Recognizing commitment: picnic highlights staff achievements

An estimated 1,000 people turned out for this celebration of staff service on campus.
Chancellor George Blumenthal exchanged high fives with Sammy the Slug at the staff picnic. The banana slug has been UCSC's official mascot for the past 25 years.
Staff member Michael McCawley, associate director of Admissions, received an award for excellent service.
Free T-shirts encouraged staff members to participate in an upcoming University of California-wide UC Walks event, encouraging healthy lifestyles and cardiovascular exercise.(photos by Carolyn Lagattuta)

A large and appreciative crowd of staff members ate marinated chicken, vied for raffle prizes, and danced to a cheeky song by Cee Lo Green during the annual UCSC Staff Appreciation Barbecue on the East Field.

An estimated 1,000 people showed up for the big party. Staff members danced to a band made up entirely of UCSC staffers, who belted out such classics as Phil Everly’s “When Will I Be Loved.” Later they played "(Forget) You," the clean version of Cee Lo Green’s hit song.

The crowd cheered and clapped for Michael McCawley, associate director of Admissions, who has been selected as the 2010-11 UCSC Alumni Association Outstanding Staff Award recipient. McCawley has worked at UCSC for nearly 30 years, starting as a frontline advisor in the Admissions Office.

Before presenting him with the award, Chancellor George Blumenthal described McCawley as “tireless, dedicated, innovative, warm and sincere,” embodying the spirit and the tradition of UCSC staff members.

Blumenthal extended his appreciation to the entire crowd.

"I want to thank you all personally,” he said. "Even in these difficult times, we’ve been remarkably successfully at meeting the needs of students … You are UCSC."

The barbecue, sponsored by the Staff Advisory Board with support from the Chancellor's Office and administrative divisions, included the campus’s own UCSC Catering service, focusing on locally grown and organic items.

Booths displayed staff services, benefits and activities on campus. One display booth promoted the upcoming UC Walks event, a University of California system-wide health and fitness day; participants will spent at least a half an hour of May 18 on a brisk walk.

The event is designed to encourage UC staff workers to incorporate walking or general fitness into their daily schedules. During the appreciation barbecue, staff members filled out a sign-up sheet, pledging their participation in the UC Walks day. In return they were given free commemorative UC Walks T-shirts showing a giant foot superimposed across the University of California logo.