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Grounds and Landscape Services team receives award for campus community contribution

staff standing together
(BACK) Assistant Director Carmia Feldman, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director Kathleen Socolofsky, Grounds and Landscape Services Supervisor Matt Forrest, Vice Chancellor John Meyer, Assistant Director Andrew Fulks, Grounds and Landscape Services Supervisor Greg Patzkowski, (FRONT) Grounds and Landscape Services Supervisor Tyson Mantor, Director of GATEways Horticulture and Teaching Gardens Emily Griswold, GATEways Horticulturist Stacey Parker, Associate Director of Grounds and Landscape Services Cary Avery.

Our Grounds and Landscape Services supervisor team received an honorable mention award in for their outstanding “Campus Community Contributions”  by the UC Davis Staff Assembly’s Citations of Excellence Committee!

They were celebrated at the Citations of Excellence Award Ceremony on May 21, 2014. (See photo above.)

Time and again, each and every one of our grounds supervisors have demonstrated their dedication to the campus. This campus is lucky to have them–if we do say so ourselves!

Congratulations to the following Supervisors from Grounds and Landscape Services:

  • Cary Avery
  • Matthew Forrest
  • Kore Higuchi
  • Tyson Mantor
  • Greg Patzkowski
  • Nelson Randolph

Below is the heartfelt narrative that GATEways Horticulturist Stacey Parker wrote as part of her nomination package.

Dear UC Davis Citations for Excellence Committee:  

Three years ago, four administrative units merged to create an entity responsible for leading the campus to a new level of sophistication and collaboration.  I joined this team 1.5 years ago and in that short time, I have had the pleasure of working with one particular team of supervisors that has consistently demonstrated an exemplary level of service and dedication.  This team of six has collectively served the UC Davis community for more than 134 years.  To attempt to convey the level of dedication and service exhibited by each of these individuals is a challenge, since to know them is to know these qualities.  Their unique level of service comes from something as simple as believing in what they do.  Believing in what they do fosters an intrinsic pursuit of excellence that is prevalent throughout their work—in every interaction, every task, and every project.  This passion drives each and every one of them to reach further, to try harder, to innovate, and to anticipate the campus community’s needs.  As such, their actions are steeped in wisdom and their exceptional workmanship improves the experience of every single person on campus.

As leaders in their field, the broadest level of this team’s impact is realized on a national scale as a model for others.  They routinely share their findings with the public, collaborate with their colleagues in the industry, and serve in leadership capacities at the regional and national level.  Closer to home, their expertise is shared freely with the entire university community including students and visitors, who often count on them to share best practices. They consistently collaborate with other departments and units and exceed expectations by providing service beyond what’s been asked. 

While this team’s level of service epitomizes UC Davis’ standard of excellence in the community at large, their high level of service couldn’t be reflected more than with their own people.  Each supervisor shines in a unique way. One finds each of his employees on their birthday and hand-delivers a birthday card.  Another team member shows his service by setting an example, working directly alongside his employees, and modeling what it means to be a hard-worker.  Another serves as an inspiration for his people by coaching them to always do the right thing.   Knowing that the quality of their work life is related to their overall health and well-being, he established a preventative injury program that has resulted in a 70% decrease in workers’ compensation claims.  Still another supervisor works with staff members with special needs, mentoring them beyond the realm of the regular workday by patiently teaching them the everyday life skills they need to thrive and succeed. 

It is hard to imagine a UC Davis team more devoted to their work, more promoting of an inclusive work environment, more respected nationally in their field, or more instrumental in creating a positive campus experience for all. Each supervisor consistently stretches above and beyond their job description and together, they are most deserving of recognition.