2016 Founders Day Awards Honor Exemplary Public Service, Staff Contributions

Founders Day Award winners, Robert H. Lustig, Jayne McCullough, Susan Lau, Roger Mraz; Suzanne Barakat, Eunice Stephens, Robert Mansfield, Susan J. O'Hara, Lisa Raskulinec and Don Woodson stand for a picture after the award ceremony.
Founders Day Award winners, from left, Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL; Jayne McCullough, RN, BSN, CCRN; Susan Lau; Roger Mraz; Suzanne Barakat, MD; Eunice Stephens; Robert Mansfield, MSc; Susan J. O'Hara, MPA; Lisa Raskulinec, MBA; and Don Woodson. Photo by Sonya Yruel

Eleven faculty and staff members received this year’s UCSF Founders Day Awards for their contributions in the areas of public service, exceptional service to UC San Francisco and excellence in nursing.

The awardees were honored at a luncheon Friday that showcased their accomplishments and celebrated the strong community they’ve helped build at UCSF.

“This event is one of UCSF’s great traditions – a time for us to pause and acknowledge our outstanding community … reflect on some of our remarkable accomplishments over the past year and acknowledge some exemplary individuals whose remarkable dedication makes UCSF the pre-eminent institution that it is,” said Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, in his opening remarks for the luncheon.

The following awards were given for 2016:

Chancellor Award for Public Service

The awards given at the luncheon included the Chancellor Award for Public Service, which was established in 1970 by Chancellor Philip R. Lee. The award is to honor members of the University who have performed outstanding service to the community. This year there was an award for a faculty member and a staff member.

Robert Lustig, MD, MSL
Pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies

The Chancellor Award for Public Service for faculty was awarded to Robert Lustig, MD, MSL. Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies. He has made large contributions to the public’s understanding in the battle against obesity and related chronic disease.

“Rob’s efforts have changed the thinking within the medical profession, the food industry, and government, and have already produced tangible results for the benefit of children and adults throughout the world,” said Walter Miller, MD, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, who nominated Lustig for the award.

Maritza M. Lopez, RN, MS
Nurse at the UCSF Epilepsy Center

The Chancellor Award for Public Service for staff was awarded to Maritza M. Lopez, RN, MS, who has worked at the UCSF Epilepsy Center since 2004. Along with working with epilepsy patients, Lopez volunteers her time by serving on the advisory board for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California, staffing two week-long sleep-away camps for children with epilepsy and hosting a monthly support group.
Tina Shih, MD, who nominated Lopez for the award, said Lopez is an extraordinary nurse who sees her work as her life’s calling. “The quality that stands out most about Maritza is her calm and compassionate professionalism,” Shih said. “She is an inspiration to me and all of my colleagues.”

Thomas N. Burbridge Award (Staff)

Suzanne Barakat, MD
Resident Physician in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center

Suzanne Barakat suffered profound personal loss and tragedy a year ago when her brother, sister-in-law and sister-in-law’s sister were murdered in their own home – by all accounts for being Muslim. Barakat, a resident physician in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, has become a leading voice at UCSF and beyond about confronting hate, racism and bigotry, including participating in the recent teach-in on “Injustice and Health” with Soledad O’Brien.

“These kinds of pains and losses are indescribable, yet Suzanne forced herself to speak – and speak loudly, she did,” said Jess Ghannam, PhD, in nominating Barakat for the award. “Since that time she has been a voice of compassion and tolerance and forgiveness on the local, national and international stages.”

Edison T. Uno Award (Staff)

Robert Mansfield
Communication and special events coordinator, Global Health Sciences

Robert Mansfield is more that communicator. He is an ambassador for UCSF and his many outreach initiatives have advanced UCSF’s efforts to be part of and serve the needs of the San Francisco community. Mansfield has played a central role in AIDS Walk San Francisco since 2009 and has been a successful fundraiser for the AIDS Walk because of his relentless effort to inspire and organize UCSF faculty and staff. Other community-focused work of his includes serving in a one-year appointment for the Equity Advisory Committee (EAC) to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and tutoring for computer classes at part of the Pathways to Technology program at the Hamilton Family Center for the Transitional Housing program.

“Robert is one who truly ‘walks the walk,’ going out into the community exemplifying hard work, dedication and bringing to others the message to which in his own words he himself subscribes: ‘It just seems natural to help,’” said Deputy Director of Global Health Sciences Colin Boyle, MBA MPP
, in nominating Mansfield for the award.

Chancellor Award for Exceptional University Service

Susan Lau, MPA
Financial Analyst, Department of Medicine

Susan Lau started working at UCSF when she was a high-school student, working part time in as an assistant in the Department of Radiation Oncology. While still working at UCSF, she earned a bachelor’s degree and MPA. Now, Lau is considered one of the most trusted and respected financial analysts at the University.

“What is so impressive for me of Susan is that she has taken full advantage of all the University has to offer and used it to maximize her potential,” said Peggy Weix, Division Manager, Division of Experimental Medicine, about Lau. “By doing this, she has been able to give back many fold to UCSF, with her loyalty, her dedication and her expertise.”

Roger Mraz
Program Administrator, School of Dentistry’s Dean’s Office

When Roger Mraz started at UCSF, his basic job was to carry out administrative support of the graduate programs in the School of Dentistry. But according to his colleagues, Mraz’s responsibilities have broadened to include much more than this. In his role of coordinating and managing activities that affect almost every aspect of educational pathway of the DDS, DDS/PhD and PhD students, he has become a trusted confidant and a first line supporter for SOD students. Along with that, he plays an important role in outreach to prospective students and also is responsible for organizing complex and large-scale activities for the Research Office, including the School Wide Research and Clinical Excellence Day and the Research Retreat.

“As opposed to simply being a Program Administrator, he is truly a Program Leader in every sense of the phrase, touching on every aspect of the SOD, from education, to research and to interaction with the whole University,” wrote Thomas F. Lang, PhD, and Ralph Marcucio, PhD, in nominating Mraz.

Don Woodson, MA
Director in the Early Academic Outreach Program

Don Woodson, MA, director of the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) has everyday efforts geared toward initiatives that help California students, particularly underrepresented youth in the San Francisco Unified School District, understand the opportunities that the UC system offers. This program is part of the University of California Office of the President, which places mandates on the number of students each EAOP program must service. To meet such requirements, Don strategically restructured and created partnerships that increased the number of students served. In addition to his formal role, Woodson started an African-American boys group, an effort that was above and beyond his duties as EAOP director.

“Mr. Woodson embodies the spirit of service and collaborations,” said J. Renée Navarro, MD, PharmD,
 Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Outreach. “He has demonstrated continuous interest in forging relationships, exploring funding opportunities for his programs and facilitating improvements for all of the programs.”

Chancellor Award for Exceptional University Management

Susan O’Hara, MPA
Chief Financial Officer, Department of Radiology

Susan O’Hara been at her current position at UCSF for 18 years as the chief financial officer in the Department of Radiology. During her time there the department has experienced extraordinary growth as defined by by many metrics. But along with a crucial role of helping the department grow by developing new processes and procedures, O’Hara has helped her fellow employees grow by being a mentor and a coach. She has supported development opportunities of her staff and was the founding chair of the mentoring program in the Academic Business Officers Group.

“Susan is committed to our department and UCSF as a whole always wanting the best outcomes,” Mary Bobel, Chief Administrative Officer of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, said about O’Hara. “UCSF is lucky to have such a gem.”

Lisa Raskulinec, MBA
Chief Business Officer in Student Academic Affairs

As Chief Business Officer and Executive Director of Student Financial Aid and in true alignment with UCSF’s goal of creating a financially sustainable enterprise-wide business model and in support of UCSF’s public education mission, Lisa Raskulinec and her teams have consistently delivered by providing outstanding customer service, meaningful reporting, and expert financial oversight for over $157.7 million in student aid resources annually. As a direct result of her leadership, Student Academic Affairs, Student Financial Aid and the Graduate Division are better equipped to not only weather the constraints of limited funding streams, but to instead deliberately allocate funds in a strategic manner.

“Lisa’s exemplary leadership skills, her strategic vision, her keen ability to identify and implement effective solutions, and her gracious willingness to assume oversight for additional business segments are extraordinary qualities,” wrote Elizabeth Watkins, PhD, dean of the Graduate Division and Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs, in nominating Raskulinec. “Her proven track record, infectious passion, and sincere dedication to creating and maintaining a financially sustainable business model for the Graduate Division and Student Academic Affairs distinctly qualify her as a deserving recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional University Management.”

Eunice Stephens
Executive Director, Office of Clinical/Translational Research

Eunice Stephens’ position at UCSF involves responsibility for programs solvency as well as overseeing Clinical Research Services operations at eight different research sites. One challenge she faced was the change in funding from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Stephens responded by developing innovative and creative ways to find partnerships and collaborations to support clinical research at UCSF.

“Eunice’s outstanding interpersonal skills, her effectiveness as a communicator, her deep knowledge of medical center and clinical research operations and her collaborative approach make her an invaluable asset to UCSF,” said Jennifer Grandis, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor of Clinical and Translational Research Director and Henry F. “Chip” Chambers, MD, in nominating Stephens.

Distinguished Nurse Award

Jayne McCullough, RN, BSN, CCRN
Clinical Nurse at the UCSF Medical Center

Jayne McCullough, RN, BSN, CCRN, a clinical nurse, has contributed in a leadership role to coordinate and implement the first Patient and Family Advisory Council for inpatient adult services at UCSF Medical Center.

“Engaging patients and their families in transforming care in the adult ICUs at UCSF has truly changed how the adult critical care interdisciplinary team approaches innovation and performance improvement,” said Hildy Schell-Chaple, RN, about McCullough. “Jayne’s passion for true patient and family centered-care has led to the amazing success of the adult critical care PFAC.”

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