Cheers for Peers Archive

Most recent Cheers for Peers honoree

December 2018

Carol cook

Congratulations to Carol Cook, the Cheers for Peers colleague for December! Currently the Senior Director of Finance and Administration, Carol started working at USF in 1991, not counting the years that she was a student and worked in food services.

"I want to thank the GoUSF Wellness Program and particularly Suzy for raising my awareness to maintain my spiritual, mental and physical health, educating me to appreciate life, work, family and colleagues supporting me," shares Carol. "I enjoy working at USF and definitely have the green and gold spirit in my veins. The Wellness Program also introduces me to exercise more with weekly walks, healthy diets and appreciation of life. It has been quite a journey for getting healthier the last few years. Hats off to the program and I will continue the effort to stay healthy mentally, spiritually and physically! GoUSF! Go Dons!"

Thank you for everything you do, Carol! USF is lucky to have you.

November 2018: Claire Sharifi

Reference and Instruction Librarian, Gleeson Library

Congratulations to Claire Sharifi, reference and instruction librarian at Gleeson Library and the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month. Claire is also a liaison to the School of Nursing and Health Professions and the department of kinesiology, providing research instruction and support to students and faculty in these programs. When asked about her thoughts on the GoUSF wellness program, Claire replied, "GoUSF is such a great resource, and one I appreciate so much. While I love that GoUSF offers a range of wellness activities that inspire me to try new things, my absolute favorite GoUSF offering is the free race registrations and the $100 yearly registration reimbursement for a wellness activity. That is such an amazing benefit, and one I take advantage of every year! I also really enjoy serving on the GoUSF committee and attending GoUSF events-- I've gotten to know so many wonderful USF colleagues through GoUSF, people I might not have had the chance to get to know otherwise." Thank you, Claire, for everything you do! USF is lucky to have such a positive, passionate, fun employee! GoUSF is also fortunate to have you as a committee member.

October 2018: Bill Cartwright

Director of University Initiatives

Congratulations to the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month and Go Dons Get Fit trophy inspiration, Bill Cartwright! You may recognize him as a former NBA player, NBA head coach, and USF alumnus, but did you know that Bill is USF's Director of University Initiatives? In this role, Bill develops connections between USF alumni and the San Francisco community, assists the Office of Development with raising funds, and mentors students from underrepresented groups. In addition, he supports GoUSF's wellness initiatives and is always willing to take the time to chat over a cup of coffee. Bill brings positive energy to our campus, and we're lucky to have him! Thank you, Bill, for everything you do!

September 2018: Lindsay Gifford

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Congratulations to Lindsay Gifford, the cheers for peers colleague of the month! As an assistant professor of Anthropology, Lindsay's research focuses on middle eastern refugees. Her wellness journey began upon recognizing the need for mental, emotional, and physical replenishment in order to continue her important work. Lindsay shares: "I am constantly focused on wellness and advocating for the benefits of work-life balance and self-care.... I teach my undergraduate and graduate students about PTSD and vicarious trauma which can be incited by our work in the social sciences, and I train them on the best way that we currently know how to deal with these workplace issues, which is through self-care. I share that my self-care routine involves dance, yoga, swimming, hiking, and spending meaningful time with family and friends." "Many students are just as shocked as I was to learn that these everyday practices are an essential part of being able to perform our important social justice work, so I am proud to share this knowledge with them before it may turn into a crisis (which is where many professionals end up once they've reached a burnout point). For those of my students who are able to go abroad to conduct fieldwork, they usually do report that they started experiencing exactly the kind of effects of vicarious trauma that we discussed in class or in our workshops, and they knew how to identify these symptoms and to manage them effectively because of our discussions." Lindsay also spends time volunteering with the International Rescue Committee with refugees and has worked with Jesuit Refugee Services in Jordan. Thank you for all you do, Lindsay!

August 2018: Star Plaxton-Moore

Director of Community-Engaged Learning

Congratulations to Star Plaxton-Moore, the Cheers for Peers Colleague of the month! As the Director of Community-Engaged Learning at USF, Star has the joyful responsibility of working with faculty, students, and community partners to facilitate community engagement experiences that yield deep learning and contribute to positive social change. As a member of the McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, Star tells us that she also works "collaboratively with my colleagues to provide an array of public service and civic participation opportunities to students to help them foster the skills, knowledge, and commitments necessary to be lifelong change agents." Star describes what GoUSF means to her: "I am always inspired by the range of offerings through GoUSF, including fitness activities, book clubs, meditations, and volunteer initiatives. These activities share a common thread of cultivating health, wellness, and connectedness among our USF community, and allow us to collectively practice cura personalis, or care for the whole person. As someone who is committed to health and fitness for myself and my family, I feel so fortunate to work in a place that prioritizes the well-being of its staff, faculty, and students." Thank you for being an inspiration of health and wellness, Star!

July 2018: Donna Creasman

Administrative Coordinator, Law Dean's Office

Congratulations to Donna Creasman, GoUSF's Cheers for Peers colleague of the month for July. Donna, Administrative Coordinator for the Law Dean's Office, strives to inspire her colleagues to a healthier lifestyle by example and inclusion. She leads monthly lunch walks through Golden Gate Park for whomever wants to join, brings healthy lunches and eats regularly with her colleagues and helps provide additional fun and stimulating programming for faculty and staff at the Law School. Donna cares deeply about her family, caring for her children and prioritizing visits with friends and family who live away. And she cares for her colleagues as if they were family, joining us in celebrations and providing an ear when we need someone to listen. We are lucky to have Donna's upbeat attitude and inspiring lifestyle at USF!

June 2018: Natalie Macias

Associate Director in Health Promotion Services

Congratulations to Natalie Macias, GoUSF's Cheers for Peers colleague of the month for June. Natalie Macias is the Associate Director in Health Promotion Services but is also known as the "Queen of Tobacco." Natalie spearheaded the implementation of Breathe Easy USF, the university's tobacco-free policy initiated on August 1, 2017, and she continues to champion this effort to this day. Natalie is a true example of someone who considers wellness in every moment of her life. In her spare time, she is a mentor and soccer coach for both the USF Women's Club Soccer Team at Koret and the non-profit Girls Leading Girls. As a constant advocate of health who carries a can-do attitude in everything she puts her mind and physical abilities toward, she leads others to reach their own health potential with encouragement and the inspiration to succeed. GoUSF aligns with her wellness journey to stay fit, meet others, and enjoy all that life has to offer, but also helps her stay active and involved at USF where she received her MSBH degree from the School of Nursing and Health Professions, and will now be pursuing her Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership with the School of Education this Fall. This is a GoUSF wellness champion you want to get to know. Thank you, Natalie, for all that you do at USF and for all the people you inspire every day!

May 2018: Jacquelyn Rae Horton

Instructor and Director of USF's Speaking Center for the Department of Rhetoric and Language

Congratulations to Jacquelyn Rae Horton, GoUSF's Cheers for Peers colleague of the month for May! Jacquelyn is the epitome of holistic wellness. Besides her important work as the instructor and director of USF's Speaking Center for the Department of Rhetoric and Language, Jacquelyn has been an integral part of GoUSF's expanded programming. She helped create Go Present and Go Write, which focus on emotional wellness through enhancing public speaking skills, writing skills, self-esteem, and critical thinking. Jacquelyn also enjoys the benefits of physical wellness, evidenced by her time spent outdoors with her husband and two daughters and exercising at Koret several days a week where she inspires both students and colleagues alike. She also embodies the importance of community wellness by volunteering to serve on a patient advisory board at the UCSF women's health clinic and MILK, a group that supports breastfeeding moms. Thank you, Jacquelyn, for everything you do. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated professor who values the well-being of our students as well as our faculty and staff!

April 2018: Jazz Johnson

Program Assistant and Marketing Coordinator for the School of Management

Congratulations to Jazz Johnson, GoUSF's Cheers for Peers colleague of the month! Jazz, Program Assistant and Marketing Coordinator for the School of Management, has been nominated by her colleague, Anne Yumang. Jazz has been instrumental in motivating her department to get active, Anne tells us. "She leads by example by taking Koret fitness classes and encouraging her colleagues to join her. She rides her bike to work and uses the stairs rather than the elevator, whenever she can." Most recently, Jazz reminded her department to exercise and log their minutes during the Go Move Challenge. "She has such a positive attitude and is great to be around," says Anne. We couldn't agree more! Jazz recently joined the GoUSF wellness committee and has already made an impact. Thank you Jazz for all you do in the wellness world and beyond!

March 2018: Lamar Anderson

Furniture Services Team Supervisor, Facilities

Lamar Anderson, Furniture Services Team Supervisor, Facilities is the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month. "Lamar has embraced the GoUSF culture wholeheartedly. Not only has he personally benefited from the Go Move Challenge (he was the most active participant), but he motivated several co-workers to get involved as well," says Craig Peterson, Lamar's supervisor. Craig is impressed with Lamar's dedication to holistic wellness and described the various ways that Lamar has committed to making positive changes in his life: "Examples include completely cutting sugared soft drinks out of his diet and reducing visits to fast food restaurants by more than 50%! Lamar works out frequently at Koret and is an active member of a bowling league (his average is an impressive 200) where he enjoys friendly competition and camaraderie." Recently, Lamar committed to starting a long-term financial savings plan! (If you are interested in saving too, check out our Go Save programming for the remainder of the month.) Congratulations, Lamar, and thank you for all that you do for our community as an employee and GoUSF wellness advocate!

January 2018: Paul Salumbides

Client Manager, Office of Marketing Communications

Congratulations to this month's Cheers for Peers colleague of the month, Paul Salumbides! Paul, Client Marketing Manager for OMC, has been involved with GoUSF since the day he started, over a year ago. In fact, Paul serves as an integral part of the GoUSF wellness committee. When asked, "How has GoUSF inspired your wellness journey?" Paul's response is, "When I first started at USF, I primarily thought that GoUSF was to improve overall fitness. As I started attending more events, it was great to see that it was not only fitness but GoUSF provided valuable tools and insights on topics such as retirement, public speaking, philanthropy etc. I look forward to attending future events and…..the 5K races are so much fun!" Paul, thank you for everything you do to promote GoUSF and help make it a better program!

October 2017: Alexandra Amati-Camperi

Professor and Music Program Coordinator, Performing Arts

Congratulations to this month's Cheers for Peers colleague, Alexandra Amati-Camperi! Alexandra, professor and music program coordinator for the performing arts department, has always enjoyed exercising, especially walking. After learning about the Go Dons Get Fit Challenge at a faculty retreat last month, she eagerly signed up and encouraged her students to join as well. Alexandra believes that once you incorporate movement into your daily routine, it can become second nature. On behalf of the GoUSF, we thank you, Alexandra, for being an inspiration to the USF community!

September 2017: Craig Petersen

Director of Operations, Facilities Management

Congratulations to Craig Petersen, GoUSF's Cheers for Peers Colleague of the month for September. Craig is USF's Director of Operations, Facilities Management and has played an important role on the GoUSF wellness committee for the past two years. Craig talks about his experience with GoUSF and how it has played a part in his wellness journey: "I enjoy being part of the GoUSF Wellness Team because the program embodies the Jesuit concept of cura personalis, or care for the whole person...mind, body, spirit. There's something for everyone in the GoUSF program and regardless of your ability, your participation can generate tangible benefits immediately. Although I'm fortunate that my job is one that affords me plenty of time to get away from a desk and walk around this beautiful campus, I still need to remind myself to eat better and take care of other aspects of my health. GoUSF helps motivate me to take those steps. I've also had the opportunity to meet other faculty and staff I wouldn't normally get the chance to interact with." USF is a better place with Craig around. Thank you, Craig, for all that you do!

August 2017: Louise Lucchesi

Gift Planning Associate, Development

Congratulations to Louise Lucchesi, the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month for August! Louise has worked at USF for 14 years and brings her expertise as a 3rd generation native San Franciscan to her current role as the Gift Planning Associate for Development. She is also an important supporter of the GoUSF and provides invaluable input as a member of the GoUSF wellness committee. Louise says, "I love that GoUSF encourages Faculty and Staff to take ownership of their health and well-being and supports a healthy lifestyle. GoUSF activities provide an opportunity to interact with colleagues in a casual and positive environment." On a personal level, Louise says that GoUSF has changed her life for the positive. Before working at USF, her fitness routine was anything but routine. Now, Louise exercises consistently, crediting GoUSF for providing the supportive environment she needed to reach her fitness goals. Her favorite GoUSF events include the Presidio 10, Run Wild SF, the weekly weight watcher's meetings, and the monthly Go Learn seminars. Lastly, Louise used to dread walking up the Lone Mountain steps, and now she makes a point of walking the stairs at least twice a day! Thank you, Louise, for everything you do!

July 2017: Juman Khweis

Program Assistant, School of Nursing and Health Professions

Congratulations to Juman Khweis, the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month for July! As a program assistant for the School of Nursing and Health Professions, Juman is known for her positive energy and infectious laughter in the workplace. Her colleagues remark that she inspires them to exercise to Koret, where she can be found almost every day taking a kickboxing class. Juman is also a regular at GoUSF wellness events and helps to promote our initiative through her participation and enthusiasm. Thank you, Juman, for everything you do!

June 2017: Gina Alvarez

Program Assistant, School of Nursing and Health Professions

Congratulations to the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month, Gina Alvarez! As a program assistant for the School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP), Gina is a passionate advocate of wellness. You can often find her proudly wearing various GoUSF event t-shirts at Koret, where she encourages colleagues to join her in taking weekly TRX classes. She is always cheery, supportive, and encouraging. Her colleagues note that she even offers her headphones to others who have forgotten to bring their pair to the gym and who may have otherwise skipped an opportunity to exercise. Thank you, Gina, for inspiring your colleagues and for being a part of the GoUSF wellness community!

May 2017: Yuni Gutierrez

Program Assistant, School of Education

Congratulations to the Cheers for Peers colleague of the month, Yuni Gutierrez! As a program assistant for the International and Multicultural Education Department in the School of Education, Yuni understands how challenging it can be at times to find the balance between work and self-care. Besides providing the motivation and sponsorship to run in organized races, Yuni credits GoUSF with encouraging her to participate in new, healthy activities for the mind, body, and soul through the monthly challenges. Thank you, Yuni, for being an active member of the GoUSF community and for inspiring others through your commitment to wellness!

April 2017: Theresa Walker

Benefits Assistant, Human Resources

Theresa started an exercise and nutrition program several months ago and has since lost 65 pounds. "Once I started exercising, changed my diet, and lost weight, I found that I had a lot more energy," says Theresa. Theresa makes an effort to participate in all GoUSF events and walks daily or exercises on the cardio machines at Koret during her lunch break. During February, Theresa walked so much that she was recognized as one of the top 25 minute trackers of the Go Move Challenge! Leslie Clark, from Strategic Enrollment Management and who nominated Theresa, said, "Theresa encourages others in her office to walk daily, and has inspired me to walk daily too!"

January 2017:  Fabiola Hernandez

Evening/Weekend Circulation/Reserves Coordinator, Gleeson Library

This past summer Fabiola (Fabi) realized her long-time goal of completing the San Francisco half marathon. According to Fabi, GoUSF was instrumental in helping her meet her goal by providing training advice, financial support, and motivation. As a GoUSF wellness champion, Fabi helps spread the word about GoUSF events. She also makes sure her library colleagues are aware of all that GoUSF has to offer.

December 2016:  Jessica Stepman

Assistant Director, Development

Nominated by her colleague Dylan Houle, Jessica has taken the lead in bringing GoUSF events and activities to the Downtown Campus. When Alumni Relations moved downtown, there were few GoUSF events offered there. Jessica became a wellness champion so she could get the information firsthand and spread it to her co-workers. Dylan applauds Jessica for taking the bull by the horn and helping the Downtown Campus team feel like a part of the USF community.

November 2016:  Miranda Calderon

Program Assistant, School of Education

As Miranda transitioned from a student at USF, to a program assistant in the School of Education, she was searching for motivation to help her achieve her health and wellness goals. Miranda was excited to learn about GoUSF's 50% sponsorship for the San Francisco Marathon. As a first-time runner, she decided that a half-marathon was a significant goal to set. After months of training, Miranda said, that completing the race and receiving a medal was one of her most worthwhile experiences to date.

September 2016:  Laura Carney

Program Assistant, School of Management

Laura Carney of the School of Management's Military Science Department has participated in a variety of GoUSF events for several years, including the race events and organizing USF teams for the San Francisco AIDS Walk and St. Jude's Run/Walk. During the yearly Go Move Challenge, Laura plays an integral part in spearheading the ROTC boot camp event for faculty and staff.

August 2016:  Patrick Sudlow

Reservations Manager, Events Management

Patrick's personal wellness journey has inspired his peers to continue to improve their own health and achieve their wellness goals. Patrick serves on the Go USF Wellness Committee and is a Wellness Champion. He also volunteers as the Weight Watchers at Work coordinator, constantly recruiting new members. The results are very positive, with at least one person reaching their fitness goals every session.

July 2016:  Team Exec Ed

School of Management

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 2016 Go Nourish Challenge! The winning team, ExecED from the School of Management, consumed the most servings of fruits and vegetables during the challenge. The experience brought us closer together as a team, as we checked in with each other on our individual progress. We talked about what we added and substituted in our diets in pursuit of our goal to eat a combined 100 servings of fruit and vegetables.

June 2016:  Carmen Fernandez-Baybay

Business Manager and Assistant to the Dean, Gleeson Library

"One of the best benefits of working at USF is free access to a nice gym that offers exercise classes, and awesome cardio equipment. Exercise is easier said than done; getting into the habit of exercising daily has not been easy at times. GoUSF Wellness and Suzy always remind me to stay active year-round, along with my little Schnoodle! This summer, in an effort to maintain my fitness after age 50, I increased my activities. GoUSF continues to support my focus on health and well-being."

May 2016:  Hannah Helser

Operations Supervisor, Public Safety

Registering and training for races through GoUSF has created a bond among staff as we strive to reach individual running goals while cheering each other on as Team USF. I'm so grateful for the opportunities to run in races that help me reach my goal of running half marathons. Thanks, GoUSF!