Elections for 2020-2021 Staff Assembly Council Officers


Vice Chair

Finance Chair Elect

Council Communications and Special Programs Chair

Council Communications and Special Programs Chair Elect

CUCSA First Year Delegate

For more information about the positions, see the Elected Administrative Officers page.

Ready to vote?

Opens Thursday, May 21 at 7am
Closes Friday, May 29 at 5pm

Due to a problem in the survey sent in the Zotmail on May 21, no responses were captured. If you previously submitted your vote, please vote again below.

Candidate Statements

Vice Chair

Amanda Garcia-Hall
Samueli School of Engineering
Senior Finance Analyst
Years of service: 12
Candidate Statement:

It was my pleasure to recently serve as Finance Chair of Staff Assembly and I enjoyed volunteering for the 2019-2020 Bylaws Revision Committee and as well as the 2020 Excellence in Leadership review committee. My experience would be a benefit as I am familiar with the processes and duties of the work in Staff Assembly, which would be important in this leadership role. If I served as Vice Chair, I would plan to utilize my financial experience and exercise the leadership skills I learned from leading event planning teams at work. I am dedicated to the interests of our staff at UC Irvine, to supporting the individuals and teams that implement the activities for staff and to providing an important framework for everyone’s voice to be heard.

Matthew O'Connor
Paul Merage School of Business
Director of Development
Years of service: 1 year, 5 months
Candidate Statement:

Peter the Anteater coined the iconic phrase, “Zot Zot!” This phrase, translated into English by (unreliable) anteater language scholars, means, “I believe in you (Zot), and I believe in us (Zot)!”

As the executive director of a non-profit organization focused on leadership development, a former two-sport captain in college, and a current board member within multiple organizations, I have extensive experience working within and leading teams. In all of these roles, and in my current role as Director of Development at the Merage School of Business, it’s been my chief priority to recognize and elevate my teammates. Surrounded by supremely talented individuals, I’ve always listened to and advocated for those around me. I will carry this mentality with me as Vice-Chair of Staff Assembly at UCI. This anteater community is full of exceptional, unique voices. It’s my mission to ensure that each voice is heard.

As Staff Assembly Vice-Chair, I will:

1. Formulate and circulate staff-wide surveys to better understand the needs and wants of staff members
2. Make myself available to UCI staff through a designated monthly “office hours” period
3. Implement additional new staff recognition initiatives to better celebrate our fantastically special staff community

Just like Peter, I believe in each of you, and I believe in us. Vote Matt for Vice-Chair, and let’s ZOT together!

Finance Chair Elect

Emma Godinez
Division of Finance and Administration
Manager of Special Projects
Years of service: 4
Candidate Statement:

I look forward to this great opportunity to serve you as the Finance Chair Elect. I have over 22 years of experience in financial planning, formulating financial strategies, resource management, multi-year budget development, cashflow, capital, investment strategies and risk assessment. Strong analytical skills, strong pro forma modeling, cost analysis, forecasting trends, cost allocation methods, quality performance analysis, forecasting revenues and expenses. Direct experience from working in Higher Education, County Government, Municipality, Behavioral Health and Law Enforcement. Thank you for the consideration.

Council Communications and Special Programs Chair

Karissa Sorenson
School of Social Sciences
Director, Social Sciences Academic Resource Center (SSARC)
Years of service: 4 years, 10 months
Candidate Statement:

Having served as the Council Communications and Special Programs Chair Elect for the past four months, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with dedicated staff members from across campus and contributing to furthering Staff Assembly's goals.

During my time at UCI, I have continuously striven to engage in meaningful opportunities on campus. Given our new remote environment, I now look forward to the opportunity to continue my involvement with Staff Assembly for the 2020-2021 term - thinking creatively in fostering a staff-centered culture, strengthening existing bridges of communication, and organizing programs (virtually and in-person hopefully soon) that are truly reflective of our needs as employees of UCI. Thank you for your consideration and voting me as your Council Communications and Special Programs Chair!

Council Communications and Special Programs Chair Elect

Nancy Palmer
Student Government & Student Media
Marketing Manager
Years of service: 9
Candidate Statement:

As a Marketing Manager with over 15 years of marketing and graphic design experience I have worked on projects on both statewide and campuswide scales. I specialize in brand management and event marketing campaigns and have recently taken a serious interest in graphics for augmented reality. My work in the communications field began at a UCI alumni owned graphic design firm then reved into high gear during my time as the in-house marketing coordinator/graphic designer for Angels Baseball. I currently assist with events and programs in my department and have worked numerous large-scale events with upwards of 6,000 people in attendance. My strong organizational and program development skills are what qualify me for this position. Please consider voting for me for the Staff Assembly Communications and Special Programs Chair - Elect.

CUCSA First Year Delegate

Ashley Burke
DevOps Unit Supervisor
Years of service: 22
Candidate Statement:

As an alumnus and employee of UC Irvine, I have seen the many impressive offerings and accomplishments of the University. My position within the Libraries provides exciting opportunities to identify and offer new research services and technologies for students, staff, and faculty. In this position, I focus on delivering these experiences through web and application development, but the joy comes in using my educational background in Social Sciences to engage with diverse groups and create what they envision. I love exploring how teams work well with each other, and try to find the best way of inspiring others to design and implement robust user experiences. I hope that you will consider voting for me as the CUCSA First Year Delegate.

Kimberly Grant
Campus Human Resources
Senior Recruiter
Years of service: 3
Candidate Statement:

I am honored and grateful to be nominated for the CUCSA First Year Delegate position. As a Human Resources leader, I have over 20 years work experience in the public and private sector building business relationships in diverse cultures, leading change, delivering results, and providing employment services. My career began at UCLA in Campus Human Resources working closely with senior leadership and later transitioned to work for reputable companies like Lockheed Martin, Ceridian, and Johnson & Johnson. Throughout every professional opportunity I’ve been privileged to experience, I have found a way to improve my abilities as a leader to mentor others and advocate for my chosen profession.

In 2017, I returned to the UC System at UC Irvine as a Senior Recruiter in Campus Human Resources providing oversight support for talent acquisition activities and recruitments to high profile campus departments. Being of service to the UC system is a passion of mine. I appreciate the work of the Staff Assembly forum and what it has created for staff throughout the UC system. I’m very interested in expanding my knowledge and being part of an awesome team.

Building business relationships and being of support to advocate for others is what I do naturally. I believe being a part of the Staff Assembly, I would play an important role in building bonds among the staff and sharing my broad knowledge and ideas to advocate. I bring a smile, motivation, and positive energy everywhere I go and would be honored to serve respectfully as a partner.

Amanda Hughes
Strategic Communications & Public Affairs
Manager of Community Relations
Years of service: 1 year, 1 month
Candidate Statement:

In my role as the Community Relations Manager, I am responsible for raising awareness around UCI as well as discovering and overseeing partnerships between the University, its departments and the community. I work to foster trusting relationships with the region’s nonprofits, businesses, & non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to increase their awareness of UC Irvine.

Being passionate about community involvement, I truly believe in UCI’s core mission – serving the community. My primary goal is to demonstrate that our partners can utilize UCI as a vast resource – that they should take advantage of.

I want to represent UCI on CUCSA not only to learn more about UCI and the UC system but to learn what other UCs are doing and what we can do better, as well as, show the other UCs why UCI is among the best employers and universities in the nation. I would love to have your support as your First Year CUCSA representative.

Jeremy Thacker
Office of Information Technology
Manager, Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning IT Team
Years of service: 8 years
Candidate Statement:

As a volunteer who has served on Staff Assembly for the past seven years, I am honored and excited to have been nominated for the CUCSA First Year Delegate position. Through my experiences as Staff Assembly Chair, Staff Assembly Web Communications Co-Chair, one of two staff representatives on the UCI Strategic Plan Work Group, and ex-officio member of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Staff, I have gained insights both into the diverse issues that affect UCI's workforce and into how to work constructively with leadership to develop effective programs and policy. My accomplishments in these roles have included the creation of a staff-specific objective in the Strategic Plan, restructuring of the Excellence in Leadership Awards to recognize a wider range of contributions, and co-organizing a CUCSA conference on UCI's campus. I hope to bring my ability to offer staff representation and advocacy to the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA), in order to share UCI's unique challenges, successes, and perspectives, in order to bring home best practices from our sister campuses, and in order to improve the experiences of staff at system-wide scale.

Our goal is to provide expanded opportunities for your involvement in Staff Assembly and to build an organization that has a positive influence on the future of UCI in a rapidly changing workplace.

If you would like to participate in a non-elected position with Staff Assembly, email Vice Chair Connie Cheng or Chair Megan Enciso.