For 15th Year, Staff Reap Awards and Savor Appreciation

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In the 15th annual Outstanding Staff Awards celebration, Dean Rich Lyons honored four staff members with awards linked to the school’s four Defining Principles. The 2014-2015 awards were presented at the Staff Appreciation Lunch last Thursday at the Bancroft Hotel.  Alessandra Demmons, Barbara Felkins, Mary Ann Huisman, and Tom Tripp were each recognized for exemplifying […]

Congratulations, Joacim! Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award Recipient

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We’re proud of Joacim Benitez of our finance team, who has received one of the university’s top honors for staff. The Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award (COSA) is presented to staff members and teams who have demonstrated exceptional initiative in contributing to the UC Berkeley campus community. Joacim is one of 15 Berkeley staff members and three teams who […]

Haas Help For Nepal


The women of Beauty for Ashes, a Nepali organization that MBA students in the International Business Development program worked with last spring.

UPDATE: The campaign wrapped up May 8 with $6,000 raised! Many thanks to all who went beyond themselves to contribute. The organizers will keep all donors informed on which organizations receive the funds.

MBA students who traveled to Nepal last year with the International Business Development program have spearheaded a crowdfunding campaign for earthquake relief in the devastated country—and they need our help!

Launched on Tilt through C4C (Challenge for Charity), the MBA fundraising organization, the campaign funds will target non-governmental organizations on the ground in Nepal. Student organizers are working with contacts in their networks to identify the most high-impact organizations, and will keep all donors apprised of how the funds are distributed.

“It’s a very, very scary situation over there,” says Jackie Laird, MBA 15, who was part of Team Beauty for Ashes in Kathmandu last June. “We are trying to get funds there sooner rather than later.”

You can donate here.

Jackie says she and other students have been in touch with the women they worked with, and all of them are OK—but their families are not. They are not only trying to get help to their relatives, but they are fanning out throughout the city on foot—the only way to get around at this point—trying to help others in need, especially children.

“The way the hospitals work in Nepal is that you don’t get anything for free—including water. Your family and friends have to bring it to you,” she says. “Hospitals are way underfunded.”

Jackie says her experience in Nepal was eye-opening. “Nepal was far worse than I expected, in terms of how destitute it is. If that’s the way it was like in good times, I can’t imagine what it’s like now,” she says.

With monsoon season looming and tens of thousands without shelter, the situation is critical. The 7.8-magnitude quake that rocked Nepal last Saturday killed more than 5,500 people, and injured at least 12,000. The death toll continues to rise, with many remote villages still inaccessible.

MBA students will be in the courtyard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday (with baked goods!) to raise awareness for the campaign. If you have any questions about the campaign, please reach out to the C4C organizers: Marisa JohnsonJohn Maus, and Sara Oon. You can also contact Jackie Laird with questions abut her team’s experience.


The Haas Green Team is Excited to Share UC Berkeley Earth Week 2015


Join Haas Green Team Members and your co-workers at Earth Week activities! See the list below and sign up to spend time with your fellow staff members experiencing fun, educational and inspiring green activities. For a list of all the events hosted for UC Berkeley Green Week 2015 visit

MONDAY: April 20, 2015

Join Haas Staff member, Danner Doud-Martin

BicyCAL Bicycle Cooperative Free Bike Tune-ups

WHEN: 12:30 pm (This event is available from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

WHERE: Sather Gate


Meet Danner at bottom of Fisher Gate at 12:30 noon with your bike to walk down to Sather Gate
To sign up, click here.

TUESDAY: April 21, 2015

Join Haas Staff member, Danner Doud-Martin for

Plant a Seedling to Commemorate Earth Day

WHEN: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (This activity is available from 11:00 am -1:00 pm)

WHERE: Upper Sproul Plaza

SPONSORS: SOGA and Berkeley Art Studio

Meet Danner at 11:55 am at the stairs of Fisher Gate to walk to Upper Sproul Plaza


To sign up, click here.


WEDNESDAY: April 22, 2015

Join Haas Staff member, Danner Doud-Martin

Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability’s 12th Annual Sustainability Summit

WHEN: 12:30 pm-2:30 pm
WHERE: Wurster Hall Gallery

Meet Danner 12:15 pm at the stairs of Fisher Gate to walk to Wurster Hall

To sign up, click here.


THURSDAY: April 23, 2015

Join Haas Staff member, Jenny Su

Water Walking Tour

WHEN: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

WHERE: Sather Gate


Meet Jenny at 12:45 pm at the stairs of Fisher Gate to walk to Sather Gate


To sign up, click here.


FRIDAY: April 24, 2015

Join Haas Staff member, Rachel Richardson

Earth Week Kombucha Party

WHEN: 3:00 pm-5:00 pm

WHERE: Campanile Plaza

SPONSORS: Berkeley Student Food Collective and SERC

Meet Rachel at 2:45 pm at the stairs of Fisher Gate to walk to the Campanile


To sign up, click here.


Efforts are organized by the Student Environmental Resource Center and Environmental & Sustainability Student Organizations, with support from campus and community partners.

For more information on the Berkeley-Haas Green Team email

What’s That Sound? Find Out What’s Going On at the NAB Construction Site

You may not be able to see the progress on the new North Academic Building from your office window, but you can still track what’s going on—without leaving your desk.

Check out the new live webcam for an aerial view of the construction site. You can even watch it in time-lapse mode to catch up. Click the image below to view the webcam:

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 3.06.44 PM

Monthly Diversity Staff Discussions Tackle Hairy Subjects

By Laura Gardner, Program Manager, Asia Business Center & Berkeley-Haas Diversity Initiatives

Two-people-talkingFerguson. Eric Garner. Street harassment. Prejudice. Islamophobia. Sizism. Mental health stigma. Ageism. There is so much going on in the world around us that is hard to comprehend, and that attracts a wide array of opinions and reactions—both intellectual and emotional. While many may think that these topics have no place in the workplace, we disagree.

The Haas School of Business’ Office of Diversity Initiatives has started monthly discussions for staff to address many of these topics. The idea came about while our Director of Diversity Initiatives, Eric Abrams, was attending the FTMBA students’ conversation series called “Hot Topics,” and was seated with Erin Kellerhals, Stephanie Fujii, Mike Katz, Nikita Mitchell, and Heather Faison, among others. It was sharing that experience with a student, her partner, and several colleagues that really made him think of starting a similar series for staff.

“It dawned on me that staff might benefit from the chance to discuss issues of the day that relate to diversity,” he explains. Discussion is a great way to be heard, listen to others, and air issues that may be more covert than overt in the workplace.

These discussions are intended to be informal, confidential, and judgment free. They definitely do not replace formal HR complaints, and are intended to bridge understanding. Abrams explains, “We’re NOT trying to change anyone’s hearts or minds. Rather, we want to encourage people to talk to each other. I think that many people look for a safe space to discuss difficult issues, and my hope is that the number of participants continues to grow.”

In December 2014, a group of 23 staff members came together to discuss the racial bias in law enforcement. Abrams gave a presentation about the importance of knowing and meeting people with other backgrounds than one’s own. Since we were short on time, we continued the conversation in our January session with a group of eight staff members. In February, we shifted gears and discussed street harassment with 12 staff members, by showing a couple of YouTube videos to kick it off.

Kate Alper, program manager for the Center for Responsible Business has attended all of the discussions so far. “These discussion topics are issues that affect our daily lives, whether we choose to focus on them or not,” she says. So far she’s appreciated the outlet. “I enjoy the opportunity to hear from other members of the Haas community about their varied perspectives and backgrounds.”

Abrams said the street harassment session was most memorable to him, “As a man, and as a father of sons, I want to behave in a responsible manner… but I’m sure that there have been times where I might have looked too long at a passerby. I know that there have been times where someone has been uncomfortable in my presence, and I’d like to learn how to mitigate that. The conversation that we had was fascinating!”

All of the discussions take place mid-day, and include lunch with an early enough RSVP. In April, we are expanding to include a session at Addison Street for staff working downtown, where we’re going to tackle body image and sizism, by first watching a 45 minute video, followed by a discussion.

About future discussion topics, Abrams says, “I’d like to discuss faith in the workplace—I think a lot of people find discussions of faith very interesting, while others find the topic a bit awkward. Also, a conversation about who benefits from diversity efforts would be topical.”

We would love to hear topic suggestions, if you have them, and look forward to building a more robust participation.

Next Sessions:

Tuesday, April 7 from 12–2 pm at 2001 Addison St. Berkeley
Thursday, April 9 from 12–2 pm at Haas School of Business, Room C330

Please RSVP to

Got Collaboration?

When you think about “collaboration” what is the first word that pops into your mind?  P1090947
With this question Brandi Pearce, Haas’ Team Performance & Collaboration Lecturer, kicked-off the Collaborating in Teams Workshop on Friday, March 13 at the iLab.  Answers included: trust, challenging, innovation, sharing, alignment, the sum is better than its parts.

Staff who participated in this experiential workshop had an opportunity to learn about teaming in matrix organizations, to discuss obstacles and drivers of collaborative performance and use some tools that support collaboration throughout the team life-cycle such as:

  • Mindmaps of challenges staff face when working in teams within and across Haas
  • Collaborative planning to enable role clarity, decision-making criteria, communication processes and work preferences
  • Collaborative mapping to identify what is working in a team as well as potential areas for adaptation
  • And, the opportunity to practice giving and receiving feedback

In today’s network economy, organizations use teams as their primary work unit. And yet teaming is hard work. But the pay off is huge. The science of teams is clear on the fact that collaboration increases the organizational productivity and leads to innovative outcomes.  But how do we optimize the collaboration zone? Here are some key takeaways participants shared with us:

  1. When launching a team take time to plan what to do but also have a how to work together conversation with the team.
  2. Carve out time to build the scaffolding around team processes (i.e how are we going to make decisions, how are we going to handle conflict, etc.).
  3. Practice reflexivity, the ability to collectively reflect upon team goals and processes.
  4. Ask for feedback regularly and make sure we debrief after projects to improve collaboration in the future.
  5. Use feedback to modify team processes and pivot.

When you think about “collaboration” what is the first word that pops into your mind? What are some elements of a strong collaborative climate? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!



Andi and Eric, Our New HR Partners

Andi_EricLast month, our new Campus Shared Services HR Partner Eric Ellerbee and Recruiter Andi Horton stopped by the Staff Lounge to introduce themselves.

For those who haven’t gotten a chance to meet them, here’s a bit more about Andi and Eric and what they’ll be doing around Haas:

Andi has worked as a recruiter for 16 years. Raised in San Jose, she left home to attend college at UCLA, but returned to the Bay Area in 2009.  She joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a recruiter before moving to UC Berkeley’s Central Human Resources department in 2011. While there, she dedicated much of her time to fair hiring practices and compliance with federal and state laws. She also served on committees that built out training and policy in those areas. In January, Andi joined the CSS team, where she has been assigned to support Haas School of Business.

In this new role, she’ll be partnering with hiring managers on their recruitment efforts, taking on some of the hands-on tasks to free up managers to support their teams. She’ll work closely with Karese Young, who will continue as the first point of contact for all recruitment activity and will advise Andi on needs through a tracking tool. Andi will then reach out to the hiring manager to begin discussing the details around needs and workflow, to ensure a smooth recruitment process and good hire.

As the mother of a 14-year-old martial artist and bowler, she spends lots of her time outside of work at dojos and bowling alleys. She and her son bowl regularly in tournaments, and she also judges karate tournaments once a month. She says these activities allow for her to stay connected to the things her son enjoys most at this critical point in his life.

Andi can be reached at, or 510-664-9710. Please see her LinkedIn profile for more on the work she has done.

With the transition to CSS, Eric has taken on a full range of Haas HR needs: benefits and leave management, separations, visa processing, recruitment, and more. Eric is now working at Haas on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays  in S518.

Eric is also a California native, born and raised in Stockton. He relocated to Atlanta, GA in 2003 to start a career in banking with Bank of America and then Georgia Own Credit Union. His mentor notice Eric’s natural ability with people, and advised him to pursue a career in HR. Soon after, he landed an HR assistant role at Georgia Department of Human Service, where he spent five years working in recruitment, compensation, employee relations, and organizational development. He also implemented the background checking process at DHS for all 12,000+ plus employees. Eric moved back to Northern California in 2012 for family reasons, taking an affiliate assignment with UC Berkeley’s CSS as part of the former Employee Lifecycle team. He was hired as a career employee 2013 and worked his way up from HR Transactions Tech to his current position HR Business Partner.

Eric is a classically trained Pianist. He also loves hiking and weekend getaways.

He can be reached at or 510.664.9753.

St. Patrick’s Day Infographic: Go Green(er) With Haas!

Did you know that Haas has a Green Department Certification from the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability?
St. Patty's Insta

Berkeley-Haas Green initiatives include:

  • composting and recycling
  • developing a green event toolkit
  • installing water bottle refilling stations and replacing plastic water bottles at events with compostable cups
  • hosting an e-waste collection and a freecycle event
  • organizing a shoreline cleanup
  • creating a box recycle/reuse program
  • hosting a virtual food drive
  • using zero-VOC paints

We’re up for renewal of our Green Department Certification in April. Here are five easy tips to help us go greener:

  1. Turn off or put your computer to sleep during lunch and on weekends.
  2. Turn off lights when you’re not in the office.
  3. Dim your computer monitor.
  4. Calculate your Carbon Footprint:
  5. Celebrate Earth Day with us. Watch this space for more details!

Meet DSAC 2.0!

When the call for DSAC 2.0 applications went out, the selection committee received an overwhelming response from our staff with many applicants representing various units and job functions at Haas. The passion and dedication exhibited in the applicant statements were truly impressive and reflected the high level of engagement that exists in our staff community.

We are pleased to announce the DSAC 2.0 members:

  • Bob Bazydlo (Educational Technology Specialist/Producer-Director, Media Services)
  • Melissa Hacker (Director of Student Affairs, PhD Program)
  • Drew Ollero (Associate Director, EWMBA Program)
  • Julia Rosof (Associate Director of Student Affairs, FTMBA Program)
  • Jenny Su (Academic Affairs Financial Analyst, Finance unit)
  • Jennifer Wells (Instructional Services Lead, Faculty Support unit)
DSAC 2.0

Dean’s Staff Advisory Committee: Bob Bazydlo, Melissa Hacker, Jennifer Wells, Drew Ollero, Jenny Su, Julia Rosof

On Monday, March 9, the newly formed committee had their kick-off meeting. And what a productive meeting that was! The group started to form as a team; they discussed roles and responsibilities; defined ground rules; got to know each other better; talked about their work-styles; and selected a Chair — Julia Rosof!

Why they decided to apply for DSAC 2.0? Here are some of the reasons:

  • to strengthen the Berkeley-Haas culture
  • to help improve the staff experience
  • to connect with staff across the school
  • to learn more about the issues other units face and help solve these issues
  • to be part of a team which can be of value to the school
  • to grow and learn in this new capacity

All six staff members rolled up their sleeves and are now working on their communications plan and review of initial projects. Expect to hear from them in the coming weeks as they will be reaching out to the staff community.

We are truly fortunate to have them on-board and look forward to the energy and ideas they will bring to this newly revamped committee.