Winter 2017, Volume 12, Issue 2

2017 Citation of Excellence Awards

The UCSB Staff Assembly is pleased to announce its 2016 - 2017 Citation of Excellence Awards. The purpose of the program is to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding achievements and meritorious service of career staff. Ten awards will be made and each recipient will receive $500 and a plaque. Presentation of awards will be made during the Staff Celebration Luncheon.

Any UCSB faculty, academic, management, or staff member may submit a nomination, along with one endorsement letter. A selection committee of staff members will review the nominations and choose this year's recipients.

Guidelines for NOMINATIONS

  • Only policy-covered contract and career Professional and Support Staff (PSS) employees and career CX represented employees not on probationary status with a yearly salary not exceeding $100,000 may be nominated.
  • Personnel in the Senior Management Group (SMG) and in the Management Senior Professionals (MSP) are not eligible.
  • Employees with annual salaries exceeding $100,000 are not eligible for this award.
  • Each nominee requires a principal nominator and one endorser.

Guidelines for NOMINATORS

  • The endorsement should be in the form of a typed letter or memo, not exceeding two pages in a 12 point font.
  • Principal nominators are not limited to a single nomination. However, separate forms and endorsements are required for each candidate.
  • Students are not eligible to nominate or submit endorsement letters.

Send all nominations as pdf attachments via email to If you cannot send a pdf attachment file, then please send the form via campus mail to George Hopwood at the Office of Research / MC 2050.

Nominations and endorsement letters must be received no later than 4:00pm, Friday, February 17th, 2017.

NOTE: nominations not adhering to the guidelines will not be considered. Please see our website for a full description of the guidelines and the nomination form.

Staff Spotlights

Thomas Knight

Name: Thomas (Tom) Knight
Job Title: Campus Tour Coordinator / Admissions Counselor
Department: Admissions

How long have you worked at UCSB?   “I’ve been here a year and a couple of weeks.”

Where were you before?   “I worked in New York at an advertising agency. I was the second hire on a new team – the Reputation Management Team. We managed the agency’s reputation both inside and outside of the organization. My official job title was Assistant Account Executive, but I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the work of an Executive Assistant, Event Producer, and PR Representative.”

What brought you to UCSB?   “I started here as a freshman working as a tour guide and did that for four years. I was President of the Gaucho Tour Association and am now their advisor. While a student tour guide, I helped redesign the tour route. The opportunity to come back was a dream come true.”

What’s it like to be back?   “It’s a huge change being back. I was in New York City for 6 months after graduating in 2015. Coming back here, I found that I needed to slow down from the pace of NYC, but that’s been really good for me. My hometown was Santa Cruz before coming to UCSB as a student, so I’m much more comfortable with the laid-back, beach town vibe.”

Who are the usual group of students who get tours?   “Usually high school students. Last week there were some 4th graders and the language changes a little depending on the age of the group. With a younger group, the tour guides need to know “jokes off a popsicle stick” to keep the group entertained and engaged. With older students, they need to try to explain all of the opportunities at UCSB in one hour. It’s a job that keeps you on your toes.”

What do you like best about your job?   “Working with the tour guides and seeing how much they grow from the first time in the tour program to graduation, watching how their public speaking skills improve and grow into leadership positions.”

What next?   “Honestly not sure. I enjoy working with college age students and helping them with that growth. Perhaps graduate school sometime in the future.”

What is your claim to fame?   “When I was a student, I created the official UCSB Instagram and built up the account to over 1,500 followers in the first 2 months. I currently oversee the campus’ Snapchat account. We have about 2,000 people following already, and our students will be expanding efforts in the coming weeks to grow the account even more.”

Nikita Corbliss

Name: Nikita Corbliss
Job Title: Assistant Catering Chef
Department: Special Events Catering

Where do you work and how long have you worked at UCSB?   “I work in Special Events Catering and have been with UCSB a little more than a year. Special Events Catering operates out of Carrillo Dining Commons. We provide catering to on-campus groups.”

What brought you to UCSB?   “I used to visit Santa Barbara and thought it would be a good place to live. I heard some awesome things about working at UCSB and started working at UCSB shortly after moving to Santa Barbara.”

What do you like best about your job?   “Working with my hands and being creative...I like that the work is fast-paced, that there are growth opportunities and I’m improving. I find it rewarding.”

What other jobs have you had?   “I’ve had various different jobs: working in restaurants, catering, dog groomer, hairdresser (still cut my own hair), just to name a few.”

Where else have you lived?   “I’ve lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Maryland.”

What would you say your claim to fame is?   “People notice my baking skills.  Specialties include crème brulee and other custard-type desserts. I most often bake cookies for special events. I won the cookie contest last year with a special recipe I created. It was a cookie with bacon and pecans. The cookie recipe was based on a muffin recipe that I make.”

What other recipes have you created?   “I developed a flourless chocolate cake.  I specialize in breakfast pastries like scones and muffins.”

Do people ask you to bake for them?   “I’ll help people. I feel baking is a good skill to have.”

What next?   “I want to transfer to UCSB and major in Environmental Science. I want to help the environment instead of trashing it. I see waste - food that not eaten. In catering, we need to use plastic wrap to wrap the food dishes. I’d like to figure out what can we use instead of plastic wrap that is sustainable.”

Nikita Corbliss’ Winning Cookie Recipe

Bacon Praline Cookies

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies

½ c. pecan halves
8 oz butter
1 ¼ c. dark brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 ¼ c. all purpose flour
3 oz applewood smoked bacon
1 ½ oz. molasses
¼ c. pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind ½ c pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour ground pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Place bacon on a baking rack in a baking sheet and cook in oven until crispy. Allow both of these items to cool while cutting the butter into ½ inch cubes. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract on low to medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour and cooled pecans to the bowl. Continue to mix on low until the dough has formed a ball around the paddle. Chop cooled crisp bacon and remaining ¼ c pecans roughly. Combine the bacon and pecans, and add molasses. Scoop roughly 1 ½ inch balls of dough and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press cookies down slightly with a fork or meat tenderizer. Top each cookie with the bacon mixture and press in gently. Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Sixth Annual Winter Warmer

vendor with Santa at 2016 Winter Warmer

On December 9th, the Sixth Annual Winter Warmer was held. Baked goods and beverages were donated by the Staff Assembly, Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Council, Academic Business Officers, and Professional Women’s Association. Many boxes of food were also donated to the AS Food Bank. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to purchase crafts created by our UCSB colleagues. It was especially nice for retirees who came as vendors and shoppers. Those who attended expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to participate in shopping and good cheer! Thanks to all who make this event a success!

UCSB staff shopping at 2016 Winter Warmer

vendor at 2016 Winter Warmer

UCSB staff with Santa at 2016 Winter Warmer