A day in the sun for UCSC staff members

Chancellor Blumenthal presents UCSC Alumni Association Outstanding Staff Award to Anne Callahan

Anne Callahan has been praised for her positive attitude and her professionalism. She's been a fixture on campus since the late 1970s. (photo by Carolyn Lagatutta)
The staff picnic was a time for hundreds of UCSC employees to relax in the sun.
A rock band composed of UCSC staff members  performed for the crowd.
The picnic drew a large crowd.

Hundreds of UCSC staff members gathered on East Field, danced to a cheeky Cee Lo Green song, ate barbecued marinated chicken, and enjoyed a day in the sun in honor of their work at UCSC.

The event, sponsored by UCSC’s Staff Advisory Board, was also a chance for Chancellor George Blumenthal to thank staff members for their contributions to UCSC. “We simply couldn’t function without you,’’ he said.

Blumenthal presented this year’s UCSC Alumni Association Outstanding Staff Award to Anne Callahan.  “It’s no wonder people love her here,” he said.

The award goes to staffers who go 'above and beyond' to help students or colleagues, improve programs and contribute to the university’s intellectual and physical environment.

Blumenthal said Callahan, the academic human resources manager for the Humanities Division, and a UCSC employee since 1977,  received "an overwhelming number of nominations" for the award, and that many of her colleagues "just feel they can’t survive without her."

Upon accepting the award, Callahan, who handles everything from academic leaves and reviews to retirement for her department, said she loved her job, and that the honor is a welcome but unexpected boon. “Every day something takes my breath away, whether I’m finding a banana slug rookery or being immersed in a humanities professor’s groundbreaking research,” she told the crowd.

After honoring Callahan, Blumenthal himself received a surprise honor for his work on behalf of staff members; that afternoon he was given the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award, which is sponsored and vetted by the Counsel of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), a system-wide UC staff organization.

The picnic also featured an all-staff rock band who covered everything from Al Green’s “Take Me To the River” to the Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun.” The event also featured several raffles, as well as information booths handing out everything from ergonomic equipment to Shakespeare Santa Cruz decals. Not surprisingly, the yellow “100 percent Slug” buttons ran out quickly.