San Jose State University

December 2023 Edition

Volume 6 Issue 4
Image of laptop and coffee cup with text: from the desk of joanne wright
The Fall term is coming to an end and another year as well. The campus continues to be an exciting place, day in and day out. In the next few weeks the sidewalks will be filled with graduates, a sight that always reminds me why we are here. You, our employees, are the backbone of the university and the reason our students succeed. Thank you for all you do!

Looking back at the year in UP, I'm proud of what we have accomplished. Among these accomplishments were three Town Halls - focused on Payroll; Leave/Workers' Comp/Accommodations; and Professional Development; we had close to three hundred people attend each of these sessions designed to provide our employees with increased clarity about varied UP processes and an opportunity to ask questions specific to each area. We look forward to welcoming you to future town halls in the new year. We also piloted a leadership training program for MPPs that will be available for all MPPs in the spring. This program is designed to provide our MPPs with an enhanced skillset and a common understanding of SJSU's expectations for managers so that there is consistent leadership and support for our employees throughout the campus. We reinstated in-person New Employee Orientation and brought in a new Manager for Organizational Development and Enrichment Programs as we look to enhance and expand the onboarding experience of our newest employees and help all of our employees thrive through varied professional development programming. We restructured some of our internal units as we strive to provide you with excellent service across the department. There is still more on our agendas, however, with much more left to achieve in our service to you. We look forward to working with many of you as we implement additional initiatives in the coming year.

We have a nice break coming up (December 25 - January 1), and I hope you all find time to rest and relax while spending time with family and friends or just yourself! Make sure to check your vacation balance now to ensure you don't go over your max before the end of the year. See more details on that below.

However you choose to spend your time away from campus, I wish you a wonderful end to the year and look forward to seeing you in 2024.

Please click View Entire Message at the bottom of this email to see the entire newsletter.
Check your vacation and other balances in SJSU @ Work by clicking the button to the right or the View My Leave Balances tile in one.SJSU.

On your balance page, click the Graduated Vacation Chart link to view the max number of vacation hours you may carryover.
image of calendar with paperclips on top of it; words include: end of year holidays, deadlines, and reminders
December 11/Mailing Address: Last day to update your mailing address to ensure your W-2 is mailed to the correct location. See Change My Address and other info to review your address and make any necessary changes. The State Controller's Office will mail W-2s at the end of January 2024. Please note: If you opted in to receive your W-2 online via Cal Employee Connect, you will NOT receive a paper version.

December 15/CSULearn: Please review your CSULearn Assigned Courses. All courses with a due date prior to December 31, 2023, must be completed by the end of the calendar year.

December 20/Absence Management: Last day to enter and approve December absences. To ensure accurate and timely pay for the December pay period, all absences for both salaried and hourly employees must be entered and approved no later than 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. See Enter My Absences or Approve Reported Absences.

December 25-28/Campus Closed for Winter Holidays: The campus is closed from December 25 through December 28 for the holidays. No personal leave needs to be taken for these days. Please note: If the Governor and/or Chancellor provide additional time off prior to December 25 as they have in previous years, we will notify you separately. At this time, no additional time off has been announced.

December 29/Campus Closure: The campus is closed on December 29. All employees (excluding AY faculty) must use vacation, personal holiday or compensatory time off for the December 29 campus closure. Bargaining unit employees should work with their manager if they do not have enough time to cover the closure date.

December 29/Paycheck Distribution: University Personnel South (UPD Building/3rd Floor) will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for employees who wish to pick up their December paycheck. Employees must bring a photo ID and may only pick up their own check. Department contacts can pick up paychecks when the campus reopens on January 2, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

January 1, 2024/Open Enrollment: All open enrollment changes will be effective January 1, 2024. Please log into Cal Employee Connect to review your December pay warrant (available at the beginning of January) to confirm your changes have been processed. If you have any questions regarding your open enrollment changes, please contact your Benefits Representative.

January 1, 2024/Campus Closed for New Year's Day: The campus is closed on January 1 and no personal leave needs to be taken for this day.

If you have any questions, please contact your Recruiter or your Benefits/Payroll/Employee Services Representative.
Transition Coming Soon...
As previously announced, the university is in the process of combining the Title IX and Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (DHR) programs into one office. Because these programs have been run by separate offices for many years, the consolidation is still in the works. In addition to the office transition, a refocused marketing campaign, new websites, redesigned informational items, and new training content is being developed. In the end, the combined Title IX and DHR office will make it easier to find the right office to report protected status discrimination and harassment and receive support from the university. Please watch your email for future announcements regarding this important change for the university. Until the transition is complete, please contact the appropriate office for any concerns you have:
image of blue and gold geometric shapes with the words welcome new spartans in gold text
Adrian Campos
Alberto Leon
Alejandro Sandoval
Alison Ross-Medina
Amelia Mayer
Analisse Nava
Andre Morrow
Anelicia Vega-Gutierrez
Anita Alvarado
Aretha Minor
Belen Moreno Albarracin
Bernadette Fernandez
Brian Rohrer
Bryanna Ortiz
Celeste Walker
Chalina Hernandez
Cheyenne Rodriguez
Christian Duran
Claudia Contreras Gutierrez
Cristian Tanase
Crystal Chan
Devora Pinsky
Diana Perez Valverde
Dominic De Leon
Esha Lad
Esmir Basic
Evan Jacobs
Ferdinand Cadiente
Fred Carrizosa Miranda
Genevieve Lau
Gonzalo Chavez
Gracia Loveday
Greg Lynch
Guifang Tan
Gurpreet Aulak
Heather Vo
Ignacio Rocha
Jiewen Mei
Joanna Andrade
Jocelyn Pollack
Johnson Nguyen
Jose Diaz Vasquez
Fred Carrizosa Miranda
Genevieve Lau
Gonzalo Chavez
Gracia Loveday
Greg Lynch
Guifang Tan
Gurpreet Aulak
Heather Vo
Ignacio Rocha
Jiewen Mei
Joanna Andrade
Jocelyn Pollack
Johnson Nguyen
Lloyd Henderson
Louis Adamsel
Luis Marquez
Mane Ahmed
Maneesha Khandekar
Maria Cutaia
Maria Rojas
Marielisbet Perez-Quetives
Melissa Vierra
Monique Sonne
Nailah Smith
Nicholas Navarra
Patrick Ocock
Ramonchito Pablico
Samantha Segretto-vidal
Santiago Herrera Victor
Shuyang Li
Siddharth Bhindi
Skylar Barbero
Stephanie Liu
Sudheera Ranaweera
Taranjit Kaur
Tianna Madison
Trang Bui
Trevor Grant
Urmi Chatterjee
Xavier Clark
Yasmin Mossadeghi
image of brown building blocks on gray background with white lettering above reading UP Staffing Update
Welcome our new staff members!
  • Chalina Hernandez - Payroll Technician
  • Stephanie Liu - Payroll Technician
  • Bernadette Fernandez - Training, Communication & Event Specialist
  • Celeste Walker - HR Coordinator for Tower Foundation
Other staffing updates:
  • Crystal Mercado has moved into the Manager, Faculty Services Operations position permanently
  • The Administrative Services Team - Aggie Anaya and Connie Wong - has moved under the Employment Authorization and Compliance team
  • Michele Delfino has moved from the Administrative Services Team to Employee Support Services
Visit Our Teams or our Organizational Chart to learn more about our staff and structure.
Saying Goodbye...

Anita Vasquez, Senior Director of UP Operations, has been with SJSU since March of 1995 and will retire at the end of the year with almost 29 years of service. The majority of her career has been in Human Resources/University Personnel, but she also spent time in the Office of the President. Her vast knowledge of Payroll and Benefits, as well as the history of SJSU, will be greatly missed, but we wish her well as she steps into her new retirement adventure. We want to thank her for her dedication to SJSU and our department. Things definitely won't be the same without her.

Amar Sidhu, Senior Payroll Representative, is also retiring at the end of December with almost 17 years of service to SJSU. Amar began her SJSU journey as a Payroll Technician in May of 2007 and retires as a Senior Payroll Representative. We wish Amar well in her next chapter and thank her for her dedication to SJSU and University Personnel.
Scroll down to meet the Employee Support Services team!

Please click View Entire Message at the bottom of this email to see the entire newsletter.
Image of nine women in front of a fountain, smiling
Photograph by: Michael Pyrch
Pictured Back Row L to R: Terryn Ashley, Sharon Austin, Stacy Perez, Aimee D'Anna, Michele Delfino, Anita Vasquez; Front Row L to R: Vivianna Solis, Maria Rocha, Mi Duong
The Employee Support Services (ESS) team, including the Fee Waiver function, is under the direction of Anita Vasquez, Senior Director of UP Operations and Terryn Ashley, Manager of Payroll and Employee Support Services. The ESS team supports all employees by processing transactions for new hires, transfers, salary changes and more to ensure employees are paid on time. They collaborate with the Faculty Services, Recruitment and Retention, and Payroll Services teams as well as department administrative staff on campus. The Fee Waiver Coordinator oversees the tuition fee waiver program for faculty, staff and teaching associates, and collaborates with ESS on various projects and processes. Let's meet the team!

Anita Vasquez (She, Her, Hers) - Senior Director, UP Operations  - Anita manages all functions related to employee support services, payroll and benefits, including leave programs and workers' compensation. She also acts as a liaison with the State Controller's Office and the California Public Employees Retirement System. As mentioned above, Anita is retiring at the end of December, but will continue to manage her teams until her last day. Something you might not know about Anita is that she plays the guitar and is currently teaching her granddaughter how to play. Outside of work she also enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, cooking and teaching her granddaughter how to bake! Anita is also a collector of all genres of music. She owns hundreds of albums, 45's, 78's, cassettes and 8-track tapes. And yes, she still has her cassette player and turntable.

Terryn Ashley (she/her) - Manager, Payroll and Employee Support Services - Terryn manages daily operations for Payroll, Employee Support Services, and the Fee Waiver Program. Terryn has been in her current role for 17 months but has a total of 2 1/2 years in HR/UP. She has a total of 3 1/2 years of service on the SJSU campus and an additional 20+ years at the CSU Monterey Bay campus, bringing her overall CSU service to just a little over 24 years. You may not know that animals are Terryn's passion. She has dogs, cats, chickens, fish, a turtle and a snake that is almost 30 years old! Outside of work - and caring for her animals - Terryn enjoys walking in the mountains with her dogs.

Michele Delfino - Fee Waiver Coordinator and Employee Support Services Liaison - Michele coordinates the campus tuition fee waiver program for faculty, staff and teaching associates and also coordinates the annual reporting for IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) and other employment processes. She also audits data, processes EDD (Unemployment) claims through Equifax and last but not least, is an expert resource to Payroll, Faculty Services and Employee Support Services. Michele is UP's longest tenured employee with 34 years of service to HR/UP. She's been in her current role for one year. Something you may not know about Michele is that she loves 70s music and notes that the Bee Gees are her all-time favorite. She also enjoys going on vacation and being with family and friends. She's looking forward to retiring in the near future.

Stacy Perez (She/Her) - Employee Support Services Lead - Stacy is responsible for supervising, evaluating, and providing work lead direction to five ESS Reps. In her role she troubleshoots and resolves complex PeopleSoft issues; runs monthly reports; coordinates and participates in special assignments & projects; conducts staff training & audits work. She is the subject matter expert for PeopleSoft & PIMS with regard to employee job transactions and participates in the testing of new or updated PeopleSoft functionality. She has been in SJSU and HR/UP for 23 years, and in her current role for about 6 1/2 years. Something you may not know about Stacy is that she loves musical theatre and has seen Hamilton five times. She loves spending time with her family, especially her niece and nephew, is a 49ers and Sharks fan, and loves to vacation in Hawaii.

The five Employee Support Services Representatives highlighted below are each responsible for the same type of work for different areas of campus. Each rep processes transactions such as hires, terminations, time base changes, leaves, promotions, etc. for faculty, staff and student employees. They deal with a myriad of situations and processes which involve analytical decision making and research in other databases. They engage in a full range of daily transactions as well as those of a cyclical nature, work in PeopleSoft (SJSU @ Work), and work closely with campus departments and the various teams within UP.  
  • Sharon Austin (She/Her) - Sharon started her SJSU career at the HR front desk, then after one year, she moved into her current role. She's now been on campus a total of 12 years. Something you may not know about Sharon is, she was the assistant to a world renowned Vedic astrologer for over 10 years. She also lived in Italy, is fluent in Italian, worked in the fashion industry, was a substitute teacher, and did a few TV commercials! Sharon is a voracious reader, an avid jigsaw puzzler, is keen on crosswords, loves stand-up comedy, and loves to walk, hike and swim. If you've been to Sharon's office you know she is passionate about plants. Her favorite vacation spot is Chicago, as that's where her daughter lives. 
  • Aimee D'Anna (She/Her/Hers) - Aimee has worked on campus for 17 years and joined the UP team a little over a year ago. Something unique about Aimee is that she has lived and worked in Downtown San Jose for 28 years. Outside of work, Aimee's favorite activities are design and event management. In her own words, "I am a lefty from Detroit who loves animals, art, and public service."
  • Mi Duong - Mi began her SJSU career in 2019 in the School of Social Work and joined University Personnel less than a year later. She's been in her current role for four years. Something you may not know about Mi is, she likes reading random trivia facts and can spend hours just doing that. She says, "It's interesting because you can learn a lot of useful stuff, but you also get the nonsense stuff, too." Mi also enjoys reading whenever she gets the chance.
  • Maria Rocha (she/her/hers) - Maria started her SJSU career as a Payroll Representative a little over 7 1/2 years ago. She has been in her current role for four years. Maria is always willing to assist others. She enjoys seeing new places with her family, spending time with her friends, or simply going for a walk. Maria shared that she lives in the moment. "I am in the present."
  • Vivianna Solis (She/Her) - Vivianna is the newest addition to the ESS team, joining UP four months ago after working a little less than a year in another department on campus. Vivianna's favorite snack combination is Hershey's almond chocolate with Hot Cheeto's Outside of work, she enjoys training with her puppy and spending quality time with her cats.  
Image of San Jose State University mascot Sammy Spartan forming a heart with their hands; words include: We Are All Spartans!
The We Are All SPARTANS! video and social media campaign has been a tremendous success, allowing us to shine a spotlight on some of the incredible staff members here at SJSU. It has been heartening to witness the connections and camaraderie among our Spartan community.

A sincere thank you to all who have participated and engaged with the campaign. Your stories and experiences have truly brought our community together.

The good news is, this is just the beginning! We have exciting plans aheadmore inspiring videos are in the making. Additionally, we are thrilled to announce that the interviews will resume in the Spring, providing us with the opportunity to learn more about the staff and the stories that make our Spartan community unique.

Stay tuned for more updates, more insights, and more connections.
Learn More and Watch the Videos!
Image of San Jose State mascot Sammy Spartan giving a thumbs up; words include San Jose State University and Spartans Stepping Beyond
The Spartans Stepping Beyond program is more than just an initiative; it's a celebration of the exceptional individuals within our community. Its purpose is to cultivate a culture of appreciation and gratitude by recognizing and honoring the remarkable contributions of our staff, faculty, and students.

Stepping Beyond Means:
  • Going beyond the expectations of their role in the Spartan community.
  • Providing creative and innovative ideas that lead to enhancing the Spartan experience and/or community.
  • Promoting collaboration and demonstrating effective teamwork which results in successful projects, improved communication, and a supportive environment.
  • Displaying strong leadership qualities, inspiring and motivating others, fostering a positive work environment, and providing guidance and mentorship to their colleagues.
How Can You Participate?
We encourage you to actively engage in the Spartans Stepping Beyond program. Take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary efforts of your colleagues, mentors, or peers who exemplify these qualities. Your participation can be a powerful way to acknowledge and appreciate the incredible contributions within our community.

Nominate a Spartan:
If you know someone who embodies the spirit of Spartans Stepping Beyond, recognize them! Your recognition can make a significant impact on their day and inspire others to celebrate the excellence within our community.

Let's Celebrate Together!
In fostering a culture of gratitude, we celebrate not only the accomplishments but also the spirit of community that makes SJSU special. Join us in recognizing the exceptional Spartans who go above and beyond to make a positive impact.
image of the words "don't forget" on a white piece of paper tacked to a corkboard
Employee Discounts

Faculty and staff have access to a variety of discounts. Visit Employee Discounts for more information.
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Where to Find Past Newsletters

You can find past issues of The UP Side newsletter on the UP website under Resources.
Unless otherwise indicated, all newsletter images were designed in Canva.

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San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192

Last Updated Dec 8, 2023