SJSU Celebrates Staff at Annual Service Celebration and Awards Event

by | Mar 6, 2023 | Awards and Achievements, Featured

Members of CommUniverCity and Academic Affairs cheered on Spartan Spirit Award winner Matthew Snyder (center with plaque) at the Staff Service Celebration and Staff Awards on March 2, 2023. Photo by Irene Adeline Milanez, ’25 Journalism.

The 55th annual Staff Service Celebration and Staff Awards brought together Spartans who have dedicated many years of service to the campus community.

Ricky Yoneda

Ricky Yoneda was recognized for 40 years of service at SJSU. Photo by Irene Adeline Milanez, ’25 Journalism.

On March 2, employees celebrating milestone anniversaries were recognized, including Ricky Yoneda from the SJSU Research Foundation, who celebrated his 40-year work anniversary. Yoneda serves as a manager of self-support programs.

For the fourth year, outstanding staff members were recognized in three categories — Spartan Spirit, Distinguished Service, and Staff of the Year — with a fourth category, Critical Employee, added this year. Recipients were nominated by colleagues, which included submissions describing why the staff members deserved special recognition.

Spartan Spirit Award

Winner: Matthew Snyder, ’17 Sociology – CommUniverCity
Honorable Mention: Edlin Hernandez, ’19 Environmental Studies – Career Center; Khristine Lugo – Special Events

Matthew Synder serves as a department analyst for CommUniverCity (CUC), a unique partnership between SJSU, the City of San José, and the community. As part of Synder’s nomination, a colleague shared the following:

Staff Council Chair Harish Chander with Matthew Snyder

Staff Council Chair Harish Chander (left) presented Matthew Snyder with the Spartan Spirit Award. Photo by Irene Adeline Milanez, ’25 Journalism.

“He is the CUC first point of contact for professors, students, and community members who are actively involved with service learning. Through his position, Matt is an ‘evangelist’ for service learning … He embodies a positive example of servant leadership by going over and above to help others who need support, regardless of who they are or what they represent. He is first to offer help to the neighboring offices who are not part of CUC, but still part of the SJSU community.

“If a lost student wanders into the CUC office, Matt doesn’t simply point in the direction to where the student can find what they are looking for, but he will actively walk them over, or if he can’t leave the office, he will print out a map…in Matt’s words, he understands what it feels like to be a student or anyone who is lost, unclear of where they are supposed to be, or late to where they are going and the more he can help ameliorate one’s anxiety or uncertainty, the better his day is.

‘I have also had the privilege of walking across campus with Matt and so many people on campus will say, ’Hey Matt, how’s it going?’ I was surprised to know how many people know Matt across campus, from facilities, to other departments and students. He really conveys passion and spirit around his work at SJSU.”

Distinguished Service

Winner: Eva Joice, ’07 Criminal Justice Administration – Academic Senate
Honorable Mention: Thuy-Trang Duong, ’03 Computer Science, ’15 MA Education – College of Professional & Global Education; Robert Bain – University Marketing & Communications

Eva Joice holding a plaque

Eva Joice received the Distinguished Service award at the 55th annual Staff Service Celebration and Staff Awards. Photo by Irene Adeline Milanez, ’25 Journalism.

Eva Joice is an administrative analyst and senate administrator for the Academic Senate, which consists of 56 senators, including faculty from all colleges, administrators, emeritus faculty, alumni representatives and students. In Joice’s nomination, one colleague said:

“Eva has on several occasions gone above and beyond her daily responsibilities to meet the changing climate of the campus and to support new initiatives. She is the only staff member for the Senate and has had full responsibility of the Senate office. What this means is that every change in our Senate office has been managed by one person and that person is Eva.

“It is not an understatement to say that without Eva, each Senate chair would struggle in their role. She keeps the calendar of behind-the-scenes activities that the Senate manages each year and works closely with both the Provost’s and President’s office to support many campus functions … Eva has adapted her job role, her daily work, and office changes masterfully. She has helped move our office into the 21st century, while maintaining our public archives, traditions, and history.”

Staff of the Year

Winner: Sharlene Washington – Biological Sciences
Honorable Mention: Amy Chan – Finance Support & Innovation; Lydie Rashel – College of Engineering

Sharlene Washington serves as associate director of the Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Training Program, a 12-month training program that prepares students to take the ASCP national exam for Clinical Laboratory Scientists. A colleague wrote:

Sharlene Washington with Provost Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Provost Vincent Del Casino, Jr. presented Sharlene Washington with the Staff of the Year award. Photo by Irene Adeline Milanez, ’25 Journalism.

“Although Sharlene has been working for SJSU for 14 years, 2022 has been a special year for Sharlene in terms of accomplishments. Sharlene Washington was instrumental in the Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Training Program, taking on its biggest class size ever of 60 students for Fall 2022.

“Sharlene worked with numerous hospitals all over the state to arrange for the placement of these 60 student trainees. Sharlene took extra initiative to work with remote training locations where hospital staffing shortages are most critical. Sharlene’s efforts continue and we are slated to break records again in Spring 2023, with a class size of 65 CLS student trainees.

“Sharlene’s hard work and relationship building also resulted in us becoming the largest CLS training school in the state this year in terms of number of hospital affiliates and number of students … Sharlene is passionate about patient care and inspires our staff to want to continue to grow and improve our program. She is a positive person and a joy to work with. Our hospital contacts consistently provide positive feedback about her.”

Critical Employee Award

Winner: Jed Soliven – Office of the President
Honorable Mention: Bonnie Sugiyama – PRIDE and Gender Equity Center; Sylvia Ruiz – University Library

President Cynthia Teniente-Matson with Jed Soliven

President Cynthia Teniente-Matson presented Jed Soliven with the inaugural Critical Employee Award. Photo by Irene Adeline Milanez, ’25 Journalism.

Jed Soliven is the executive assistant to the chief of staff, vice president of Institutional Affairs and interim vice president for University Advancement and Tower Foundation CEO. In Soliven’s nomination, a colleague wrote:

“Jed is never hesitant to offer help and lend a hand. Even after work, or on the weekends, he reaches out if he knows I need help on a project and the deadline is around the corner. He is dedicated and detail-oriented, but also adds love to everything he does; taking his time to make things be perfect, and somehow still turning them in time. His humility and friendliness makes my work life enjoyable.

“These characteristics don’t only shine when he is interacting with me, you can see him show this with every colleague he interacts with. He helps build the SJSU community by truly developing that sense of community and family wherever he goes. He is one of the most dependable people I’ve met; his work ethic is like nobody else I’ve met before, and his commitment to the work he does is visible in the smallest and biggest tasks.”