The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence was created last year to recognize employees of Brandman who have excelled in their roles and responsibilities, and contributed in a positive way to the culture of this University.
Six C.A.F.E. awards were presented at the Faculty Retreat and Campus Director’s Dinner on May 21st; one to each to the five employees decided by the selection committee who best represent our five values in their daily contributions to the University, and one overall winner who most exemplifies Brandman’s five values; has excelled in their role; and has contributed to University culture and success far beyond normal expectations.
Brandman Chancellor Gary Brahm said “I am delighted that the honorees hail from campuses in California and Washington, and work in different areas within the organization. What is most remarkable is that collectively, they have been with Brandman/Chapman 78 years! Three of the six specialize in military and veteran services, a testament to our recognition by U.S. News & World Report as the #2 university in the country serving veterans.”
Please congratulate the following winners on this well-deserved achievement:
C.A.F.E. AWARD OVERALL WINNER: Mary Ellen Schief, Senior Academic Advisor, Whidbey Island
C.A.F.E. Award for Respect: Jalin Brooks, Outreach Program Manager, Riverside
C.A.F.E. Award for Teamwork: Mario Jorge, Military Services Specialist, Fairfield
C.A.F.E. Award for Service: Antonio “Tony” Holguin, Military Services Specialist, Bangor
C.A.F.E. Award for Innovation: Ricardo Lorenzana, Director, School of Extended Education
C.A.F.E. Award for Integrity: Cristi Kim, Director of Budget and Finance
The Overall Winner of The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence is Mary Ellen Schief, Senior Academic Advisor, Whidbey Island. Mary Ellen has been with the University 24 years. She is truly exemplary in her diligence and commitment to our mission and five values. I have known her to always have a positive attitude and give 100 percent. I’d like to share one of the many comments from her nominations: “Her service to the university over 24 years has been impeccable, constantly raising the bar for herself and her coworkers.” Another colleague noted, “She is known as THE expert on military and veteran’s financial aid issues throughout California and Washington. She works tirelessly to ensure that her advisees are on track for graduation.”
Respect – Jalin Brooks, Outreach Program Manager, Riverside. There were many nominations in this category but one stood out above all. Jalin has direct contact with students, prospective students, and members of the community and has done a tremendous job connecting with all of them. As one of her nominations stated, “She is always positive and always approachable. She is careful to treat everyone with respect and dignity. She sets the highest standards.”
Teamwork – Mario Jorge, Military Services Specialist, Fairfield, a 17-year veteran of Brandman/Chapman. I’d like to point out that Mario received multiple nominations from their home campus as well as from several other campuses, demonstrating a true commitment to collaboration across the University. One nominator said, “Teamwork is where he excels! Other campuses call him for help and guidance knowing he will always go the extra mile.” Another colleague said, “I observe more than 100 employees in my position and I can truly say that Tony outshines us all in his efforts to serve others and help students and staff at all campuses, not just Fairfield.”
Service – Antonio “Tony” Holguin, Military Services Specialist, Bangor. Tony celebrates his 20th anniversary with the University this month having come to us in 1993 as a retired Navy Chief after over 20 years of service to his country. Tony is liked by all students, faculty and staff and represents the epitome of service. We are very fortunate to have him on our staff.
Innovation – Ricardo Lorenzana, Director, School of Extended Education, Irvine. The nominees said: “Time and again, this person has demonstrated great flexibility and the ability to think on his feet to adapt and find ways to make the new systems function for us… He has been on the front lines of Banner for a long time. He understands the benefits it provides to the University while still having to work out the minute details of implementation. He is open to new ways of doing things and always willing to make changes that support the mission of the University.”
Integrity – Cristi Kim, Director of Budget and Finance, Irvine. I have personally worked closely with Cristi for over a decade and whole heartedly agree with the nominations: “…works tirelessly on aspects of finance that are so important to this institution; coordinates from several different departments and does it in a respectful, friendly and pleasant manner. She approaches work with the highest level of standards and is always professional and always dependable.”