the current

the monthly e-newsletter of UC ANR Staff Assembly | Feb. 13, 2024 | Vol. 3, No. 2

announcing Staff Assembly Council roadshow

Save the date: Learn about Staff Assembly, enjoy free lunch at sessions across state

OK, so it's not exactly the Taylor Swift Eras Tour, but your UC ANR Staff Assembly Council is hitting the road this spring!

Come learn about Staff Assembly and how we're working to elevate the employee experience. Plus, find out how you can join our team and help your colleagues in those efforts! Three in-person sessions are scheduled, so save the date:

March 28: South Coast Research and Extension Center (Irvine)

April 11: Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (Parlier)

May 2: Hopland Research and Extension Center (Hopland)

Lunch is provided, but staff will need approval from supervisors to attend and fund their own travel to and from the session.

Space is limited so registration is required; please fill out this form. Hope to see you there!


ambassadors program

Introducing our newest Ambassador

Please welcome Louise Pagone, Master Gardener Coordinator for Lake County, to our Ambassador Program! Louise has been a UC Master Gardener since 2016 and graduated from the Marin County Class before transitioning to Lake County where she began her role on staff in 2017.

Louise wants to see her county become more connected to UC ANR and believes serving as an Ambassador is a step in the right direction. “I want to encourage collaboration and partnerships between our neighboring counties, too,” she said.

When she’s not working in the garden or reading about it, you can find Louise playing with her rescue German Shepherd, Buck.

Ambassadors offer insights at EDI Summit

Ambassadors Chair Saoimanu Sope attended UC ANR's first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Summit, organized by Elizabeth Moon. Two other Ambassadors, Jaki Hsieh Wojan and Brittany Gore, also were in attendance, representing other groups and functions.

"The EDI Summit offered stimulating conversations about the change we can accomplish at the individual, communal and organizational levels," Sope said. "I look forward to better understanding how Staff Assembly will be a part of this movement."

Locate your local Ambassador

learning & development highlights

Feb. 22: Writing a Winning Cover Letter

Yes, cover letters are still important to include with your application and can make or break your chances of getting an interview. This workshop (9-10 a.m.) will give you the tools to write a compelling cover letter that clearly articulates why you’re the right person for the job. Learn more.

Feb. 26: Interview with Confidence

Interviews are sources of anxiety for almost everyone, and yet every career move requires performing well in these situations. This workshop (4-5 p.m.) will help you understand best practices for successful in-person and virtual interview formats. You will learn tips and techniques for what to do before, during and after an interview, to ensure you make the best impression and have the confidence to ace your interview. Learn more.

March 4: What are STARs?

Staff Advisor Jo Mackness (UC Berkeley) and Staff Advisor Designate Andenet Emiru (UCOP) discuss their roles as Staff Advisors to the UC Regents, aka STARs. During this virtual information session (11 a.m.-Noon), hear about the STAR program, learn how to apply for the next term and ask any questions you may have about this crucial staff role. Details.

Additional classes, workshops and events can be found on the UC ANR Learning & Development website.

important dates

March 1: Wellness Reimbursement program to open

Beginning March 1, 2024, UC ANR employees (staff and academics) will be eligible for up to $75 in reimbursements for personal wellness expenses. 

Applications will be reviewed on first-come, first-served basis and employees are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible, when the open period begins March 1.

Watch for an ANR Update email announcing the beginning of the program.


Supported by UC ANR Staff Assembly Council's Wellness Committee and Academic Assembly Council, the program reimburses UC ANR employees for wellness items, including but not limited to: exercise equipment, clothing, classes, memberships, personal training, gardening supplies and books related to health and well-being.

Note that food, medicine, supplements and pet items are not eligible for reimbursement.

Education, training reimbursement funds can boost your career

UC ANR Staff Assembly provides financial assistance for a variety of career development and professional training activities through the Education Reimbursement Program.

For trainings or career development pursuits between Nov. 1, 2023 and April 15, 2024, the deadline to apply is April 15, 2024.

did you know?

Office hours get your AggieExpense questions answered

Have a question about changes you may be seeing in AggieExpense, due to the cutover to our new accounting system, Aggie Enterprise?

The UC ANR Aggie Enterprise team is holding Zoom office hours to anyone who needs assistance with submitting AggieExpense reports.

Office hours are Monday through Thursday (1-3 p.m.), through March 28.

Join on Zoom

Ombuds Office offers conflict competence training, resources

Conflict competence is the ability to develop and use cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills that enhance productive outcomes of conflict while reducing the likelihood of escalation or harm.

UC ANR staff and academics can develop those skills during upcoming trainings led by the Ombuds Office.

The Ombuds Office is a confidential, independent, impartial, and informal problem-solving and conflict management resource for all members of UC ANR community. The Ombuds can assist by listening to concerns, clarifying issues, identifying policies and resources, and providing coaching.

Learn more

The Current is your monthly Staff Assembly e-newsletter, distributed on the second Tuesday of each month (read archived past issues). All staff members at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources are part of UC ANR Staff Assembly. We on the Staff Assembly Council help advise senior leadership and advocate on your behalf, and we also organize programs and events that promote your professional development and personal growth. (Note: Academics are members of our counterpart entity, Academic Assembly.)