ABA Spotlights

Staff Spotlight with ABA Zone Managers

zone managersPictured (left to right): Doug Power, Kimberly Donaville-Davis, Mark Leisz. Not pictured: Richard Mikeworth

How long have you been with Sac State?
Mark Leisz (Zone 1) 14 years
Kimberly Donaville-Davis (Zone 2) 7 years
Doug Power (Zone 3) 12 years
Rick Mikeworth (Housing) 8 years

What does the Zone Management Program mean to you?
The Zone Management Program was developed to improve interactions between Facilities Management and the campus community. Each Zone Manager serves a section of the campus as the liaison for the customer. Zone Managers act on our customer’s behalf regarding work they wish to have completed. We also monitor work backlogs for trends in the buildings we oversee and routinely conduct building inspections to identify areas for improvement. We also follow-up with quality control inspections to ensure work quality and job completion. Our role on campus is essential in allowing the campus community to connect with Facilities Management directly, and in turn, gives Facilities the opportunity to be proactive rather than reactive.

Who are your primary customers?
Our primary customers are faculty and staff who submit requests, but we aim to serve the entire campus community with equal diligence. In concurrence with the university’s mission and ABA’s mission of student success, we try to look at our campus from the student perspective, since they tend to be our silent customers. We have taken a proactive approach to improving their learning environment by ensuring campus facilities are suited to their needs, which promotes academic success. 

What are your biggest, yet most rewarding challenges in the workplace?
Some of our biggest challenges have been campus-wide facility conditions and maintenance. Our campus is older and many of our buildings are aging, which makes it difficult and costly to keep up with maintenance. We do our best to prioritize and allocate resources where needed. For example, Zone Managers surveyed over 300 classrooms and identified repairs needed in 180 classrooms. Since 2012, our inspections have led to major classroom improvements to include: new flooring, ceilings, lighting, chalkboards/whiteboards, blinds, doors, fresh paint and deep cleaning.

We feel most rewarded when we improve efficiency in our operations; improve communication with our customers; increase proactivity with campus maintenance; and provide overall consistency to the campus.

What is your favorite aspect of working on campus?
Working with the campus community as one family with one common goal is our favorite aspect of working at Sac State. Having the ability to communicate across campus departments as a team with the mission of student success is rewarding!

Why and how would someone contact you?
Mark Leisz
Ext. 8-7602

Kimberly Donaville-Davis
Ext. 8-7379

Doug Power
Ext. 8-7553

Rick Mikeworth
Ext. 8-6656


TaniaStaff Spotlight with Project Manager Tania Nunez

You would have had to be living under a rock not to notice all of the construction happening on campus this summer. From the north end of campus and the parking structure V project, to the new River View residential housing to the groundbreaking of Science II and the University Union expansion in the center of campus – we are growing! Administration and Business Affairs is such a diverse division that many of us feel connected to all of the great projects on campus.

However, it seems that no one is more connected than Tania Nunez (pictured, left). Tania is one of three project managers in ABA’s Facilities Management, Planning, Design and Construction team.

She is charged with managing three of the largest construction projects currently on campus, parking structure V, the River View Residential Housing project and Science II. One might ask, how could one person possibly manage so many large projects? It turns out that Tania has a very unique skillset that has prepared her for this exact role.  

Tania has been breaking down social norms for most of her life. She went into the traditionally male dominated field of architecture at University of Southern California. While there she challenged the norms of a typical finish in four mentality, and decided to pursue the rigorous five year track where she would go on to earn not just a bachelor of arts or sciences, but the coveted, Bachelor of Architecture degree. Of course she didn’t stop there. She applied and was accepted into the prestigious Gamble House internship, where she was fortunate enough to be one of two fifth-year undergraduates to live at the Gamble House in Pasadena, California. During her time at the Gamble House, Tania really struck an interest in historical preservation within the field of architecture. As she put it, “living in a historical monument for a year really puts things in perspective when you consider design, convenience and history.” It was this experience that led Tania to her next stop in her career, another unique scope in a broad stroke of the world of architecture.

She applied to some of the best historical preservation programs in the country and settled on Columbia University’s program in New York City. Tania earned her master’s degree in historical preservation and ended up staying in New York for five years. In those five years Tania honed her expertise in historical buildings, construction and design by working for the public sector. As she notes, “unlike cities in the western region of the United States, many of the old buildings in New York City house city related functions. Therefore, the public schools, community college and even the jail, are housed the oldest buildings in the city.” With that, as you can imagine, requires a unique skillset, and Tania had it! With her experience in architecture and historical buildings she quickly found her niche.

Just like all the years before, Tania was really unique in the architecture world, because she enjoyed the construction administration phase of architecture. “Most architects love the design side of projects because it is organized and structured, they don’t like the construction side because it is chaotic and unpredictable. Architects have to make realistic adjustments in construction because the design in practice doesn’t always match up with their vision. They have to be more flexible,” Tania said. Tania quickly filled a specific need for many architecture firms because she was both knowledgeable about the design and was capable of the project management as well. As if she could drill down to an even more unique skillset, she did and managed to become a leading female on teams that were dominated by men.

Ultimately Tania and her husband wanted to relocate back home to California to be closer to family and did a short stint in the bay area and then settled in Sacramento. When the position opened at Sacramento State for project manager, Tania knew it would be the perfect opportunity to make the inevitable decision to shift careers away from architecture and towards construction. Tania describes what she loves the most about her job, “I love seeing the building going up day by day and problem solving along the way. I really enjoy the challenge of finding cost efficiencies and trouble shooting.” That is exactly what she is doing with her current projects. Ultimately what has kept her intrigued in her current position is the fun and challenge of meeting the unique campus schedule and demands. “The impact you have as a project manager is intense. The projects I work on influence so many people. The community is impacted in both negative and positive ways, and you have to think about all of those things in your project – that is what I enjoy thinking about.” Tania knows how to adapt, she has been doing that her whole career, but especially now in higher education, where every decision matters and affects a huge chain of events.

This shift is much like the shift she made many times before in her career, becoming Sacramento State’s first female project manager. When she went to school, only twenty-percent of her class was female, now that percentage has evened out substantially to about 41%, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. However, in the world of construction, the players are still typically male. Especially in the trades, where it is rather rare to see a female team member. However, Tania doesn’t feel like it matters much at all that she is sometimes the only woman on the construction site.  She says, “It doesn’t matter to me at all, well, except those days when I am wearing heels to a meeting with the President and then have to run over to the site. But, I just adapt and have my boots ready to go.” Sometimes Tania gets a couple second looks, or a few of the guys hush their normal jargon when they see her coming. “Sure, guys will remind each other that a lady is on site, and to watch their language. It always makes me laugh.” Really it is about a long standing tradition of construction being a man’s workplace. Those stereotypes have taken decades to be built, and as Tania notes, “it will take decades to bring down.”

One shining example of that shift in culture is the unique leadership of Tania’s soon-to-be completed project, River View residential. The construction project manager, Melissa Barranchea, with Otto Construction is a proud Made at Sac State alumnus and a woman. “It is great working with Melissa on the construction site. She is making some great progress on breaking down those stereotypes that women do not belong in this field.” I think all can agree that it doesn’t matter that Tania and Melissa are women in construction, what matters is that they are passionate about their projects and meeting the needs of their clients and ultimately the students at Sac State. What more could we ask for?

Check out some of the highlights from Tania’s current projects below:

River View Residential Hall (opening August 2017)

  • Two-story cardio fitness center with iPad screens to program individual exercise sessions like yoga
  • State of the art movie room
  • Computer and gaming room
  • Focus on spaces where students can come together and collaborate and build relationships that will hopefully outpace the limited time they are in residential life

Parking Structure V (opening January 2018)

  • The timeline of the parking structure really makes this one special. It is going to be open in only one semester, which is unprecedented
  • Each wall of the structure will be built like Lego concrete pieces in Woodland and delivered to the campus
  • The structure will be LEED Gold certified, one of first of its kind in the CSU system

Science II (opening fall 2019)

  • The first new construction academic building since Benicia Hall in 2012
  • Living science model, where science will be on display with clear glass floor to ceiling on the first level
  • The ability to see inside to outside as students conduct their labs
  • The history of Sacramento State is being incorporated into the building design with trees and river theme  
  • The team is using a new delivery method that is very collaborative called design build model. This model allows for the builder, contractor, architect and client all to be on the same team throughout the project to ensure the best possible service to the client


Congratulations to Lieutenant Lofthouse on Graduation from the FBI National Academy!

Lieutenant Lofthouse
Lieutenant Christina Lofthouse is a graduate of the 263rd Class of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This 10 week course, concluding in March, included men and women from 48 states, 28 international countries, three military organizations, and five federal civilian organizations. The U.S. Department of Justice states the ten week course offers “advanced investigative, management, and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agency.”

Attendance at the FBI Academy is by invitation only through a nomination process that demands the law enforcement individual have the highest character and reputation for professional integrity. Congratulations to Lieutenant Lofthouse on this prestigious accomplishment. It will benefit the entire agency, as well as the people we serve here at Sacramento State, as she utilizes her advanced knowledge and leadership skills on a daily basis.

Sacramento State is proud to employ two graduates, as new Lieutenant Harvey Woo is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

FBI Academy Seal


UTAPS Staff Awarded

UTAPS Merit Award

In November, University Transportation & Parking Services (UTAPS) staff professionals Freddy Orozco and Jayme Hunter received Parking Professional Merit awards from the California Public Parking Association (CPPA).

Senior Director of UTAPS Tony Lucas, who nominated the two, focused on why they were deserving of this award: "Freddy's project management skills have significantly improved both shuttle systems and parking facilities. Traffic flow has been significantly reduced in Parking Structure I (PS1). And Jayme's innovations within the office have reduced semester permit purchasing wait times from 20 minutes at peak, to less than five minutes."

Overall, according to Lucas, these merit awards recognize their efforts in addressing this fall semester's parking challenges. With construction limiting overall parking availability, their contributions helped ensure a smooth semester for all faculty, staff, students and visitors.


Lessons from the Mouse: Customer Service Training with Dennis Snow

Dennis Snow
On behalf of the Divisons of Administration & Business Affairs and Human Resources, Sacramento State is pleased to welcome back Dennis Snow to our campus on October 19, 2015 as he facilitates two exciting training workshops revolving around customer service.

Dennis Snow is a service excellence expert on creating moments of WOW to enhance the customer's experience. Dennis honed his abilities over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company where he developed his passion for service excellence. The experience he brings provides particpants with a unique training opportunity for this much sought after speaker in service and leadership.

To register for this training, visit:



Winning Team: Reprographics Services and Student Derrick Santiago

Repro 1st place
Reprographics Services was recognized with a first place award from the international Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) for a submission in the Digital Multiple Page printing category in April.

The winning entry, a typography book designed by Sacramento State student Derrick Santiago for a Graphic Design 120 (Typography Theory) class project and printed by Reprographics, was one of 13 submitted from universities that included Penn State, Oregon State and Yale.

A panel of twelve industry experts judged the entries, and the book was viewed by representatives from over 100 universities across the U. S., the U. K. and Australia. Judges commented on the impressive quality of the printing and design concept, with one describing the book as “stunning.”

Assistant to the Director Laura Lockett described Santiago’s concept and design as central to the first-place win, with a creative pop-up feature and excellent craftsmanship. Upon accepting the award Lockett and Director Michael Kalstein sent news to the staff in Reprographics Services and to Santiago – “It is an honor to work with such a distinguished team!”

awardThis is not the first printing award received by the campus for a student project. Last year, student Peter Maloney won an ADDY award from the Sacramento Ad Club for a magazine designed by Maloney and printed by Reprographics, and there have been additional awards going back to 2010, when Reprographics began working with students on class projects.

Reprographics Services, the University’s official print shop, hopes to expand this service to assist even more students. The shop staff works individually with students, providing professional expertise and guidance on preproduction file standards that influence the final outcome.

Reprographics Services also won an honorable mention from ACUP for a wide-format banner created for the Causeway Classic in the fall, and is credited with over 40 awards in competition with printers from all over California, Nevada and Oregon.


Sustainabile Projects Garner Recognition from CSU
CSU Award

Early this month, Sacramento State was the proud recipient of CSU Best Practices awards from the CSU for efforts in two categories. Sac State's Smart Grid project won the Best Energy Retrofit Award and the Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) won the Best Practice in Sustainability Award. See ABA FOCUS stories about both projects - Smart Grid (Fall 2013) and STORC (Fall 2014), and read comments from the the CSU Best Practices selection committee below.

The following excerpts are from the CSU's Best Practices Awards webpage:

best energy retrofit

Best Energy Retrofit
- "The campus was able to double its capital investment for its Smart Grid project by leveraging a federal Department of Energy grant through a partnership with Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The successful grant opportunity resulted in a $4.7 million dollar contribution which was doubled by a commitment from the campus. The project will yield over 3 Million kWh and 200,000 therms per year in energy savings, offset nearly 1,000 metric tons of CO2 annually and achieve almost $450,000 per year in avoided energy costs."

best practice in sustainability
Best Practice in Sustainability
- "Few campuses can claim ownership of a center like this, providing resources such as equipment, space, and staff support for class and independent research projects. The center provides a central place on campus for students, faculty, and staff to collaborate on sustainability project development and research. This project is a successful example of how a campus can support hands on learning in the area of sustainability. It brings together students, faculty, staff and even the local community."



ABA Publishes 2012/2013 Report of Accomplishments

2012/13 annual report cover

Each year a comprehensive report on the many accomplishments and noteworthy activities of ABA is published. These reports include many highlights from the previous year, including the completion of major projects, fundamental divisional changes, staff recognition events, and process and service improvements. The 2012/13 report highlights staff professionals who were recognized for the many improvements made during the year.

View the 2012/2013 ABA Report of Accomplishments.


Public Safety/University Police Officers Recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

madd 2014

On April 24th, Sacramento State Police Officers Matt Light and Nathan Rice received awards from the California Office of Traffic Safety, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, for their contributions toward combatting drunk driving and drugged driving. These officers combined for twenty DUI arrests last year. Great work officers!


The Sustainability Team Challenges You: What's Your Sustainable New Year's Resolution?

sustainability new years

Capping off the New Year, Facilities Management's Sustainability Team has challenged themselves, and others, to commit to a sustainable New Year's resolution. Many staff have shared their resolutions, all of which can be found on the Sustainability at Sac State Facebook page.

Sustainability & Operations Analyst/Coordinator Kristina Cullen has shared hers: "I resolve that as the incandescent light bulbs burn out in my home, that I will replace them with CFLs and even replace my holiday lighting with LEDs. Energy Conservation all throughout the year!"

So, whats yours!?


Associate Vice President Justine Heartt Appointed FOA Chair

Justine Heartt

Justine Heartt, associate vice president for Financial Services, was appointed chair of the CSU Financial Officers’ Association (FOA) for the 2013/14 fiscal year.

The appointment, based on an election process, represents a three-year commitment – Heartt served as vice chair in 2012/13 and will continue on as past chair in 2014/15.

Vice President/CFO Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee joins FOA this year as the CABO representative. CABO is the acronym for CSU Chief Administrative/Business Officers.

FOA works under the direction of CABO to:

  • Assist the CSU in planning, developing and communicating new and improved policies and procedures related to accounting and budgeting issues and advise the Chancellor's Office on their implementation.
  • Provide a means to collaborate with the Chancellor's Office staff to review and comment upon proposed legislation and regulations and to help shape the CSU responses.
  • Plan and facilitate continued personal and professional development and training of financial officers and their staff in the CSU.
  • Provide collective, proactive leadership in support of the CSU and/or individual campuses in the development of creative and innovative programs, through optimum use of technology designed to deliver cost effective, value added, financial services to campus customers.
  • Provide a forum in which the collective professional concerns of the financial officers of the CSU can be shared and explored with the Chancellor's Office.
  • Establish a consortium for the discussion, development and interchange of knowledge, information, skills and methods for solving accounting, budgeting, and related problems encountered by its membership.
  • Identify and establish standards to facilitate communications and reporting among 

As FOA chair, Heartt will:

  • Serve as the chief administrative officer of the FOA
  • Formulate the agenda and chair all meetings
  • Act as the liaison with appointed CABO member VP/CFO Mike Lee  and other administrative associations of the CSU
  • Chair the Executive Committee
  • Assist the directors of the Accounting, Budget, and Procurement Chancellor's Office, on accounting, budgeting, and procurement related issues, as requested
  • Appoint committees as necessary
  • Plan and conduct the annual meeting

Heartt sees this commitment as valuable for the campus and the CSU. “Working with my colleagues from the other campuses and the Chancellor’s Office is extremely rewarding as we Redefine the Possible within the entire CSU to be more efficient and effective. All of us are working closely together to save money and streamline processes wherever possible. In addition, we are planning for our financial future through training like the CSU 101 program to help new financial employees understand our specific higher education model of governmental accounting.  It is very rewarding to see these individuals grow and become leaders within the CSU.”

This year’s annual meeting and training session will be held at San Francisco State’s downtown campus January 26 – 29, 2014.  CSU 101 provides a high-level overview of topics employees will encounter during their employment with CSU, which may include: financial reporting, CMS, CHRS, CFS, data warehouse, budget, banking, cash management, human resources, capital planning, procurement, audit, ethics, auxiliaries, current synergy initiatives and CSU history, organization and policies. The program was designed as a combination orientation, training, staff development and an opportunity for the participants to establish business contacts.


ABA Publishes 2011/2012 Report of Accomplishments


Each year a comprehensive report on the many accomplishments and noteworthy activities of ABA is published. These reports include many highlights from the previous year, including the completion of major projects, fundamental divisional changes, staff recognition events, and process and service improvements. The 2011/12 report highlights staff professionals who were recognized for the many improvements made during the year.

View the 2011/2012 ABA Report of Accomplishments.


ABA Celebrates Alumni Month

Alumni Month

ABA alumni, students, friends and families are invited to celebrate with fellow Hornets throughout April during Alumni Month. The University will honor its more than 215,000 alumni with a host of events on campus and around the region.

A complete calendar of Alumni Month events and more information are available at SacStateAlumni.com/AlumniMonth.

 View and celebrate ABA's Alumns.


Thank Someone Using the ABA Thank-You Blog

Thank YouHas someone done something recently for you that deserves mention? Or maybe you received help from a colleague on a difficult assignment? Or perhaps you simply want to recognize someone for doing a great job; these are just some of the reasons to use the ABA Thank You Blog.

The ABA Thank-You Blog allows employees to recognize their colleagues by writing a "Thank You" message that is forwarded to the recipient and posted to a blog. This is the perfect type of tool to use when you want to show someone how much you appreciate their hard work. Submit a Thank You today!

View the ABA Thank-You Blog


Staff Spotlight - Joey Martinez: Facilities Services Recycling Coordinator

This spotlight was also included in ABA's Spring 2012 FOCUS Newsletter. View the entire article.

What are some of the unique aspects of your job?

Since ‘Recycling’ is an ever evolving venture, I get the opportunity to become both a student and teacher of the new and evolving processes. I get the chance to learn about the latest recycling news, and then reinterpret that into a viable campus program where I can help educate the campus community.

What are some examples of your daily duties?
Auditing current recycling programs on campus to make sure that the results are not only meeting the contractual obligations of said program, but also to spot for areas of improvement in Sac State’s recycling efforts. A portion of my day allows me to be out and about on campus to make sure things are going well. I spend time with customers answering recycling questions and arranging recycling opportunities. I am the editor for our Facilities Services newsletter, The Pipeline, so I also busy myself with promoting some of the great work being done by our staff.

Who are your primary customers?
Everyone on campus is my customer whether they realize it or not. Everyone on this campus—staff, student and faculty alike—produces waste of some kind. It’s my job to manage recyclable aspects of those waste streams and hopefully divert as much as possible of it from the landfill.

What are your biggest, yet most rewarding challenges?
Because everyone knows they’re supposed to recycle, it’s become an everyday ordinary practice—which is good in one respect! It’s my job to not only manage the recycling programs, but to try to publicize it in a manner that keeps it ever fresh and prominent in peoples’ minds. It’s great that it’s a daily practice—we just don’t want it to become"just" an everyday practice.

What do you like best about your job?
The sheer amount of people with whom I come into contact on any given day! Recycling is something that occurs throughout the entire campus and, because of that, I find myself meeting many different members of the campus community. It keeps things fresh, and I continue to learn more about the people of Sac State.

What is your favorite aspect of working on campus?
Because the campus exists to foster the education of so many minds, there’s always a certain palpable energy in the students and faculty, as well as the staff. That energy can breed passion, and that’s a wonderful thing to witness. I hope to be able to direct some of that passion into recycling by working with both students and staff alike.

Why and how would someone contact you?
Anyone who has any kind of question about a recycling program here on campus should give me a call at 278-5801 or email me at jmartinez@csus.edu. Currently we recycle e-waste, metals, green waste, tires, paper, cardboard, toner and ink cartridges, wood, old furniture, bottles and cans, and are working on plans to expand into others arenas of recycling very soon. I can assist in answering questions on any of those programs. Other reasons someone might contact me would be to inquire about arrangements for the shredding of confidential files or for special office purges. Our recycling programs are free to much of the campus community (for campus-generated waste), so please feel free to contact me before tossing something into the garbage.


University Police Officer Honored

MADD award

Sacramento State Police Officer Nathan Rice was presented with a California MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Hero award at the 14th Anniversary of the MADD California Statewide Law Enforcement and Community Recognition Dinner on June 2, 2012. The award recognizes officers for helping to combat drunk driving and maintain safer roadways and communities.

Each year California MADD awards law enforcement individuals and departments, state park agencies, media partners and community advocates from across the state whose actions and policies are aligned with MADD's mission to prevent drunk driving, educate the public on its effects, support victims and prevent underage drinking.  This year’s event at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Sacramento hosted over 600 participants from 53 of California’s 58 counties.


ABA Publishes 2010/2011 Report of Accomplishments

Cover of 2010-2011 Report of Accomplishments
Each year a comprehensive report on the many accomplishments and noteworthy activities of ABA is published. These reports include many highlights from the previous year, including the completion of major projects such as The WELL, fundamental divisional changes, staff recognition events, and process and service improvements. The 2010/11 report highlights staff professionals who were recognized for the many improvements made during the year.

ABA's VP and CFO Ming-Tung "Mike" Lee invites you to peruse the reporting, stating, "ABA's accomplishments can be credited to our dedicated and competent staff. It is a tribute to their professionalism that the division has main­tained a focus on the University’s fundamental values, despite financial difficulties. Because of this, ABA continues to make a difference for students, faculty, staff and others in our campus community. I hope you will enjoy reading about our achieve­ments, and join me in celebrating ABA’s staff professionals for their contributions to the division and the University over the past year."

View the 2010/2011 ABA Report of Accomplishments.


Freddy Orozco Named Parking Professional of the Year

Freddy Orozco
Freddy Orozco, assistant to the senior director, University Transportation & Parking Services (UTAPS), was named 2011 Parking Professional of the Year by the California Public Parking Association (CPPA). The award was presented at the CPPA Annual Conference in Oakland on November 3, 2011.

Award recipients are recognized for their creativity and innovation; contributions to their institutions, to the CPPA, and to the parking industry; and for demonstration of dedication to the industry through efforts to increase the awareness of the parking profession.