Fall 2014, Volume 10, Issue 1

10th Annual Spooky Halloween Competition

Staff Assembly invites you to join the Halloween festivities and win lunch for your staff by entering your department into the 10th Annual Halloween Decorating contest. On Friday, October 31st, Staff Assembly will visit each participating department or office to judge their Halloween spirit based on decorations and costumes. The winning department will win a gift card from Pizza My Heart.

If your department would like to enter, please provide your department name, location, and the name of a contact person to Greta Carl-Halle at by Friday, Oct 24th.

The individual Halloween Costume Competition will be held at 12:15pm in the Hub at the UCen that day. Gift cards will be given out as prizes in several categories. There is no need to register ahead of time for the costume competition. Just show up! Happy haunting!

Halloween Contest Information

  • Department Decorating Competition
    • Entry deadline Friday, October 24
      Contact Greta Halle --
    • Contest Friday, October 31 - see the Staff Assembly News page on October 30th for participating department list
  • Individual Halloween Costume Competition
    • Time: judging starts at 12:15pm
    • Location: inside UCEN at the Hub


UCSB Gaucho Wellness Committee

During the first week of Fall Quarter, the Gaucho Wellness Committee wrapped up its “Gaucho Movement Challenge” or “#gauchosmovemore,” a summer contest that encouraged staff to move more in the workplace and at home. Roughly 85 staff members participated, as individuals or as part of a team, by tracking their daily minutes of movement or exercise. One staff member won the photo contest by submitting his favorite movement-inspired snapshot. “I found that I ended up walking and exercising more consistently because I was tracking my time,” said Josh Andersen, another staff participant.

The mission of Gaucho Wellness, a Gaucho U Co-hort, is to educate and promote holistic wellness for staff members. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month 12pm-1pm in the Student Resource Building, Room 2154. New members can join at any time. At meetings the group focuses on different aspects of wellness, and hopes to implement more events and programs as it grows. To get more information, contact, or visit

Gaucho Mentor Connection

Gaucho Mentor Connection, a staff mentor program created through Gaucho U, has launched its inaugural year! The opportunity for a mentor program on campus was well received with over 60 applications being submitted.


The program kicked-off with a Welcome Mixer that was held on September 17, 2014. Thirty four staff members from various departments were invited to attend the mixer where they had a chance to meet with the potential mentees and mentors. The mentee and mentor pairs have been coordinated by the Gaucho Mentor Connection committee and the participants will begin meeting with their designated mentor or mentee on a monthly basis. Connie Howard, a mentor in the program, stated “I think the program is going to bring significant changes to staff communication and effectiveness”. Go Gaucho Staff!!


The program will continue throughout the year, bringing together all of the participants again in January for a midpoint check in and closing with a final ceremony in June 2015. If you are interested in joining the Gaucho Mentor Connection committee or learning more about the program, please visit:

UCSB Staff Spotlight

Darcy Ritzau

Name: Darcy Ritzau
Hometown: Napa, California
Department: History
Position: Graduate Program Assistant
Years of Service: 42 years

What was your first job here?
My first job was working as a “Girl Friday” in the History Department. After doing that for a while, the Undergraduate Secretary left and I took that position. After a few more years, the Graduate Secretary left and I took that job and have been in that position ever since. I liked the department and the people I worked with, so it made sense for me to move within. I’ve been here for so long because I thoroughly enjoy working with my graduate students, helping them wade through the paperwork of getting a graduate degree. My job is always new and fresh. New students each year, each student with their unique set of circumstances, new things to learn as we cluster and advance in technology.

What strategies did you use to move up?
I might be unusual in that I wasn’t seeking to move up within the university. I found my niche and that’s where I’ve stayed. There is comfort in commitment and my graduate students know that I’m always there for them.

What do you do for fun?
For fun I love to work out, especially spin classes and weights (for 30 years I taught the noon aerobics/strength classes through the UCSB Recreation Department); I enjoy sewing and knitting and doing collage/art journaling and hope to become a Soul Collage Facilitator. Lots to keep me busy if I ever retire.

Is there something about you nobody knows?
What most people don’t know is that I have a little business called Darcy Ruth Designs and will be opening an ETSY shop soon to sell all my wares (baby quilts, aprons, market bags, handbags, scarves, baby hats and many other items).

What is your favorite thing about working at UCSB?
My favorite thing about working at UCSB is working with my graduate students. They are appreciative and caring and I love that they share their lives with me. We develop a bond since many are here for 7+ years and some have become lifelong friends. The hardest part of my job…..having to say goodbye as they graduate and get jobs.