Winners of the 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award, Sandra Campero of University Advancement and Iain Grainger of UCI Media Services, share snapshots of their careers, leadership and management styles, mentors and advice for success at UCI in a short questionnaire.
Title: Director of UCI Media Services, Director of Communications for the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning
How long have you worked for UCI?
Give us a brief background about what you do in your current role: I manage the UCI Media Services team, which is responsible for video and media production for the campus, including all the commencement ceremonies. I’ve had the privilege of filming and recording wonderful events and speakers here such as Mikhail Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama (twice), presidents, politicians and renowned experts in their fields. My team also was responsible for the live web stream of the visit of President Barack Obama in 2014. I also manage and develop the newly formed Communications team for the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, which encompasses the Division of Undergraduate Education, Division of Teaching & Learning and Summer Session.
Do you have a leadership mentor? One of the many great attributes of working at UCI is the vast amount of great leaders that are currently driving the campus to new heights. I feel really blessed to have Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, as my boss and I consistently look to his leadership style of transparency and integrity to fulfill my limitations as a manager. I also have had the privilege of serving three chancellors with their production requests and I believe that Chancellor Gillman is the best person to lead us into the next 50 years with his commitment to inclusion, diversity and service. My leadership style also has been molded by some great leaders that I have worked with over the years here at UCI such as Thomas Parham, Ramona Agrela and former chancellor Ralph Cicerone.
How would you describe your leadership/management style? I would not state that I have a specific management style. I believe that the people that we work with are the integral components of our success and/or failure. It is our job as leaders to understand their strengths and weaknesses so we can give them the tools, resources and encouragement that they need to deliver the best product or service and enjoy the journey through the process.
What is your favorite part about working for UCI? I have had the opportunity over the years of producing video/media productions for every department, unit and school on campus including the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. I have met some wonderful people and established relationships that continue to teach me the importance of personal connections and the human spirit.
Title: Assistant Vice Chancellor, Advancement Operations
How long have you worked for UCI? Almost 2 years. I joined the UCI team in September 2014.
Give us a brief background about what you do in your current role: I am responsible for overseeing the advancement operations team which provides strategic planning, management and direction to support and promote fundraising in prospect development, donor relations (stewardship), information management, database administration and training. I also am responsible for implementing special projects such as the iModules CRM platform.
How would you describe your leadership/management style? I believe we all lead from where we sit, regardless of our titles and areas of responsibilities. I want my staff to know that their contributions are valued and a critical for the success of the department. They are invited to take a “seat at the table” and participate in the decision-making process. My approach is to draw out the best in my team and expose them to new challenges through projects and encourage them to take risks. It is important they know they will be supported and guided through the whole process and that I care about growing their skills. It is an absolute privilege to lead the advancement operations team and I take great pride in fostering an environment that is collaborative, respectful and focused on working at a level of excellence.
What is your favorite part about working for UCI? I enjoy the strong sense of community and camaraderie shared in University Advancement and across campus. It is an exciting time to be at UCI and work with amazing people. I appreciate my colleagues and all their hard work and effort. They inspire me every day and together we take on new challenges and opportunities to contribute to the success of UCI.
Do you have any advice for Anteater employees to be successful at UCI? When I got my first job, my mom gave me some sound advice – she said to do well at work you always have to come prepared to give 100 percent. Be prepared, work hard and be supportive of your coworkers. I take her advice to heart and lean on it every day. Don’t be afraid to take risks and offer new ideas to improve processes. If you are eager to expand your skills then consider volunteering to work on a project. If the structure at work does not lend itself to exploring new projects then consider volunteering your available time in the community, professional associations or organizations at work like Staff Assembly. Volunteering allows you an opportunity to network, strengthen existing skills and develop new ones. Work hard and surround yourself with positive people.
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