility for processing payroll for 5 additional units – over 500 staff and students – without any additional staffing.  Rodney epitomizes the term “staff of excellence.”


Sandy Rodriguez Yoshimi

Business Services Manager-Office of the Chancellor

Sandy is a long-time, dedicated employee of UC Merced, with well over 10 years serving the campus.  Sandy is phenomenal.  She is an absolute workhorse with a remarkable productivity level.  She demonstrates initiative in everything she does.  She is never satisfied with just “good enough” and seeks ways to improve every process she touches.  In addition to the innovative ideas and efficiencies that she has introduced, Sandy does it all with a warm and accommodating attitude.  She has taken the leadership of the handful of administrative staff reporting through to our office and has developed new and useful resources and training documents for them.  She has a wealth of knowledge about the campus and all of its business procedures and is willing and eager to share it with others.  She has made amazing contributions to our department and to the campus in her many years of service.